man working out at home

Home Workout Warriors Choose High-Protein Snacks to Prevent Burnout

With an uptick in home workouts due to the COVID lockdown, many consumers are looking for high-protein snacks to support their efforts. Check out some of the healthy snacking trends that deliver the post-workout nutrition today’s consumers want.

Trends in High-Protein Post-Workout Snacks

The COVID lockdown has impacted consumers’ lifestyles in countless ways, including their workout routines. Gym closures, social distancing, and remote working have made maintaining exercise habits especially challenging. But there are signs that consumers are getting back on track. According to a recent Glanbia Nutritionals Consumer Survey, 22% of US consumers indicated they increased their time spent working out, with most indicating they're working out at home and/or outdoors.1

This renewed interest in fitness creates a key opportunity for food and beverage companies selling high-protein snacks aimed at exercise recovery. Companies that offer the right type of post-workout snacks that meet today’s unique needs can connect with consumers and encourage their efforts in achieving workout goals. 

Here’s a look at the healthy snacking trends that can support consumers’ home workouts:

1. Conscious Indulgence

As consumers find ways to get back into their fitness groove, whether it’s by following live-streaming workout classes or jogging around the neighborhood, it’s very likely to be a departure from their prior workout routine. An indulgent treat to look forward to—as a reward for getting motivated and completing their workout—that can also deliver the post-workout protein they need is especially appealing.

Indulgent high-protein snacks like protein cookies, brownies, and snack cakes offer consumers exercise support in the form of comfort food. Protein bars in decadent flavors like chocolate raspberry, salted caramel, or cookie dough, especially those with crispy layers and creamy fillings, also meet the trend in conscious indulgence.

2. Functional Nutrition

High-protein snacks with functional benefits are also on-trend. For example, functional foods for exercise recovery may contain ingredients such as tart cherry, which has been studied for its potential to reduce muscle soreness and promote faster recovery in athletes. Adaptogens like ashwagandha and reishi are also in-demand post-workout ingredients due to their association with ancient healing traditions around fortifying the body against stress.

woman doing yoga pose

Due to the COVID situation, functional nutrition aimed at supporting general health and the immune system in particular is gaining traction. During these stressful times, there has also been an emerging interest in functional foods and beverages that can promote calming and relaxation—a perfect fit for the post-workout occasion.

3. Plant-Based

Today’s home workout warriors include the most health-conscious consumers—those who are most committed to maintaining their healthy lifestyles despite challenging circumstances. Eating a diverse diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts is likely to be second nature to these consumers, making plant-based sports nutrition snacks an appealing choice. Plant-based sports nutrition is a growing trend, with a variety of pre- and post-workout products now available in the market.

While many plant-based sports nutrition snacks contain pea protein, a growing number of brands are formulating with plant protein blends to achieve a complete protein. In addition to pea protein, these high-protein snacks may include chia, flax, pumpkin, and sunflower seed proteins, as well as brown rice, alfalfa, and sacha inchi proteins. Leading vegan sports nutrition brands also include functional botanicals such as tart cherry, turmeric, and black pepper extract to further capitalize on the "plant-powered" concept.

Creating the Healthy Snacks Consumers Want

Keeping up with healthy snacking trends can help ensure food and beverage companies are meeting the needs of the moment. While protein is a must for the home workout warrior, it’s the extras like indulgent flavors and textures, functional benefits, and ingredient diversity that can make a product stand out on the shelf.

We have a broad portfolio of dairy-based and plant-based functional proteins that are just right for your next high protein snack product formulation. Our extruded solution proteins and Crunchie™ bites and crisps provide a range of exceptional textures and a hearty crunch to snacks. Watch our video below and collaborate with us to find out how we can make a high protein snack your consumers are sure to love.

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1. Glanbia Nutritionals Proprietary Consumer Report - Week 41, December 2020.

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