Sports nutrition is a relatively new discipline; with ~100 published papers/year in the 1990s to ~3,500+ papers/year today. Historically, sports nutrition research was primarily initiated by university-based exercise physiologists who developed new methodologies that could be impacted by nutrition interventions (e.g., carbohydrate/fat oxidation by whole body calorimetry and muscle glycogen by muscle biopsies). Application of these methods in seminal studies helped develop current sports nutrition guidelines as compiled in several expert consensus statements. Despite this wealth of knowledge, a limitation of the current evidence is the lack of appropriate intervention studies (e.g., randomized controlled clinical trials) in elite athlete populations that are ecologically valid (e.g., in real-life training and competition settings). Over the last decade, there has been an explosion of sports science technologies, methodologies, and innovations. Some of these recent advances are field-based, thus, providing the opportunity to accelerate the application of ecologically valid personalized sports nutrition interventions. Conversely, the acceleration of novel technologies and commercial solutions, especially in the field of biotechnology and software/app development, has far outstripped the scientific communities' ability to validate the effectiveness and utility of the vast majority of these new commercial technologies. This mini-review will highlight historical and present innovations with particular focus on technological innovations in sports nutrition that are expected to advance the field into the future. Indeed, the development and sharing of more "big data," integrating field-based measurements, resulting in more ecologically valid evidence for efficacy and personalized prescriptions, are all future key opportunities to further advance the field of sports nutrition.
Keywords: athletes; diet; health; innovation; performance; technology; wearables; wellness.
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