Saturday, October 21, 2017

Nutrition & Recovery

CurraNZ

The ‘trickle down’ effect applies to all areas of life these days, whether it’s technology developed for Formula One finding its way onto road cars or Virtual Reality games designed for soldiers hitting your new Playstation console. And sport is no different.

One area that’s seen a massive explosion in the sports scene recently is (legal!) supplementation for recovery and performance. A number of products have hit the market in recent years claiming to prolong performance, delay fatigue or overcome lactic build-up.

Mini-Review: Activeman Oatein

Activeman is a new range of fitness foods and supplements and they describe Oatein as a "delicious and satisfying high protein, low fat Oatein. Ideal with semi- skimmed milk or soya milk, or as part of a smoothie."

Opening the attractive battery-styled container (representing energy, geddit?) the product looks distinctly like rolled oats, which is hardly surprising as that's essentially what it is! But with a trick; there's also whey protein and whey protein concentrate in there.

Nuun electrolyte tablets

I don’t really like water. Okay, that’s a somewhat bizarre-sounding statement. After all, water is the source of life and all that. But what I mean really is that I don’t like the taste of water. I know as an amateur athlete I should, but I don’t and as a result I probably don’t drink enough of it.

Elivar Hydrate Plus - Mini-Review

Elivar Hydrate Plus is the fourth product from the company that focuses on sports nutrition for the over-35s (one of Elivar’s key beliefs is that athletes over 35 have different nutritional needs to their younger counterparts, such as different carb-to-protein ratios).

USN Whey & Oats

I’m sure you know the maxim ‘breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and supper like a pauper’. It’s hackneyed but is also quite apt for athletes – it’s the breakfast that sets us up for the day ahead. And the breakfast of choice for many athletes is good old-fashioned porridge. A great source of slow-burning carbs that gives a steady supply of energy until lunch.

Elivar - Prepare, Endure & Recover

If there’s one thing there’s no shortage of, it’s sports nutrition.  Everywhere you look there’s everything on offer from protein powders to (legal) performance enhancing (or so they claim!) supplements.  But what I hadn’t seen until recently was a sports nutrition range aimed purely at the MAMIL (well, actually the MAFIL as well, but that spoils the line…).

Elivar is a new name on the sports nutrition market, but it is making a niche for itself by targeting the ’35 plus’ market, where the Elivar founders believe that the nutritional needs are markedly different from athletes in their teens and twenties.

SiS REGO+Fruitflow gels – mini review

According to Tim Lawson, founder of Science in Sport (SiS), when we undertake an intense (either hard or long) training session, we not only cause trauma to the muscles used during the exercise (a necessary part of building strength and adapting to heavy workloads) but we also cause other types of inflammation in the body caused by the ‘activation’ of blood platelets.  This secondary form of inflammation is undesirable as it can slow down the recovery and adaption processes.

110% Play Harder compression & ice

Compression gear for post-race or training recovery is nothing new. The likes of 2XU, Skins, Compressport and others have been adorning the legs of triathletes for a number of years now.  I admit I’m a bit of a walking contradiction – I’m open about not being totally convinced by the claimed benefits of compression, yet I own several types of compression wear, from calf guards to full tights.

Drip Drop Sport

When it comes to choosing a sports drink to prepare you for, and sustain you through, a race or hard training session there’s certainly no shortage of choice! The chances are that, like me, you’ve tried many different offerings from a wide variety of producers.

A new entrant to the UK market is Drip Drop Sport (also available in the US as Drip Drop) which claims to be somewhat different to other solutions.  The powder was originally developed as an ‘Oral Rehydration System’ for famine-ravaged countries but has recently made the jump across to the endurance sports market.

Mint-Ease soothing cream

Mint-EaseOk, so you might question whether a muscle-soothing cream is "gear", but as any keen athlete (whatever your ability) knows, muscle soreness is part of the game and a little light relief is very welcome at times!

Mint-Ease is a topically-applied cream made from 35% pure ethereal mint (surprisingly!) oil and is claimed to increase blood circulation, producing a 'deep and lasting warmth'.

The cream is designed to be used immediately pre and post exercise, as well as to fight Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) in the hours or days after a hard workout.

GU Energy Gels

I was recently supplied with a small sample pack of GU Energy gels by Stonehenge Cycles in Salisbury (www.stronehengecycles.com) and thought I'd do a quick write up on my experiences using them.

The three gels (Chocolate Outrage, Strawberry Banana and Jet Blackberry) were consumed over two training sessions: one long 14-mile training run and one two hour cycle.