Sports Nutrition Manufacturing: The Basics

Sports Nutrition Manufacturing is both a growing industry and a thriving market as more and more companies and consumers are interested in human well being and athletic performance. From the everyday working person trying to improve their fitness to the young high school athlete, and all the way to the pro’s, people everyday trust their goals, their health, their performance and even their lives to the hands of sports nutrition manufacturers and their ability to produce safe, high quality, effective products. Does your supplement meet that standard? 

Sports Nutrition Manufacturing is all about that delicate balance of making an effective, safe, compliant, and affordable nutritional supplement that will meet customer’s needs and generate revenue for the organization. And in the world of nutraceuticals, detail and quality are key. Through proper testing and manufacturing, sports nutrition supplements can be an amazing way to make a difference in many people’s lives. Dyad Labs has been involved in sports nutrition manufacturing since our origin in 2008 as an in-house testing lab for manufacturing nutritional supplement products. Learn here about the basics of sports nutrition manufacturing, including product testing and quality, and how Dyad Labs can help meet your testing needs. 

Sports Nutrition Manufacturing: A Brief Summary

Sports nutrition manufacturing involves using raw materials and their nutrients to create supplements designed to enhance athletic performance and health. Sports nutrition manufacturing is an especially growing industry as more and more athletes are trying to boost their performance and athletic ability through nutritional means. Sports nutrition manufacturing is also highly regulated in terms of banned substances in athletic performance and athletes are especially concerned with making sure their supplement does not contain any substances that would make them ineligible for their sport. Consumers of supplements, in general, are also increasingly demanding greater transparency in terms of product ingredients and nutrient amounts as well as looking for more organic ingredients in products. Branding has also become increasingly competitive as top brands seek to attract more customers, and with supplement customization, the industry has become increasingly complex.  

The Origins of Sports Nutrition Manufacturing 

Sports nutrition manufacturing has grown substantially as an industry, riding on the growing interest of the population in better health and human performance. The earliest known evidence of linking food intake with sports dates back to the Greek and Roman civilizations. However, while the first scientific study linking sports and nutrition was credited to Justus von Liebig in the 1840s (and his conclusions later proved to be erroneous in many forms), little was known about nutritional supplementation or its link to physical performance until the early 1920s. As knowledge of nutritional science increased, organizations and pharmaceutical companies began to gradually develop nutritional products and supplements to help people improve their nutrition and health, and even their athletic performance.

As the industry grew, so did concerns for product quality and responsible manufacturing. Early legislation by governments, especially within the United States, attempted to regulate the manufacturing of nutritional substances and some organizations opposed the manufacturing of nutritional supplements. However, the industry continued to grow, and in recent decades legislation has been passed to regulate some substances, and supplement scandals have caused consumers to demand greater transparency from the market. For this reason, sports nutrition manufacturing today will partner with labs to conduct substance quality testing as part of their manufacturing process and companies attempt to differentiate themselves based on product quality and rigorous testing as well as by continuously developing new and innovative products. 

Common Types of Sports Nutrition Products

Sports nutrition manufacturing involves a wide variety of products and many manufacturers allow for ingredient customization in their product formulas as well. However, some of the most popular sports nutrition products and ingredients today include:

BCAA Blends (Branched Chain Amino Acids) – a type of amino acid used by many athletes for pre and post workouts.  BCAA’s are an essential building block for protein. 

Multivitamins – products with a variety of vitamins and minerals that help with athletic performance and overall health

Protein Blends – A wide range of protein products are available to enhance muscle growth, muscle retention, and performance and these come in powder or liquid form or can be used in nutritional bars or a wide variety of products.  

Herbal Nutrition – many companies are also looking into manufacturing herbal nutrition products and some of these may be used for athletic performance as well as overall health. 

Some other substances and products commonly involved in sports nutrition include creatine products, fat burners, or other slimming products and a wide variety of other products and supplements. The ever-growing competitive nature of athletics, as well as increasing consumer pressure for new cutting edge products, ensures that manufacturers are constantly striving to find new and innovative ways to enhance sports with nutrition.

