Popular articles

  • Nutrition & Supplements: How to fit the pieces together

    Nutrition & Supplements: How to fit the pieces together

    Jake Campus, 26 May 2020

    A healthy, nutritious diet should be one that provides your body with the correct amount of protein, carbs, fats, calories, micro and macro nutrients along with vitamins and minerals for the purpose of optimal health and function.  To achieve this, the bulk of your nutritional needs should be met through a variety of whole foods, always choosing the least processed and most natural forms of food.  But what about supplements? How do these fit into the equation? Are they good or bad? Better or worse for me? The word 'supplement' is exactly that; to supplement your daily diet, which should be made of the above listed whole foods. Then, if some of your needs are met through supplementation, that’s a great way to “top up” your nutritional needs.  Needs for each individual will vary - the mum of 2 will not need as many raw materials (carbs, proteins, fats, calories) to recover from her 3 classes per week compared to the elite level athlete who will be expending and recovering at a much higher rate needing more raw materials to recover so make sure you understand your goals first or talk to someone who can help you understand this first.  A great initial supplement most people can benefit from is Protein Powder. Whether you’re a vegan and need a plant based protein, or can use regular whey protein concentrate or isolate protein powders, this supplement can make meeting your protein needs much easier, cheaper on your food bill and a sweet alternative to a mostly savoury macro. Protein powder can be used in many different ways: As part of a meal, such as adding a scoop with your morning oats or cereal To assist recovery by adding in after a training session. As a snack for a low carb replacement, a protein shake is great For a more balanced meal you could have with a piece of fruit that will assist getting in some vital vitamins and minerals. Proteins are the “building blocks” of all tissue and are needed to repair and recover muscle, skin, hair and nails. They also will keep you the fullest in terms of satiation of all the macros.  Another great addition is to use a Greens Powder if you're not getting in a lot of greens and fruit. Loaded with nutrients, these will assist in hitting all your vital nutrients and aid immunity - keeping your health on form.  Protein Bars are great for a sweet treat, to use as a snack or to replace a chocolate bar when cravings hit. A much better choice than energy dense and nutrient deficient chocolate bars, protein bars will hit the spot and assist your body with some vital protein and nutrients.  Lastly, if performance is your goal, supplements really can give you an edge. Recovering from a training session is the key to building muscle, and keeping performance high across the training week. Protein powder to maximise the amount of protein you're getting is number 1. To take it a step further I would also add in 1 serve of a BCAA EAA blend powder providing all the amino acids to stop muscle breakdown and increase muscle protein turn over (recovery). Taken during or right after a training session can lead to greater recovery and overall performance. If strength is your goal, give a micronised Creatine Monohydrate a go. This helps to increase stored creatine in the muscle, allowing for more available cell energy (ATP) leading to more strength, more volume of work to be performed and better recovery. It is also one of the most studied supplements that has great results and safety around the product.  Always ensure you get the majority of your nutrition from good whole foods, eat a balanced diet and plug in these key supplements as needed based on your goals and budget.  Jake Campus is the Director at Jake Campus Nutrition, a nutritionist and professional athlete. With over 10 years experience in the industry, he manages a team of qualified nutritionists to help people all over the world get results and maintain them.

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  • Boosting your daily hydration

    Boosting your daily hydration

    Isaac Kerr, 27 April 2020

    Staying hydrated is one of the key aspects to living a healthy lifestyle. Use these tips and tricks to amplify the way to consume liquids and feel great!

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  • Quick Guide: What Are Fat Burners?

    Quick Guide: What Are Fat Burners?

    Sportsfuel, 7 February 2015

    Fat burners are dietary supplements that consist of combinations of ingredients. Some of the active ingredients commonly found in fat burners include caffeine, green tea extract, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and carnitine. Products may also contain herbal active ingredients, such as green tea or green coffee extract. How Do Fat Burners Work? The metabolism is the internal mechanism of the body responsible for burning fat. In order for fat burning to occur, an individual must burn more calories than they consume. Fat burner supplements are formulated to enervate and activate the metabolism, so that fat burning can occur at optimal rates whenever there is a calorie deficit. What Are the Benefits of Fat Burners? Fat burners help to support fat loss during exercise and while dieting. These supplements promote the burning of fat rather than muscle mass in order to support weight loss with less risk for loss of strength. Because fat burners stimulate the metabolism, they can also help to fight fatigue during exercise and daily activities and may improve mental clarity. In addition, fat burners can assist with appetite control and discourage snacking. Who Can Benefit from Fat Burners? If you are working out in order to lose fat and gain muscle in its place, fat burners could help you to achieve your health and fitness goals. Fat burners are often used by individuals who are struggling to lose weight with a healthy diet and exercise alone or who are experiencing a loss of muscle mass as a result of weight loss efforts.

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  • The Ultimate Guide To Protein

    The Ultimate Guide To Protein

    Rebecca Willet, 12 May 2021

    Protein. It’s been a buzzword in the fitness industry for a long time. Speak to any gym junkie about what supplements they take, and you’re almost guaranteed to hear protein powder at the top of the list. But, there’s so much conflicting information about health and fitness supplements. Why do we need protein and when should we take it? Why are there so many types of protein powders and what are they for? It’s overwhelming - and trust us, we get it. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate guide to protein. If you’re starting a fitness journey or if you’re keen to learn more about what protein can do for your progress in the gym - keep reading, ‘cause we’ve got you covered. What is protein? Okay, let’s get down to the basics. Protein is a macronutrient, just like fats and carbohydrates. This means the body needs to consume large quantities of protein throughout the day, in order to function effectively and efficiently. Proteins are commonly described as the ‘building blocks of the body because they’re a part of everything. From our hair, skin and nails, to our muscles, bones and cartilage - we’d be a big blob of goo without them! Our bodies have trillions of cells, and each cell has thousands of proteins inside it, telling the cell what to do and making sure it does a good job of it, too. Did you know? Proteins aren’t just inside human beings. They’re in all living things, from viruses and bacteria to insects and plants - we’re all made of proteins. What is a protein made of? Now, you might be wondering, if we’re all made of proteins - what are proteins made of? - (We hope you’re comfy, ‘cause this is where we start getting into the real science stuff). Proteins are made up of amino acids. There are 20 amino acids in total and these little guys are made of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen or sulphur. Amino acids can be split up into 9 essential amino acids (amino that can’t be produced naturally and must be absorbed from food) and 11 non-essential amino acids (amino that is made by the body naturally). Amino acids are powerful, organic compounds that work together to keep you fit, healthy and strong. They’re involved in regulating all sorts of biological functions and processes, like your mood, sleep, energy, muscle repair, muscle growth and immunity. We’ve put together a little breakdown of all the amino acids in the human body and their specific functions. Essential amino acids Histidine - immunity, digestion, sexual function and sleep cycles Isoleucine - metabolism, immunity and energy Leucine - muscle repair, muscle growth, wound-healing and blood sugar levels Valine - muscle growth and energy Lysine - hormone regulation, immunity, energy and elasticity of the skin Methionine - metabolism and detoxification Phenylalanine - involved in the production of dopamine and other amino acids Threonine - metabolism, immunity and elasticity of the skin Tryptophan - involved in the production of serotonin which regulates, appetite, mood and sleep. Non-essential amino acids Alanine - immunity and energy Arginine - blood flow and circulation Asparagine - used in protein synthesis Aspartic Acidhormone regulation, muscle growth and energy Cysteine - immunity, energy and detoxification Glutamic Acid - learning and memory Glutamine - intestinal health and tissue repair Glycine - muscle growth and hormone regulation Proline - wound-healing, immunity and detoxification Serine - involved in the production of other amino acids Tyrosine - attention, energy, focus and mood. How much protein should you consume daily? Our macronutrient requirements differ from person to person depending on all sorts of factors, such as our height, age, gender, general health, and how active we are throughout the day. However, the average recommended daily intake of protein for women in New Zealand is 46g and about 64g for men. Alternatively, it can be calculated by body weight - anywhere between 0.5 and 1g of protein per kilogram of body weight, will do the trick. But, there are exceptions to the rule. Protein requirements are usually higher for professional athletes, pregnant women, growing teenagers and people recovering from injury and illness such as cancer, as the body is working a lot harder to repair and grow. What are the benefits of protein? We simply can’t stress enough how important it is to get plenty of protein in your diet, to feel, look and perform to the best of your ability, day-in and day-out. And if you’re physically active, trying to lose fat or build muscle, it’s even more important that you get plenty of protein in your diet - but, we’ll get into that later. Just in case