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Amrit Karmarkar, Abhijit Mhatre May 02 , 2016
Globalisation has brought many changes in lifestyles of human beings. Although we have been living a luxurious life, it has also caused emergence of lifestyle-based diseases. These are outcomes of our sedentary lifestyle and lack of awareness about fitness.

Diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, depression, anxiety, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and osteoporosis can be included in this increasing list. These diseases are the outcome of a sedentary lifestyle, which is a result of globalisation and outsourcing-based jobs, particularly in semi-developed countries.

Considering the Indian setting, emergence of these diseases started probably in 1990s, when Indian companies were catching up outsourcing contracts of IT companies from USA and Europe. In addition to this, emergence of business process outsourcing (BPO) and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) has added more number of people since 2000. Currently people working in IT, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, and many more fields are suffering from these diseases due to sedentary lifestyle. Some other factors that played key role here were ‘McDonaldisation,’ ‘Cocacolonisation’ and ‘Disneyfication.’ In order to prevent emergence of these, experts including those from medical, pharmaceuticals, nutritional, and fitness domains have been suggesting that regular exercise everyday can prevent these lifestyle-based diseases.

In the year 2000, fitness culture started catching up in the market in Great Britain. Considering the Indian scenario, emergence of Bollywood stars with sixpack abs was an attraction to Indian youngsters. This trend caught up in the Indian market particularly from year 2010. Reports by International Health, Racquet, and Sports Club Association (IHRSA) suggest that global fitness and sports industry have achieved US$84 billion revenue from around 1,80,000 clubs that attracted 144.7 million members in 2014. An important factor that comes to mind along with fitness is nutrition. Currently, across the globe, nutrition products in sports and fitness areas were categorised in some countries as functional foods, nutraceuticals, drug products, and so on. Regulations distinguishing between these terminologies are still unclear in most countries of the globe.

Sports Nutrition
It is a science that studies and practices nutrition and diet as it relates to athletic performance. It is concerned with the type and quantity of fluid and food taken by an athlete, minerals, supplements and organic substances such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats. According to basics of this subject, good state of health is generated from 80% of what we eat. Nutrition is most important in it. Water is an important source of hydration. Calories do not matter, but nutrients do. Generally, it is considered that fats increase obesity, but this field considers fats to be good source of increasing endurance and energy. Appropriate nutrition helps us to replenish energy stores, increase muscle quality and recover from any damage caused by activity.

Sports Nutrition Products
Sports nutrition products are especially designed to supplement the intake of essential nutrients, to enhance performance, increase physical strength, build muscle, and improve the overall well-being of consumers. These are of great value in supplementing various nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and fats that help customers in improving their stamina and physical performance. In early times, these products were considered to be consumed only by athletes, sportspersons, and bodybuilders. But due to increase in awareness in fitness and about nutritive value of these products, they are gaining importance worldwide. Also, new ingredients being used in these products are expected to help attract more consumers and increase the demand for sports nutrition products. Among us, Mhatre, a well-known fitness expert, model, and nutritionist,  has used many products in person as well as advised them for use to clients in Bollywood.

Brands of sports nutrition available in India and across the globe

Indian Brands (Companies)

Worldwide Brands (Companies)

SSN Supplements

Optimum Nutrition


Ultimate Nutrition

Six Pack Nutrition


Sparkle Nutrition


Muscle Blaze


Total American Gear

Dymatise Nutrition

Table 1: Indian and worldwide brands in sports nutrition market
The above-mentioned companies have an array of products which include weight gainers, whey protein, protein blends, and branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). Going by our experience, we opine that there are more than 200 companies in India in this market, whereas only the above-mentioned brands are trusted and do not have much side-effects.  

Sports Nutrition Market
Major products in sports nutrition segment that have captured significant share in the market include energy drink, protein bar, and dietary supplements. Out of them, sports drinks were the major part of the share. According to Euromonitor International, a market research agency, the global sport nutrition market in 2014 was valued at $24,700.4 million. This market is expected to grow during 2015-2020 at Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8.3%. Based on type, 58.6% of share was largest share in the market of 2014 and it was held by sports drink segment.

In the year 2020, it is expected to reach $23,222.5 million. Geographically, the North American market was the largest in the year 2014. During the period 2011-2015, the North American market grew in size to reach $14,037.0 million. Since 2014, the US continued to be the leading market with the size of $12,161.4 million for sports nutrition product globally. In the report from Transparency Market Research, it was suggested that market would grow to US$37.7 billion by 2019 from US$20.7 billion in 2012 by Compound Annual Growth Rate of 9.0% between 2013 and 2019.

