Active Nutrition
Performance Nutrition

Use it or lose it: Is maintaining gains while on holiday the latest consumer fitness priority?


The summer season is well and truly in full swing. People all over the world are taking time off to see news sights and enjoy time with their loved ones. But while holidays may be a time to relax and unwind, increasingly health-conscious consumers are looking to maintain their physical fitness while they take a well-deserved break from their day-to-day routines.  

Get in touch Contact our experts

Consumers are exercising more, with almost two thirds now working out as much as three times a week on average.[1] It’s understandable then, that many won’t want to lose the fitness and muscle gains they’ve worked so hard to achieve. So what do consumers need to do to maintain their fitness while relaxing on holiday? And how can brands tap into this growing trend with the help of FrieslandCampina Ingredients? Keep reading to find out.


To work out or not to work out? Maintaining muscle on holiday

When spending a day relaxing and soaking up the sun, it’s typically not on everyone’s to do list to do a high-powered workout. But while many consumers may feel like they need to keep up with their exercise routine to keep the muscle that they’ve gained, there are ways to do this without spending every day in the gym.


In fact, taking a two week break from an exercise routine doesn’t affect muscle mass and strength significantly. According to one study, muscle gains from strength training can be maintained without exercise for about two weeks,[2] with another study further concluding that muscle strength in trained men is maintained after two weeks of detraining.[3] This means that a two week break is unlikely to impact muscle mass or strength – perfect for consumers who are looking to truly relax and take a step back from their usual routine.


For consumers taking longer holidays, small amounts of exercise can help maintain their gains over the vacation period. Research has highlighted that young adults only need to keep up with about 1/9th of their usual sets to maintain their strength.[4] For older consumers (between 60 and 75), a higher dose of exercise might be required to keep muscle strength up. But people don’t need to clock hours in the gym to maintain muscle on holiday – short bursts of bodyweight exercises can help keep muscles strong without taking too much time away from holiday activities.


Use it or lose it: maintaining endurance on holiday

Unlike muscle mass, endurance levels see a faster decrease during a break period. A study that monitored VO2max during a detraining period – which is the body’s ability to take in and utilise oxygen – found that there was a 4-14% reduction in VO2max during a detraining period, meaning that endurance was significantly reduced after a period of rest.[5]


For consumers looking to maintain their endurance levels while on holiday, especially during long holiday periods, planning a reduced exercise routine may help them keep their endurance levels up – and it’s easy to plan exercise around the holidays. In fact, one study suggests that brief and intense stair climbing can improve cardiovascular fitness.


Even taking the time to go for a long evening walk or finding a scenic route to run along can help to stimulate cardiovascular fitness and endurance on holiday.


Protein is power

While exercise routines vary greatly by person and depend on the type of holiday, there is one easy way consumers can help maintain their fitness while relaxing – protein. And that’s where brands can support consumers. By offering innovative, quick-to-consume products that fit in with their holiday plans.


Protein bars remain a popular format, especially bars with a high protein content.  In fact, 55% of global consumers state they’d be willing to pay a premium for products with high protein claims.


Convenience is also key when formulating protein applications – and there is plenty of opportunity for brands to innovate on-trend and tasty applications that pack a quick protein punch. From fortified coffees to protein waters, protein fortification has come a long way from the chalky protein powders of the past.


FrieslandCampina Ingredients has a range of protein applications that are perfectly suited to the relaxing summer season. Our protein water application contains over 16 grams of high-quality protein, with our Nutri Whey™ Isolate Clear, offering consumers a refreshing way to hydrate while also giving them the protein fix they need to maintain muscle on holiday. For consumers who want a luxurious treat while also keeping up with their fitness goals, our high-protein instant frappe application is under 100 calories and contains an impressive 14g of protein!


Our wide range of dairy and plant-based protein ingredients enable an impressive range of applications that meet the needs of consumers who want to stay fit and active while still relaxing on holiday. With plenty of innovative protein applications to choose from, you can help consumers meet their muscle and endurance goals with easy to consume and tasty products that can packed alongside the snorkel and sunscreen!


Ready to create an innovative holiday protein solution? Get in touch today.


[1] FMCG Gurus, 2021, Top Ten Trends

[2] Hortobágyl, T; et al. (1993) ‘The effects of detraining on power athletes’, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:25:8 – p 929-935.

[3] Hwang, P.S. et al. (2017) ‘Resistance Training–Induced Elevations in Muscular Strength in Trained Men Are Maintained After 2 Weeks of Detraining and Not Differentially Affected by Whey Protein Supplementation’, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: 31:4 – p 869-881

[4] Bickel, C. et al (2011) ‘Exercise Dosing to Retain Resistance Training Adaptations in Young and Older Adults.’ Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: 43:7 – p. 1177-1187.

[5] Mujika I, Padilla S. (2000) ‘Detraining: loss of training-induced physiological and performance adaptations. Part I: short term insufficient training stimulus.’ Sports Med:30:2 – p 79-87.

[6] Alison, M.K., et al. (2017). ‘Brief Intense Stair Climbing Improves Cardiorespiratory Fitness’, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 49:2 – p 298-307.

[7] FMCG Gurus, ‘High Protein Snacks are Growing in Popularity’, 2021




Related insights

Get in touch

Contact our experts
Request a sample Subscribe to our newsletter