you’re still not convinced, we’ve put together a few reasons why protein is incredibly beneficial to the body - let’s take a look! Increased muscle mass and strength Do you know that feeling the day after an intense workout when your muscles seem to scream in pain with every movement? Yeah, those nasty aches are a sign of muscle protein synthesis. During training, your muscle fibres break down and become temporarily damaged from the physical stress your body is put through, whilst exercising and weight-training - this is called catabolism. Now, that might sound scary, but in fact, it’s completely necessary for your muscles to get any bigger than they were before. So, fuelling your body with protein after a workout, helps your body to replenish its protein levels, back to where they should be. When this happens, your muscles use the protein to repair and regenerate, resulting in muscle gain and this is called anabolism. Makes sense, right? Research shows that as long as you consume a protein-rich meal immediately after a workout, your muscles will grow in strength and size a little bit more, every time you workout. On the flip side, if you don’t consume enough protein in the following 24 hours after a workout, your muscles will struggle to heal and repair and they may begin to deteriorate. This means a slower time to recover, risk of losing muscle and potentially suffering from an injury - yikes. Reduced appetite, hunger and cravings Protein keeps you satiated. That means it’ll keep you satisfied after a big meal and feeling fuller for longer, compared to most other food sources. According to research, increasing your intake of protein to 25% of your daily calorie intake can reduce cravings by a whopping 60%. This is great for anyone who struggles with late-night snacking or sugar cravings throughout the day - try replacing some of the carbs and fats on your plate with extra protein, and feel the difference. Improved muscle retention If you’re trying to lose weight and in a calorie deficit (consuming fewer calories than you’re expending as energy) or involved in a lot of cardio training, believe it or not, you’re at risk of losing muscle, too. However, studies have found that consuming enough protein each day will ensure your muscles stay preserved, whilst you work hard to shed those few extra kilos - woo-hoo! Boosted metabolism and fat-loss High-protein foods are known for having thermogenic properties. Food is considered thermogenic, when the body burns more calories digesting it, than the number of calories within the food itself. You know how people say that eating a stick of celery burns off more calories than what’s in it? Well, it’s true. Thermogenic foods have negative calories because they generate heat during digestion and help to burn off fatty cells in the body - crazy right!? Research shows that eating more protein may encourage fat loss by boosting your metabolism and helping your body become more efficient at using food for fuel, in the long term. Speedier recovery after injury Like we keep reminding you, the primary role of protein in the body is to rebuild and repair muscle, bone and organ tissue. So, it makes sense that research tells us to up our protein intake after an injury, whilst we’re in rest mode. Plus, protein also helps to strengthen the immune system, so no matter what’s holding you back - protein will give you the helping hand you need to step-up your game. Good for your bones Studies have shown that as people age, our bones become fragile, thin, and prone to breaking. Protein works to strengthen the bones and improve overall bone density, which may reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Low blood pressure Research also proves that protein works to reduce insulin levels in the body, and over time, can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. That means protein consumption may reduce your risk of heart attacks, diabetes, stroke and kidney disease, pretty impressive, huh? What foods are high in protein? No matter what your dietary requirements are - if you’re vegan, a flexitarian, on a ketogenic diet, or if you enjoy intermittent fasting, protein is needed by everyone. But, you’re probably thinking - if it’s so important to eat protein, then what foods should I be including in my diet? Well, don’t worry, there are heaps of protein-packed foods that’ll help you bump-up your protein intake throughout the day - just keep reading. What animal-based foods are high in protein? Animal products are particularlyhigh in protein. This makes them more appealing to athletes, as you can consume less of them, to get the same nutritional value as plant-based foods. However, if you’re vegan or vegetarian, this isn’t an option for you - so, feel free to skip this part and head to the plant-based section, instead. We