In June, I attended the International Society Of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) conference for the first time. ISSN is a non-profit academic society dedicated to promoting the science and application of evidence-based sports nutrition and supplementation.
This year’s conference celebrated the 20th anniversary of ISSN, which was started by Doug Kalman, Ph.D., RD; Jose Antonio, Ph.D.; Richard Kreider, Ph.D.; Susan Kleiner, Ph.D., RD; and Anthony Almada, MSc, in 2003. Today, the association is led by Dr. Jose Antonio along with President Trisha VanDusseldorp and Co-Vice Presidents Chad Kersick and Erik Bustillo.
I’m not sure why I waited so long to attend this event. I quickly realized that I have been missing out on some excellent education and networking! Held this year at the Westin in Fort Lauderdale from June 15-17, the event had a very friendly atmosphere, with people hungry to explore new research while also enjoying time spent catching up with old friends and making new ones. I saw many familiar faces, and met several people for the first time.
“When they started ISSN and the conference, they just wanted to keep it fun,” Jose (Joey to his friends) said. And they did! There were three days filled with education, highlighting so much research in the sports nutrition market. There was a lot of talk about creatine, plus adaptogens, mushrooms, astaxanthin, and more. There were also sponsor exhibits from Gencor, Kyowa Hakko, Nutrition 21, Maypro, and Astareal, to name a few. Move Nutrition Network was filming at the event, and there were giveaways, too.
One of the highlights was a beautiful Memoriam tribute for Dr. Hector Lopez, which was led by Tim Ziegenfuss, Ph.D., FISSN. We lost Hector on November 25, 2022, at the age of 46—far too young. Hector was known as the smartest and nicest man in the room. I was lucky to have met Hector and to have seen him many times at multiple industry events over the years, but to hear all these wonderful stories about him from the people who really knew him well was heartwarming. There were so many tributes, including from Rick Collins, David Sandler, Dr. Stephen Schmitz, and more. There was also a Memoriam on the last day for Mike Greenwood, Ph.D., moderated by Dr. Kreider.
Another highlight was the ISSN Data Blitz, which has been a staple at the event for years, and really is a favorite for all. It gave students 10 minutes to present their case, and if they went over 10 they were cut off by a bullhorn. This was so much fun, and a great way to get quick information.
Friday was capped off with a keynote address by Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., focused on advocacy. Dr. Fabricant spoke to a full room about what students and companies can do to protect our supplement rights and more.
And what better way to end the day than a party! A What’s Up with Supps Happy Hour closed out the second day of the event with music, games, and door prizes, as well as Poster Presentations.
On the final day, there were more female-oriented presentations that did not disappoint. I enjoyed a great discussion by Stacy Sims, Ph.D., on Female Athletes Across the Lifespan, and an excellent women’s panel with Salma Fathalla ASQ, CQA; Katie Emerson, RD, LDN, and Susan Hewlings, Ph.D., RD. I appreciated all the education I received, and I plan on catching up the sessions I missed live.
As Sports Nutrition evolves into Active Nutrition, these discussions are so important to everyone, not just those focused on athletes. With this in mind, I look forward to continuing my education on the topic on December 5-7, 2023, at the Naturally Informed virtual event Active Aging: Mastering the Market. This event is powered by WholeFoods Magazine and Industry Transparency Center. We all want to stay active and energized into our golden years. And more than ever before, younger generations are recognizing that to stay vibrant, one must be proactive. That realization has opened this market up to consumers of all ages who are seeking out nutritional supplements and functional foods and beverages to help them achieve their goals. I hope you will join us for this excellent education opportunity! Go to NaturallyInformed.net to register for this event, as well as for our Stress & Mental Wellness: Mastering the Market event, which is taking place September 26-28. I hope to "see" you there!
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