The Sports Nutrition Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process for sports nutrition substances often begins with a client contacting a manufacturer with a desired formula or product. R&D teams at a manufacturing facility will conduct market research to determine the best formula, ingredients, and prices of raw materials to fulfill the request. Once a formula has been determined and ingredients purchased, the manufacturing team will confirm the formula with the client and will work to process the order using proper sanitation measures and rigorous testing in order to ensure quality. In the meantime, as the product is being manufactured, branding experts work to design unique packaging and labeling for the product that will attract customers. Once the product has been manufactured, rigorously tested, and packaged with custom branding, it is then sent to the client for retail sale. 

Some manufacturers offer different options in terms of customization including selecting ingredients and making customized formulas. Other services include odor masking, taste and flavor quality, and offering different manufacturing minimum quantities. Manufacturers also seek to have efficient production and quick turn around times so that clients can get their products to sale as quickly as possible. And importantly, before any product hits the shelves, manufacturers use expert testing partners to ensure that ingredients and products are safe, unadulterated, and true to their label. Helping manufacturers ensure their product is safe, unadulterated, and true to their labeling to meet customer needs is the job of laboratory testing partners such as Dyad Labs.    

Substance Testing in Sports Nutrition Manufacturing

Substance testing in sports nutrition manufacturing is a critical step that is involved all along the supply chain. Manufacturers will partner with testing experts throughout the manufacturing process to test product quality as a crucial part of their efforts to ensure that they are cGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practices) compliant and FDA compliant. Testing labs have thousands of different kinds of tests available to test for many different ingredients and contaminants and to test a wide variety of products. Labs will often offer a wide variety of tests at their facility and will also specialize in certain methods and will seek official 3rd party accreditations such as ISO accreditation, which further enhances their reputability in delivering accurate testing results.  

While there are many specific tests available, most testing practices fall under one of three purposes, namely testing for 

  1. Identity
  2. Purity
  3. Potency

Manufacturers will often use lab experts to test raw materials before manufacture to ensure the ingredients’ identity, or essentially that the substance is what it is claimed to be.  This is an especially important step to ensure that ingredients are of the highest quality before production. 

Labs can also test for the purity of ingredients both before manufacture and after the product is made. Testing for purity means testing to make sure that there are not any additional substances within the product that shouldn’t be, such as metals, pathogens, or other dangerous substances. Purity testing is critical, especially once a product is ready to sell, to make sure it is safe for consumers.

 Lastly, potency testing is done to ensure that nutrient quantities match what is advertised on packaging such as making sure that the protein or vitamin amounts are accurate. Nothing hurts a company’s reputation and trust with consumers more than selling products that are contaminated, unsafe, or untrue to their advertised purpose and rigorous testing can help ensure that products meet their customer expectations. 

About Dyad Labs

Dyad Labs was born as an in-house laboratory for a large nutrition supplement manufacturer. Thus our origins began with nutrition supplement testing, but we serve all of the food, beverage, and nutraceutical industries. When the larger manufacturing company was sold, Dyad Labs was spun off as its own entity and has now become a prominent, independent 3rd party laboratory serving multinational brands in the nutrition industry. 

Dyad labs is ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited which is an internationally recognized standard for quality and has over 20,000 sq. feet of dedicated lab space and an additional 150,000 sq. feet of office/warehouse space to allow us to expand and add additional equipment and staff. We pride ourselves on quick turnaround times and reliable results, allowing you to get the results you need as quickly as possible to ensure you have a great product that is ready for sale. We are managed by a team of experts in both microbiology and chemistry testing as well as a deep understanding of the nutrition industry which allows us to understand our client’s needs and provide top customer service. Learn more about our story by visiting the about section of our website or connect with us by phone, email, or through our form to help us understand how we can meet your needs. 


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