recommend opting for organic, grass-fed and pasteurised meat and dairy products, to avoid any of the nasties that can be found in animal products. Processed meats such as deli meats (ham, salami and pepperoni), beef jerky, bacon and sausages can be high in protein, but research has proven they’re also full of trans fats, additives, artificial flavours, growth hormones and harsh chemicals - and we don’t want that. White meats / 24g of protein per serving such as chicken and turkey breast, however, avoid the dark cuts of meat like wings, drumsticks and skin as they’re high in fat Fish / 23g of protein per serving such as salmon and tuna are also high in healthy fats like omega-3 for improved heart health Shrimp and prawns / 25g of protein per serving are low in fat, we recommend buying frozen for better value Lean beef / 22 g of protein per serving -  also high in b-vitamins and zinc Lean pork / 21g of protein per serving remember to trim off any fat before cooking and grill or broil to reduce your calorie intake Egg whites / 26g of protein per cup are a low-calorie alternative to using whole eggs in cooking and baking, plus you can buy chilled egg whites from the supermarket to save on waste Low-fat cottage cheese / 14g of protein per serving also a great low-calorie snack, filled with probiotics Low-fat Greek yoghurt / 23g of protein per serving is much higher in protein compared to regular yoghurt Low-fat milk / 8g of protein per cup - also high in protein. What plant-based foods are high in protein? There's a common myth that plant-based diets are low in protein. This was especially thought of in the fitness industry - for many years, animal products were deemed the best and only source of protein. But, this simply, isn’t true. When eliminating an entire food group from your diet, there’s no doubt about it, your body will have limited access to the nutrients it needs. However, research has proven that plant-based diets are just as effective at providing athletes with the nutritional support needed to repair, build and strengthen their muscles when undergoing rigorous training, so long as you’re consuming enough high-protein, plant-based foods, of course. Take a look at some of our favourite plant-based, high-protein foods: Tofu and edamame beans / 12g of protein per serving are sourced from soya beans and are popular substitutes for meat products - they’re also high in calcium and iron Peanuts / 26g of protein per serving - also high in healthy fats for improved heart health Almonds / 6g of protein per serving - also high in vitamin E for protection from free radicals Spirulina/ 8g of protein per tablespoon is made from algae and is also rich in vitamins and minerals - usually comes in a powdered form and can be added to smoothies or sprinkled over food Quinoa / 8g of protein per cup - also filled with iron and fibre Hummus/ 12g of protein per cup - also a great source of fibre to support regular bowel movements Hempseed / 6g of protein per serving comes from the cannabis plant and is also full of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and minerals such as magnesium, calcium and iron - best sprinkled on smoothies, muesli and salads Oats / 6g of protein per cup are perfect for breakfast or can be added into baking for an extra boost of protein Nutritional yeast / 9g of protein per serving has a cheesy, nutty flavour and can be sprinkled on top of mashed potatoes, pasta or popcorn - also super-high in b vitamins Most green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, asparagus, peas and kale also contain protein. What’s the difference between animal-based protein and plant-based protein? Now, remember when we told you that protein is made of amino acids and amino acids are in charge of all sorts of important functions in the body? Well, we’re going to dive a little bit deeper, so that you can understand the real difference between animal and plant proteins. Like we mentioned earlier, animal products have a much higher protein content compared to plant products, but not only that, they also have what’s called, a complete profile of amino acids. Studies show that animal products contain all 9 of the essential amino acids your body needs to extract from food - remember, the ones the body can’t produce naturally. Plant products, on the other hand, contain different variations of amino acids, however, they usually lack one or two essential amino acids and therefore - plant protein is considered incomplete. According to research, this doesn’t mean plant protein isn’t effective, you just need to eat a variety of plant foods to get the right nutrients you need. There are loads of supplementary proteins (plant proteins which, when eaten together, create a complete amino acid profile) such as rice and black beans, hummus and pita