Bring excitement of athletic nutrition to the selling floor

Articles
March 16, 2009

Bring excitement of athletic nutrition to the selling floor

Athletic feats amaze us, yet athletic nutrition is still finding its way. For nearly 50 years we’ve been told to drink liquids and replenish carbohydrates (with fruits, vegetables, grains, pasta, potatoes, rice) after intense exercise in order to rebuild glucose stores in muscles and energize the brain. Now the eight gold medals of Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps has some experts advocating a combination of protein with the carbs in order to quicken muscle recovery without compromising the glucose (stored as glycogen) refueling. Phelps and his teammates in Beijing drank a sports drink developed by kinesiologist John Ivy of the University of Texas, who has advanced this thinking, according to an account in USA Today. Who’ll argue with their success? Avid exercisers who follow this regimen achieve the greatest benefit when they eat shortly after a workout. Cross-country skier and ski jumper Billy Demong told the paper that “eating within 30 minutes of a hard or prolonged workout is critical in recovery…within 10 minutes is almost twice as good to replenish glycogen stores quickly.” His preference for a recovery drink has a 4:1 carbs to protein ratio. Some foods high in protein include: tuna 6 ounces, 30-40 protein grams; chicken breast 4 ounces, 30 protein grams, tofu 4 ounces, 11 protein grams; peanut butter 2 tablespoons, 9 protein grams; lentils half-cup, 7 protein grams; and milk 1 cup, 6 protein grams.

Athletic feats amaze us, yet athletic nutrition is still finding its way.  For nearly 50 years we’ve been told to drink liquids and replenish carbohydrates (with fruits, vegetables, grains, pasta, potatoes, rice) after intense exercise in order to rebuild glucose stores in muscles and energize the brain.

Now the eight gold medals of Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps has some experts advocating a combination of protein with the carbs in order to quicken muscle recovery without compromising the glucose (stored as glycogen) refueling. Phelps and his teammates in Beijing drank a sports drink developed by kinesiologist John Ivy of the University of Texas, who has advanced this thinking, according to an account in USA Today. Who’ll argue with their success?

Avid exercisers who follow this regimen achieve the greatest benefit when they eat shortly after a workout. Cross-country skier and ski jumper Billy Demong told the paper that “eating within 30 minutes of a hard or prolonged workout is critical in recovery…within 10 minutes is almost twice as good to replenish glycogen stores quickly.”  His preference for a recovery drink has a 4:1 carbs to protein ratio.

Some foods high in protein include: tuna 6 ounces, 30-40 protein grams; chicken breast 4 ounces, 30 protein grams, tofu 4 ounces, 11 protein grams; peanut butter 2 tablespoons, 9 protein grams; lentils half-cup, 7 protein grams; and milk 1 cup, 6 protein grams.

Findings like these are exciting not only for athletes, but for millions of fitness-oriented consumers and the rest of us who don’t want to be part of the obese American majority. To SupermarketGuru.com, the merchandising opportunity seems obvious: a motivated public could benefit, and stores and suppliers could gain competitive edge by teaching the right methods and inspiring healthier behaviors through displays of post-workout foods and appliances (smoothies makers and juicers, for example) in a visible setting.

It’s one thing when retailers say they have what healthy-eating consumers want. In this instance, winners will take merchandising to the next level by teaching and inspiring, and assembling the right mix in an easy-to-shop solutions center.