Fitness and sports nutrition is huge in the supplement world. In 2010, the supplement industry sold $28.1 Billion in the US alone and that market was expected to crest the $36 Billion mark in 2017.
Yet, as lucrative as that sounds, the market is challenging. Not only are consumers actively looking for new ingredients and approaches to sports nutrition, there are an increasingly large number of new brands entering the marketplace each year.
In short, there are great opportunities and a lot of competition. The secret to success is strategic product development and unique blends of ingredients that meet the ever-changing demand of consumers. Here is a closer look at what that means for supplement brands!
Typical Sports Nutrition Supplements
As a a top supplement manufacturer ABH Pharma knows what works and what doesn't for sports nutrition brands. A good place to start would be any of these four products:
Protein Powder - Available in many formats including bone broth, whey, and with different focuses such as branched-chain amino acids versus long-chain amino acids.
Natural Testosterone Boosters - such as Zinc, Vitamin D, egg yolk, and coconut oil. Testosterone is a hormone that helps the body to build muscle and add bulk. These supplements help prime the body to produce more testosterone and they work in conjunction with physical activity and diet.
Focus Formula - Nootropics such as Solaray L-Theanine which is a calming substance that helps to reduce anxiety and stress.  There are many nootropics that improve athletic performance by helping an athlete to think clearly, stay focused, and remain calm during their performance.
Effectiveness of ingredients rely heavily on one variable. That would be potency. We pride ourselves in only using ingredients of the highest potency for our supplements. Both custom and private label supplements have their ingredients tested for potency once they enter our facility in our QA and QC labs.
Differentiation of Sports Nutrition Ingredients is Key
Supplements are no longer just a bottle of tablets or capsules. Consumers want different deliverables - powders, tablets, smart capsules, etc. This is a growing market of people who are doing their research and who understand how supplements work - both in general terms and within the body.
In short, consumers want sports nutrition that is not the status quo, while supplement brands face steep competition in an oversaturated market. Sounds dreadful and it can be, but it does not have to be so.
What are the Top Sports Nutrition Ingredients?
Top athletes need strength, focus, and endurance ( energy) coupled with "ability" to be at the top of their game. Many turn to supplements to bridge the gap between strength, focus, and endurance as a means to improve their ability.
The above supplements are fairly standard and as mentioned many store shelves are lined with these products or variations of these supplements. That is a problem for many private label brands. While protein powder, natural testosterone boosters, healthy fats, and creatine are top supplements for sports nutrition, there is very little separating one brand from the next. Consumers are aware of this and while brand loyalty plays a part, differentiation drives their buying decisions. This means new products, blends, and improved marketing help supplement brands gain market share in this expanding and opportunistic industry. Here is a look at three supplement ingrdients that help differentiate standard athletic performance supplements!
1. Ribose - Boosts Energy - Ribose is a sugar that our body produces naturally from glucose. It is an essential component in the delivering energy to the cells. Our energy cycle is through the breakdown of a chemical bond and our body uses adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as its primary source of energy. What Ribose does is it helps our body to resynthesize ATP at the cellular level.
Adding Ribose to athletic supplements is a prime way to differentiate standard products such as protein powders. Include key marketing information so that your audience is informed about why Ribose (plus) supplement is better and your products standout amid the sea of athletic supplements. This is not only true of on-shelf displays, but especially true for the online market.
2. L-Citrulline - Potentially plays a role in how our body produces energy within the muscles, the rate of our metabolism, and cellular response during exercise. We say potentially, because science is still trying to understand the exact role the L-Citrulline plays. What is known is that there is a relationship between L-Citrulline and the production of L-arginine and that relationship impacts in a positive way production and use of Nitrous Oxide. Nitrous Oxide is a key component in the development of muscle cells and for the ATP cycle to produce energy at the muscle-cell level. 
L-Citrulline is a differentiator in athletic and sports supplements. Paired with educational marketing, this is a supplement that helps private label brands reach new customers.
3. Fenugreek - This botanical has shown positive results in clinical studies to increase upper and lower body strength. As such, it helps to differentiate sports supplements that aim to help athletes train harder and longer.  That effect can attribute to better performance. As with other differentiating sports nutritional supplements, the key is education. Paired with quality marketing materials this is a supplement that can help private label brands stand out.
As the sports nutritional supplement market continues to expand brands can focus on top sports nutritional ingredients that help differentiate themselves from the many competitors. How does your brand stack up against your competition? Learn more about products that differentiate your brand at ABH Pharma.com!
 Long-Chain Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids May Be Beneficial for Reducing Obesity—A Review - Nutrients Journal
 The effects of L-theanine (Suntheanine®) on objective sleep quality - National Library of Medicine
 Creatine supplementation and athletic Performance - Journal of Orthopedic Sports and Physical Therapy
 Oral L-citrulline supplementation enhances cycling time trial performance - Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition.
 The Effects of a commercially available botanical Supplement on Strength - Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition