Athlete’s Breakfast Loaf

Welcome back to a long overdue post! Today is a recipe that although perfect for the athlete, will also suit anyone in need of something on the go.

The athlete’s breakfast loaf has a healthy combination of carbohydrates, protein and fat. Although it may take a little time to prepare the day before, it’ll definitely save time in those morning rushes and ensure you get some nutrients in you first thing.

Ingredients:

350g oats

2 Bananas

200g Greek yogurt

2 tsp of baking soda

1 handful of walnuts

1 handful of dried fruit

1 handful of mixed seeds

Method:

– Blend the oats by themselves in a mixer

– Combine all dry ingredients in bowl and mix together

– Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients and mix thoroughly

– Place mixture in grease paper lined bread tray and pat out evenly

– Cover tray with grease proof paper

– Cook in oven at 175c for 60 minutes

– Remove, tun over and cook for another 15 minutes

– Remove, allow to cool and enjoy!

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Another jaw dropping recipe here to tease the taste buds and not batter the bank account. These little beauties have the grand total of 3 basic ingredients, although I do like to add a 4th by way of the ‘chocolate chips’.

I’ve used peanut butter but if you are following a strict paleo or low carb diet, or just don’t tolerate legumes to well, swap out for almond butter or a nut butter of your choice.

Ingredients

– 1 cup of peanut butter

– 1 large egg

– 1 to 2 tsp of honey

– 1 tbsp of cocoa nibs

Method

– Blend peanut butter, & honey together till an even consistency.

– Remove and mix the cocoa nibs in with a spoon.

– Grease an oven tray and measure out 1 inch dollops for each cooky. Now press each one to flatten out using a fork.

– Place cookies in preheated oven for 12-18 minutes at 180 degrees. Remove and if all cookies are evenly cooked, allow them to stand for 5 to 10 minutes to cool.. 👌

The Post Workout Hydration Drink – a quick & easy recipe

Today’s post is for optimising your post workout rehydration. Rehydration after exercise is just as important as hydration prior. It’s critical for your recovery and performance, whether that be performance in cracking on with your day or performance for your next planned workout.

You can start to experience a performance dip at just 2% dehydration. Relying on your thirst mechanism certainly won’t optimise the simplest but yet arguably most important performance enhancer – being hydrated. That’s why it’s important to ensure you continue to sip water both prior and during exercise.

In planning for your hydration strategy, an important thing to be mindful of is it’s not just getting liquid into your body, it’s how you ensure your body holds on to that liquid. This is especially important if your training early and have to get on with a busy day, or training late and about to embark on complete fasting period or 7 plus odd hours (aka – sleep!).

So without further ado, this is a simple but effective recipe you can make up after any workout.

Ingredients:

1. 400ml filtered water

2. 0.5 tsp of Sea / Himalayan pink salt

Salt is essential for replacing the electrolytes sodium and chloride that can get lost through sweating it out during a hard session. Electrolytes are the minerals your body needs for many basic functions.

Adding a small amount of a quality salt source is both essential for post training as well as post sleep.

3. 2 tsp of Chia seeds

Chia seeds can help to absorb liquid. They are also a source of electrolytes calcium and potassium. In adding them to the mix you’re further supporting your muscles to function. This is achieved whilst also supporting to keep precious water in and not just letting it pass straight through by way of urine.

4. 1 tbsp Lemon juice

Lemon juice is great to aid digestion and prepare your gut for the meal you’re going to replenish it with later.

5. 1 tsp of Honey

Ok, this one is optional. I would base it on the severity of the workout rather than taste. If you’ve been out of breath and raised a good sweat, that’s a fairly good indicator.

Honey has a high glycemic load meaning it will hit the blood stream fast and be transported to the liver and muscles, where it will be stored as fuel (glycogen) which you can access at a later point.

Cheap Eat Recipes – Chocolate & Peanut Cupcakes

Welcome back to the super tasty and affordable recipe series! Today’s little gem is another grain and sugar free sweet treat.

