Sports studies need to evolve with changing market, expert says

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sports & Active Nutrition Summit USA

Sports nutrition research is adapting to a changing market with more studies being done on endpoints like recovery and healthy aging, a clinical trials expert said.

Ralf Jäger, PhD, is a principal in the scientific consulting firm Increnovo.  Jäger is a peer reviewer for the International Society of Sports Nutrition, spoke on new directions in sports nutrition research at the recently concluded Sports & Active Nutrition Summit, which took place in San Diego.

Matching the market

Jäger said practical research needs to reflect the market.  Just as the NutraIngredients-USA​-sponsored event has added ‘active’ to its title in recent years, so too have sports nutrition product developers been seeking to address the needs of these new consumers.

“The market is rapidly changing.  In the past it was bodybuilding and endurance, so straightforward weight-resistance-training  studies,”​ Jaeger told NutraIngredients-USA​.

“Now there are different consumers, ad different people you have to enroll in your studies to actually match the environment of the overall  market in our studies.  So we have to have elderly subjects in our studies, people that are not just college students that are 20 years old but people who are 40, 50 or even older,” ​he said.

Case studies on practical research

Much of Jäger’s research is directly by clients for practical purposes. He used two recent development efforts as case studies of sorts in his presentation about how to design studies that are cost effective and yield marketable endpoints.  

One of these development efforts centered on a di-leucine peptide ingredient while the other was done on paraxanthine, a caffeine alternative that Jäger said mimics the effects that ‘fast metabolizers’ of caffeine experience without caffeine’s drawbacks.

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