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Talking Sports Nutrition With Nutrition21’s Elyse Lovett

Sports Nutrition

Nutrition Industry Executive (NIE) magazine asked Elyse Lovett, of Harrison, NY-based Nutrition21 to provide comments on questions we posed to her about the sports nutrition category. Here are her expanded comments:

NIE: What are some ways the sports nutrition category changed over the past few years?

Lovett: In the past few years, suppliers and manufacturers have learned that active nutrition is here to stay.

While legacy sports nutrition products continue to do well in the market, we are seeing new products in the space that are tailored toward the mainstream “active nutrition” consumer both in-store and online do well. These products are being developed and marketed with attractive benefits that meet consumers overall fitness needs.

The sports nutrition market continues to shift and adapt to changing consumer behaviors, so innovation is especially important to keep the category fresh and relevant.

While pre- and post-workout products remain a core focus, new consumers entering the category are looking for products that fit into their ideas of fitness.

To them, “performance” might have a different meaning that involves mental focus, reaction time and accuracy. To others, optimizing performance involves beating their personal best in a 5K. And yet to others, performance is all about pushing the limits, dominating that Ironman competition, or coming in first in a Spartan Race.

But one common thread that binds them all is optimizing the ability to perform and seeking out products that will help them meet their fitness goals.

NIE: Sports nutrition today is about more that running and lifting weights, although nothing wrong with either. Today we see formulations designed for extreme sports and e-sports. How has this change in the nature of sports changed the nature of products?

Lovett: Recently we have seen the sports nutrition branch out to different consumer groups that are looking for similar benefits to the hardcore users like energy and focus.

The esports category is a perfect example in the sports nutrition category of how legacy sports nutrition benefits like energy has been incorporated with cognitive performance benefits like focus, accuracy, and reaction time to create specific formulations that meet gamer demands.

Nutrition21 offers nooLVL, a patented complex of bonded arginine and silicon with an additional optimized dose of Inositol. nooLVL is a non-stimulant nootropic ingredient that enhances cognitive performance in fast-paced esports competitions. nooLVL has been clinically studied in a population of gamers and has been shown to work within 15 minutes to increase energy,1 focus,2 reaction time and accuracy.

Nutrition21 unveiled new research on the cognitive benefits of nooLVL at the International Society of Sports Nutrition’s (ISSN) Annual conference in mid-June.

This new data strengthens the evidence behind nooLVL for improving cognitive benefits for esports gamers, who rely on quick reactions, focus, memory and fine motor skills to excel during competition. These skills are especially important when gamers are facing off against each other in high stakes tournaments and events.

One of the most important skills for gamers is reaction time (RT). RT is the time it takes for your central nervous system to respond to stimuli. Once this message is received by the brain, it is turned into a physical or mental response.

The new study, “Effects of Arginine Silicate and Inositol Ingestion on Cognitive and Executive Function in Gamers,” performed at Texas A&M University, examined whether nooLVL ingestion had effects prior to and following a one-hour gaming challenge on cognitive function.

This new data found evidence of enhanced short-term memory, RT, reasoning, and concentration among gamers following nooLVL supplementation, which further supports previous research.

NIE: Why are consumers demanding more plant-derived proteins, and how important is this trend? Please give an example.

Lovett: Protein in its many forms will forever be a staple in the sports nutrition market. The rise of plant-based alternatives is attributed to factors including: the ethical and sustainable focus, clean label, and the enhanced nutrition benefits that are achieved with plant-based proteins.

Nutrition21 offers Velositol, a patented complex of amylopectin and chromium that is designed to work as proteins perfect partner. New research published in the Journal of Exercise and Nutrition demonstrates benefits for Velositol (an amylopectin-chromium complex) when combined with 15 grams of protein in those involved in resistance training.

The double-blind, active-controlled study used 35 recreationally active men that were randomized to one of three groups: 2 grams of Velositol + 15 grams of whey protein isolate, 15 grams of whey protein isolate alone, and 30 grams of whey protein isolate alone.

Subjects consumed their respective supplement immediately following resistance exercise on days when training occurred and at the same time of day on non-training days. At 0, 4 and 8 weeks of training, body composition, whole-body protein balance, upper body and lower body performance, and visual analog scale scores for recovery, sleep quality, energy, willingness to train, and muscle soreness were assessed.

The study concluded that the addition of Velositol to a 15-gram dose of whey protein increased total squat reps, vertical jump power, and vertical jump height to a greater extent than when 15 and 30 grams of whey protein were consumed alone.


1 Perceived energy measured by the validated Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire.

2 Results compared to baseline.