Dietary Supplements and Sports Nutrition—something to think about

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We’ve been going over some statistics and it looks like those who use dietary supplements are more fit than those who don’t. Mainly it’s because 67% of supplement users exercise regularly. And that seems to translate to more and more customers buying into a category we in the grocery business call “Sports and Energy Nutrition.”

You can see it in the types of energy bars, green drinks and protein powders customers are choosing. You can see it at the gym as well. Men in their 70s are working out as hard as guys in their 40s, and women as old as 80 are riding a bike, walking on a treadmill and lifting still weights to stay strong.

Strong for those in their upper years means they can still pull their luggage on wheels as they rush through an airport. It gives them mobility and freedom, and that’s the impetus. Also, many seniors are caught between two generations. They may still be helping aging parents who lived through an era where exercise wasn’t considered important—especially for women. And they could still be helping their own children raise their children.

For those in their retirement years who have never retired it takes extra energy just to sit for long hours at a desk without cramping or stiffening muscles.

For the young who want to prepare properly for sports performance or who just want to look good to catch the eye of the opposite sex, sports nutrition is becoming something to get acquainted with.

From a recent article in Whole Foods Magazine, considered the bible of the organic foods industry, and not affiliated with Whole Foods Market, we learn:

Sports nutrition is both a popular and controversial category. Duffy MacKay, N.D., senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs, at the Council for Responsible Nutrition, Washington, D.C., explains that sports nutrition can be divided into various subcategories such as pre-workout, bodybuilding and weight management.

It comes under scrutiny especially for younger consumers who are targeted by sports “supplement” companies that are often not legitimate and marketing products that contain unapproved ingredients.” That’s why it’s especially important to know your grocer, the store’s reputation and the supplement manufacturers it works with.

GreenAcres has built a cadre of supplement products it trusts for more than 22 years. We take the products ourselves, so we know they’re safe, and we regularly bring in supplement founders and educators, and hold free seminars so that our customers can hear cutting-edge knowledge about what’s going on in the industry.

FDA current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) for manufacturing dietary supplements have been in place for years to ensure quality throughout the manufacturing, packaging, labeling and storing of dietary supplement products. And that gives consumers confidence to know supplements—if verified by trusted sources—can be a good thing. But first do your due diligence.

GreenAcres encourages its customers to read the labels

Our knowledgeable supplement team is here to help you research and share information about what’s worked for them and other customers.

Pay attention to certifications

Products are developed for specific needs. “More rigorous certifications,” reports Whole Foods Magazine, “tend to increase the cost of the product because of the extensive testing run on each lot that is certified.

“Quality is particularly important to competitive athletes who have the potential to be tested for performance-enhancing drugs. Third-party certifications verify that products are free of these drugs and won’t compromise their health or their careers.”

Set reasonable expectations

If you think you can pop a pill and lose weight overnight or develop muscle definition just by drinking protein drinks and lifting weights, you’re going to be vastly disappointed. Good bodies start with good nutrition. Muscular bodies are gained through consistent, rigorous exercise. There’s no quick fix. It’s life-long perseverance.

Consumers with high school-age children and young adults who want to “slim down or grow big muscles fast” should consider what’s really possible and make a concerted effort to get educated about particular sports nutrition products that have a record of safety, quality and efficacy.

The Protein Debate

This brings us to the question which is better, plant-based or dairy-based proteins? And the answer, “It depends.” Another reason to consult our supplement marketing teams to decide which works best for you. Since 25% of customers across both genders are purchasing sports supplements in addition to standard vitamins and minerals, it behooves customers to know just what extra vitamins, minerals, amino acids and more they might be consuming without even knowing it.


A majority of experts contacted by Whole Foods Magazine cited recovery as the most neglected aspect of sports nutrition. “The recovery category has always lagged behind some of the others since most consumers prefer a product they can feel. A recovery product doesn’t always provide that signal that supplements are actually working even if they are. People endeavor to accomplish fitness goals but fail to realize that recovery is crucial to continued success and endurance.”

So there are lots of things to consider when mixing supplements with sports nutrition, energy drinks, protein bars and weight-loss products. Again, our supplement teams are in place to help you read the labels and decipher crucial information to keep you healthy and strong.