Gone are the days of smoothies just being milk and strawberries or a treat from a fast food place. These days’ healthy smoothies can be mini meals in their own right, packed full of ingredients that have health benefits including good bacteria that can fuel or refuel you as well as help build muscle etc.
Smoothies are great to have anytime of the day as part of your daily eating plan. So naturally they are perfect to have as pre and post workout drinks. You can tailor your smoothies to meet your own individual needs and requirements, food preferences and flavors while getting the fuel you need.
A few of our users have shared there smoothie pictures and we got bombarded with requests for the ingredients (thanks guys:) So to help you on the days you feel you want a break from using your standard daily supplements here is a pre and post workout smoothie shopping list to help shake things up as requested.
Smoothie shopping list:
Frozen fruits – strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc. for fast acting carbs/sugar and taste.
Liquids – fruit juices* (preferably fresh, if not, buy not from concentrate boxed juice), milk (Cow, soy, coconut, almond) or natural yoghurts for a creamier smoothie (and good bacteria!).
Protein sources – whey powder, nuts (almonds, walnuts, brazil) nut butters (peanut, almond).
Good fats – flaxseeds, avocados, nuts.Soft fruits – bananas, kiwis, strawberries (try freezing them for creamier textures), dates, figs, prunes (slow release carbs, sweetness and digestion) Spices – cinnamon (good for balancing sugar levels), nutmeg (good anti -inflammatory.
Ice cubes – to chill your smoothie and add some thickness,
*add some water to dilute down the strong fruit sugars .
How to make a Pre-Workout Smoothie
Should be light to give you slow and fast releasing energy for your workout,
easy to digest and not leave you feeling full or bloated.
½ cup frozen strawberries/blueberries
½ cup low-fat Greek yoghurt
½ cup milk (of your choice) or enough to get the consistency you prefer.
1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
1 tbsp honey
½ cup low fat natural yoghurt
¼ cup skimmed milk
Post Workout Smoothies
After training it’s important to replenish glycogen stores and get protein to your
muscle to begin muscle repair and building.
1 tbsp of nut butter of your choice
1/3 cup low fat natural yoghurt
1 scoop of protein powder
½ cup almond milk
1 scoop protein isolate powder
500ml skimmed milk
This may all seem very time consuming! Throw everything in a blender and GO! Make your smoothie and get it stored in the fridge at your until you are ready, easy!!
Not every shake needs to be made in a blender! Core150 is made from 33% thicker blend safe BPA and DEHA FREE plastic so you can use it to blend your ingredient safely without the worry of it cracking up or fragmenting on you.
Just to be clear, Smoothies aren’t meal replacements; have them as part of a well-balanced, nutritional eating plan. You need to masticate in order release hormones to tell your body when you are full and you have to have food to digest in order to maintain a healthy digestive system; so it is extremely important you don’t just consume smoothies/liquids as a way to maintain/loosing weight.
Claire Peacock BSc DSM DRSM Core150 – resources
www.mensfitness.co.uk, www.menshealth.com, www.superskinnyme.com
Share this post:
Fats get a bad name and many of us eliminate them from our daily diets altogether. This is a BIG mistake as we need fats in our diets for numerous reasons due to the fact that they are very beneficial to our health and well-being.
Omega-3, 6, and 9 are the three Omega fatty acids that are most commonly talked about when it comes to adding fats into a good nutrition plan. All the information can be overwhelming and confusing, so this article should make things a little simpler for you!
Omega-3’s are seen as an essential fatty acid, the body doesn’t synthesize or convert one to another very efficiently (from ALA to DHA and EPA) but are important for normal metabolism therefor need to be consumed through diet. ALA – alpha-linoleic acid is the main Omega-3 fatty acid, which is converted into DHA – docosahexaenoic acid, and EPA – eicosapentaenoic acid. DHA and EPA can be sourced through fish while ALA is plant based. Good animal sources for DHA and EPA are mackerel, sardines, albacore tuna, krill and salmon. Try and source wild rather than farmed for greater amounts of Omega-3. Flaxseed, walnuts, green leafy vegetables and olive oil sources will give your plant based Omega-3. When using actual flaxseeds bruise the husks, this will allow the fatty acid to be released. Plenty research has gone into the benefits of Omega-3 that covers mind and body; Depression, ADHD, Alzheimer’s and dementia, blood triglycerides and cardiovascular health are some examples.
