Consumer demand is opening up a new market sector for protein supplements, says Kerry Kayes, of CNP Professional. He reveals all about the company’s new energy gel and states how he believes demand is not only from power sports, but from cycling and all other sporting athletes, too...

OPINION: Protein is going to drive growth in sports nutrition

One of the biggest trends in sports nutrition will be the growth of protein supplements for bikers and other endurance athletes. It’s a view that’s backed by some of the top names in biking nutrition – such as Nigel Mitchell, head of nutrition at Team Sky and GB Cycling. CNP may come from a power sports background, but it has increasing expertise in endurance sports, too.

Both road and mountain bikers are catching up on the benefits of protein supplements alongside traditional energy drinks and bars, partly because they are seeing their sporting idols using them. This demand is creating a whole new area of business for bike retailers.

Protein supplements are traditionally associated with power sports such as bodybuilding and boxing. But there’s growing evidence that they boost performance for all athletes. The point being that good quality protein supplements help protect, rebuild and repair muscles quickly during and after intensive, traumatic exercise.

Not only do they protect the muscles from long-term injury, they also mean the athlete will recover more quickly, can train harder and thus improve their performance.

I founded CNP back in 1989 and have been involved in sports nutrition for many years. My dietary expertise has helped establish me as ‘the man in the know’ to sportspeople worldwide.

I advise athletes as varied as Premier League footballers – including Blackburn Rovers FC – rugby clubs, triathletes, round the world yachting teams, runners, boxers and motor sports teams.

I’ve also advised the nutrition team behind both GB Cycling and Sky Pro Cycling.
Team GB nutritionalist Nigel Mitchell says: “The thing we liked about CNP was that it’s really, really focused on quality and innovation. That attitude is vital when you need every last ounce of performance out of the team. Getting the right sports nutrition will give us an edge.”

If top bikers are using protein supplements, others will follow. There will be a significant increase in demand for protein supplements, alongside the energy drinks that have fuelled the market in the past. We believe there is huge potential for protein sales.

As the market grows, consumers are demanding better tasting, more easily digested supplements, whether they be drinks, gels, bars, shakes or powders. CNP’s premier proteins are made using a low temperature processing method that preserves the integrity of the proteins so that they are more easily absorbed into the body than other manufacturer’s products. Undernatured protein
supplements cost more to produce but, because they work better, they should
give athletes a real advantage.

The proof is in the eating. Nigel Mitchell says he was amazed by the reaction of the Sky Pro Cycling riders when they started to use the CNP supplements. He comments: “Normally when you make a change like this there are plenty of moans, but no one has complained. For example, several riders have said that Pro Flapjack is the best energy bar they’ve ever had. The Pro XS bar is really popular, too.”

That’s not to say that energy supplements are on the wane. CNP has been working with Team Sky and British Cycling to develop a new energy gel, called Pro Energy Max. What’s different about this cola-flavoured gel is that it is designed to not only give an energy boost, but also to maintain energy levels and heighten mental alertness. It will be used by both Team GB Cycling and the Sky Pro Cycling team taking part in the Tour de France and is readily available to all bike retailers.

CNP’s sports nutrition supplements are available in shelf-ready packaging. The range includes energy drinks and gels, protein shakes, protein bars, creatine supplements, meal replacements, mass gainers, weight loss supplements and post work-out shakes, all designed for the ‘ultimate in sports nutrition.’

For more information visit, or call +44 (0) 161 320 8145.

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