In 2015, sport nutrition was led by Neulife Nutrition by 38% of the share. Asia-Pacific is going to achieve highest market by 2019 as per Transparency Market Research. The volume of nutrition market in 2015 was 10.58 billion kilogram. The US market reached US$6.7 billion in 2015. The growth of sports nutrition with 9% CAGR is expected in forecast period. The global sports nutrition market should be reaching US$33.6 billion by 2020. Sports foods are expected to increase by 11%. The ready-to-drink (RTD) category is expected to increase by $7.5 billion by 2020. Probiotic supplement recorded fastest growth by 67%. The value of global dietary supplements by the end of 2015 was US$123,324.7 million. The value is expected to grow to US $252,142.1 million by CAGR of 7.4%.

In India, gyms are opening across the country in both small and big cities, thus serving as major promoters of sports nutrition products. The advice of coaches and fitness instructors has significantly influenced sales, along with celebrity endorsements and the fitness trend among younger generations. Previously, teenagers and youngsters would hide these products either containing steroids or found counterfeit. However, consumers started to opt for quality products.           Several pharmaceutical companies are entering this market segment realising that nutraceuticals can act as supplementary for their products. There are more Indian players than multinationals in the market as it is a relatively low technology section compared to pharmaceuticals.

Regulations in Sports Nutrition Products
Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act was introduced in the United States in 1994. This Act allows considerable flexibility in foods and medicines found in parts of the world. Under DSHEA, a dietary supplement may contain “a herb or other botanical” or “a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract or combination of any ingredient from the other categories.”

The US Department of Agriculture and US Food and Drug Administration are the main authorities in sports nutrition regulations in the United States. These two federal agencies encompass all phases of the sport nutrition regulatory system: evaluation, investigation, regulation, inspection and sanction. According to some industry experts, it is said that these two authorities should be merged to form a single licensing and regulating authority for functional foods like sport nutrition products. The FDA regulates both finished dietary supplement products and dietary ingredients under a different set of regulations than those covering “conventional” foods and drug products. Under the DSHEA, the dietary supplement or dietary ingredient manufacturer is responsible for ensuring that a dietary supplement or ingredient is safe before it is marketed. The FDA is responsible for taking action against any unsafe dietary supplement product after it reaches the market.

Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) apply to all domestic and foreign companies that manufacture, package, label or hold dietary supplements, including those involved with the activities of testing, quality control, packaging and labelling, and distributing them in the US. The rule establishes cGMPs for industry-wide uses that are necessary to require that sports nutrition products are manufactured consistently as per identity, purity, strength, and composition.
The requirements include provisions related to the design and construction of physical plants that facilitate maintenance, cleaning, proper manufacturing operations, and quality control procedures, testing final product or incoming and in process materials.

In India, till 1998, there were total 14 laws that regulated functional foods category of products such as sports nutrition. In 2005, Indian Food Safety Standards Bill was signed into law which came into force in 2006 as Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006. It incorporates the salient provisions of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, and is based on international legislations, instrumentalities and the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

Under this Act, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) was established as a single licensing authority. This Act addresses functional foods, nutraceuticals, and dietary supplements. In July 2015, Government of India issued a draft notification as Food Safety and Standards (Food or Health Supplements, Nutraceuticals, Foods for Special Dietary Uses, Foods for Special Medical Purpose, Functional Foods, and Novel Food) Regulations, 2015, which will amend Section 92 and 22 Food Safety Standards Act, 2006. This notification includes foods containing prebiotics, special dietary uses, health supplements, foods for special medical purposes, nutraceuticals, novel foods, and foods mentioned in traditional Indian systems of medicines. This notification provides an idea about labelling requirements, composition of products, claims to be made, and inclusion of calorific values in products.

From the above facts, it can be concluded that fitness is key to staying fit in the era of globalisation. Consumption of nutrition products for maintaining fitness is essential as it provides appropriate balanced nutrition for sports needs. Sports nutrition has seen tremendous growth since last five years in India as well as internationally. Although, there are more number of Indian companies in market as compared to multinationals, these remain behind in competition due to lack of quality of products due to non-compliance with FSSA standards and non-GMP manufacturing.

Apart from this, non-compliance with export market is the reason. As solution of this, companies need to understand regulations across the globe and follow quality standards for the same. Further, apart from sport drinks, products such as weight gainers, whey protein, protein blends, and branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) will be in high demand in the market segment due to increased awareness in consumers about fitness and more number of young adult populations turning their viewpoints towards fitness.

(Karmarkar is director, InClinition, Mumbai; Mhatre is model, nutritionist, and director, AM Fitness, Mumbai. They can be reached at / respectively)

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