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Move Nutrition 2023 year in review

Evolution at its Strongest

by Elyse Lovett, Editor

Welcome to MOVE Nutrition’s year in review. We cover our journey of the trends, shifts, and research covering three important topics. First was the long-overdue recognition of the underrepresentation of women in sports nutrition research. For decades the industry has predominantly focused on men, but we delved into the important conversation of how and why to include more females in future science and research. Through the connection between the gut microbiome and athletic performance, we unraveled the role that microorganisms play in optimizing physical fitness. Additionally, our spotlight extended to the important aspects of recovery, going beyond the traditional recommendations for athletes to unlock their greatest potential.

Sports and Active Nutrition for Women

Our first topic was a look at the challenges faced by women in sports nutrition research, revealing a lack of dedicated studies and data. Female athletes and active nutrition users are seeking products tailored to female performance and recovery prompting changes in formulations and marketing strategies. The quarterly article highlighted the promising outlook for research in sports and active nutrition for women despite the past lack of dedicated studies on female athletes. Our industry is beginning to acknowledge the necessity of including the female-based population in studies geared toward athletic performance and recovery. The industry is also adapting to the changing dynamics and recognizing the different need states between males and females when it comes to sports nutrition products, especially those needs during menopause. Our experts, Karen Todd and Alexis Collins, discussed the importance of adapting to change. The untapped research and formulation innovations focused on women in sports and active nutrition present a promising area for growth in the years to come – as women are holding their ground in this dynamic and evolving space.

Regarding women in sports nutrition, the quarterly also featured interviews with other experts, including Jen Dieter, a CrossFit enthusiast and physical therapist takes us through her journey as a female athlete. During her interview, Jen shared her philosophies on food, the significance of strength training for women approaching menopause, and the overall optimism of increasing focus on women’s needs.

In addition, we featured four women who are taking research head-on. In this feature, their collective expertise and contributions shine, along with their commitment to advancing scientific knowledge in exercise nutrition and women’s health.

Find out more in our sports and active nutrition quarterly here.

The Gut-Performance Connection

Our next quarterly discussed the trends in microbiome research and how they relate to sports nutrition. This issue highlighted the key roles of “biotics” in influencing microbiome composition as well as exploring the gut-brain axis. Furthermore, the issue addressed how the microbiome and gut-brain axis relate to sports nutrition and athletic performance. The microbiome has become a focal point in the dietary supplement industry driving product innovation due to the advancement of ingredient development, continued research and development, and rising consumer interest. As the central focus continues to evolve, the microbiome’s role in sports nutrition has gained more interest, and understanding the relationship between the gut and performance has become even more prominent over the past few years.

To grasp the scientific aspects and research related to the microbiome and its impact on sports performance, we sought insights from Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC who provided tips to optimize gut health for performance. Dana explained that the consistent intake of probiotics from food and supplements could be linked to enhanced training adaptations, better recovery, and improved mood in athletes.

We consulted with industry experts, Chad Cook, PhD and Danielle Citrolo, PharmD who guided us through the latest research in microbiome, research on the horizon, and the process of designing an optimal study in gut-sports health.

Find out more in our microbiome-active nutrition quarterly here.

Proactive Recovery

Our latest MOVE quarterly reviewed the critical role of recovery in optimizing physical performance alongside reducing injury after exercise. Our featured article took a deep dive into the significance of post-exercise recovery involving muscle protein synthesis, the immune response, growth and repair, nutrition and hydration, and experiences of delayed onset of muscle soreness. The comprehensive review concluded that recovery is paramount for sustained and optimal performance, endurance, and fatigue reduction. In addition, we covered some of the research regarding immune support, nutrient intake, and hormonal balance and the interconnections with optimal recovery for individuals aiming for peak athletic performance. We interviewed Naturopathic Doctor Keri Marshall as she addressed the keys to recovery for athletes and everyday active individuals no matter what their age is.

In this issue, we connected with Dr. Rob Wildman who highlighted proteins’ structural importance beyond their roles as a fuel source. Rob gave practical tips on protein intake including optimal absorption, protein for lifestyle choices, and recognizing the importance of nighttime protein. An important conversation in the connection of exercise recovery based on lifestyle habits. Keri and Robs’ insights expanded our understanding of recovery strategies beyond the traditional scope.

Our proactive recovery edition included Denis Faye’s column on exercise recovery. The article emphasized the significance of the recovery phase in training and explored various recovery strategies. Denis explained that muscle recovery is crucial for athletes and requires sufficient fuel and building blocks alongside proper nutrition for optimal athletic performance.

Find out more in our proactive recovery quarterly here.

One common theme of the three topics is the evolution of the sports nutrition industry and how far our industry has come in integrating demographics, new areas of sports research and performance, and advanced recovery strategies into our conversations. As we conclude this year, we celebrate the strides made in female diversity, microbiome science, and proactive recovery, shaping a more inclusive and holistic landscape for sports nutrition. The future promises more exciting developments, research opportunities, and product development in the ever-evolving field of sports and active nutrition.

Apart from our quarterly content, we had the opportunity to engage with industry experts on significant industry-related topics. Here are just a few:

Your Food Matters, Dr. Sue and Erik B

Denis Faye, The Move Nutrition Column

David Sandler, The Strength Pro Guy

ISSN Updates: Stand on the Female Athlete with Katie Emerson