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The Shift towards Whole Foods in Sports Nutrition
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The Shift towards Whole Foods in Sports Nutrition

For decades, practical sports nutrition has been associated with a certain artificiality, products specially designed for optimal nutrition provision. From protein powders to energy bars and brightly coloured sports drinks, we all know the kinds of products traditionally associated with vending machines found in gyms and sports venues. There is a lot to be said for these high-tech products.

The immediate pre- and post-workout window is a vital time for sports nutrition and athletes require products specially designed to produce the maximum amount of what they need, whether that be protein, rehydration, or quick replenishment of blood sugar. Protein bars and shakes are still hugely popular for muscle-builders, and isotonic sports drinks are still massively favoured by runners.

A Technical to Holistic Shift

However, a new report from New Nutrition Business has noted that the market is seeing a shift from the technical to the holistic, and greater emphasis is now being placed on whole foods within the sports nutrition context. The report mentions a growing group of athletes and exercisers who “want to eat in line with their wider food beliefs <…>” yet who are still on “an endless quest to optimise their performance and achieve their physical goals.”

For sports nutrition vending, this has implications that cannot be ignored. The shift towards whole foods reflects a wider societal trend of ‘going natural’ and, while some synthesised products may be more efficient when it comes to fast nutrient provision, it seems that we could soon expect to see a more diverse mix of products in sports nutrition vending machines across the country.

UK athletics, for one, have recently advised that athletes “satisfy their nutritional needs from a balanced diet of whole foods and good hydration” and the report from New Nutrition Businesshas said that the emerging market of sports nutrition whole foods fans are “the canary in the coal mine for consumers’ nutritional interests.”

Whole Foods for Sports Nutrition

To create the optimal sports vending in light of this new trend, some more natural foods long associated with sports performance may begin to make an appearance in some form or another. The simple banana, for example, is incredibly useful for energy replenishment after a workout, as are almonds and oatmeal. Any number of foods are associated with protein and carb replenishment, and not all of them take the form of bars and shakes. There is also a third category of energy- and protein-rich supplements, which only use organic or natural ingredients.

Self-fill Vending

At Nutrivend, the unique self-fill vending policy is the perfect way to see if your establishment can ride the wave of this new trend. Supplied with a machine package that includes full branding and configuration, a client can then take control of the stock-taking and refills. Are whole foods really making an ascendency within the world of sports nutrition? Why not pop a few of them in at your next refill and see how quickly they sell?


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