Continued Changes in Marketing Health Nutrition

A new sports drink may prove that ingredients still matter

For some time now, it seems the sports drink industry has been losing its focus on health. The main reason for this, of course, is that even sports drinks as popular and well-known as Gatorade have found themselves marketing to the “casual consumer” more often than the athletes they originally set out to satisfy.

Sales in convenience stores vastly outpace those at health food stores or other venues where true athletes might shop. And let’s face it; the average convenience store shopper is more interested in finding an energy boost than a health supplement. 

As an avid athlete, the blurring of the line between sports drinks that keep you fueled up for actual sports and energy drinks that over-stimulate for seemingly no reason has caused me to pull back from purchasing at all. More and more I find myself wondering if I wouldn’t just be better off drinking water.

Luckily, the sports and energy drink industry continues to innovate, and the pendulum may be swinging back in the other direction. According to the Louisiana Advocate, there’s a new sports drink that is actually designed to be healthy. Imagine that!

Researchers at LSU found a way to cut the bitterness that comes with adding electrolytes (those elements that get depleted during workouts). And they do it without adding huge amounts of sweetener.

The sports drink, known as EX5, was actually developed using technology from the LSU AgCenter’s food science department. For now, it will only be manufactured and distributed in Louisiana, but H&B owners Brian Brothers and Craig Hart, are confident that they will soon be increasing distribution. “EX5 is designed for athletes, but it has broad appeal,” said Hart.

Hart goes on to explain what makes EX5 different, saying, “People on low-sodium diets or who are watching their sugar intake can drink EX5 and enjoy it. It has less than half the sodium, one-fourth the sugar, one-third the calories and three times the electrolytes of the competition,” Hart said. “The other leading sports drink brands don’t have magnesium and calcium, which are essential to health. We’re excited to be a Louisiana company with an LSU brand and to launch EX5 here at home.”

I, for one, wish I could try it now, but I guess I’ll have to wait for EX5 to migrate north. Meanwhile, Ill be keeping my eye on the industry and continue to hope for a return to the idea that sports drinks should be made for and marketed to athletes first.

Click on the following link to read Advocate business writer Skip Descant’s article, “New Sports Drink Hitting Local Shelves.”

If you enjoyed this article you may also be interested in:

Marketing Health Nutrition: Innovation in Energy Drinks

Challenging Consumer Assumptions with Health Nutrition Marketing

Leading Children To Good Habits With Health Nutrition Marketing

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