The website continues the association’s efforts to ensure the quality and safety of protein-enriched products that remain popular as the drive towards healthy eating and lifestyle show no signs of waning.
“Protein as an ingredient now sees the highest volume of sales in the sports nutrition industry and has become more mainstream than ever,” said Dr Adam Carey, chair of ESSNA.
“It is used by everyone from a yoga enthusiast eating a protein bar prior to a work out to a weightlifter looking to ‘bulk up’ and supplementing their protein-rich diet with a protein shake.
“Because of this, it is more important than ever that the public know what they’re buying, how to use it and where to purchase it from reputable manufacturers and retailers.”
Want to attend our Sports Nutrition Congress in September this year?
Organised by NutraIngredients and hosted in partnership with the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA), the SNC will offer a one stop shop for the latest must-have insights in the worlds of sports and active nutrition - including the use of ketones in sports.
Top levels speakers already confirmed to join us in Brussels include:
- Florina-Andreea Pantazi, European Commission
- Daniel Davy, Leinster Rugby
- Orla O’Sullivan, APC Microbiome Institute
- Robert Walker, SCI-MX Nutrition
- Professor Kieran Clarke, University of Oxford
- João Gonçalo Cunha, KickUP Sports Innovation
- Pia Ostermann, Euromonitor International
- Katia Merten-Lentz, Keller and Heckman LLP
- Adam Carey, ESSNA Chair
- Alex Zurita, London Sport
- Professor John Brewer, St Mary’s University
- Tom Morgan, Lumina Intelligence
- Luca Bucchini, Hylobates Consulting & ESSNA Vice-Chair
All protein queries answered
‘Watch Your Protein’ is the name of the website, which outlines different sources of protein; benefits of each source; how protein should be consumed; how to read a protein product label and guidance on dosages.
More importantly, the resource lists where protein should be purchased from and how to avoid illegal products that could pose a risk to the public’s health.
In the past, the Association has highlighted how vulnerable the sports nutrition industry is to products that have not met trading, regulatory and formulation standards.
In April, ESSNA revealed its role in tackling over 400 cases of non-compliant sports nutrition products, that have mislead consumers and/or included banned doping substances, within the last five years.
Of the 406 alerts reported to ESSNA, 66 cases were resolved informally, 16 committed to relabelling or reformulating the product in line with EU law, and 26 agreeing to completely withdraw the product in question from the market.
Cases totalling 86 were taken further with the relevant enforcement authorities, including the UK Food Standards Agency and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, the Italian Ministry of Health, and the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, among others.
‘Too many misconceptions continue’
With the remaining alerts currently being processed, Dr Carey is confident that along with the new website, ESSNA’s unique kitemark to help the public identify products belonging to its members and a Facebook page for consumers to report products seen on social media are having the desired effect.
“It’s time once and for all to make sure the public understand what they’re consuming and how they can stay safe while consuming it. ‘Watch Your Protein’ will educate them on everything from what benefits they can expect to see, to what brands they can trust, to what ingredients they should avoid,” he said.
“Unfortunately, too many misconceptions continue to proliferate about our products, whether that’s the media claiming that we’re not overseen by legislation or athletes blaming their doping scandals on ‘unclean’ sports supplements.
“The fact is, the majority of the industry is extremely responsible and complies with stringent European laws around the production, labelling and selling of its products. The public need not be worried when buying protein products and they need to understand that their safety and good health is the industry’s number one priority. But more than that, we want an informed public.”