Wednesday 21 October 2015

Face Up Fitness: Why You Need More Protein In Your Diet + Pulsin Review

There’s a mini (understatement) revolution going on in the world of fitness right now: women are lifting!

I’ve been working out at a gym regularly for most of my adult life, following a cardio-intensive programme - 45 minutes of it, compared to just 10 or so of weights.

Then in March this year I began working with a personal trainer, Adam (yep that’s him pictured checking out a Pulsin protein supplement), and he has completely turned-around my regime – I now do an hour of weights, followed by no more than 20 minutes of cardio.

The impact the change has had on my physique has been striking: I’ve leaned-up – lost fat and developed great muscle definition, even (listen up ladies) on my tum! Weight training – I’ve seen the light!

But crafting a better physique is not all about squats, lunges and barbell presses. Diet has a critical part to play in it too. And when it comes to diet for training, nothing reigns quite as supremely as protein.
Chocolate Coated Chai Protein Balls Made With Pulsin Soya Protein Powder

I recently sat down with Adam to quiz him about protein, and more specifically the pros and cons of taking supplements - walk into any decent gym and you’ll find shelves full of powders, shakes and bars to buy.

Why Protein?

Protein is the building block for muscle growth. It helps torn muscles to repair, which aids growth. Plus it’s needed for fat loss.

Why Supplements?

The most natural way to get extra protein into your diet is via the food you eat, but it may not always be the right approach for you.

Benefits of Supplements Include:

. Cost. They’re relatively cheap to buy in bulk - protein-rich foods can be expensive (think beef and smoked salmon)
. Convenience. You can eat bars while on-the-go such as when walking to the gym! 
. They offer a fast-track for getting protein into your diet, eg. one shake mix can provide the equivalent protein of a supermarket tray of chicken 

Adam’s Facts & Tips:

. for every 1lb of body weight you need 2g protein
. carbs are necessary to process protein
.  It’s generally best to take protein after a workout as it provides the muscles with needed amino acids
. Look closely at the nutritional info on the back of packs, both macro nutrients (fats, proteins and carbs) plus ‘red flag’ energies like sugars and saturates
. look out for warnings if you have a nut or other allergy

Puslin Powders Rice, Hemp, Soya and Whey* - Review 

Pulsin’s range of protein powders include organic and vegan options. They are unflavoured and additive free, and can be mixed into both savoury and sweet dishes – juices and smoothies, as well as foods.

I used Pulsin’s Soya Protein powder to make chocolate coated chai protein balls (the finished article pictured earlier) – more recipes here. A daily 10g serving of the powder provides 9g protein, 0.3g fat (of which 0.1g saturated) and 0.1g carbs (of which 0.0g sugars – the powders are unsweetened).  

The powder combined quickly and easily with the other dry ingredients - ground almonds and a heap of spices (turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom). I then mixed in dates, syrup and vanilla extract and it took just a light knead to form a firm dough, which I then rolled to make 10 small balls. To finish, dip the balls in melted dark chocolate. Chai protein balls – they tasted good!

Pulsin Bars and Beond Bars* - Review

Pulsin Maple & Peanut Protein Snack, 50g. Contains 13.1g protein, 12.7g fat (of which 4g saturated), and 15.3g carbs (of which 8.5g are sugars). Adam says: Convenient (you can eat it on the go), easy to digest and no smell. A great taste for those who like sweet foods that are rich in nuts. However, nutritionally it scores less well– it’s high in both sugars and saturates.

Pulsin Mint Choc Chip Protein Snack 50g  – contains 12.2g protein, 11.5g fat (of which 6.5g saturated), and 19.3g carbs (of which 5.8g are sugars). Face Up Fitness says: This has a strong minty flavour – think After Eight mints without the soft fondant filling. Compared to the others this has high saturates, but it is quite low in sugars.

Beond Organic Raw Choc Bar, 35g. Contains 3.3g protein, 5.9g fat (of which 3.3g saturated), and 18.2g carbs (of which 15.4g are sugars). Face Up Fitness says: Least favourite of the two Beond products. If I’m eating a chocolate bar, I want it to taste like one – this doesn’t. Relatively low saturates but very high sugars.

Beond Organic Sour Cherry Bar, 35g. Contains 3g protein, 6.1g fat (of which 3.5g saturated), and 17.5g carbs (of which 14.6g are sugars). Face Up Fitness says: If you like the taste of rich Christmas cake then you’ll love this – closest in taste to the real thing you could possibly get in a snack bar! Relatively low saturates but very high sugars.

Pulsin powder supplements start at £5.39 for Soya Protein Isolate 250g, and Pulsin bars start at £8.02 for 9 bars of Mint Choc Chip Bite 25g. You can buy them here.

*PR Samples

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