Posts Tagged ‘nutrition’

Grenade Carb Killa

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 | Reviews, Sport

According to the marketing people at Grenade, their Carb Killa bar is magic. They don’t say magic explicitly, but they’ve basically produced a chocolate biscuit that contains almost no carbs or sugar.

Each 60g bar of the “caramel chaos” comes with 23g of protein, 1.4 sugar and 1.4g of “impact” carbs. I’m not sure what impact carbs are, but the full nutritional information suggests it means sugar, while the entire thing contains 13.5g of carbs. There is also 7.9g of fat and 214 kcals.

Compare this to the Tribe 10 protein bars I currently use which have 10g of protein, 23g of carbs, 12g of fat and 245 kcals. Even my protein shakes only come with 20g of protein, although it’s more once you mix it with milk.

It tastes great. Indeed, it’s difficult to believe I’m not consuming something incredibly unhealthy. It tastes exactly like a chocolate biscuit. If anything, you may find yourself eating too many of them.

Cost wise, they’re okay. They cost £2.50 individually at Sainsbury’s. However, if you bulk buy them from Wiggle they come down to just over £1.50 each, which makes them comparable to the Tribe products.

Finland nutrition

Thursday, August 9th, 2018 | Food

While I was over in Finland, I raided their supermarkets for the sports products they had. Some of it was Finnish, some of it was American. Here is what I found.

Gatorade

I’ve never tried Gatorade before but it thumbs up. I like this stuff. It doesn’t feel as heavy as Lucozade.

Powerade

Another widely sold drink that I’ve never tried. It was good, but I prefer the flavours of Gatorade.

Maxim protein bar

This was very tasty. Almost as tasty as the Carb Killa bars.

Arla protein yoghurt

Chocolate and orange flavour. it definitely has a distinctive taste compared with other yoghurts, but in terms of mixing up my recovery food, I could see myself throwing in some of these.

Tupla protein bar

This not only looks like a Mars bar (but has no relation) but also tastes like a chewy version of a Mars bar. All of which is good.

Cricket protein bar

These are named Leader Zircca bars. Leader is the brand, and zircca is the Finnish word for cricket. Not the game, but the insect. It’s made of crickets: 15 of them go into each bar. They were okay and didn’t taste like you were eating insects, but I haven’t left craving more.

Introducing Lucozale

Saturday, June 30th, 2018 | Distractions

Lucozale is the world’s first isotonic pale ale. When you feel you need the bitter taste of a good ale to remind you why you’re here, and to numb the pain in your muscles, Lucozale is the sport drink to reach for.

Nutrition: Recovery

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018 | Sport

In my final blog post in my series on nutrition I’m writing about what I do after a race or training session. See the previous posts on hydration, gels and solid food for the rest of the story.

When I’m home

The first question is am I at home and do I have milk in the fridge? If so, recovery shake.

The Tribe recovery shakes contain about 20g of protein.

If I am in the mood for a change, I sometimes buy one of the ready-to-drink shakes from Tesco. These contain 22g of protein, but that is less than Tribe once you factor in that I mix the Tribe shake powder with milk, which has its own protein.

When I’m not home

If I am at a race or at the pool, I go for a protein bar instead. I use the Tribe 10 bars which are named so because they contain 10g of protein. I get them in four different flavours and rotate around them.

After a race

Post-race is one of the few times I allow myself to indulge in a bag of crisps. Delicious salty crisps.

Nutrition: Fuelling

Monday, June 4th, 2018 | Sport

In my previous posts on nutrition, I talked about hydration and energy gels. In part three of my series on race nutrition, I’m talking about what I use for energy before and during a race. In short: energy bars and solid food.

Breakfast

On race day, I try to put some carbs in my body. Typically toast, but maybe cereal, and avoiding high protein things like yoghurt and meat. Sometimes I’ll have an apple, too.

If I’m travelling to a race I will then have an energy bar when I get there.

On training days, I’m lazy and have something small or maybe even nothing at all.

During workouts

In races, I only use energy gels. See my previous post on those here.

In sportives and training sessions, I might have an energy bar half way around instead to break up the monotony.

Brands

I started off with Trek because that was what Sainsbury’s had in stock. Their cocoa chaos is reasonably tasty and the cranberry kick bites and okay, too.