bread or whole-wheat bread and peanut butter. So, as long as you’re pairing up the right plant-based foods, you’ll be able to achieve the same results as somebody with a diet consisting of meat and dairy products. And, the same principle is applied when making plant-based protein supplements. Manufacturers combine protein from different plant-based sources to provide you with a perfect blend of all 9 essential amino acids - but, hold that thought. We’re about to get into the nitty-gritty of protein supplements - so, make sure you stick around. What are protein supplements? Protein shakes are fast, easy and super-tasty plus, they can be pretty affordable, too. Protein supplements usually contain about 20-25 grams of protein per serving and they’re a great way to hit your macronutrient requirements, without having to consume large amounts of food throughout the day. Protein supplements usually come in a powdered form and can be added to smoothies or made into a shake by simply adding water or milk. Perfect for anybody on a weight-loss journey - you can have a protein shake as a complete meal replacement with added ingredients such as spinach, fruit, chia seeds and honey. Protein shakes are also ideal for athletes who are trying to bulk up and want to add in extra sources of protein throughout the day. Throw in some healthy, calorie-dense ingredients like nut butter, avocado, low-fat greek yoghurt, oats and flax-seed oil for added mass gain. You can also add protein powder into homemade bliss balls, sprinkle it on baked fruit, or into pancakes and cake mixture, for a delicious and creative way to get your protein intake up. Protein powders come in typical ‘milkshake’ flavours such as chocolate, vanilla and strawberry but most brands these days, come out with all sorts of unique-tasting flavours like cake batter, cereal milk, s’mores, mocha and cookies ‘n cream - um, yum!? You can also get protein bars, which are super-convenient for throwing in your gym bag, car or office desk for a protein-hit on-the-go. Protein bars come in all sorts of mouth-watering flavours, that are guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth. Who should take protein supplements? Protein supplements are ideal for all active individuals - no matter what exercise you’re involved in, whether it be weight-lifting or endurance activities such as sprinting, cycling, swimming and circuit training. Sports scientists have found that people who exercise for at least 30 minutes four times per week, may need to eat up to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight - that’s double the average NZ recommended daily intake. If you’re looking for more ways to get protein into your diet, we highly recommend that you check out incorporating a protein supplement into your diet. When should I take protein supplements? According to research, there are different reasons for taking protein supplements at different times of the day. As mentioned earlier, protein is needed immediately after exercising to help with recovery. So, it’s usually best to have a shake within 30 minutes of a workout - this is called the anabolic window. It’s also super-important that you consume protein when you first wake up in the morning, as the speed of muscle protein breakdown increases overnight. So, to reduce the risk of losing muscle, you need to have a decent serving of protein with breakfast. And, you can also consume protein shakes anytime throughout the day as a high-protein, nutritious snack. We recommend spreading your protein consumption throughout the day and having a serving of protein with each meal, or every three hours. Why might you ask? Well, if the body gets too much of anything, it’ll start to process the unwanted nutrients as waste. So, if you’re consuming too much protein in one sitting, the body will simply pass those extra amino acids through your urine, clever, huh? On the other hand, studies have also found that the body may choose to store excess protein as fat, which isn’t helpful at all, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. In a nutshell, it’s best to stick to your recommended daily intake of protein - it isn’t necessary to consume massive amounts of protein, because your body will only use what it needs, anyway. What protein powder is right for me? Most protein powders on the market are made from milk - as a by-product of the cheese-making process, it’s relatively cheap and easy to make. The protein content in milk is approximately made up of 20% whey protein and 80% casein protein. Whilst the milk is heated, enzymes are added to the milk, causing the casein to thicken and separate from the whey. Both are then dried up, turned into powder and sold to supplement companies to turn into marketable products. Pretty simple, huh? Now, if you’re an expert, you’re