Chris tests joint and bone health supplement from Neo G

One area that concerns a lot of people over the age of 50 is the health of bones and joints. As we get older, these areas are liable to deteriorate in strength and function, and a combination of exercise and correct nutrition is considered desirable to ensure these areas remain as healthy as they can be as the years go by. Many people don’t get sufficient nutrients in their diet, and for them a daily supplement to focus on joint and bone health is ideal. Indeed, even if you think your nutrition is spot on, still take a nutritional supplement just to make sure.
 
I’ve recently been sent a supply of a product that addresses these areas, and the manufacturers have contracted me to sample, use it for a period, and to give my comments. The company is Neo G, based near Harrogate, and they are well known suppliers of products in the health and well-being sector, with a further particular emphasis on sports and performance. Probably they are best known for medical-grade orthopaedic supports to apply to various parts of the body, and it is good to see them expand more into nutritional supplementation – particularly in this area of joint and bone health for the over 50’s.
 
The product is called Daily Defence and is available in both general and specific over 50’s formulations. The over 50 variant has the same ingredients as the general one, but with the one change of double the amount of calcium per dose.
There are five active ingredients, many of which will be familiar to those already taking supplementation for bone and joint health.
 
• Calcium – There is 240mg in each 20ml dose of the over 50’s product, and 120mg in the general formulation – that’s 30% and 15% of your Nutrient Reference Value (NRV) respectively. Well known for promoting health in teeth and bones, this is a particularly important supplement for helping to prevent bone wasting conditions such as brittle bones and osteoporosis – hence the double measure in the over 50’s product, I assume. I’ve been cutting down my dairy products of late, so this extra boost of calcium is very welcome.
 
• Copper – The 0.26mg in each dose is 26% of the Nutrient Reference Value for this trace element. It is known for helping to maintain the connective tissues in the body, such as tendons and ligaments, as well assisting in the absorption of iron. A lesser known benefit is that copper reduces histamine levels, which can help alleviate allergies.
 
• Glucosamine Sulphate – This is a compound that occurs naturally in the body, with its main effect being the growth of cartilage by serving as a building block in its production. It is thought that a reduced level of Glucosamine Sulphate is a major causative factor in osteoarthritis, and to add to this, natural production of it by the body decreases notably with age. Hence it is good to add as a supplement, and the 1gram included in each dose of Daily Defence is in line with general understanding on supplement volumes.
 
• Chondroitin Sulphate – This is another naturally occurring substance, found throughout the cartilage, collagen and connective tissues. It has the specific function of attracting water into these tissues, thus preserving them and aiding their flexibility. Similar to Glucosamine Sulphate, production by the body declines with age, and again it is believed that a deficiency can lead to osteoarthritis.
 
• Vitamin D – A key function of this vitamin is to assist and promote the absorption by the body of calcium and phosphorus. It is known as the Sunshine vitamin as the suns UV rays help create it in the body – but a more reliable source is supplementation. The amount of 200 iu of Vitamin D provided in each serving is spot on for the NRV.
 
As you pour it into the cap, the initial thought is that it is much more viscous than expected – it is thick, and pours slowly. There are many ingredients, and it makes sense to shake the bottle thoroughly to ensure you get the correct amount of each in your poured measure.
 
The taste actually reflects the colour; I would say that the colour is somewhere between coffee and butterscotch, and the taste goes along with that. I know some people say the taste is like lemon – but I’m sticking with the butterscotch/ coffee flavour I detected. It is sweet but not annoyingly so, and the aftertaste is pleasant. This contrasts with some other products in the same field which have a distinct ‘medicine’ taste and I was looking for something to wash my mouth out after – not so with this Neo G product. In fact, one problem may be that you like the taste so much it may be tough to restrict yourself to the single daily dose!
 
Because it is so thick, it is important to try to ensure you don’t leave any in the cap – the 20ml dose means the full 20. And you need to wash out the cap before using it again tomorrow.
 
If you, like me, are over 50 and concerned about keeping your joints healthy, then taking a non-drug product that supplements your diet in this area is probably wise. And of the various products available, this ’50 Plus Joint Health’ liquid from Neo G ticks all the boxes for me.
 
Check out the Neo G site – click here – for more. And If you too want to give it a go, it’s available in the UK now at Boots.

Trying different exercises from a new supplier

Many thanks to the guys at Primal Strength who invited me to try out some of their equipment at BodyPower.

View the full video by clicking here.

This is a new supplier to me, none of the gyms I regularly use have their kit.

So, although the movements were familiar, there were slight changes in angle or feel in most of the products. Nothing at all weird, just slightly different to my usual options. They provide good equipment, absolutely nothing I didn’t like, I recommend the kit based on my experiences, and wish them much success.

Thanks again to the team there for inviting me.

You’re never too old… Watch this video to prove it!