Now I mostly use Tribe as they do a bunch of different flavours. The orange and cocoa bar is almost like eating cake. All of the Blaze bars are good and the caramel and sea salt Infiniti bar is edible.

I’ve recently been put onto the stuff Veloforte make. Their cocoa bar is also like eating cake and the classico is tasty, too. I was a bit worried because I’m not a big nut fan but it tasted great. The red berry one was a bit too moist to my taste. The downside: only three flavours and they’re very expensive compared to the competition.

Nutrition: Energy gels

Sunday, June 3rd, 2018 | Sport

In my previous blog post, I talked about my hydration strategy. In this post, the second in the series, I am going to talk about energy gels.

Strategy

I only use gels during a race or training session; I don’t use them pre or post race.

I use them for races that take longer than 90 minutes. So, for a 10km I take nothing. For a half marathon, I will take an energy gel an hour in. I haven’t used them so far for sprint triathlon but I think I will in future.

I use them a lot in sportives and standard distance triathlon. On the bike, I fuel by numbers so historically this has been every 30 minutes in training or every 10km in a race.

Brands

I use High5 plus caffeine gels. They do them in raspberry and orange flavour. They taste good. The downside to them is that they are very, very sticky. Your hands end up really sticky and it is annoying.

I have also tried SiS. They come in a lot more flavours but they are a lot bigger (for the same quantity of energy) and taste like Calpol. You can consume them without getting sticky, though.

Gel flasks

To avoid getting sticky, I use a gel flask. These are pouches that allow you to fill them with lots of gel and take as much as you need before resealing each time.

I use the Gu flask. It claims to hold five gels, but that is Gu branded ones, I find High5 is more like four gels. It works well and you can open it with your teeth, making it a one-handed operation.

I fill mine the day before a race and chill it in the fridge overnight.

Downsides to the Gu flask: it is hard to get the final bits out so you waste some gel. Also, it’s difficult to get the top off when you’re washing up. Both minor problems.

Over a standard distance triathlon, I find I use more than one flask, so I’m thinking of moving to a two flask system.

Nutrition: Hydration

Saturday, June 2nd, 2018 | Sport

In an upcoming set of blog posts, I am going to talk about my nutrition strategy during training and racing. Possibly because it will help others but mostly because you’ll be able to say “that’s a terrible way to do it, here is why” and I’ll learn something new.

I’m not going to cover the wider issue of diet and eating healthy. I love to cover that stuff on my blog, but this series is just looking at sport-specific stuff.

To start with, I’m going to talk about hydration.

Timing

One thing I picked up from the physiology textbooks is to drink as much as possible two hours before a race. That gives your body time to get all the liquid it needs and wee the rest out before the start of the race.

Water

Obviously, water is the main source of hydration. I don’t use anything special water because tap water is great.

Pre-race

I fill all of my bidons the night before and chill them in the fridge overnight. I then drop a couple of ice cubes into them in the morning, just before I set off.

During a race

I drink a lot of Lucozade Sport. When I first started, I used Lucozade Energy. However, it’s fizzy, which isn’t as easy on the stomach. It does have the advantage of caffeine, but I get this from my energy gels.

I fuel by numbers on the bike, so I’ll often drink every 5km to make sure I don’t forget. On the run, I am more laid back: drink when I feel like it, usually water.

I don’t have to worry about it in the swim because of the amount of pool/lake/river water I drink.

Post-race

On race day I like to have a bottle of full-fat Coke to hand to get some sugar in me.

After training, I will often have a recovery shake instead. These are great for giving you lots of protein. I use the Tribe shake mix, which I combine with milk though you can also use water. They’re a bit gritty even after a good shake but otherwise taste pretty good. Flavour preference, in order: raspberry, cocoa, vanilla.

Bottles

I use the clear Nike Big mouth bottles. They’re okay. I had some problem with leaking in my bag but I’ve since realised it was probably me not fully sealing the top and since then Ali haven’t had any problems. They are clear so you can see at a glance how much is left in them.

I take two bottles mounted on the inside of the triangle in my bike (the usual places). When I’m running, I don’t take any bottles with me.