Omega-6 are also seen as essential fatty acids and need to be consumed through diet. Again there are several types of Omega-6, the one’s to look for are LA – linoleic acid, the main Omega-6 fatty acid and GLA – gamma-linoleic acid which is converted from LA. These two can help reduce inflammation once broken down into their respective counterparts while other Omega-6 can promote it, meaning some of the Omega-6, once broken down can cause a shift in the physiological states of the tissues towards pathogenesis of many diseases. Omegas-6 come from sources such as eggs, avocados, most vegetable oils (not olive oil) and nuts. They can be quite calorific so moderation is important (likewise for Omega- 3 and 9). Omega-6 fatty acids are important for brain function, growth and development, regulate metabolism and have been found to benefit those with breast cancer, allergies and Rheumatoid arthritis.
Omega-9 are from unsaturated fatty acids and unlike Omega-3 and 6 isn’t classified as essential as it can be made from unsaturated fat in the body and from the presence of Omega-3 and 6. Oleic acid is the main Omega-9 and is most commonly found in the form of olive oil, others sources include avocados and nuts such as macadamia, almonds, pecans and cashews and also from animal fats. Benefits of taking Omega-9 are similar to those of 3 and the non- inflammatory 6 fatty acids.
Balancing Trick – It’s greatly important we have these fatty acids in our diet for metabolism, growth, development and hormone response to name but a few, however getting the balance can be tricky. Modern day diet seems to greatly favor Omega-6 over Omega-3. This is basically due to inclusion of Omega-6 rich oils in cooking processes and processed foods. Omega-6 needs Omega-3 to help with the inflammatory/anti-inflammatory balance within the body. The ratio of 6 and 3 is between 10:1 and 30:1, it should be as low as 2:1 and 4:1. Eliminating processed foods and foods cooked in oils will greatly reduce this ratio to better levels. By choosing the right sources of Omega-6 and 3 you can achieve the healthy ratio of fatty acids required to keep your body in top condition and in an anti-inflammatory state, effectively reducing chances of getting such diseases as cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s. Omega-9 is easier to get into our diets as it can be sourced through animal fats, unless vegetarian or vegan then supplementation isn’t always necessary.
If you feel you aren’t eating a varied enough diet to be able to consume one or all 3 of the fatty acids, they can be taken through supplementation and what better way to keep on top of your nutrition goals than carrying them in on eof three of your Core150 cartridges. Fill the compartments with your fish oils capsules (nuts or other edibles) and you will be able to transport them without worry of them getting damaged. Core150 always esnures you can transport all your nutrition and accurately measured supplementation with you at all times.
Claire Peacock BSc DSM DSRM Core150
Share this post:
Trying to lead a more active fitter lifestyle seems to be making our days longer and longer. Packing in as much as we can either before, during and after work. Busy schedules and lifestyles means the need for proper nutrition to grow and repair and just to keep us refueled are just some of the challenges encountered. Getting regular meals isn’t always possible with a busy lifestyle and that’s where protein shakes come in handy to help keep our nutrition and dietary goals on track.
As quick as it is to mix your protein shake some people like to have them all prepared for the day ahead and the question we always get asked is “does premixing your protein shake compromise whey protein?” or “does premixing a protein shake make them less nutritional and less effective?”
There is very little scientific back up to suggest Whey can be effected when pre mixed and left to sit in water over time. Whey has already gone through various processes and filtration techniques to become the product it is so the nutritional value of the whey will remain intact. Adding water wont effect whey for at least a couple of hours, anything more than that may however result in a breakdown of the peptide bonds (which bond amino acids together; long chains of amino acids are called polypeptide chains which are proteins). The addition of water may also cause other components of your shakes to breakdown in a similar way. Whether the nutritional value and the effectiveness of the whey become compromised would depend upon the quality of the whey in the first place and will depend upon the company’s manufacturing process and whey protein content used.
Other factors to take into consideration if you want to premix your shakes in advance is the cleanliness of your shaker cup. As with anything protein related bacteria WILL build up over time and outwith the obvious tummy upset these bacteria’s may may also lead to a breakdown of the whey itself. Storing your shakes at fridge temperatures will ensure no denaturing occurs. Proteins and amino acids are sensitive to temperatures and will cause denaturing to begin if that temperature specific to the protein or amino acid are reached. If the protein or amino acid become denatured then it wouldn’t work or to be PC work as well as it should.
