A short TV documentary has recently been produced showing how fitness is becoming a growth trend for the over fifties.
In this documentary, my fitness activities are shown alongside others of the well-over 50 age group, showing how the trend for fat-down and fit-up – and keeping supple and stretchy – is growing in this age group. Over 50% of UK adults are over 50, and its excellent that this group is both taking its own fitness more seriously, and being addressed by fitness suppliers with dedicated products too. Something I’ve been promoting for years of course.
This made-for-TV documentary was filmed and broadcast earlier this year, and many thanks to director Alex Blakemore for permission to show on YouTube.
The ones I have are the Dark Chocolate flavour, they are also available as Chocolate Orange or Chocolate Mint – I prefer the 100% chocolate flavour hit of the Dark Chocolate ones. Whichever flavour you choose, the nutrition information is the same – so flavour choice is purely down to taste preference. The bars are supplied individually as a 60g bar or in a box of 12.
Let’s look at the nutrition first. Each bar provides 206 calories of energy. The macronutrient breakdown is that these calories are sourced 44% from protein, 36% from carbs and 20% from fat. For me, that is pretty close to ideal as I like to have a 40:40:20 ratio. Of course, that is a target ratio for me across the whole of day, not per individual food item, but it’s excellent that this one item already hits the ratios pretty much on the nail.
The 23g of protein is a combination of whey protein concentrate and milk protein isolate (MPI). Whey protein concentrate is in fact the largest single ingredient of the bar – representing 17% of the weight of the bar – and is a variant of whey from which not all fat is removed. It’s a dairy product of course, as is the less commonly seen MPI, which forms the second largest ingredient. MPI is the dried substance once lactose and minerals are removed from skimmed (de-fatted) milk. I’m not a big fan of milk in its natural state, but I don’t have a problem with MPI. That 23g is a good chunk of the daily protein amount I’ve selected to help in my muscle-build and muscle-maintenance goals.
The 18.8g of carbs represent 36% of the calories, and a surprisingly large amount of that is sugar – 10.9g which provide 21% of the total calories. The sugars come from a few sources – including actual dark chocolate, which represents 14% of the 60g bar weight. It’s interesting to see real chocolate included, as many bars have synthetic choc-like substances as their coating and flavour. That’s not to say this is a fully additive-free product – for one thing, the degree of sweetness that makes it enjoyable to taste can’t come just from that chocolate – there’s several added sweeteners in there too which promote the sweet taste while adding fewer calories than extra sugar would.
I wondered what made this bar particularly identifiable as ‘Lean’ in its title. This would be the added ingredients which aren’t often found in bars of this type – such as caffeine and L-Carnitine. The caffeine content is quite high – at 125mg its not far off the amount you get in a large can of fizzy stimulant drink. The effects of caffeine are well known – increased focus, up-regulated heartbeat, and release of bodyfat to the bloodstream for use. The amino acid derivative L-Carnitine is less well known, but is seen by many as a bodyfat metabolizer over continued use; and the 2g provided in each bar is typical of the recommended daily dose in the supplement world.
So much for the ingredients and the nutrient numbers. When do I have a bar and why?
My daily diet includes a mid-morning snack and a mid-afternoon snack – the two smallest meals of my six meals a day – the others being a larger breakfast, lunch and dinner plus a post-workout protein and natural fast carb meal. And I like those two small snacks to be around 200-250 calories, with around 20-25g of protein. So these bars fit that perfectly. I usually have one of these bars, or something similar, for one of those two snacks per day. They are also my ‘emergency’ go-to snack food if I have an irresistible craving for breaking my daily calorie target of 2250.
MaxiNutrition recommend no more than two Promax Lean bars a day, and I agree with that. I like to keep my diet varied within my target numbers, so I wouldn’t exceed that anyway.
How do I think the product’s claims stack up with my own thoughts? On the box MaxiNutrition claims the product assists in lean muscle definition, energy metabolism and alertness. From my study of it, I reckon those are very fair claims – provided the bar is taken as part of diet that focusses on clean, healthy nutrition that maintains the macronutrient ratios along with undertaking significant resistance training and cardio-based exercise.
Thanks to the guys there – check out their full range on www.MaxiNutrition.com
This made-for-TV documentary features Dan Wynes, 22, and me at the tender age of 59, as we train together and challenge each other to be the best of our respective generations at the Miami Pro fitness modelling World Championships 2016.
Filmed in the UK and LA, this documentary features exclusive on-stage contest footage, plus comments from top fitness industry professionals Rob Riches, Simon Howard and Mike Aparo.
Last time we challenged each other, I won more trophies than Dan – but this is revenge! Will youth now prevail? (First shown on TV in the UK in May 2016)
And if you missed the first challenge, from 2014, catch up with again here – and compare with this year’s to see how Dan and I have changed in those two years!
I’ve spent a few years following various nutrition approaches – from very precise all the way down to totally random! These experiences have led me to devise an approach to nutrition for fitness which is flexible, enjoyable and workable in daily life. It does require a bit of understanding, and there are rules to be – well, if not obeyed, then ‘observed’. And there is a bit of maths involved too – not too much, but counting and multiplying do come into it.
The approach is designed for those who want to increase their fitness levels, decrease their fatness levels and – probably for most – a bit of both. It assumes you are already pretty active and undertake exercise most days of the week.
To save ploughing through some big articles, I’ve put my recommended approach down into two videos; the first describes how the numbers work – calculating calories, grams of macronutrients and timing. The second then takes those ideas further and translates them into real life eating – real meals on a real day on a real test subject (that’s me, of course).
I’ve kept both the detail of the maths and the full calorie and macronutrient breakdown away from the videos – but you can see this, if your geek-level is high enough, on my web site – www.FitnessOverFifty.co.uk then choose Easy Nutrition on the Nutrition tab.
