Predictions for 2021: Health and Nutrition

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With 2021 just around the corner many of us are wondering how it will look and feel. Let’s be honest, the moment the clock strikes 12 midnight on the 31st our lives won’t suddenly change and the pandemic won’t disappear. Having said that there is hope on the horizon and a lot has happened in 2020 that may pave the way for some interesting things in 2021! The new year always brings hope, excitement and an opportunity to create and expand on previous or new ideas.

I put together a list of predictions for the health and nutrition industries. Although you can find a few of these predictions in the Prokit 2021 predictions article, I’ve added a few more below.

  • Creatine will become mainstream, reaching outside of the athlete’s domain. Research on creatine’s effects on brain health, including mental health and concussions/TBIs will blow up. Creatine will be marketed directly to the elderly population as an important contributor in preventing sarcopenia. Someone makes a sport specific coffee with creatine in it.
  • Sport psychology will become normalized as more athletes speak up about their struggles with mental health. The importance of an athlete having quality relationships with others and interests outside of their sport helping them to be being more well rounded, will be highlighted as a key factor to their overall mental well being.
  • Relative Energy Deficiency in sport (RED-S) will become a major area of education among top sporting organizations. Elite athletes will be a driving force here, speaking about their experiences with RED-S as part of the initiative to educate. More research on RED-S in males will come to fruition shining more light on the fact that this is not a syndrome only related to female athletes. Coaches will be trained to recognize RED-S worldwide by experts in the field.
  • Virtual cycling competitions and platforms like Zwift will continue to grow and become a separate sport from traditional cycling. A new name will come into the market to compete with Zwift. Strava innovates based on the demand of online cycling and builds in a nutrition platform. Different people will continue to dominate the different platforms based on the vastly different skillsets needed to excel at each.
  • Female specific performance nutrition booms and several books are published, despite quality evidence in the realm to date.
  • Vegetarian and plant-based meat substitutes (proteins) will blow up in market share. Beyond Meat, Memphis Meat and other companies in this space will use pro athletes to promote to the active population in regard to protein quality and content. Research will put more vegetarian/insect vs animal protein head-to-head looking at muscle protein synthesis, adding to the existing science that we can build muscle and compete optimally as vegetarians.
  • Olive oil has rebirth as a prime health food based on research related to its impact on our microbiome and short chain fatty acids. Bottles are relabeled to represent more health-related benefits.
  • Frozen produce gets a massive overhaul being sold with accompanying sauces and recipes that require little preparation and don’t taste like soggy water logged boiled veggies. The message that vegetables are a key to a healthy diet FINALLY sinks in due to endless research on the microbiome. Chefs will jump on board in an effort to support low budget healthy eating post pandemic.
  • Instapot starts selling pre-made meals that you just drop into the pot and press the time for. They deliver them to your door based on your dietary needs.
  • The Keto Craze doesn’t slow down, despite a lack of evidence of it being a ‘superior’ diet for weight loss. There will be a keto product in every isle and more in 2021. If Keto water doesn’t exist, it’s coming.
  • Someone will create a “fasting bar” and it will be the biggest joke on the market, but it will sell.
  • More sport related companies fight against fat shaming and become inclusive of all body shapes and sizes in their advertising campaigns, making sports more inviting and inclusive to everyone at any size, as it should be.
  • Scientists have a massive increase in presence on social media through video and podcasting appearances in an effort to fight the relentless pseudoscience being dispersed on popular platforms. Science becomes cool again (was it ever not cool!?).
  • Microbiome research expands in regards to mental health and sports performance. “Crapsules” or fecal microbiota transplants (FMT), get FDA approval for other uses beyond C. difficile as research accumulates in the field.
  • At least 100 more ridiculous diet books giving people false hope hit the market with zero scientific backing. Don’t be a sucker, eat your vegetables, beans and protein, save your money and invest it into a cycling tour and cooking classes!

Read more interesting 2021 predictions on cycling, technology and sports from experts on the @prokit here: @rebeccarusch @ekraus @swain @iamtedking @meganroche @nutritionfacts-org.

Here’s one of my favorites from the article by @peterabraham.

Peter Abraham –”Diversity and inclusion (BIPOC, women, LGBTQ) will be the biggest cultural trend in the traditionally white world of endurance sports. Expect running, cycling and even rowing to begin reflecting more accurately the diversity of America. The process has already started with, for example, an HBCU school starting a cycling team and more coverage of sports diversity in mainstream media. But intentional onramps need to be built to facilitate this transition.”

Do you have any predictions for 2021? Share them in the comments section, it’s always interesting to read what others predict in the future. It’s a fun activity that allows you to be creative and maybe even drum up a new business idea!

Here’s to a healthy, active, adventurous and creative 2021 ahead. See you in the new year. Keep moving and keep dreaming.

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Anne Guzman

Sport scientist, sports nutritionist, writer, former pro cyclist, life long learner. “See it, feel it and step into it. You're never ready, you just start."
Running, Cycling, Triathlon, Track Cycling, Wrestling
Hamilton, ON

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