According to www. Supplementwatch.com, the sports nutrition market “is about $3 billion annually--that's a lot of Powerbars!” The website also points out that a main problem with sports-oriented products is that consumers are not familiar with their proper use.
Seltzer Nutritional Technologies (Carlsbad, Calif.) understands the correct science and use applications to consider when formulating sports products that will benefit consumers. The company is a custom nutrient blender specializing in condition-specific formulations. Its research and development activities are founded on understanding the science behind a nutrient and its application in useful and successful functional foods and beverages. Part of the strength of Seltzer Nutritional Technologies comes from its parent company, Seltzer Chemicals, which carries a complete line of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and specialty nutritional ingredients.
To summarize the nature of blends aimed at sports enthusiasts that the company may formulate, it is important to understand the body's needs. Before endurance exercise, the body requires proper hydration and the “topping out” of appropriate fuel sources. During an endurance event, it is important for athletes to first consume and metabolize well-formulated carbohydrate drinks. The new field of recovery science speaks to an athlete's most important concern following exercise: preparation for the next bout of activity. Blends aimed at recovery should provide the athlete with nutrients addressing deleterious physiological changes following exercise, along with the proper ratio of carbohydrates, protein and electrolytes to refuel and hydrate the body before the next activity. These nutrients can be classified according to their physiological impact.
Following exercise, the body is most receptive to replenishment of its glycogen stores. Carbohydrate sources ranging from low to high glycemic indexes are needed immediately and also for the next four to five hours. Consumed intermittently, these carbohydrates will properly replenish muscle glycogen, the main fuel providing energy for muscle cells during exercise.
Studies also demonstrate that a source of protein increases glycogen restoration through an enhanced insulin response. Proteins also help prevent further catabolism of muscle tissue and promote muscle repair.
Replenishment of lost body water also is imperative following exercise. Respiration, metabolic processes and sweat all use body water. Fluids should be consumed in excess of their loss, and a source of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride, etc.) helps to equilibrate plasma volume by re-establishing intra- and extra-cellular ionic gradients.
Exercise can place an individual in a state of increased oxidative stress. Antioxidants such as alpha-lipoic acid, flavonoids, quercetin, selenium, vitamin C and vitamin E are proving useful in limiting an increase in oxidative markers in exercising subjects. These compounds have a wide-ranging impact, since they affect different antioxidant activities in the body. Local inflammation also is increased following exercise, and nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, quercetin and other antioxidants help to reduce key signaling compounds of inflammation after exercise.
According to Hugh Lippman, Ph.D., senior product innovation scientist, Seltzer Nutritional Technologies, “Our custom blends and pre-mixes include the understanding of what is cutting-edge on the market, yet they are backed by scientific understanding of how they work.” In doing this, Seltzer Chemicals strives to formulate blends for both the finishing line of athletes and the bottom line of companies.