Consumer health and fitness concerns are increasingly driving innovation in the ingredients market. This is nowhere more evident than in the area of energy products where active people are looking to improve their physical performance through food and beverages. According to market research analyst ZenithInternational the UK energy and sports drink market alonewas worth £700million in 2000. Sports go mainstream Thanks to intense marketing campaigns by leading food companies, energy bars, drinks and gels, once just the domain of sports people, are now finding their way into the mainstream consumer market. "Energy bars have made a successful transition from products sold primarily in health food stores to products that can now be found in most grocery, drug, mass merchandise and a growing number of convenience stores," said Scott Keplinger, ACNielsen vice president, retail measurement services. This growing popularity is reflected in the increasing number of Internet sites providing information on energy products, information generally located on nutrition and health - related websites. Sites quoted in this article are by no means conclusive and, unless otherwise stated, provide free user access. Medical and health sites The increasing number and quality of medical sites targeted at the health professional (doctors, nutritionists, nurses) reflects a clear move by the medical industry towards the Internet as a regular source of information. Although not directly related to the industry the food technologist will find some useful material here. Jim Online is a deep and comprehensive site that provides fast access to abstracts on medical research. You need to register, but this is free and quick to carry out. Highly recommended. For wider health information visit consumer sites such as WebMDHealth, HealthCentral.com, of particular interest here is the library and encyclopedia section. If you are looking for the definition of an ingredient or medical condition a simple key word search will provide you with a clear response. Also take a look at DiscoveryHealth.com, StayHealth.com, and LivingNaturally.com. For health news click onto the BBC health site or the Wellness Foods Network linked to US magazine Food Processing. More health news can be found on US consumer site HealthyNet and Reuters Health Sports nutrition A useful starting point is Tufts Nutrition Navigator that grades and analyses hundreds of nutrition related sites. Go to university sites such as the Functional Foods for Health (FFH) program from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Urbana-Champaign for free scientific abstracts online and the reputable . Rouen University web site The US Healthwell Exchange provides online access to their commendable publication Nutrition Science News. If you're looking for energy product related features it might be worth paying some sport e-magazines a visit. Check out EndurePlus.com for daily sports news as well as health studies, product launches and features. Also recommended are Runners World and Fitnesslink.com. Ingredients Innovations When looking for recent information on new ingredients and products to hit the market we suggest you visit NPIcenter.com or NutraSolutions.com that supplies data on new products and suppliers as well as features. , NutrionalOutlook.com an e -magazine dedicated to the Nutritional Supplements industry, is also a reliable, regular source of data on new supplements to hit the market as is Natural Products Insider Excellent features and information on ingredients applications can be accessed on the US magazine Food Product Design site. General It is a fact that the quantity of targeted information on energy products is still quite limited on the Internet. To carry out a full research you will need to visit sites that provide an overview of health and nutrition in the food and drinks industry. Portals such as European-based FoodNavigator.com & NutraIngredients.com and the American site, Food Ingredients Online will help you narrow down your research and guide you to the right sites. Databases can also prove to be useful. The International Food Information Service boasts FSTA (Food Science and Technology Abstracts), a database of over 560,000 science records although a subscription is required. FoodLineWeb from the Leatherhead Food Research Association,provides direct access to five Foodline databases, including records of recent research. Click to Nutribase.com web site and access a comprehensive database of sports and nutrition products including recovery drinks, power bars and body building formulations. As for E-commerce if you are looking to source a supplier and/or purchase energy product related ingredients NutraBid.com, NutraChoice.com, and IngredientsNet are all reliable platforms.