Another way to approach this Q&A is “would you drink milk that has been sitting at room temperature or above for a few hours?” the answer would most likely be “No”. Protein shakes are made up from milk produce so the best advice is if you really must premix your shake be sure to store it at a refrigerated temperature within a cool bag for example. Some companies add good bacteria in their shakes to help with digestion properties and additives such as these may also breakdown and are temperature sensitive.
Finally, dry protein is made on the assumption you will drink it directly after mixing therefor in most instances no preservatives are added. The most common way to find long term preservatives in proteins are in RTD’s (Ready To Drink Proteins) which are full of preservatives and are able to sit on shelves at room temperature or higher without spoiling. Dry protein doesn’t have these so consuming them not long after mixing is highly recommended. Drinking your protein shake is best done immediately after you make it in order to get the full benefits of the nutritional values form the product. With today’s advancement in compartmentalized protein shakers you no longer have to carry or transport endless amounts of shaker cups and one of the latest innovations is the new Core150 shaker cup!
Core150 is capable of holding 3 x 50g accurate servings of protein powders, 4 if you count the 1- liter cup itself. The removable cartridge means you have everything stored in one place accurately measured when you need it so no need to premix a shake or store powder in your bottle which is a bonus if you want to use the shaker to hydrate. Simply choose a serving of powder and add it to your water, once done rinse your cup and replace your cartridge; no need to make up 3 or 4 shaker bottles for throughout the day and trying to find chilled places to store them.
Claire Peacock BSc DSM DRSM Core150
Share this post:
L-leucine is most commonly marketed as a BCAA partnering with isoleucine and valine. It is now becoming more popular by it’s own merits and is fast becoming one of the most popular pre/intra/post workout amino acid supplement.
As it is an essential amino acid, l-leucine must be supplemented into our diets. Sources are soy protein, soybeans, beef, peanuts, fish, wheat germ, eggs, lentils, rice and milk for example, all good protein sources. Your diet should vary enough to allow you to consume enough l-leucine on a daily basis. It can, like other essential (and non-essential) amino acids supplemented daily.
Why is it such a special amino acid?
L-leucine is the only dietary amino acid to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. It catalyses muscle growth, preserves muscle and slows down muscle degradation. Breakdown and utilisation occurs in liver, muscle and adipose tissue. Metabolism in muscle and adipose tissues allows l-leucine to be used as a quick energy source when needed.
mTOR pathway is extremely sensitive to l-leucine a pathway found in cells and is a regulator for cell growth. Extra supplementation of l-leucine is thought to activate the mTOR pathway, which itself then activates protein synthesis and increases the cells abilities to produce new muscle tissues.
L-Leucine is a key factor in greater anabolic protein signaling meaning less muscle breakdown from the degrading effects of the hormone cortisol. Considerable gains in strength are have also been seen with l-leucine supplementation. Consuming 4gs per day of l-leucine, in conjunction with a 12-week training programme have shown to increase strength by 41%. Consuming l-leucine along with your high carbohydrate meal post training can enhance further high endurance training sessions and can also decrease muscle
Everyone can benefit from supplementing his or her diet with l-leucine. It benefits those looking to build lean muscle, increase strength, increase energy levels and increase endurance levels. Suggested amounts of l-leucine have increased from 14mg/kg of body weight to 45mg/kg and this is only for sedentary people; those with more active lifestyles, serious about training and professional athletes should increase levels to those required of their needs. L-leucine consumption also benefits those looking for fat loss.
With the increase in muscle growth and preservation, fat loss will occur naturally as greater muscle mass is formed, this increases metabolism thus increased fat loss. Supplementing with 76% l-leucine combined with calorie controlled nutrition can induce significant and preferential losses of visceral adipose tissue while still allowing for high levels of performance, beneficial for when stripping body fat for a competition.
Additional supplementation of l-leucine is easy using your Core150. Depending upon your requirements, there is more than enough room in each 50g compartment, add a scoop to your pre/post work out drinks or keep capsules stored away ready for taking throughout your training session.