I do have to add that to avoid hidden calories, as well as to ensure some of the micro nutrient quantities, please do spend the little extra and get proper cocoa powder rather than the sugary cheaper alternatives.

Ingredients:

– 2/3’s a cup of peanut butter

– 1 medium banana

– 1 & 1/2 tbsps of coconut cream

– 2 heaped tbsps of cocoa powder

– 1 large egg

– 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda

Method:

– Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees

– Combine all ingredients in the blender, blending on low setting until an even consistency

– Fill cup cake tray to between half and two thirds for each cake

– Place in oven for between 12-15 minutes

– Allow to stand for 5 minutes and 👌

Cheap Eat Recipe – Cheat Meal Chips

Welcome back to the cheap eat recipe series, affordable meal and snack options for your plate. Everyone loves a little cheat meal here and there, straying away from the optimum healthy choices. Today’s post though gives you a healthy version of the cheat day special – chips, (aka fries for our American cousins!).

These super tasty chips are not just a carb heavy cheat meal special, they’re also ideal for fuelling or refuelling for heavy training sessions that require an anaerobic (all out) sustained effort.

Try pairing with recipe for the perfect steak from Ben Greenfield; https://whatsuppblogblog.com/2018/11/24/ben-greenfields-recipe-for-cooking-the-perfect-steak/

Ingredients:

– 1 large Desiree potato (it does make a difference)

– Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

– 1 1/2 tsp of paprika

– Salt & pepper

Method:

– Peal potatoes & half

– Place in boiling water and blanch for 3/4 mins

– Remove and slice potatoes into thick fingers

– Place in greased pan. Add extra virgin olive oil & paprika. Mix and coat the chips evenly.

– Place in pr-heated oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes, removing and stirring the chips at around 10 minutes.

– Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving

👌

Protein Pacing – a dietary strategy in 2 minutes

Today’s post is looking at a dietary strategy which is especially good for athletes and also a positive method to support longevity in general. Protein pacing as a strategy was introduced to me via the great mind of Prof Paul Arciero, courtesy of the equally great ‘We Do Science’ podcast, (episode 102).

Protein pacing is a dietary concept that allows for maximal protein synthesis, (MPS), throughout the day. MPS is essentially the turnover and production, or recovery and growth, of everything in your body from eyeballs, brain neurones to of course, muscle mass.

In summary, it’s about making sure that each meal, or ‘feeding’, consists of a high quality source of leucine containing protein. Leucine, an essential amino acid, is one of the primary drivers MPS. This is primarily found in animal and dairy but can also be found within plant based sources.

Ensure all feedings are centred around hitting the sweet spot of 20/40g of protein. This is not to take away from ensuring your other macro and micro nutrients are neglected, but just be mindful of how many calories you’re having within each meal.

Although a balanced diet is required to meet all the body’s needs, protein is the most satisfying and satiating of the macronutrients, another great reason it’s important for athletes and others who have weight loss goals in mind.

Try the below strategy;

– Ensure you have your first feeding of protein within 1 hour of waking up

– Ensure you’re having a feeding every 3 hours

– Last feeding of protein should be within 2 hours of bedtime

– Each feeding to be around 20/40g portion of protein, or roughly 0.25g protein per kg of body weight.

– Look at protein sources that contain leucine such as chicken, beef, pork, fish (tuna), tofu, canned beans, milk, cheese, squash seeds, and eggs

– Use a protein supplement to ensure compliance and ease of ensuring you’re meeting the protein threshold each feeding

– Any supplements need to be a high quality protein, preferably containing all the 9 essential amino acids – whey protein is ideal and cost effective

There you have it. Fairly basic but simple to put in place and achieve. Any questions, drop me a message or comment.

BrainZyme Elite Review

Welcome back to the What Supp Blog, where we discuss all thing optimisation. Today’s post is a review of one of my fave UK supplement companies, Brainzyme.