likely to know the differences and benefits of whey protein and casein protein. But, for anyone feeling a little bit confused, keep reading - ‘cause we’re about to break them down, just for you. Whey protein You know that watery layer that sometimes sits on top of yoghurt if it’s been left a while? Yeah, that stuff is called whey. There are so many benefits to whey, which is why it’s a global best-seller in the supplement industry. But, what we like the most, is that whey protein has high bioavailability, compared to most protein powders. That means it's easily and quickly absorbed by the intestines - making it the perfect pairing for post-workout consumption to enable recovery. Whey protein comes in three forms: Whey protein concentrate usually contains about 80% protein, it also contains lactose and fat, which makes it the best-tasting form of whey protein Whey protein isolate has a much higher concentration of protein (around 90%), however, be mindful, as it can be pricey Whey protein hydrolysateis a pre-digested protein, which makes it ideal for people with sensitive stomachs or conditions such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Casein protein Casein is the primary form of protein found in milk. However, it’s much slower to digest, compared to whey (it can sometimes take up to 6 hours to fully digest in the body!) - this is known as a time-release protein. Casein’s also much higher in calcium. We recommend having casein protein right before bed, as the amino acids are released slowly whilst you sleep. It’ll also help to fuel your body as you go without food for so long overnight - bonus! Plant-based protein Plant-Based Protein Powders such as pea protein, soy protein and rice protein are an excellent option for vegans, vegetarians or anyone with an allergy to dairy products. The only downside to plant-based protein powders is that they’re renowned for having a slightly grittier texture, compared to milk-based proteins. We’re not sure why this is, but we can only assume it’s because they’re made from plants. And, plants aren’t exactly known for being smooth and creamy, are they? However, sports supplement brands are working constantly to come up with new-and-improved formulas - and trust us, plant-based protein has come a long way from what it used to be, that’s for sure. We’re finding that more and more people are opting for plant-based protein to help fuel their workouts and recovery - and we think that’s great! As we all know, the dairy industry can be pretty destructive to the environment, and making a conscious effort to reduce your intake of dairy products is a big help to save our planet. Egg white protein Egg white protein is a great alternative to dairy-based protein powder, plus, it’s also super high in protein. Egg whites are naturally low in calories and are perfect for vegetarians, anyone with lactose intolerance or on a paleo diet. Conclusion So, we hope this article has helped you learn a thing or two about protein. We’re not saying load-up on a ridiculous amount of protein so that you’re only eating chicken breasts and egg whites for breakfast, lunch and dinner - but making sure you’re getting a serving of protein with each meal, will go a long way in helping you recover properly and bounce-back after a tough workout. It’s pretty easy to slack off with nutrition, but that’s our job - to remind you how important it is to take care of yourself, from the inside out, to see effective results in the gym. We recommend trialling different protein powders to figure out which one is best for you and your specific health and fitness goals, or simply contact us - we’d be more than happy to give you some advice. Key takeaways Protein is a macronutrient, which means we need to consume lots of it to survive Proteins are the ‘building blocks of muscle, bone, cartilage, hair, skin and nails They’re made of amino acids, which are responsible for many critical functions in the body such as immunity, muscle repair, energy and metabolism Men have higher protein requirements than women Protein consumption has many benefits, such as increased muscle mass, strength, muscle retention, reduced appetite and cravings, boosted metabolism, fat loss, speedier recovery after injury, reduced risk of osteoporosis and low blood pressure It’s best to stick to eating organic, grass-fed, pasteurised animal products as a source of protein (to avoid the added nasty stuff!) Plant proteins aren’t complete - which means, if you’re vegan or vegetarian, you need to consume the right foods to get the same results as somebody on a meat-eating diet Protein supplements are a convenient, low-cost and tasty way to up your intake. We’d love to hear from you. What are your favourite high-protein meals and recipes? Share them below, so that we can give them a go!

