man doing push ups

World Driven by Wellness: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

Savvy sports nutrition consumers are looking closely at products that can support overall health for body and mind and give them a performance edge. Immunity, cognition, and sleep benefits are a few of the claims catching their eye.


  • A high percentage of sports nutrition consumers find immune health to be very important. 
  • Many consumers are looking to improve their mental alertness and focus. 
  • Digestive support and sleep support ingredients are becoming increasingly popular in the sports nutrition category. 

Evolution from Sports Performance to Lifestyle Nutrition

The sports nutrition category has been evolving. What began with a focus on products to support muscle building and athletic performance has expanded to encompass a range of additional health and wellness benefits. This new lifestyle nutrition approach to the category can be seen in messaging around positive nutrition, along with the inclusion of nutritional and functional ingredients that support the whole person.

Healthy Body and Mind for Optimal Performance

Research by FMCG Gurus reveals several lifestyle nutrition claims that attract global consumers when purchasing sports nutrition products. For example, cognitive health benefits appeal to anywhere from 78 to 84% of consumers (depending on the region), while immunity claims appeal to 58 to 70%.

man doing running

Sports nutrition products that can improve digestive health appeal to up to 40% of consumers, while claims of improving sleep quality appeal to up to 28%.2 Sports nutrition consumers increasingly view optimizing aspects of overall health and wellness as a way to also optimize performance. Let’s take a look at these top concerns. 


While 61% of global sports nutrition consumers are placing greater emphasis on improving immunity as a result of COVID-19, this number is as high as 70% in North America.3 Some are also placing greater emphasis on improving endurance (34%) and strength (32%), indicating they may associate optimizing fitness with maximizing immune health.4 Added vitamins (such as vitamins C, A, D, and B12) is becoming a popular way to support immune health within the sports nutrition category.

Global Immunity Trends for 2022 and Beyond

Global Immunity Trends for 2022 and Beyond

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Despite the increased interest in immunity driven by COVID, improving cognition ranks as the top health and wellness benefit sports nutrition consumers desire. 67% of sports nutrition consumers globally (and 74% in North America) say they looked to improve their cognitive health in the past six months.5 Mental alertness, agility, and focus are particularly important as they’re key to optimal workouts. Nootropics are gaining a foothold in the sports nutrition category for purported cognitive and other benefits.

woman lifting weight

Gut, Mood, and Sleep

Gut health (which is linked to mood via the gut-brain axis) is also gaining traction in the category. Between August 2019 and July 2020, 7% of performance nutrition launches in North America made a digestive claim, up from only 3% three years before.6 Prebiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and L-glutamine are some of the gut health ingredients showing up in sports nutrition. Sleep support ingredients to aid in exercise recovery is another area to watch, especially as many consumers have had trouble sleeping due to pandemic stress.

Formulating for a Healthy Body and Mind

As sports nutrition consumers become increasingly aware of the role of a healthy body and mind on their performance (as well as on their quality of life), brands have an exciting opportunity to formulate innovative products that can make a real difference to their consumers.

Our wellness bioactives, such as Bioferrin for immunity support products and PepForm Tryptophan for sleep or cognition support products, can help you get started on developing next-gen sports nutrition products that will address your consumers’ top concerns. Contact Glanbia Nutritionals to learn more.


1-5. FMCG Gurus, The Potential of Performance Nutrition in 2021 – Global Report, February 2021.
6. Mintel / Glanbia Nutritionals Proprietary Data, August 2016-July 2020.

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