In view of full transparency, I am an affiliate of Brainzyme but none the less I will give you an honest assessment of their product as a nootropic. Just to clarify exactly what I mean by nootropic, which is used interchangeably with names such as smart drugs, cognitive enhancers or, my personal favourites; ‘brain pills’. It’s essentially anything that can improve focus, memory and productivity. This can include coffee for example up to the more powerful pharmaceutical nootropics such as Modafinil.

Now, there are some great nootropics out on the market, so when I first came into contact with Brainzyme, I desperately wanted it to be good. After all, it’s a UK based company so wanted to show the love!

So my first experience was with Brainzyme’s regular product; Brainzyme Original. I was hugely impressed by the all natural ingredient list but the results were not mind blowing, or at least not enough to move me away from previously tried products. I give a full review here which also details the ingredient list further; https://whatsuppblogblog.com/2017/10/22/nootropics-what-they-are-what-to-look-for-and-the-brainzyme-review/

I think it’s important at this point to also note the importance of managing expectations. Nootropics can be really powerful in terms of their potential for positive impact on productivity and output, but for me, this can be more noted by reflection on a 30 minute stretch that went by without any clock watching, or just noticing today seems to be a day you’re really firing on all cylinders. If your expecting a huge change in perception or altered state of consciousness, you’ll likely be a tad disappointed, (sorry).

Anyways, back to the task at hand. So my initial take on Brainzyme was a little luke warm. That was until my first pack of Brainzyme Elite hit the table. Although I was disappointed that it included choline bitartrate not CDP choline, Alpha GPC, or centrophenoxine, it did however have a number of other ‘all natural’ ingredients that were not present in the ingredients for the original product.

Panax ginseng and Ginko leaf extract were of particular interest. Both can act as powerful antioxidants and could as such could protect the brain against damage caused by free radicals. Ginseng is thought to improve brain functions like memory, behavior and mood with Ginko leaf extract also being linked with similar neuro improvements.

So the Elite did hit the spot. Think finding ‘the zone’. I found I would be processing and accessing information in my brain far more effectively when using it without getting the jitters that over consuming coffee does!

Ive found Elite to be one impressive in a range of different contexts from work, to an evening course I’m doing, to my martial arts training. I particularly like using the it for Brazilian Jujitsu or Muay Thai training sessions as it helps me take in technical information. I also like actually stacking them with other supplements such as Beta Alanine and Creatine, or, a pre workout cup of coffee!

So overall, it’s definitely worth a shot and definitely worth using outside of the usual realms of study and productivity. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and for a cheeky 10% off, use code WHATSUPP at checkout on the Brainzyme home page.

Cheap Eat Recipe – Vanilla & Almond Grain Free Cup Cakes

Welcome back to a super tasty and affordable nutrient dense recipe. Today’s offering is a low calorie, gluten and grain free treat.

This recipe offers protein, carbohydrates and fat in a low calorie package. Try mixing and matching different nut butters for a varied taste.

Ingredients

– 2 ripe bananas

– 2 large eggs

– 2 heaped tbsp of almond butter (or nut butter of choosing)

– 2 tsp vanilla extract

– 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda

Optional

– Cocoa nibs/Pumpkin, Poppy and/or Sunflower seeds

Method

– Combine all ingredients in a blender, blending till no lumps can be seen

– Add nibs or seeds and stir for even distribution in mixture

– Grease a cup cake tin and fill evenly

– Place I’m preheated oven at 200c for around 8-10 minutes

– Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving

How to Spice up your Coffee – A Few Simple Additions

Welcome back to the What Supp Blog, where we discuss all things optimisation. Today’s post will strike a cord with a fairly high percentage of the population; coffee. I won’t bang on about the various health promoting benefits of coffee, (and there are indeed a number), but rather I’ll give you a few options to pimp out your coffe like a pro.

So I’m going to run through a few additions. You can try singularly or mix and match. Let me know how you get on!