I hope that all works for you and you pick up an approach to healthy eating that can see you through to your fitness goals. Drop me an email if anything needs a chat through!
I recently received some excellent trainers from the guys at Brantano. These are Adidas Cloudfoam City design and I have a lot to say about them – what’s good, where to wear them, design characteristics and foot support.
Take a look at my video which tells more on all these points by clicking here
And for more information on Brantano and their full range, click on Brantano
I’ve been working with the guys at Damart to produce a very quick and easy guide to fitness for the over 50’s – with a few exercise ideas and descriptions of other activities that could assist those (like me) in the better half century of life.
The document is A Damart fitness guide for over 50s and is an introduction to building activity and movement into the lives of those who realise how beneficial exercise can be at this time of life – without getting too much of a glow on and without going to a gym. Take a look and see some ideas that may just help to add years to life, and life to your years.
The nice guys over at SCI-MX www.sci-mx.co.uk sent me over a box of goodies and I thought I would share my thoughts of one of their products in the box – the Recover 2:1 Isolate.
I chose this product as this isn’t a nutrition style I normally take. It is designed for post-workout recovery – and for this function, I normally take a combination of a low carb whey protein isolate shake plus some fast natural carbs – usually a banana or perhaps some slices of pineapple, both consumed 15-30 minutes after the workout. So I normally get my amino acids for muscle building from the shake, and my fast carbs for glycogen replenishment from the fruit.
This product combines both functions into one drink. It has both the protein and fast carbs needed in one go – and is a great orange flavour (and rather stunning orange colour) too! A serving of the product is 80g – which is more than my typical protein shake, which is already a large portion at 60g. That is due to the extra ingredients – specifically the fast carbs.
I want to look at the product in more depth – and as always with me – it starts with the numbers. The first numbers on the label are those in the ratio 2:1 – which refers to the ratio of carbs to protein in the product; 51g of carbs go with the 24g of protein in that 80g portion.
Overall, the calorie per portion of SCI-MX Recover 2:1 Isolate comes to 300 per serving – which compares with around 220 in my usual whey shake. However, if I add that medium-sized banana or the pineapple rings – which roughly work out to 80 calories each – then these numbers are nice and close – which makes comparisons easier.
Let’s look at the protein. That 300 calories portion of Recover delivers 24g of protein including 2.5g of the all-important BCAA’s. My usual shake gives a whopping 48g of protein including 5.5g of BCAAs – in just 220 calories – so on the face of it, the Recover isn’t the winner here. But remember that with Recover, purely protein delivery isn’t the object here; its carbs too.
So let’s look now at the carbs, just as important for the body post-workout as the protein but for different reasons. In that single portion, Recover provides 51g of carbs, including 25g of dextrose-based sugar, compared to 23g of carbs with 14g of sugar in a typical banana – and zero in the whey isolate, of course. So Recover is great for getting a generous serving of fast-acting sugars, delivered just when the glycogen levels are depleted.
What about the third macronutrient – fat? Well, there’s zero in Recover – that’s absolutely zero by the way, not close to zero as some zero products claim – which compares to a few grams in the usual whey and banana combo. But not enough for me to worry about.
Also interesting are the micronutrients. Recover provides substantial chunks of vitamin C (must be the orange colour – joke), calcium and phosphorous and magnesium. You’d find most of these in the whey + banana combination too – but in different amounts. For example, the 170mg of calcium in a recommended serving of Recover compares with 280mg in my normal whey + banana treat; however, in the opposite direction, a single serving of Recover provides three times as much fatigue-reducing magnesium as in the whey + banana approach.
A couple of things I didn’t find in Recover are the potassium which bananas are famous for, and the dietary fibre that comes from consuming the fruit. In the opposite direction a serving of Recover provides nearly 5g of creatine monohydrate, a compound well-loved by those seeking muscular rebuild and growth. And this creatine is the final 5g to bring the 51g of carbs and 24g of protein up to the serving size of 80g.
So, in summary on the macro nutrients, and rounded for ease of comparison, this product gives 50g of carbs and 25g of protein per serving. And my usual whey protein isolate plus banana switches the numbers the other way round – 25g of carbs and 50g of protein.
That’s 2:1 fast carbs to protein. And my usual whey protein shake plus fruit is 1:2, with the bulk being protein with the ration this way round – that’s a big difference. The 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein is favoured by many as a post-recovery drink – so this product is perfect to get that ratio.
So what is my conclusion? I like to keep my carbs lower than most – even after a resistance workout – so for body recovery and muscle growth + maintenance, then I’m probably going to stick to the low-carb combination of whey protein isolate and the fruit after most of my workouts. But if I feel I need more fast carbs than the banana or slices of pineapple can provide, maybe after a particularly tough session, or a long run, then I would reach for the SCI-MX Recover 2:1 Isolate to really up the carbs, even at the expense of some protein.
I’ve also done a video review of the product – take a look here.
Thanks again to the guys at SCI-MX for sending the products and the invitation to review.
There’s a great new fitness magazine that has been launched very recently – called ‘Gym Owner Monthly’ – it is focused at fitness professionals as well as gym owners – and the best thing about it is it’s free!
Another good thing about it is I will be writing a couple of pages every month on my fitness thoughts, activities and ideas for fitness targeted at other over-50’s in their ‘Fitness Over Fifty’ section.
I’ll try to make it of interest to everyone, so check it out even if you’re well below that magic number.
My first article is shown here, and it’s about my introduction to fitness and my conversion from being a 50-year old fat slob – I was in fact the original Peter Griffin. Read about it on pages 18 and 19 of the magazine.
I hope you subscribe and get to read my words of ancient wisdom every month.