I was recently asked by SunLife to feature in a video promoting something close to my heart – that life can and should be great after the age of 50, with new experiences and enjoyment around every corner waiting to be discovered.

www.bitly.com/LifeAfterFifty

 I agree massively with Sun Life’s view that ‘You’re never to old to start something new’ and – as you know – the new thing for me was turning my health around with the discovery of the joys and benefits of getting fit.  So here is the video, produced by Kingdom Creative for Sun Life, and my thanks to both for permission to reproduce it here.

New leg training ideas

Here are three leg training machines that are a little different to ones I’ve used elsewhere. Filmed at Watson Gym Equipment stand at BodyPower, and many thanks to them. Here are my thoughts on the relative merits of each.

Check out the video: click here then select the first video on my video wall.

This particular 45° leg press has a feature I’ve not seen before in that the footplates can be joined together as is most common, or can be separated with different resistance on each side. This gives the chance to have differential resistance if one of your legs is weaker than the other. With footplates disconnected you can press both legs in sync or alternating. Using in sync gives you the ability to check if one leg has a greater range of movement then the other (then work on that one). Alternating enables you to put more mental focus in the press on just the one pressing leg. An excellent piece of equipment.

The Leverage Squat Machine is the closest machine I’ve found to reproducing the traditional back squat but adding some safety features, concepts that will enable some people to get far more benefit. For those with shoulder flexibility issues, the positioning of the hands on a part of the machine forward of the body is a big bonus. It’s far enough forward to be non-weight bearing so leg resistance isn’t reduced. And for those a little concerned with balance and stability, this movement gives all the benefits and feel of the back squat without the possibility of tilting or ultimately falling in any direction. As you can’t lean towards one side, any unwanted unequal forces down the spine and posterior chain are removed. Meaning you can go heavier and torture those quads, hams and glutes more!

Finally, the Vertical Press. The position of the lower body here is it’s unique feature. By pressing with the weight exactly vertically, the full resistance of the weight is borne by the legs especially the quads at all times – you are working with 100% of the gravity component. With the weight of the carriage known, the full force of the weight needs to be pressed giving maximum focus with precision on resistance amount with no lateral element. I found it works the legs in a direct way that isn’t fully possible in any other position.

I don’t think your upper leg training should be exclusively on any of these machines / but add them to your leg day mix to discover new and efficient ways of training those pins safely.

Remember to check out the video to see all three machines in action!

Club La Santa gym review

Club La Santa on Lanzarote is well known as a sunny training location for pro athletes, as well as being a fab holiday resort in beautiful sunshine.   We were there last week for a holiday with very much a fitness focus.

But how good is it as a destination for gym fans like me?  Take a look at my video review – with comments that are totally my own!

www.bitly.com/ChrisClubLaSanta

And if you also want to see more workouts, comments on equipment and other gyms, nutrition advice and more fitness information, see the full range of my videos on:

www.bitly.com/ChrisVideos

Subscribe on that page if you want to be sure to hear about new videos coming up!

 

New ‘Fit Happens’ TV series

Season Two of my Fit Happens TV series is now ready!

Initial TV transmission in the UK is in May 2017 by the Community Channel.

Season Two is five half-hour episodes similar in format to the episodes 1-4 of Series One, but bigger and better with an extra cast member – joining Keith Cormican and me on the studio sofas and in fitness locations globally – is top fitness personality Nicola Feustel.

As well as improving the looks of the sofa-sitters massively, Nicola brings massive knowledge and experience from working on her own fitness, individual clients and group training.

There are many new features in Season Two – a new logo, more segments, more subjects, more cameras – our first drone footage – and a massive crew of highly-talented media production individuals putting it together.

Expect to see crossfit, boxing, spinning, fun-running, bike testing, group workouts, a brand-new ultra-cool kitchen with great new recipes, and new workouts and exercises all over the place!

Plus more expert guests to join the three of us from the world of fitness.

The current transmission times are here: Fit Happens Transmission Times May 2017

Keep looking on www.Fit-Happens.co.uk or the Fit Happens Facebook page for more details of future transmission times.

Whole-body pre-contest workout

I sometimes get asked if there is just a single workout that I would recommend to work all the key muscles in just one workout.    And one that includes some cardio element as well as effort for the muscles.

The answer is that there is – and its the workout I specifically use for a few days before going on stage in a fitness model contest.  To me, this workout ticks both boxes – its a perfect whole-body workout – plus a great pre-show conditioning session that works everything to the level I need before that big day.

Take a look – its the first video on my video wall – www.bitly.com/ChrisVideos

I recorded it the day before appearing on stage in the Pure Elite Fitness Model Championship, so you can tell I was motivated to get it right.

And feel free to let me have any questions, of course.

MaxiNutrition Promax Lean

maxinutrition-promax-leanI was pleased to receive a supply of  Promax Lean Bars from MaxiNutrition recently and I’m keen to give you my thoughts on them, both from a nutrition point of view and as a snack food.

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

Adidas Cloudfoam City from Brantano

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