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DSM and Dutch Olympic Committee go for optimum sports nutrition

Heerlen, NL, 24 Jul 2012 10:00 CEST

DSM is applying its science to deliver the latest advances in sports nutrition to London 2012 athletes. As innovation partner of the Dutch Olympic Committee, DSM uses its knowledge of health, nutrition and materials to help improve the performance of the athletes. In partnership with the Dutch Olympic Committee, DSM is studying optimal levels of vitamin D for performance sportsmen and women. And beach volleyball players Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig from Germany will be using DSM’s innovative carotenoid supplements, FloraGLO® Lutein and OPTISHARP® Zeaxanthin to boost their visual performance.

Even top athletes often underestimate the importance of proper nutrition. Over the years, a great deal of knowledge has been gained on the effects of specific nutrition regimens. Maurits Hendriks, Chef de Mission of the Olympic Team Netherlands commented: “Good nutrition is essential for the fitness of our athletes at the starting line, and can actually help make the difference between victory or defeat on the day. And yet even at the Olympic level, we see that there is still room for optimizing athletes’ diets. In our approach, a perfect diet is part of the integral training program. That is why the Dutch Olympic team is pleased to work in partnership with DSM to help our athletes to achieve their best possible performance.”

DSM is working together with the Dutch Olympic Committee, to undertake a study into optimal levels of vitamin D for performance sportsmen and women. Vitamin D delivers vital benefits to bone health, as well as improves muscle strength. It is produced in the skin when exposed to sunlight, but even athletes training outdoors can still face deficiencies. Vitamin D can also be found in the diet through foods such as oily fish and eggs, but athletes would need to consume several dozens of eggs per day to achieve optimal amounts.

Rob van Leen, Chief Innovation Officer at DSM noted: “At DSM, we aim to provide nutrition solutions that are game-changing and life changing for people all over the world. As we share in the excitement and build up to the Olympics, we are inspired by working with athletes and teams, to take nutrition innovation to the next level.”

Visual performance supported by Nutrition innovations

Besides supporting the Dutch Olympic Committee with a comprehensive innovation program, DSM also supports a number of individual athletes. German beach volleyball medal hopefuls, Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig, for example, will be using DSM’s carotenoid supplements to boost their visual performance. Being exposed to the bright sun or stadium lights whilst playing beach volleyball can temporarily impair vision, which will have a significant impact on their game. The carotenoid supplements provided by DSM act as a pair of ‘internal sunglasses’ to protect the eyes, and reduce the impact of strong light.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin are found in the diet through vegetables such as spinach and bell peppers, and naturally accumulate in the retina. The yellow filter formed by lutein and zeaxanthin blocks out blue light and haze from strong light, but it’s difficult for performance athletes to achieve optimal levels through diet alone. DSM’s innovative supplements such as FloraGLO and OPTISHARP are used to help the eyes become naturally more ‘glare-resistant’, which may benefit the split-second, hand-eye coordination needed in performance sports such as volleyball.

Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig commented: “Since taking the new DSM supplements, we are more confident about the visual performance of our eyes. This is very important in a sport like ours where you’re playing in very bright sunlight much of the time.”

FloraGLO and OPTISHARP can also benefit other sports disciplines in which visual performance is key and where the athletes experience similar conditions of glare and exposure to bright sunlight. For that reason, several other athletes have also included these products in their daily diet, including a number of Dutch Olympic sailors.