Joint Support Power Players for Sports Nutrition in 2018
While there’s still be plenty of demand for the “joint support classics” that consumers have come to know an embrace (Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and Methyl Sulfonyl Methane (MSM) being among the first to come to mind), in recent years consumers and industry insiders have watched an eclectic assortment of new (as well as few “not so new”) joint health supporting ingredients and formulations come into their own and take the mainstream by storm.
Thanks to growing bodies of authoritative and reliable research, shifts in consumer needs and awareness, and scientific breakthroughs (among other factors), the 2010s have given rise to an eclectic assortment of ingredients and formulations capable of supporting joint health - especially in sports nutrition applications.
Joint Support Power Players
Along with increases in demand, the ability for many of these ingredients to serve as primary and secondary components of specialty sports formulations has helped them earned their places as some of today’s top earners.
Available in a number of different “forms,” two of the most popular varieties of collagen used in joint health and sports nutrition applications today are “hydrolyzed” type I collagen and “undenatured” type II collagen. Despite the fact that both type I and type II collagen can be used in sports supplement formulations, it’s not uncommon to see sports nutrition brands opting for type II in their formulations.
The primary reason?
Thanks to differences in the ways that type II and type I collagen are processed, type II collagen is typically delivered at a lower dose – as little as 40mg. By contrast, a typical dose of type I collagen can be in neighborhood of 10g.1 Being able to work with a smaller effective serving size affords brand owners and formulators the ability to explore a wider variety of delivery methods and formulation capabilities.
Along with the differences in effective serving size, research has suggested that type I collagen may be better suited for health and beauty applications (formulations relating to hair, skin, and aging)2, whereas similar research has tied type II collagen to joint support.3
From a macro perspective, estimates have predicted that the global collagen market (which includes all types of collagen) will continue to experience significant growth through 2023 – jumping from its 2014 valuation of US$4.1 bn to a potential US$9.4 bn at a CAGR of 9.4% between 2015 and 2023.4
As a centuries’ old “overnight success” kind of ingredient, turmeric and its key bioactive component (Curcumin) have been making significant waves in the modern nutraceutical and nutritional spheres for a significant portion of the mid-2010s. Recognized in 2016 by Google as “think with Google: Food Trends 2016 (US)” rising star5, demand for turmeric containing products and supplement formulations has skyrocketed in recent years.6
Like any ingredient with centuries’ worth of global history and use, there’s an impressive body of anecdotal evidence (some of it dating as far back as 2500 BCE) supporting the use of Turmeric in a wide variety of applications.7 Despite a wealth of anecdotal information, it wasn’t until relatively recently that a significant body of robust and reliable body of scientific research began to accumulate.
When incorporated into supplement formulations, for sports applications or otherwise, capsules are often the delivery method of choice. Inherently, capsules are the ideal vessels for containing turmeric’s trademark yellow-orange color (which has a reputation for being impressively messy and stain-inducing) and its equally recognizable taste (which is known for dominating formulation flavor profiles) - all while providing the consumer with the correct serving size and an enjoyable experience.
From a practical application standpoint, research has suggested that turmeric/curcumin may be well suited for antioxidant-rich formulations,8,9as well as those designed to support sport and exercise-related recovery.10,11
One of our innovative ingredient favorites, research has suggested that tart cherry juices and extracts may be well suited for a number of sports nutrition and antioxidant-focused supplement formulations.
In a 2010 study published by The International Society for Sports Nutrition, researchers recorded the effects of tart cherry juice compared to those of a placebo and 54 volunteer runners in good health who were asked to run an average of 26.3km during a 24 hour period. Though measured anecdotally, in the tart cherry group reported feeling less discomfort during the post-run recovery period than those in the placebo group.12
A 2014 study published in the journal Nutrients, which conducted a similar trial with volunteer and trained cyclists, reported similar results - with those participants in the tart cherry concentrate group stating that, relatively, they felt less discomfort during the post-activity recovery period.13
Along with potential as a post-workout recovery ingredient, tart cherries have been recognized by the health and wellness community for their rich nutritional profile, which includes flavonoids, procyanidins, anthocyanins, along with a rich assortment of vitamins and minerals.14
1- https://examine.com/supplements/type-ii-collagen/ 2- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3509882/ 3- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24153020 4- https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-collagen-market-to-reach-us94-bn-by-2023-marine-and-bovine-collagen-represent-largest-source-segments-transparency-market-research-576963061.html 5- https://think.storage.googleapis.com/docs/FoodTrends-2016.pdf 6- https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&geo=US&q=turmeric 7 - http://www.pbs.org/food/the-history-kitchen/turmeric-history/ 8 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19594223 9- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20205886 10 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17332159 11 - https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-11-31 12 - "Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain during running: a randomized controlled trial." | Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition | 5 Apr 2010 13 - "Montmorency cherries reduce the oxidative stress and inflammatory responses to repeated days high- intensity stochastic cycling." | Nutrients - Open Access Human Nutrition Journal | 21 Feb 2014 14 - "Anthocyanins—More Than Nature's Colours" | Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology | 1 Dec 2004