Right, first up;

1. Salt

While adding salt to coffee might sound just plain wrong, it’s actually a simple hack that will cut the bitterness of coffee and add a pleasant “salted caramely-ness” to your fave hot morning get-me-up.

Just add a few granules of salt – ideally coarse sea salt – to your coffee grinds before using your preferred brewing method.

2. Rosemary

Fresh rosemary is another mind-blowing addition to a fresh cup of coffee. In addition to providing a delicious piney flavor, this herb also infuses coffee with extra antioxidants and concentration & mood boosting properties.

Take a 3-inch sprig of fresh rosemary, slide your hand down the stem to shuck off the leaves, add the leaves to your coffee grounds, and proceed with your brewing process.

3. Orange Peel

Combining citrus and coffee may seem like a mortal sin, but in places like Italy, espresso is often served with a lemon or orange peel on the side. Adding orange brightens the coffee’s flavor, counteracts the bitterness, and adds a pleasant citrus scent. Orange peels also have even higher levels of vitamin C than the flesh, so this is a great recipe to try when your immune system needs a boost.

Grab an orange and zest the peel until you have about a teaspoon of orange zest, then add the zest to the coffee grounds and brew as usual for a citrusy-chocolatey goodness.

4. Cardamom

Cardamom is a spice commonly used in the Middle East, most notably in sweet and savory recipes like garam masala, chai tea, and Turkish coffee. When added to coffee, it creates a spicy & sweet combination that warms you straight to your soul. Cardamom is also a powerhouse spice that touts potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties.

Simply add a few pinches of ground cardamom to your brewed cup of coffee. Or if you’re really feelin’ fancy, you can add the whole pods to your whole coffee beans before grinding.

5. Ginger

Ginger is in the same family of spices as cardamom and lends a similar warming property to your morning coffee. Ginger is widely known as a digestive aid and is soothing to the GI tract. If you’re someone that struggles with tummy troubles and coffee, you might want to try this method.

Before brewing, add 1 tsp ground ginger or a few slices of fresh ginger root to your coffee grounds.

6. Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice that touts an incredible array of health benefits, with a great capacity to support recovery and joint health.

Turmeric doesn’t taste that good in coffee. Sorry. But it does add some awesome health benefits. Try throwing in a ¼ teaspoon of ground turmeric to your coffee grounds before brewing. If that sounds a tad hardcore, add a good coconut milk creamer to your brewed coffee, and then sprinkle in some ground turmeric for a golden milk-esque experience.

7. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil not only adds an interesting winter feel to coffee, it can also aid digestion, and the aroma is known to reduce stress and promote mental clarity and alertness.

Proceed with caution though people. Peppermint oil is potent stuff. Just add a single, measly drop to your coffee grinds and brew as usual. If you don’t want to overdo it on the minty-ness, opt for a brewing method that uses a paper filter. And make sure you’re using food grade peppermint essential oil that’s safe for ingestion.

8. Cayenne

Cayenne is another interesting coffee addition, but it’s clearly not meant for the faint-hearted coffee lover. Capsaicin, the main component in cayenne peppers that gives them a spicy kick, is known to increase circulation, suppress appetite, and may even boost metabolism.

To harness cayenne’s fiery flavor, drop in a tiny pinch of ground cayenne pepper to your grounds before brewing.

9. Vanilla-Flavored Ice Cubes

Pure vanilla, aside from tasting and smelling pretty good, touts health benefits ranging from improving anxiety and depression, lowering cholesterol, and even reducing fevers.

To make the ice cubes, combine 6 ounces of almond or coconut milk, 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, and (optional) 2 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup. Add the mixture to an ice cube tray, and let it sit in the freezer overnight. The next morning, brew your coffee as usual, let it cool, and then add ice cubes.

Ok then, hope you feel inspired. Please leave a comment and give a like if there was anything of use in there for you!

