New products in the category follow plant-based, clean label and personalization trends.
In March, Orgain, Inc. unveiled its Sport line, including energy and recovery powders as well as plant-based protein powder.
Orgain’s Organic Sport Energy features 80 mg of caffeine from green coffee beans, beets, amla fruit, ginseng and cordyceps mushrooms. The wild berry flavored powder is sweetened with erythritol, stevia and monk fruit.
Orgain Sport Recovery Powder is made with 3 grams of apple cider vinegar, amla fruit, acacia, turmeric, ginger, cayenne and an adaptogen blends of reishi mushrooms and ashwagandha adaptogens. The lemonade flavored powder is sweetened with erythritol, stevia and monk fruit.
The Organic Sport Plant-Based Protein Powder, available in chocolate and vanilla flavors, is packed with 30 grams of plant-based protein from pea protein, brown rice protein and chia seeds. The vegan blend contains 5 grams of branch chain amino acids, tart cherry powder and fermented turmeric and ginger powder.
“An important step in new product development for us is to listen to what our consumers are telling us and deliver new products that will make it easy for them to maintain and/or improve their well-being throughout their busy days,” said Andrew Abraham, PhD, founder of Orgain. “Our new portfolio of products allows us to be present amidst their active lives with convenient, nutritious options that provide functional benefits.”
This year, the Coca-Cola Co. expanded its Powerade product line for the first time in 13 years with two new zero-sugar innovations “to meet the fast-changing needs of sport drink consumers,” the company said.
“We’re responding to the shifting demands of the sports drink category with innovations that deliver on Powerade fans’ demands for no sugar and a range of hydration solutions for all sweat occasions,” said Shane Grant, president of Coca-Cola North America’s stills business unit. “The definition of sports and athletes are constantly evolving. Hydration is no longer limited to sports — it’s a necessity for anyone living an active lifestyle.”
Powerade Ultra, which rolled out in late January, contains creatine, branched-chain amino acids, vitamins B3, B6 and B12 and 50% more electrolytes than original Powerade. The shelf-stable sports drink will be available in mixed berry, white cherry and citrus blast flavors. To create the beverage, Coca-Cola North America’s R&D department developed a new process to stabilize creatine and brought the product from concept to final formulation in six months.
“This technology is new to The Coca-Cola Co.,” said Nilesh Karava, senior manager of active hydration product development for Coca-Cola. “Other beverage companies have been trying to crack the code on creatine shelf-stabilization for years, so this work is a clear demonstration of our team’s agility and curiosity.”
Powerade Power Water, which debuted in mid-February, features electrolytes and vitamins B3, B6 and B12. Available in berry cherry, tropical mango and cucumber lime flavors, the water is packaged in six-unit multi-packs of 16.9-oz flat-cap bottles and individual 20-oz sport cap bottles.
“We’re bringing Powerade to the water aisle with Powerade Power Water,” said Marina Brook, group director of Powerade. “Consumers are seeking more zero-calorie and zero-sugar options in a sports water.”
Talking Rain Beverage Co., maker of Sparkling Ice beverages, is launching a line of non-carbonated performance waters. Talking Rain Elevate is a hybrid performance beverage containing 160 mg of caffeine, electrolytes and L-theanine. Each 16-oz can of the naturally flavored drink contains 5 calories and no sugar. Flavors include Mango Fusion, Power Punch and Triple Berry.
“Talking Rain Elevate is the newest hybrid performance beverage made with all-natural flavors to offer the boost needed to sustain your momentum with the hydration that comes from electrolytes all with zero sugar,” the company said. “Whether you’re triathlon training or in need of a boost getting from the office, the classroom or the gym, Talking Rain Elevate is the perfect pick-me-up drink to elevate your everyday routine.”
Ascent Protein’s new ready-to-drink Ascent Recovery Water contains 20 grams of fast-digesting native whey protein and 2.5 grams of naturally occurring leucine to trigger muscle protein synthesis. It contains 100 calories, no artificial ingredients and electrolytes for hydration.
“Recovery Water is a true, water-based beverage,” said Paul Vraciu, general manager of Ascent Protein. “The primary ingredient is whey protein, the gold standard for post-workout muscle repair and recovery.”