Claire Peacock BSc Sports Biomedicine, DSM, DRSM Core150
Glynn, E. Fry, C. Drummond, M. Timmerman, K. Dhanani, S. Volpi, E. Rasmussen, B. Excess L-leucine Intake Enhances
Muscle Anabolic Signaling but Not Net Protein Anabolism in Young Men and Women. The Journal of Nutrition. 2010
Ipoglou, T. King, R. Polma, R. Zanker, C. Daily L-L-leucine Supplementation in Novice Trainees During 12-week Weight
Training Program. International Journal of Sports Physiotherapy and Performance. 2011. 6(1), 38-80
Qin, L. Greer, B. White, J. Arguello, E. Haymes, E. Branched-Chain Amino Acid Supplementation Lowers Perceived
Exertion but does Not Affect Performance in Untrained Males. Journal of Strength and Conditioning. 2011, 25(2), 539-544
Mero, A. L-leucine Supplementation and Intensive Training. Sports Med. 1999 June;27(6):347-58
Share this post:
We know about pre workout and post workout supplements but what about intra workout supplements (IWO)? What do the multi coloured drinks, guzzled down throughout a session actually do and are they worth the money?
Well that all depends, if you are asking should you buy branded pre formulated intra workouts marked up at a premium then the answer would be no, if you are asking would you be better buying the ingredients and combining them yourself for less than half the price then the answer would be yes!
IWO’s are marketed as supplements to repair, refuel and increase mental focus during a session. Each company has their own take on what should be in IWO; but mostly they all consist of the same nutritional ingredients.
IWO’s will contain BCAA’s the building blocks for muscle repair, usually found in supplements in a ratio of 2:1:1 of leucine : isoleucine : valine. Some companies will also add EAA’s, essential amino acids. Glutamine is another nutritional addition and some IWO’s will also contain hydrolysed whey that has been broken down more than normal, ensuring it will be fully absorbed all of which is important in muscle repair, protein synthesis and kick start of muscle growth. Citrulline Malate is another compound found IWO’s. This allows for the flushing of toxins far more quickly meaning quicker recovery. It also increases NO production, leading to increase vasodilation throughout the session, allowing for a better pump, toxin removal and neurostimulation. Fast acting sugar complexes can be found; giving quick energy and carbohydrates you may need on a low carb diet. Creatine, Beta Alanine and arginine can also be found giving strength and power from the drink.
Do we need an intra workout supplement?
PreWO and PWO supplements are more nutrient efficient, balanced than ever before and are designed for every need. The last article on shakercupsforproteinshakes.com covered most of what is found in PreWO drinks, they are the same, PWO contain similar repairing and refueling nutrients. Depending on what you are looking for in your Pre and PWO drink will depend which product you buy and gives the best results for repair, recovery and growth. BCAA’s, Glutamine, Beta Alanine, Creatine, Citrulline Malate etc are already used in both. Surely if you are using these products everyday there is no need for you to supplement them even more while working out? Your muscles can only hold so much of a nutrient before it excretes what it doesn’t need. The body is pretty efficient at storing and using what it takes in and as you are constantly supplementing it before and after it will have enough of these nutrients to last you throughout your session and the essential period after for optimum growth and recovery. A work out session shouldn’t last longer than an hour, if it does and you feel the need to supplement throughout this time, then you should take a look at your training. Training HIT for 40-60 minutes will give the gains you need, not the IWO’s.
Rather than buy into the hype of a branded intra-workout IWO supplement all you really need are the following combination of ingredients which are BCAA’s, Citrulline and dextrose. If you feel you need take an IWO, see where you are flagging in your session, what you can optimise upon then supplement as required.
Your Core150 is able to hold up to 50g in each compartment allowing you to make your own blend of IWO with the combination of BCAA’s, Citrulline and dextrose for example. Think again before you splash out on buying an IWO. You may have already drank the same drink just with a different name.
Claire Peacock BSc sports Biomedicine DSM DRSM Core150
Share this post:
Pre workout supplements are more common than ever before and are huge business within the fitness industry. PreWO’s allow for increased strength, endurance, focus, muscle and pump. With so many on the market there are certain ingredients you need to look out for to ensure you are getting what you pay for and no crash at the end of training, below are some examples.