Collagen – For Sport Injuries and Overall Health

Welcome back to the What Supp Blog, where we go deep into how and with what to supplement your life with. Today’s subject is collagen. Collagen is on of the most important substances in your body as it not only keeps you looking young and fresh, but literally holds you together.

Collagen is especially important for those who are doing a lot of physical training and/or are recovering from injury. I’ll lay out a specific strategy for you later in the post.

Firstly, a few pointers on buying collagen, what to be aware of;

Types

As more collagen powders pop up on the market, you might be wondering what are the differences between collagen types 1, 2, and 3, with different products repotting different ratios. This obviously begs the question which type of collagen to buy for what.

Here’s a quick summary of these different types of collagen:

Type 1 Collagen: Over 90% of the collagen in the human body is type I. Minimise fine lines and wrinkles and improves skin elasticity and hydration. Not only does it help rebuild your muscles, eyes, bones, and spine, it’s also good for strengthening your nails and helping you grow stronger, thicker hair. Type 1 collagen is most abundant in marine collagen.

Type 2 Collagen: Makes up a majority of the protein molecules in your cartilage, the connective tissue that protects your bones at the joints, in your spinal disks, and your eyes, making it a potent way to support joint health. One of the best sources is bone broth.

Type 3 Collagen: Is found in large quantities in your intestines, muscles, blood vessels, and the uterus. It’s most often used with type I collagen for gut healing and to improve skin elasticity and hydration. Bovine collagen peptides is a great source of type 1 and 3 collagen.

Does it matter?

So, this explains how we should prioritise buying our collagen? Wrong. While 28 different types of collagen do exist, which are differentiated by where in the body it’s sourced and its amino acid structure, they are all still the same protein. So in short, when you ingest collagen, you’re rebuilding all of your own collagen in the body, not just Type 1, 2 or 3, but every type.

As far as what to look for instead, the best advice is to find out where the collagen is being sourced from. If it’s China, buyer beware. Collagen sourced from China is often really cheap and just not up to the standards of higher quality collagen from Europe for example.

When purchasing a collagen product, ensure you but hydrolysed collagen as it has the best absorption in the body. Bone broth can be an excellent source but there are some dangers. The bones are where animals keep their heavy metals, so there can be a concern about led toxicity. This really highlights the need to ensure the quality of bones being used, (eg organic, grass fed, etc), or if buying store sold bone broth, a need to check for led quantities, (I know, probably easier said than done).

Timing & Quality

So there is an excellent episode on the equally excellent ‘We do Science’ podcast with Prof Kieth Baar. Kieth details that a 15-20 grams serving of collagen is the sweet spot to support healing. There is currently no evidence that this quantity should go up relative to body mass and/or training load.

Next we have the all important timing. Digest the collagen before exercise at around 40 minutes to 1 hour prior. This is the same if doing a rehab session. You ingest 40 mins to 1 hour before. Be mindful to keep the rehabilitation sessions short by the way. The tendons/connective tissues respond to very few loads and stop responding altogether after 5/10 mins.

Vitamin C

So here’s an absolute essential if you want to harness any healing power from collagen. Vitamin C acts as co factor (proline 4-hydroxylase) to collagen synthesis. The sooner there’s vitamin C in your day, the sooner collagen synthesis can begin.

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that’s needed daily in the diet. It will be completely depleted after an overnight fast so it’s essential to get in either prior to the consumption of collagen or at the same time.

Either ensure you have a vitamin C rich meal prior to collagen supplement (such as kale or oranges) or supplement with 45-48 mg of a vitamin c supplement. Be aware the importance of taking a vitamin C supplement injury or not and aim daily for this amount to support collagen synthesis in the body if you’re not getting vitamin C rich food in your diet.

A word or warning though, vitamin C is incredibly heat sensitive and sun exposure can spoil supplemental form, so think about where you are storing it. Similarly, don’t over boil your veg as this will also kill it off!

Ok, hope you’ve found something interesting here. Please like, share and leave s comment! Till next time.