Maximising your veg-based vitamins

Friday, July 22nd, 2016 | Food, Health & Wellbeing

tomatoes

Recently, I wrote about Freakonomics Radio and all the good stuff on there. One was a show entitled “Food + Science = Win” and contained some interesting information on maximising the amount of good stuff you get from vegetables.

Tinned tomatoes are the best tomatoes

Well, almost the best. Tomato paste is even better. But this seems the wrong way round. Usually, fresh is better. Asparagus, for example, should be eaten as close to harvesting as possible. Other vegetables are less time-sensitive. With the case of tomatoes, the process used to tin them is actually beneficial as it helps build up the lycopene. The Guardian go into detail on it.

Iceberg lettuce is bad lettuce

Especially in the US, where the podcast is based, iceberg lettuce has been bred for flavour rather than nutritional value. As a result, it has lost a lot of the latter. Comparing it to basically any other kind of lettuce, such as romaine, the other lettuce has much more nutritional content than the iceberg lettuce does.

Lightly cooking veg is good

So much for raw food being amazing. Raw food can be good of course, but typically lightly cooking vegetables makes them even better because it actually boosts their nutritional content. The best way to do this? A microwave! It may not do wonders for taste, but it is actually the best way to give vegetables the light steaming they need.

Let your garlic sit

Heating garlic can destroy a lot of the good stuff in it. However, there is some evidence that if you crush it, and then let it sit for ten minutes, more of the benefit will be retained. The jury is awaiting more evidence on this one, but there are some studies that indicate there is a benefit. The Huffington Post have summarised the case.

Cadbury and their nutritional information

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016 | Thoughts

wispa-bar

This is a Cadbury Wispa chocolate bar. I am annoyed by it. Here is why…

I buy chocolate bars in multipacks. It makes sense because it is cheaper than buying them individually and I have to go shopping less often. I have recently written about my diet, which involves tracking the amount of kcals I am eating.

They’re smaller

I took a look at how the multipacks were advertised on Sainsbury’s website. They’re not actually called “multipacks” but labelled “4×30.5g”. I suspect the reason behind this is because the term multipack could be seen as misleading: given you are not actually getting a multipack of normal Wispa bars. The ones you get in the multipack are smaller.

wispa-sizes

This is a side by side comparison of a regular bar and the one I got from my multipack.

They say multipack on

I have long found the habit of companies printing on things like “multipack bar – not for resale” annoying. The reason they do this is to try and stop stores from buying the multipacks, splitting them up and selling them on separately.

However, they can’t just ban it, because splitting a multipack and selling the individual items is perfectly legal. So they write these messages on instead.

In my opinion this is an unfair business practice. I often see multipack items for sale, but never in a big-business context. It is family-run corner shops, small sandwich merchants and refreshment stalls at community events. Such practices disproportionally affect small businesses.

No nutritional information

As if this tactic is not bad enough, Cadbury also remove all of the nutritional information and ingredients list from their multipack bars. You are legally required to list the ingredients on your products, and the food industry has agreed to provide nutritional information too, but Cadbury provide neither.

back-of-packs

The way Cadbury get round this is to insist that the ingredients and nutritional information is available on the outer wrapper of the multipack. However, this is completely at odds with the way most people use multipacks. When I buy one, I open the packet, tip the bars out into my bag of goodies, and throw the multipack wrapper away.

The alternative, is to keep a stash of multipack wrappers hanging around in case I want to check nutritional information. Perhaps you could argue that it is merely industry standard to do this and that everyone does it. But you would be wrong…

lilt-can

Here is a can of Lilt Zero, a product of The Coca-Cola Company. It is a multipack can as you can see from the back bar with white writing and the top. And yet somehow, Coke remembered to put all of their ingredients and nutritional information on the can.

Summary

I will not claim to know the mind of Cadbury. However, if I was to guess at their thinking, I would say that in my opinion they choose not to include ingredients or nutritional information on their bars in an attempt to prevent local shops exercising their legal right to break multipack products, even though this means impacting the consumer and not providing the vital information that should be there.

I see no reason why this information cannot be included on each individual bar.

Nor do I believe that enough is done to make it clear to consumers that the bars they sell in the multipacks are noticeably smaller than the bars you would typically buy individually.