Tokyo Olympics a ‘big business opportunity’ for Aijinomoto’s amino acid nutrition portfolio

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

The Tokyo summer Olympics 2020 will officially kick off from July 24. ©Getty Images
The Tokyo summer Olympics 2020 will officially kick off from July 24. ©Getty Images

Related tags Japan Olympic games Sports nutrition functional beverage beverage

The upcoming Tokyo Olympics has been touted as a ‘big business opportunity’ for Aijinomoto’s amino acid nutrition portfolio.

The Tokyo summer Olympics 2020 will officially kick off from July 24.

In response to NutraIngredients-Asia​ queries, company spokesman Daisuke Nakamiya said that in preparation for the games, the firm had started extensive product advertisement and in-store sales promotions.

These activities will continue throughout the year.

Amongst the professional athletes, he said that the firm’s aminoVITAL pro and aminoVITAL gold – both in granular powder form – were the most popular items.

The latter is an upgraded version of aminoVITAL pro, which the firm developed based on the study and analysis of athletes’ use of amino acid supplements. 

Containing 4,000mg of amino acids (of which 2,400mg are BCAA) per sachet, the product is said to promote post-game fatigue recovery by reducing muscle fatigue and enhance muscle recovery.

“For us, most Olympic athletes use aminoVITAL and their success at the games will increase the public awareness of our product brands and the product sales,”​ he said. 

The general consumers, on the other hand, prefer the aminoVITAL active fine product – also powder sachets.

The company is the official partner of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) and Japanese Paralympic Committee (JPC).

It will be sponsoring amino acid-based supplements, frozen foods, coffee beans, seasonings, and dried soups for the Japanese athletes taking part in the games during the Olympic period.  

Leucine power

In a study of Ajinomoto’s amino acid-based supplements, it was found that leucine-enriched essential amino acid mixture (LEAA) could boost muscle recovery amongst men.

The 10 subjects involved consumed 3.6g of LEAA mixture or placebo thrice daily for eight days.

Results showed that LEAA consumption had suppressed exercise-induced elevation of muscle damage markers in the blood.

This suggests that LEAA could attenuate muscle damage and aid muscle recovery.

Other studies also displayed similar findings, with a kinesiology professor concluding​ that supplements rich in leucine were more effective in triggering muscle building synthesis.

Markets for growth

The company has been expanding its amino acid-based supplement business in Asia and South America, in particular, Brazil.

On strategy for growth has been to work with national sports teams.

Last year, it signed an agreement to be a sponsor of the highest tier in the 30th​ Southeast Asian Games (SEAG).

In 2018, it became the official sports nutrition partner​ of Singapore Swimming Association (SSA), in which it will supply two products – aminoVITAL Gold and aminoVITAL Perfect Energy for swimming, artistic swimming, diving, and water polo athletes.

 

Source: Journal of Physical Therapy Science, Vol 31, Issue 1, Pages 95-101

Effect of a leucine-enriched essential amino acids mixture on muscle recovery

https://doi.org/10.1589/jpts.31.95

Authors: Y. Matsui, et al

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