Friday, October 22, 2021
Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Volac has welcomed the latest International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Consensus Statement on Sports Nutrition which recommends that athletes consume high quality proteins, soon after exercise and at optimal amounts throughout the day, as a way of maximizing the long-term gain and repair of muscle.

Suzane Leser, Nutrition Manager of Lifestyle Ingredients and vice chair of the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA), says this advice represents good news for the whey protein industry, following, as it does, the limited endorsement of protein quality by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) under article 13.1 rulings on protein and whey protein.

Suzane Leser says: “The importance of consuming high quality protein at strategic points in the day has emerged since the last IOC Consensus Statement in 2003, and is now being recognized as key to athletic performance, alongside hydration and energy.

“The new Consensus will form the basis for nutritional guidance to athletes in the run up to London 2012 and this is great news for the whey protein industry, particularly as the IOC experts go further than EFSA in recognizing that not all proteins are equal, and recommending that athletes consume those of high quality. This would include whey protein as it has one of the highest biological values.”

The IOC statement advises that “Foods or snacks that contain high-quality proteins should be consumed regularly throughout the day as part of the day’s total protein intake”.

 The IOC also recommends that athletes “take 15-25 g of such protein after each training session to maximize the synthesis of proteins.”

Acknowledging that training regimes and travel schedules can restrict the ability of an athlete to obtain all the nutrients they need in their diet, the IOC goes on to advise that “supplements that provide essential nutrients may be a short-term option when food intake or food choices are restricted.”

As Suzane Leser points out: “It is exciting news for the whey protein industry that respected expert bodies such as the IOC recognize the place for supplements in the dietary strategy of athletes. Their recommendation of 15-25 g protein as an optimal intake, together with the advice to consume protein regularly throughout the day, will drive demand for protein-rich drinks and snacks as well as open avenues for new product development.”

As Mark Neville, Head of Lifestyle Ingredients, Volac, explains: “It is not only the demanding training regimes of potential Olympians that will drive the sports nutrition market. Consumers, trying to combine a physical fitness regime with a hectic lifestyle also place a high value on convenience. Our research(1), conducted among consumers committed to undertaking sport or exercise, showed that there is a potential mainstream market for a sports recovery drink containing whey protein.”

The IOC also suggests that athletes and their nutrition advisers look at strategies to enhance recovery of fluid and fuel, especially when athletes have to compete in several events in a short time-period.

Recent research(2) suggests that adding protein to sports drinks can enhance their effectiveness in aiding post-exercise fluid retention, beyond the effects of traditional sports drinks. For manufacturers of sports nutrition products, rehydration is the new emerging benefit of protein, after its well established role in muscle recovery.

 Until recently, the addition of whey protein to clear beverages has not been without its technological challenges. However, Volac has overcome these difficulties with the development of Volactive Hydrapro – an enhanced, fat-free whey protein isolate which combines high solubility with heat stability, a long shelf life and neutral taste.

Mark Neville concludes: “The IOC advice combined with the potential mainstream market revealed by the Volac research makes powerful reading for sports drinks manufacturers. Against this backdrop, and with the manufacturing challenges overcome, now is the time for drinks manufacturers to bring innovation to the sports recovery market by combining the benefits of this high quality whey protein with carbohydrates and fluids in a clear, convenient and refreshing beverage.”

Source: Nutrition Horizon