PreWO supplements are mostly known for giving you an incredible pump. Nothing beats the feeling of pumped up muscles and the look of veiny arms. These ingredients increase NO production allowing for increased vasodilation and muscle size enhancing essential exchange between the blood and muscles. Look for: Citrulline (malate), Arginine (also as AAKG, arginine HCL, arginine ketoisocaproate), pycnogenol, GPLC and nitrates.
Increasing muscle growth
You want your muscles to grow and taking nutrients in your PreWO will certainly get them growing. As we know amino acids are the building blocks of bigger muscles. Look for: BCAA’s (ratio of leucine, isoleucine and valine depends upon the company), Glutamine, Carnitine.
Strength and power
PreWO supplements can give the nutrients you need to enhance your strength in one easy, convenient drink. If you don’t already supplement with creatine, PreWO’s can be a good place to start. Look for: Creatine, Beta Alanine,Betaine.
Increased energy I
By this I mean increasing energy levels of the muscles without affecting the CNS. When checking out PreWO’s to buy, there should be at least two, a combination of amino acids and natural products. Look for: Tyrosine, Taurine, Rhodiola Rosea, Schisandra Chinensis.
Increased energy II
These are the stimulants, when in high doses and combinations can give super amounts of energy followed by the horrible crash, which I’m sure we have all experienced at some point, not forgetting the shakes and the jitters too! Ephedra (natural) and DMAA (synthetic) were commonly used in PreWO supplements, due to the side effects and health complications thought to have been brought
on by the use of them, they were both banned by the FDA; Ephedra in 2004 and DMAA as recently as 2012. Now companies have to try and replicate the stimulant effect of these two products. Look for: Caffeine Anhydrous, Yerba Mate, Guarana (Paullinia cupana), Ginseng.
These are few examples of what can be found in PreWO supplements but they aren’t always easy to find on the nutritional label. Each company has their own combinations for strength, for NO boost, for increased energy and will give them a clever name; not always giving dosages. It’s important you find out as much as
you can about them before choosing one, as there are some ingredients included that aren’t too un-similar to banned substances (synephrine for example). Saying that PreWO supplements are a very effective way of getting into your body what it needs to grow, become more powerful and a more efficient machine. Be prepared, stacked and ready to go by always having your PreWO with you in your Core150, nutrition on demand.
Claire Peacock BSc DSM DRSM Core150
Share this post:
Winter is upon us and time for colds and flu’s to work their way into our systems, hang around and make us feel miserable. So do you train or do you rest? Will it harm you if you do train while unwell? There are three basic rules you should stick to.
First Rule, a head-neck check.
Anything above the neck, runny nose and eyes, sneezing, cough and even a sore throat is said to be OK and you can still carry on with your workouts. Below the neck including swollen glands, fever, bronchial constriction and aches should be regarded as an indication to not train.
If you have a fever then exercise is definitely out of the question. Your body is battling against an infection of some sort, working out and raising your core temperature even higher is dangerous, it can make you more ill and take longer for you to recover.
Final rule, listen to your body! If you have a runny nose and are struggling to get your head off the pillow in the morning then don’t train. If you started off feeling bad but have perked up during the day and feel you could pull off a light session then by all means, train but keep it light.
For someone who trains 4-5 times a week, taking time off because of an influenza virus feels like the end of the world. Taking a few days off to get better will not be the end of your training life. Your body, which has gone into a catabolic state because of influenza, will be too busy fighting against it to worry about pressing a new pb on your bench press.
Remember weight training puts the body into a state of catabolism to create an anabolic effect, training with influenza will increase the catabolic effect and greatly reduce your immune’s system ability to beat the resident virus and in the long run can reduce the efficacy of your immune system.
Having a cold virus, you could still train, although would be advised to reduce the amount of sets and the weights by 25%. Your immune system is still fighting a virus so pushing hard will put extra strain on it to combat the virus and the catabolic state will effect your training so the simple rule of listening to your body comes into play here. If the cold is making you more tired, achy and you’re just not feeling it then it’s time to rest.
Ensure you stay hydrated while ill, keeping energy and nutrition levels high isn’t always possible with an influenza virus as appetite is normally affected. Eating soups is a good way to get in nourishment and fluids. As for training, give yourself three weeks to get back into it properly; this goes for having a cold and flu. Don’t push too hard the first week, feel your way back; second week you can start to push and by week three you should be back to normal training abilities.
Claire Peacock BSc DSM DRSM Core150