Anyone that trains regularly knows the importance of being able to supply their body with the appropriate nutrition when it matters most. This is where the protein shaker comes in, the device that enables us to feed our bodies, conveniently pre,during or post workout. However the shaker may be a…
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Do you use a shaker cup for your protein shakes? If you’re using a ‘shake and go’ cup that allows you to take just one mixed shake to the gym, then you might be due an upgrade. You see, going down the local gym with a standard protein shaker nowadays is like going to the gym with a sweat band and luminous vest top on then wondering why you get some funny looks. Using standard shakers may also lose you some serious gym cred by finding yourself being subjected to comments such as “you can’t be serious about your nutrition using that” or “are you still using a tape deck to listen to your music? Nice shaker” to mention just a few humorous comments. However, on a more serious note, shaker cups have evolved somewhat over the past few decades in both design and construction and those changes have dramatically improved the safety and convenience of the modern day protein shaker.
You may have heard of the changes made to many consumer plastic products. Baby bottles, flasks, drinks bottles, and shaker cups have in the past been made from plastic, but more recently many manufacturers have changed their production techniques to use FDA approved polypropylene instead. The FDA has approved polypropylene for food contact and as a result many manufacturers across the food and beverage industry have modified their containers so they provide a safer alternative to plastic.
Shaker cups themselves hadn’t changed much until a few years ago when the first compartmentalised cup was introduced. These cups allowed you to take powdered protein in a compartment ready to mix whenever the need arose. These cups were and still are very popular, but they only allow athletes and bodybuilders to carry one does of protein with them. For those taking protein before, during and after training, this was no good.
There are now cups on the market with two compartments such as smartshake (excluding the cup) and the new Core 150 which has even three separate compartments (excluding the cup). The compartments or pods are inside the cup and give you the perfect vessel for carrying your entire day’s supply of protein whilst still having the feel and convenience of a standard shaker cup. Life’s too short to be messing around with lots of different containers measuring powder on the go. What you need is a shaker bottle that does it all and that also ensures your protein is delivered in an exact measurement as well as mixed to the smoothest and most palatable consistency.
If you’re looking for a shaker cup that can fulfil all of your needs and ensure you always have enough protein to hand the new Core 150 protein shaker holds a staggering 150g of protein measured across a number of containers. That means you need never take a huge protein powder package around with you or have to measure out your powder on the fly. Each protein dose is ready when you are and kept dry and fresh in its own individual compartment.
The most important part of training is the training. You don’t want to have the worry of when and where you are going to mix your protein or risk that the local gym sells quality pre, during or post workout supplements. The new shaker cups on the market today make it easier and more convenient than ever before to take your protein supplements on the go and they are available at a really affordable price online. So throw away your old plastic bottle and upgrade to a brand new Core 150 ™ triple compartment shaker bottle instead and be the talk of the gym for all the right reasons.
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Fitness equipment doesn’t come much simpler than the kettlebell over an above the standard protein shaker. It’s just a cast-iron ball with a handle, but it is one of the most versatile and effective pieces of kit you can use even if it did take several centuries in the west for people to realise its potential.
Strength trainers in Russia have been using kettlebells for over 300 years, but it has only been in the past few decades that kettlebells have found their way into western gyms. Now they are recognised as a great way to increase muscle mass, burn fat, improve muscle endurance and get an intensive cardio workout. What’s more, because of the unique in which you train with kettlebells, you will increase core strength and stability by using all muscles of your body to control the movement of the weight.
The simple weight and handle design of the kettlebell means you can use it in much the same way as a dumbbell to do rowing, pressing and curling exercises. However, it comes into its own when you begin to swing it. The swinging movement that is specific to kettlebells works a huge number of muscles, including your hamstrings, glutes, hip stabilisers, core muscles, back and shoulders. The basic swing can then be transformed into more complex movements such as cleans, snatches and presses to train more muscles.
Once you get the hang of it, you will be able to transfer seamlessly from one exercise to the next without breaking the rhythm of your swing. The continuous motion of the kettlebell workout means that your training sessions will be shorter and more intense than doing standard sets, and you will build muscle stamina as well as torching calories. Most gyms now have a dedicated kettlebell area within your gym which will also consist of a lunge track most commonly found around the abdominal and TRX area within your gym.
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It goes without saying that to get strong requires that you “Go long” when it comes to running. First, let’s acknowledge that a long run means different things to different people. Keep hydrated and ensure you have a water bottle or shaker cup by your side at all times. An hour’s long run for someone is another person’s every day run. The most important thing to remember is that regular long runs (at an appropriate individual level) build aerobic capacity, stamina, endurance and muscle strength.
Skip long runs and the first thing you’ll notice that goes in your training armoury is your strength. I know a lot of marathon runners who only seem to worry about their long run when they are in their key marathon training phase and seem to neglect it outside of this time. I’m a firm believer in keeping your long run going all year round (within reason) and to try and maintain a long run of 18 miles or over when not marathon training.
The body forgets very quickly how to “run long”. If you don’t maintain it, the task of knocking out an easy paced run forover two hours can become a real challenge. Outside of marathon training, if you do this you won’t feel the need to put those higher effort levels into the long run but if you keep it in your schedule at an easy pace it will complement your harder, shorter sessions as you know your base aerobic fitness and endurance will not let you down when you are working on improving your threshold and VO2 Max.
Here is a three step guide to great strength based long run sessions:
1 Acceleration run. Split the run into thirds and run the first third at a controlled, comfortable pace. Pick up the pace in the second to a controlled tempo (70 per cent); then finish the run off working hard.
