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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Myprotein Review: Impact Whey Protein Powder & Ener:gel Product Review

Imagine you’re eating rhubarb and custard whipped pudding. Now imagine it without the guilty feelings. And the realisation that it’s actually doing you good.

Yep. AWESOME.

My thoughts exactly.

Myprotein had contacted me and asked if I wanted to try some of their products. I’m always happy to try new running-related things, but as usual I said I would only write what I actually thought. I’m not going to say something is nice if I don’t like a product. I’d asked for their guidance on what to try as I’m a bit of a novice on the nutrition side of running. They said they’d send some running related things and that was that!

A week later a SACK - yes I’m NOT exaggerating – arrived of the ‘Rhubarb & Custard’ flavoured Impact Whey Protein powder, 6 orange favoured ener:gels and a drinks shaker arrived at my door in a big box. I love parcels ... but parcels containing running products are the very BEST sort of parcels.



I decided to give the powder a go first. This was the 'Impact Whey Protein'.
The instructions told me to add 150-250ml of water or milk into the shaker (the less liquid the thicker the shake will be) add a scoop of powder, give it a good shake and it’s done! I used milk for my shake rather than the water alternative.

TASTE – FLAVOURSOME OR FOUL?
I wasn’t too sure about the thought of Rhubarb & Custard favoured milkshake ... but it was delicious! And even better, it tasted like a TREAT rather than a ‘to be endured’ recovery drink which was something I’d found with protein drinks previously. The rhubarb flavour gave it a zing which was great and it wasn’t overly sweet. It does have quite a sour ‘rhubarby’ aftertaste and I liked this but if you’re not overly keen on sweet and sour things, it might not be for you.

CONSISTENCY – SMOOTH AS SILK? OR LUMPY AS PEA SOUP?
There were no powdery lumps or thick bumps when it was mixed into a milkshake. The shaker helped and had a wire ball in the bottom that ensured an even mix but even when stirred in with a fork it wasn’t lumpy. This was important as I’d like to say that I’d take time to mix my milkshake with a whisk or the proper shaker every time ... but I really wouldn’t. I’m lazy. If I get in from a run and need to get some recovery food or drink then I will take the easy option.

BORED OF MILKSHAKES ... A SOLUTION?
One of my concerns was that I’d get bored of having milkshakes after every long run. I know that I need something for proper recovery after a hard run but I’d previously struggled to drink milkshakes afterwards. I find them quite rich and I wondered whether the novelty might wear off. My running coach at the time had recommended a particular brand (not Myprotein) so I had battled on with them but I hadn’t been too keen.

WHIPPY PUDDING!
I was chatting to a friend about this and she innocently led me onto the start of a new addiction... protein powder mixed with yoghurt. It is like the Angel Delight whipped puddings I’d LOVED as a child ... but without the guilt! After my long runs, I get pudding ... and it’s good for me. There’s no downside.

BEEFCAKE OR CUPCAKE?
However, even better things were on the horizon ... and when someone mentioned protein cakes, my ears pricked up. Cakes? However, protein in a cake didn’t sound like my idea of a taste sensation - it conjured up a vision of something bizarre like bacon cake. I’d heard of meatloaf and beefcake but wasn’t sure that these were what they had in mind!

I decided to experiment and used the protein powder as my secret ingredient!

Rhubarb & Custard Flavoured Cupcakes
  • 50g butter (room temperature)
  • 50g sugar
  • 50g self-raising gluten-free) flour
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • My not-so-secret ingredient: 1 scoop of rhubarb & custard protein powder.



These worked out really well and the rhubarb and custard flavour tasted amazing in the cupcakes. While I appreciate that this isn’t the best use of the protein powder, it was great to have a treat food that I could eat after workouts without feeling like I’d undone ALL of my hard work ...!

WHAT’S NEXT?
I’m thinking of adding it to porridge, pancakes and smoothies for a post-workout breakfast. I struggle with early morning exercise and knowing I’ve got a recovery food masquerading as a treat is going to cheer me up when I’m running through the rain of an English morning. I’m also thinking that the milkshake frozen into lollipops sounds like a perfect post-long run treat in the summer!

MY CONCLUSION
I was really impressed with the protein powder. To be honest, I wondered whether having a flavour like rhubarb & custard might be of limited use and whether I’d get bored of limitless milkshakes, but it’s been much more versatile than I’d expected and having it as a whippy pudding after a hard workout has become a treat. On the more serious side, it has been good knowing that I’m getting the proper nutrition for recovery after a run. I will be buying this in the future.


SCIENCEY BIT – WHY BOTHER WITH PROTEIN POST-WORKOUT?

There are several reasons to use protein after a workout:
  • It provides the amino acids that are necessary to rebuild muscle tissue damaged during exercise.
  • It can improve muscle hydration by increasing the absorption of water from the intestines.
  • The amino acids in protein can also fire up your immune system, which would mean you would be more resistant to colds and other infections.
Source


WHAT DO MYPROTEIN SAY?

Myprotein say that the powder is suitable for everyone from athletes to recreational gym goers and can be used for a variety of different goals from recovery and muscle gain to fat loss. They suggest you use it post-training or throughout the day whenever you need a protein boost.

Benefits given by Myprotein:
  • Our most popular protein
  • Over 80% protein per serving
  • Excellent amino acid profile
  • Highest Biological Value of any protein
  • Ideal for building and repairing tissue
  • Great tasting and easy to mix
  • 19 flavours including Cookies & Cream, Rhubarb & Custard, Banoffee, Chocolate Orange, Chocolate peanut Butter in addition to the more traditional Chocolate, Strawberry, Summer Fruits and Vanilla flavoured options.

Available to order here



GELS: ENER:GEL REVIEW




The gels were very similar in taste and texture to the citrus High5 gels I have used in long races. I trialled the Myprotein Ener:gels during the Yeovil Half Marathon in March to see how they held up against my usual choice of gels. Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures, I noticed no peaks or troughs in my performance and I had no stomach issues. They were tasty and easy to take and didn’t require water to wash them down. 

The packets were easy to open although appeared very slightly bulkier than my usual gels. The instructions were to take 2 – 3 sachets per hour during exercise which is pretty much what I did. I tend to take gels every 5km in a faster paced running race.

About mile 10 of Yeovil half marathon using Ener:gel

Myprotein describe ENER:GEL as a unique isotonic energy gel containing both Electrolytes and B Vitamins and containing over 21g of isotonic carbohydrates. They say the formula has been scientifically designed to help promote endurance levels during prolonged exercise through a combination of carbohydrates and electrolytes. The gels have been designed to be consumed either before or during endurance activities to help fuel exercise and improve overall performance.

The gels contain:
  • Carbohydrate blend for sustained energy
  • B Vitamins support energy production
  • Electrolytes to encourage hydration



WHO ARE MYPROTEIN?

This is how they describe themselves:

We're not one of those big, faceless sports supplements manufacturers trying to rip you off with over-hyped, over-priced rubbish.

As users/athletes ourselves we want products that work, which aren't full of rubbish and don't cost a fortune. Therefore we insist on using only 100% of the finest ingredients in all our bulk supplies and sports nutrition products, with independently conducted tests and verified Certificates of Analysis available for you to see on the majority of our products; we are totally committed to bringing you the very best supplements available from around the world today.

Want more information? The website is here.

As I’ve said at the start of the review, I haven’t accepted any money to try these products and this review is my unbiased opinion on the products sent to me.

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