From power bars to protein drinks - how helpful is fitness food?

From power bars to protein shakes: Many people rely on fitness foods

More and more people are buying sports nutrition. In 2017, 108 million packs went over the counter, an increase of 18 percent compared to the previous year. This was shown by the current fitness study by Nielsen. The market researchers examined the sales and sales of sports nutrition in the food retail and drugstore markets in 2016 and 2017.

Fitness food is no longer a niche product that can only be found in specialty shops. In 2017, every German bought an average of around 1.35 packs of sports nutrition and spent around 1.95 euros on it. Bars with sales of almost 75 million packs are particularly popular, followed by liquids (27 million) and powders (4.5 million).

Many choose the extra portion of protein: sales of protein products were just under 66 million packages, which corresponds to an increase of 20 percent. Special sports drinks such as mineral drinks are also popular with around 27 million packs (up 19%). Third was with over 10 million packages of carbohydrate products, whose sales increased by 10 percent. And these figures do not even take into account the entire Internet trade.

Some use fitness food to improve their training goal. Others want to eat healthy and body-conscious and support their active lifestyle. "But this does not require expensive special products," emphasizes Harald Seitz, a nutritionist from the Federal Center for Nutrition. "In addition, power bars and protein shakes often also contain a lot of sugar."

Even if the body needs protein to build and maintain muscle mass, the recreational athlete usually has no increased need. For example, if you are physically active four to five times a week for 30 minutes at medium intensity, you can get by with the recommended 0.8 g per kilogram of body weight. “This amount can easily be achieved with a so-called balanced mixed diet over meat, dairy products, nuts or legumes. So just use the variety of food on offer and it's good, ”says Seitz. Heike Kreutz

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