#TrendSpotting: Sports Nutrition Trends of Today

 In Trendspotting

Your source for the most up-to-date information on emerging food and beverage trends.


From Gym Essentials to Lifestyle Luxuries
Historically focused on athletes, the sports nutrition category appeals to a broader audience and is now a staple in everyday wellness routines. Growth continues with the global sports nutrition ingredient market size expected to more than double in size to $7.3B in 2032, experiencing a 7.8% CAGR.¹ In a recent Imbibe survey, we learned that 78% of sports nutrition beverage consumers at least work out weekly, but uses for these products have evolved beyond the gym.²
Our survey also revealed that consumers are focusing on:
Daily Essentials

Sports nutrition beverages have gone from purely functional to lifestyle staples, with effective positioning generating consumer demand. Here are some daily essentials appearing in the marketplace:

The top motivation leaning on sports nutrition products is the need for energy. Next up is consuming before/during/after a workout, followed by thirst, and a bridge between meals (otherwise known as a snack.)2


Additionally, half of consumers (50.7%) report that their motivation for using sports nutrition drinks is for general wellness.2 This landscape provides a tremendous opportunity for brands to bring on customers interested in consuming healthful products like these on a daily basis.

Indulgent Flavors

Flavors in this category are becoming richer, more diverse, and extra decadent, with consumers enjoying these products as healthy indulgences (62%) that support hitting their daily macros or help them reap the benefits of certain functionals.

While familiar flavors reign supreme here with 87% of consumers at least agreeing that they enjoy them, indulgent flavors (69%) are also popular within this category.2


Choose flavors inspired by traditional treats, leveraging nostalgia, like Cookies and Cream, Chocolate Malt, or Rainbow Sherbet. Some current market products that have already been inspired by this territory include:

Get your indulgent, nostalgic, fantasy, or true-to-fruit flavors from Imbibe!

A Functional Future

Incorporating fun characterizing flavors can help mask unwanted off-notes that come from functional ingredients (along with masking systems and modulators, of course). 64% of consumers expect beverages in this category to have natural ingredients, so it’s no surprise that we are witnessing the rise of adaptogens, superfoods, and plant-based proteins.2

There is consistent demand for product fortification via protein, vitamins, energy, caffeine, and fiber.2 2024 market examples include:


Ensure that your product helps your customers reach their nutritional goals while tasting great with Imbibe’s technical resources.

Indulge us, if you will.

Email marketing@imbibeinc.com to see if our Epicurated: Sports Nutrition edition (coming soon!) is right for you and your team! This 45-minute presentation illustrates some of the most popular flavors and behaviors shaping the landscape. Also available – Epicurated: Gen Alpha and From the Menu to the Marketplace!


Check out more on #TRENDSPOTTING, or visit our blog.

  1. Global Market Insights, 2023; 2. Imbibe Sports Nutrition Survey, Gen Pop, n=300, 6/24

Listen to Food and Beverage Insights Podcast Episode #XX: Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxx