Time’s a-ticking and we’re only 4 weeks away from the big day. Eek! I promise, no cold feet here, although I’m nervous yet excited at the same time. I want things to go well and for everyone to have a memorable day. Time really flies when you’re having fun, but I’m glad all the efforts and planning spent over the last 2.5 years will finally come together. I’ve been supported by my instructors to get stronger and fitter through Pump and Combat.
In that quest for a healthier and fitter self, I’ve been given a supply of Predator Nutrition products to help achieve those fitness goals.
I was asked what I’m looking to achieve through my routine and what my end goals in fitness were. I explained that I was looking for products that would help repair usual wear and tear on muscles after workout and to aid a speedy recovery, but also to try and build up strength to becoming fitter. Predator Nutrition kindly sent me a supply of Quest Bars (snack protein bars) and Pre-Workout supplements to try.
I was surprised at the choice of flavours available for the Quest Bars (I was given 11 different flavours) and the Pre-Workout supplement comes in 3 (Fruit Punch and Watermelon in the sachets, but you can also choose Green Apple with the tubs).
Apart from making myself a protein shake after class, I’ve never taken any other protein product or supplement so was keen to give it a try to see how it impacted on my workouts.
Optimum Nutrition is already well known for their protein powder products so they decided to boost athlete’s workouts by producing a pre-workout product. The supplement contains ingredients such as Carnosyn Beta-Alanine, Creatine Monohydrate, L-Citruline Malate and Caffeine to give a rapid boost in energy, mental alertness and sharp focus. The Gold Standard Pre-Workout is the product that will take you to a new level and will allow you to train harder and longer.
Each sachet gives you two servings, so I mixed half the pouch with water and gave it a mighty good shake. It’s recommended to take this about 30 minutes before your workout so I took it just before I left home. I wasn’t too sure about the strange medicinal after-taste, but when I mixed more water it wasn’t as noticeable anymore. While we were waiting for the previous class to finish, I could feel myself getting quite awake and raring to go. I think that’s more to do with the caffeine content than anything else.
Whether it’s to do with the warmer temperature in the studio where the classes are held or my own physical endurance, I have been feeling like I’ve not been performing as well as I did before. After taking the supplement, I did feel like I was more determined to work harder and build up muscular endurance. Maybe because weights are harder to adjust to with smaller muscle groups, but I don’t feel as if the changes are that apparent in Pump. Although I do admit, it seems to help with the third hour when I came to doing Combat – although my muscles were fatiguing, I was still ready to go and work harder!
Although I’m not a big fan of the effects of the caffeine content, I think it’s also because I haven’t had anything with high levels of caffeine (like Red Bull) in years, so it will take some getting used to. I’ll definitely keep monitoring my progress though to see if it has any positive effect on Pump. For certain, it’s helped with my muscle fatigue by the time I get to Combat!
I wasn’t sure what to expect with a protein bar. Usually when you buy a ‘healthy snack’ that purportedly tastes like ‘strawberry cheesecake’, it tastes nothing like it. The Quest Nutrition team however have come up with the solution to devise a better protein bar than what is currently available on the sports and fitness nutrition market, by using ingredients that athletes would use optionally and cutting out filler ingredients. Each bar contains 20g of protein and is only 170 calories.
I decided to try the Cookies & Cream Quest Bar first.
When I opened the packaging, the bar was sticking to the foil and it reminded me of a moist muesli bar. I could see bits of cookie and cream though so that was a promising sign. The bar itself is quite chewy and while the size might seem dismal (like a granola bar), don’t let appearances deceive you – it took me 3 sittings with short breaks in between to finish the bar! It’s softer than a granola bar (ie less crunchy and more like a soft cookie in texture), but the promise of the flavour actually does come through. Where the packaging grabs your attention with images of Oreo-like cookies, you actually get the cookie bits in the bar with the protein packed goodie with hints of the cream filling too. That’s a plus for the Quest Bar in my eyes!
Overall, I’m pleased with the products and will continue to use them. I’ve noticed that too much protein doesn’t seem to sit well with me, but so far I’ve had 2 of them and have had no effects from eating the Quest Bar.