Blueberry Smoothie

February 9, 2010

Looking for a tasty protein drink to have after a hard session in the gym?

Berries are packed with a heap of antioxidants + combined with a serve of your favourite vanilla protein powder provides you with all the amino acids needed to boost the immune system and repair muscle tissue throughout the rest of your day.

Serves 1:
150g frozen blueberries
1/2 cup (125ml) water or milk
1 serve of your favourite vanilla protein powder

Combine all the ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Consume immediately.

You can also mix this recipe up with different flavoured proteins but my favourite is using raspberries rather than blueberries.

What’s your favourite protein mix?? Any special ingredients that are a must in your shakes? Post your favourite recipe or a link to it in a comment below.


How to boost your training performance and get results

August 11, 2009

It seems like a real waste to do all the hard work, like getting to the gym, training hard, or going for a long run or cycle, and not getting the best rewards you could be for your hard work. Everyone would love to get the best results possible from their hard work and there are a lot of products going around all with various claims of how much they can help you. Knowing how beneficial they are is the hard thing and sometimes you’ll try many different products and combinations before knowing what is best for you. I was reading an article in a magazine and thought I would share some of the information.

Whey Protein

Protein has certainly become a major player in weight management, muscle building and recovery. More importantly however while research has shown eating a little more protein can be beneficial, research into whey protein has shown some rather solid results especially when it comes to preserving lean muscle mass as well as building it. Why? Protein from whole foods, while beneficial and still integral to a healthy balanced diet, take many long hours to digest. Whey protein, the left over product from cheese manufacturing, is ‘pre-digested’ and 8-10 grams can be absorbed. What’s special about whey protein is that it contains a high level of branch chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. These escape digestion in the liver and are transported straight to the muscles. The benefits are bigger muscles, a decrease in muscle loss and even appetite suppression and weight/loss maintenance.

There are many variates on the market. Find one that tastes good, has high protein content and fits your budget. Whey protein taken straight after a workout, in between meals or even as a snack will yield the best results, especially at two doses a day. You don’t need to over do the dose size. 15-30 grams each dose would be sufficient.

Creatine

How does creatine work? More ATP in muscles means more energy to lift weights, so rather than getting 8 repetitions in a set you may get 10-11. After your first set ATP has been used up therefore you’re left with ADP which isn’t much use when you have another few sets to complete. More creatine means more ATP because phosphate is donated to ADP to produce ATP. Supplementation of creatine in the diet means there is an increase in the amount of creatine in muscle. This means the next set rather than getting 7 repetitions without supplementation; you would most likely get 9-10 repetitions. What this means is greater training intensity, and therefore more lean muscle mass.

What type of results can be expected?

Specific improvements are;

  • Short-term creatine supplementation has been reported to improve maximal power/strength (5-15%)
  • Work performed during sets of maximal effort contractions (5-15%)
  • Single effort sprint performance (1-5%)
  • Work performed during repetitive sprint performance (5-15%)
  • Long-term creatine supplementation appears to enhance the overall quality of training, leading to 5 to 15% greater gains in strength and performance.
  • Nearly all studies indicate that “proper” creatine supplementation increases body mass by about 1 to 2 kg in the first week of loading.

Summary

There are numerous products on the market; however whey protein and creatine have consistent sound evidence behind them to support their use. The best way to use these is to find products and doses that work best for you. This is a trial and error process and may take some time but is very beneficial in the long-term.


Skins™ How they effect performance and recovery

July 14, 2009

It seems to me that a lot of people these days are wearing Skins™, especially athletes. I don’t wear them myself so I’ve asked a few people I know what they think of them and are they worth the money. All feedback I got was good so I thought I’d do a bit of research and find out how skins can benefit my training or anyone’s training for that matter.

Here is what I found on their website – http://www.skins.net

  • Skins™ BioAcceleration Technology™ as they call it has been developed over years of scientific research. Ongoing testing of elite athletes have proven that Skins™ creates marked improvements in reducing the build-up of lactic acid immediately after periods of sustained exercise, and allows for more rapid return to normal levels. You experience less fatigue, minimise soreness and recover faster.
  • Skins™ is body-moulded compression performance equipment manufactured from the finest Lycra and Meryl Microfibre, scientifically engineered to provide support and muscle alignment to the smart-fabric covered area of your body. Skins™ will definitely change the way that you train and play as well as speed up your recovery. You will feel fresher after heavy bouts of exercise and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) will be minimised.
  • Skins™ technical compression wear has been developed and designed to provide engineered gradient compression. When compression is engineered to apply a balanced and accurate surface pressure over specific body parts, it triggers an acceleration of blood flow. This increases oxygen delivery to working muscles to enhance their performance. The circulation improvements also help the body to eliminate lactic acid and other metabolic wastes. The combination of these effects allows you to work at a higher rate for longer.
  • Skins™ development of the correct compression is based on a body mass index (BMI) algorithm. A unique sizing system based on the algorithm allows us to customise and engineer gradient compression. By controlling the stretch and recovery of the fabric in conjunction with specifically developed pattern making techniques based on the sizing system, they are able to ensure the correct level of surface pressure for most body shapes.
  • Skins™ performance equipment has been designed to wrap and support key muscle groups to reduce muscle movement and focus the direction of the muscle. The wrapping effect and specific compression also dramatically reduces muscle vibration resulting in less soft tissue damage and muscle soreness.
  • The other benefits of skins™ are that they keep the moisture off your skin, regulate your body temperature, discourage growth of bacteria, help prevent odour and protect you from the sun.

After checking out the site and seeing how skins™ can benefit me I am considering getting some for myself. I usually find it hard to fit gym sessions in between soccer training and games because I’m usually a bit sore and don’t want to be sore for my game on the weekend. By the sounds of it Skins™ assist and decrease my recover time enabling me to do some quality workouts in between games and training.

Let me know what you think of skins™, Do you wear them? would you buy them after reading this article?