man running

US Sports Nutrition Outlook for 2024

Here's a look at what’s in store for the 2024 US sports nutrition market, plus key trends and opportunities—like weight loss-positioned products and cleaner pre-workout energy drinks.


  • There is high growth ahead in both protein and non-protein products.
  • Weight loss is the primary goal for many active and performance consumers.
  • Strength, recovery, and energy are top needs. 
  • Natural energy for pre-workout is a key opportunity.

US Sports Nutrition Market Overview

The $14.1 billion US sports nutrition market is doing well, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.9% expected between 2022 and 2027.1 Sports protein powders make up the largest segment at $6.1 billion, with growth forecast at 5.3%.2 Segments outpacing the total market include protein/energy bars (est. CAGR +10.7%) and non-protein products (est. CAGR +10.2%), which include pre-workout and amino acid supplements.3

US Sports Nutrition Sales by Segment4

  • Sports protein powders ($6.1 billion)
  • Protein and energy bars ($4.4 billion)
  • Sports non-protein products ($2.1 billion)
  • Sports protein RTD beverages ($1.4 billion)

Sports Nutrition Trends and Opportunities

Consumers are using a range of sports nutrition products to support their goals, with performance consumers the most likely to use pre-workout products (61%), followed by post-workout products (52%), and finally intra-workout products (46%).  Active lifestyle consumers are another important target group, with about a quarter using these products.9

Our own recent consumer research offers insights into what these performance and active lifestyle consumers are looking for right now in sports nutrition products:

1. Weight Loss a Priority

Nearly one in four active lifestyle consumers and one in six performance consumers say their main goal in exercising is to lose weight.10 78% overall state that supplements are important to helping them achieve their goals.11 

Protein is an important ingredient in weight management due to its role in satiety. However, other clinically supported ingredients like Prolibra® bioactive whey protein and CapsiAtra® dihydrocapsiate, with targeted messaging around weight loss, could appeal to these consumers.  

2. Protein in Demand for Strength and Recovery

Products for strength and exercise recovery remain critical needs for sports nutrition users—particularly performance consumers. Performance consumers over-index on muscle-intensive exercises such as CrossFit and lifting free weights,12 with many using protein shakes from powder (39%) and RTD protein shakes (35%) for support.13

man with shaker bottle in gym

A similar proportion of active lifestyle consumers use RTDs, while protein powder use is slightly lower.14 Among generations, Millennials are the biggest regular users of protein and recovery products, followed by Gen Z.15 The most preferred post-workout products are protein RTDs and protein powders (though bar use is common),16 while dairy is the most preferred protein source.17

3. Interest in Pre-Workout Natural Energy Drinks

Energy drinks are the most used pre-workout product by performance consumers (51%) and active lifestyle consumers (36%) alike.18 However, only 18% and 16%, respectively, cite energy drinks as their preferred pre-workout product.19 Consumer research reveals a tension point here: energy drinks are convenient and effective, but they’re not the ideal choice. 

Both the ingredients and the experience can be improved. 42% of those who stopped using energy drinks say they didn’t like how it made them feel.20 Milder, more natural energy drinks would also satisfy the 69% of pre-workout product users who say all-natural is important to them in deciding whether to buy a food product.21

Get Your Portfolio in Shape

Addressing consumers’ needs for weight loss support, strength, recovery, and natural energy to help them get the most out of their workouts requires smart formulations with the right ingredients. To get your sports nutrition portfolio in tip-top shape, Glanbia Nutritionals' sports performance solutions include the ingredients you need to take your brand into the future.

Contact us to learn more about formulating for the active and performance-focused consumer.


1-7. Euromonitor, US Sports Nutrition, September 2022.
8-12. Glanbia Nutritionals, Performance Nutrition U&A Study, 2022. 
13-14. Glanbia Nutritionals, Healthy Snacking U&A Study, 2022.
15. Innova, Health & Nutrition Survey, 2021.
16. Glanbia Nutritionals, Performance Nutrition U&A Study, 2022. 
17. Glanbia Nutritionals, Healthy Snacking U&A Study, 2022.
18-21. Glanbia Nutritionals, Performance Nutrition U&A Study, 2022. 

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