That’s the view of Nick Morgan, founder and director of Sports Integrated (UK), who spoke at our Healthy Ageing Summit 2019 in Singapore.
Drilling down into how he interpreted active ageing, he said it required the building and maintenance of a functional reserve through products and strategies that support the role of exercise, and reduce the onset of acute and chronic ageing.
He extolled the benefits of functional food products such as powders, shots, and drinks, active nutrition can optimise health by enhancing muscle and bone health (recovery and body regeneration), enhance brain health (mental and physical performance), as well as enhance gut health.
But while people are now living longer, many of these additional years are spent in poor health.
The challenge for industry is to convince consumers that the choices they make today, will directly impact their health outcomes in older age.
“It is a universal challenge to convince a person to consume something today (& everyday) for the purpose of seeing benefits tomorrow,” said Morgan.
He said it was important to firstly understand what inhibits people from exercising and eating positively.
“Trauma such as stress or injury, are mostly symptomatic and prevents people from wanting to exercise. On a daily basis, these things happen that prevent us from exercising, causing us to lose our habits, and even harder to regain it,” added Morgan.
He said the biggest challenge is in helping people stay active, and suggested, “We need to have something that is subjective and sensory to make consumers feel better, so they will respond to it. This will help play a huge role in active nutrition.”
In the ingredient space, he highlighted the benefits of curcumin, the active component of turmeric, as having potent anti-inflammatory effects. In athletes with chronic elbow tendinopathy, curcumin (HydroCurc) was found to help manage inflammation, reduce elbow soreness, and overall aid post-exercise recovery.
Meanwhile, palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a fatty acid amide produced as a biological response and repair mechanism related to chronic pain and inflammation. In athletes with Achilles tendinopathy, PEA (Levagen+) was found to reduce tendon pain and more importantly, lessen reliance on anti-inflammatories, which drastically improves general wellbeing, he added.
Indirectly, both ingredients also help mediate pain and sleep, which improves overall wellbeing.
He argued that products that aided pain management and reduced inflammation would be crucial in enabling consumers to keep exercising and aid active and healthy nutrition.
Morgan added: “The premise of active nutrition (or ageing) is to help people build and maintain a functional reserve for the purposes of being healthier in the future.”
He said firms need to: “Align strategies with current dietary behaviours and integrate them as part of the everyday diet.”