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  • Nutrition & Supplements: How to fit the pieces together

    Nutrition & Supplements: How to fit the pieces together

    Jake Campus, 26 May 2020

    A healthy, nutritious diet should be one that provides your body with the correct amount of protein, carbs, fats, calories, micro and macro nutrients along with vitamins and minerals for the purpose of optimal health and function.  To achieve this, the bulk of your nutritional needs should be met through a variety of whole foods, always choosing the least processed and most natural forms of food.  But what about supplements? How do these fit into the equation? Are they good or bad? Better or worse for me? The word 'supplement' is exactly that; to supplement your daily diet, which should be made of the above listed whole foods. Then, if some of your needs are met through supplementation, that’s a great way to “top up” your nutritional needs.  Needs for each individual will vary - the mum of 2 will not need as many raw materials (carbs, proteins, fats, calories) to recover from her 3 classes per week compared to the elite level athlete who will be expending and recovering at a much higher rate needing more raw materials to recover so make sure you understand your goals first or talk to someone who can help you understand this first.  A great initial supplement most people can benefit from is Protein Powder. Whether you’re a vegan and need a plant based protein, or can use regular whey protein concentrate or isolate protein powders, this supplement can make meeting your protein needs much easier, cheaper on your food bill and a sweet alternative to a mostly savoury macro. Protein powder can be used in many different ways: As part of a meal, such as adding a scoop with your morning oats or cereal To assist recovery by adding in after a training session. As a snack for a low carb replacement, a protein shake is great For a more balanced meal you could have with a piece of fruit that will assist getting in some vital vitamins and minerals. Proteins are the “building blocks” of all tissue and are needed to repair and recover muscle, skin, hair and nails. They also will keep you the fullest in terms of satiation of all the macros.  Another great addition is to use a Greens Powder if you're not getting in a lot of greens and fruit. Loaded with nutrients, these will assist in hitting all your vital nutrients and aid immunity - keeping your health on form.  Protein Bars are great for a sweet treat, to use as a snack or to replace a chocolate bar when cravings hit. A much better choice than energy dense and nutrient deficient chocolate bars, protein bars will hit the spot and assist your body with some vital protein and nutrients.  Lastly, if performance is your goal, supplements really can give you an edge. Recovering from a training session is the key to building muscle, and keeping performance high across the training week. Protein powder to maximise the amount of protein you're getting is number 1. To take it a step further I would also add in 1 serve of a BCAA EAA blend powder providing all the amino acids to stop muscle breakdown and increase muscle protein turn over (recovery). Taken during or right after a training session can lead to greater recovery and overall performance. If strength is your goal, give a micronised Creatine Monohydrate a go. This helps to increase stored creatine in the muscle, allowing for more available cell energy (ATP) leading to more strength, more volume of work to be performed and better recovery. It is also one of the most studied supplements that has great results and safety around the product.  Always ensure you get the majority of your nutrition from good whole foods, eat a balanced diet and plug in these key supplements as needed based on your goals and budget.  Jake Campus is the Director at Jake Campus Nutrition, a nutritionist and professional athlete. With over 10 years experience in the industry, he manages a team of qualified nutritionists to help people all over the world get results and maintain them.

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  • Five Ways You Could Be Sabotaging Your Weight Loss

    Five Ways You Could Be Sabotaging Your Weight Loss

    Sportsfuel, 15 December 2012

    Scientists and nutritionists agree that weight loss is a simple equation of calorie input < calorie output. What they don’t often talk about is the challenge of knowing how many calories you should be consuming, and how difficult it can be to change your diet.Contrary to popular belief, a diet doesn’t have to involve skipping meals or drastically reducing portion sizes. In fact, it’s recommended that you continue to eat three balanced meals with snacks in between – but just make healthier choices.If you’ve been on a diet for a week or two now and you’re not seeing any results, there may be hidden factors sabotaging your weight loss. Let’s take a look at just a few of the reasons you’re not losing weight. You forgot to read the label Nuts, seeds, dried fruit, muesli bars and yoghurt are all healthy, right? They are – but they’re also very high in fat and sugar content. There are a number of products on the market claiming to be ‘health’ foods – but while they may be full of healthy nutrients they won’t do any favours for your waistline. Remember to always read the label before you consume a product, assuming it’s a low-calorie snack. You could also swap your handful of dried fruit for a whole piece of fresh fruit, change your muesli bar to rolled oats, and choose low-fat yoghurt. You’ll still receive the nutritional benefits, without the calories. You’re drinking alcohol Do you have a glass or two of wine with your meal? That would mean you’re consuming between 90-180 extra calories – potentially more if you’re generous with what constitutes a glass (much less than you think!).What if you swap your glass of wine for vodka and soda? Most people assume that sugar-free cocktails or soda mixers are lower in calories – but they forget that the calories that are found in the alcohol itself. A shot of vodka contains 55 calories - add flavoured syrup, juice or soft drink and you could be consuming between 100-200 calories per drink. Your portion sizes are too large Going back for seconds on that salad, or serving of veggies? Even healthy food has calories – so if you’re failing to lose weight even though you’re eating the right foods, take a look at your portion sizes – they’re probably supposed to be much smaller than you think. For example, Protein: Hold out your hand with your palm out and fingers outstretched. The size of your palm – not including your fingers – is the correct size for one serving of protein such as fish, chicken or steak. Fats: Stick out your thumb. From tip to base is the correct size for one serving of cheese. Look at the part of your thumb from the tip to the first knuckle - that's about one serving of peanut butter. Now cup your hand with the tip of your thumb pressed to the middle joint of your index finger – this hollow holds one portion of nuts. Carbohydrates: The right portion of cooked pasta, rice, cereal, sliced fruit or vegetables is about the size of your fist.

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