2 Strength sandwich. This long run is in three parts. 1 Minutes at 70 per cent effort. Then 30 minutes total time of interval efforts (for example, 6x4mins) at faster than 70 per cent. Then finish with 20 minutes tempo effort. With a 10mins warm up, this 90-minutes long run is a true strength sandwich.
3 Long run surges. Two miles steady (60 per cent) – 1 Mile surge (70 per cent) – 2 miles steady – repeated for the duration of the long run. So there you have it a quick look at when it comes to strength based run sessions, you have to go long. For maximum recover after a run use electrolyte replenishment powder or amino and electrolyte combo supplements immediately after you finish a run of this nature. You can get your nutrition on demand via the new Core 150 protein shaker that is designed to hold 50 grams of powder in three separate internal compartments.
Use low carbohydrate supplements if you enjoy a protein shakes after a gruelling run.
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- NUMBER OF SERVINGS PER CONTAINER. Pay attention to this number because all is not as it seems. Some brands cut costs with cheap “filler” ingredients. So, while you may think you are getting 2.5, or 10lbs of something. You’re getting significantly fewer servings that you would with a more reputable product. Better yet, figure out how much TOTAL PROTEIN you’re getting by multiplying the grams of protein per serving by the number of servings per container. Doesnt sound like much to do to figure out if you are being ripped off or not now does it, but I bet you’ve never done it?. Let me give you a little example 24 grams of protein/serving x 80 servings/container = 1,920 grams of protein/container. Like the pure protein percentage equation, this formula works best for straight protein powders.
- AMOUNT OF PROTEIN PER SERVING. The number of grams of protein per serving is probably the most important aspect of protein powders. Seems obvious, but many people overlook and often ignore this step assuming that all proteins are the same or that the most expensive powders contain more protein. Don’t make this mistake. Check the Nutrition Facts panel to make sure you’re not paying over the odds for your protein powder. And don’t bus suckered by just fancy marketing either.
- ORDER OF INGREDIENTS . By law, ingredients in a food or supplement product should be listed from most to least abundant, or in technical speak descending order of predominance. The importance of this becomes clear once you start shopping around. If, for example, two products are similarly priced, but one contains a greater amount of a less expensive protein (you know this since the cheaper protein is listed in the ingredients) you also know the product is a lesser value. Also, don’t get fooled by hyped up objectives that some companies use to describe common ingredients (a law has been passed making this illegal) but I think it may be some time until we see it fully in force. They will use words like “sodium chloride” which is just salt, or my favourite proteinaceous avian nucieus extract which is in fact just “EGG YOLKS” All quality whey protein concnetrates are ultrafiltered and contain microfractions like apha lactalbumin, beta lacto-globulin, lactoferrin, and glycomacropeptides.
- MANFACTURED BY OR FOR BIG IMPORTANCE contrary to what so called brands would like you to think about them most companies in the protein industry do not develop, manufacture or even distribute any of their own products. I’ve worked in the industry and seen it first hand so I know. They either put their labels on common formulas created by an external factory. This typically adds considerable costs, which are ultimately passed along to you the consumer. Phrases like Manufactured for, distributed by, or packed for let you know that the so-called BIG PLAYER is not as big as you think and is riding on his/her marketing coat-tail of the disconcerting consumer. True manufacturers have made the investment in the processing required to consistently offer the best products. So choose “Manufactured by” products over “Manufactured for” wherever possible, because this way you know you are getting what you are paying for “QUALITY”.
Choose a quality shaker cup for protein shakes to deliver your sports supplements at all times such as the new Core 150 shaker cup. Complete with 3 x 50 gram compartments and one serving for inside your cup allowing for 200 grams of your nutrition, when you need it on demand.
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Its not just what you take its when you take it. Although the body processes protein every time you consume it, there are certain instances when your system is more receptive to protein intake. More specifically, there are times when you should consume different kinds of proteins. Don’t miss out these five important occasions.
SO WHEN SHOULD I TAKE MY PROTEIN SHAKES?
First thing in the morning: The period between when you go to bed and wake up in the morning is the longest that your body goes without food. “break the fast” with protein. In addition to providing much needed amino acids for muscle maintenance and re building, proteins provide more stable, sustained energy than that donut or bagel that you’re currently chowing on. Opt for a faster acting protein like whey first thing in the morning.
PRE-WORKOUT By drinking a protein shake about an hour before your workout, you’ll prime your body for growth with BCAAS and other essential amino acids. Whey and egg proteins are a very good choice, because they are easy to drink and quickly digested.
POST-WORKOUT The 30-60 minute time frame following exercise is the single most important time of the day to get your protein shake down you. Enzymes and hormones are actively repairing and rebuilding exercise induced damage as as replenishing glycogen stores, so your muscles are especially receptive to nutrients. By supplying a post workout recovery protein containing whey, casein, egg, and simple carbohydrates during the “window” of opportunity, you’ll help ensure that you’re recharged and ready for your next training session.
BETWEEN MEALS Consuming a protein shake in between meals not only helps keep muscle synthesis maximized, it also helps keep body fat and body weight in check. Proteins help stimulate the release of gut hormones that trigger a feeling of fullness or satiety. Dairy proteins (whey caseins, and milk) are considered to be better appetite blunters than other protein sources especially when combined with dietary fibre. So choose a product with one or more of these proteins if weight control is part of your goals.
BEFORE BED Prepare your body for the long fast ahead with a casein protein shake a half an hour before bed. Unlike Whey which is rapidly broken down in the gut, casein is digested at a much lower rate releasing its amino acid constituents over several hours throughout the night while you rest. For this reason, casein is commonly referred to as a time-released protein. Casein is also considered anti catabolic because its rich in glutamine and other amino acids that help protect against muscle breakdown.
Be smart and never miss a protein shake by acquiring yourself a Core 150 Shaker Cup