BellRing Brands, Inc. in February joined forces with Post Holdings, Inc. to debut Dymatize ISO100 Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles flavored protein powders. The 100% whey protein isolate contains 25 grams of protein per serving and taste like the original cereals, BellRing said.
"We are excited to team up with a leader in the sports nutrition industry to bring the taste of the iconic Pebbles cereal brand to athletes," said Leah Broeders, head of partnerships and licensing at Post Consumer Brands. "Dymatize's commitments to quality and innovation align well with the Pebbles brand. With this collaboration, people will now have the chance to enjoy the unmistakable, classic flavor of Pebbles cereals that they have come to know and love in a different form."
Nooma, which is known for its namesake sports drink designed for intake during or after a workout, is now introducing an organic pre-workout beverage that should be consumed 10 to 20 minutes before a workout or any activity. The drinks are formulated with organic fruit juice concentrates and flavors and are slightly sweetened with stevia leaf extract.
“We carefully selected all of the ingredients in our organic pre-workout (beverage) to help you feel your best heading into every workout,” said Jarred Smith, founder. “There’s 120 mg of caffeine from organic green tea to provide a clean, no-jitter energy and a powerful blend of four adaptogens — ashwagandha, cordyceps, ginseng and maca — that help you focus and perform at your best.”
The sports drink is all about maintaining hydration during physical activity. It is about one-fourth coconut water, which contributes electrolytes without much sugar, and enhanced with Himalayan pink salt for additional electrolytes.
Enhanced Recovery is a combination of stabilized omega-3 fatty acids in a matrix consisting of whey, collagen and sunflower seed proteins; black cumin oil, carnitine, vitamin D and high- antioxidant fruit juices.
“I wanted to create a nutritious product to help stimulate muscle repair and recovery after hard training,” said Janne Sande Mathisen, a food and nutrition scientist who studied and developed the beverage. “Knowing that omega-3 fatty acids were a crucial ingredient, after many years of testing, I found a way to incorporate and stabilize a lot of omega-3s in a great-tasting recovery beverage.”
Harry Drnec, chief executive officer of the Houston-based parent company, Feliscity Nutrition, Inc., said, “Today’s elite athletes are keenly aware of the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. They are widely recognized for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and have been shown to reduce muscle damage, soreness, stiffness and augment strength gains from resistance training."
The company is marketing Enhanced Recovery as providing a more complete recovery process.
“It supports the critical final step in the muscle recovery process: muscle repair and remodeling,” said Phil Marineau, chairman.
Ms. Mathisen said the Enhanced Recovery formulation was designed to empower athletes to improve their performance by increasing their ability to train harder, recover more quickly, adapt better and prevent injuries.
“The main differentiator is the high amount of unoxidized and stabilized marine omega-3 fatty acids,” she said. “The fish oil is kept stable in the juice drink, which is high in complex carbohydrates for energy and rich in polyphenols and other beneficial biocomponents. The drink delivers 20 grams of protein, primarily from whey proteins, and it contains 2 grams of the BCAA leucine.
“Carnitine is a compound that helps get fats delivered to the muscle’s mitochondria, the site of energy production. There have been a series of studies showing that carnitine may help in allowing the body to burn more fat during exercise and thus boost the body’s fat burning capacity and may help in other ways as well, like preventing protein breakdown.”
PepsiCo, Inc.’s Gatorade brand in December 2019 launched its first caffeinated beverage: Bolt24 Energize. Containing 50 to 75 mg of caffeine per bottle, Bolt24 Energize also delivers electrolytes from watermelon and sea salt and 100% of the daily value of vitamins A, C, B3, B5 and B6. The beverage debuted in early 2020 in strawberry-lemon, orange-passion fruit and cherry-lime flavors. The caffeinated drink will retail for $2.19 per 16.9-oz bottle.
Bolt24 Energize is the second offering in the Bolt24 platform, joining Bolt24 Antioxidant, which PepsiCo introduced in July 2019 as a beverage geared toward the athlete “off the field,” the company said. The product’s name was inspired by the need to keep athletes in shape 24 hours a day.