Supplement Review: Syntha-6

2 06 2012

GymGeeks…I’ve been holding out for long enough.

For the athlete, this right here is the holy grail of all post-workout nutrition.  I first discovered Syntha-6 as a last-second ready-to-drink shake at GNC before going out for the night (yes, I’m that guy who pre-games with protein…GymGeek problems).  What I got was 40 solid grams of protein with enough carbohydrates to keep me energized for the night without the crash of a 5-Hour Energy.

Syntha-6

Didn’t even need it carried to me by African swallows…

Granted, this was before I got super-serious about my fitness goals.  Now that I research the hell out of everything I put into my body (again…GymGeek problems),  I can tell you that it is perfect for any athlete or high-intensity fitness freak.  At 200 calories, 22 grams of protein (a mix of different whey types and caseins) and 15 grams of carbs per scoop, it’s a great blend to replenish your strength after a great lifting session.  On top of that, each scoop has 5 grams of BCAA’s and 10 grams of other amino acids,  your muscles will thank you!

This is one of the best-blended protein powders to ever have the privilege to be in my shaker bottle.  After 30 seconds and using both milk and water,  it blends completely with no clumps or sugar-esque crystals like you find in cheaper brands.

Taste-wise…holy crap.  It passes the Nerdy Gym Rat test (which, of course, is having a great cookies & cream option) with every option.  The best of the bunch is, without a doubt, chocolate milkshake is the best flavor.  I’d also recommend the mochaccino flavor, as it sure beats the hell out of a trip to Starbucks.

There is, of course, one catch: since it’s a premium powder, it comes with a premium price tag ($30 for 3 lbs. on Bodybuilding.com).  As such, I recommend it to any of my GymGeeks who are super serious about their workouts.  Otherwise, I’d stick to the whey proteins, since they are better for the beginner and the low-carb dieter.

Has anyone else tried it out?  Let me know what your thoughts are!





Your “Supplement Saturdays” Primer (6/2/12)

2 06 2012

Good Morning, GymGeeks (Old AND New)

I say that because Twitter has officially blow up.  Over sixty of you have become GymGeeks in the last 48 hours, which I find unbelievably impressive (and I screen for bots, spammers and everything)!  You guys have inspired me to do a few more things over the next few weeks (working on the merchandising as we type).  These would include contests and giveaways, GymGeeks!  So keep an eye out…

star wars, x-wing, death star, nerdy, geek

Battle of Yavin…X-Wings? Death Star? Blown Up? You guys get it…

Also keep an eye out (in a more immediate sense) for my talk about green tea, as well as the super-famous Syntha-6 protein powder.  I’ve been holding out as long as I can to write about it, since I consider it an ace in the hole that EVERYONE should read about, but since you guys are coming here in droves now, I feel the time is right!

Don’t forget to pay it forward and share the love via Twitter and Facebook!





Recipe of The Week: Breakfast On-The-Go

29 05 2012

Ok, here’s a scenario I’m sure we’ve all been through…

You haven’t gone shopping in over a week and you’re down to protein powders, water and maybe some oatmeal or a couple of eggs.  You need a quick breafast before working out.  What do you do?

You improvise!

This is the easiest thing to make.  I’ve done it many times, even if it’s just to eat something before going shopping (or out of town and don’t want to shop for the week):

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of Oatmeal (always choose the tub over the packets!)
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Whey Protein (I find Dymatize cooks the best)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 egg whites

Directions

  1. Place oatmeal and protein powder into a bowl and mix
  2. Add water to mixture and let sit for a minute to soak in
  3. Place two egg whites into bowl and mix again
  4. Put bowl in the microwave and cook on high for 2 1/2 minutes.
  5. Let cool for a minute and enjoy!

If you like it a little bit sweeter, feel free to throw in some stevia extract or any berries you may have left over in the fridge.  The great part about the egg whites is that you don’t get the savory taste profile, which would conflict with the sweetness of the protein powder.

Remember: the idea is to make the best of what you have lying around.

Bon Apetit!





Recipe of The Week: Carrot Cake Protein Bars

22 05 2012

As I promised in my rant this morning about why most protein bars suck,  I’m here with a recipe to make your own bars with ingredients you can pronounce!

Now, many people have tried to make their own bars in the past.  I’ve tried their recipes and they all have their merits, but this happens to be my favorite since the final product dense enough to go with a cup of coffee in the morning for a mid-morning snack.  I chose the carrot cake version because my on-the-run bar is usually the Carrot Cake-flavored Cliff Bars, which have natural ingredients, but lack the protein content I look for in a small meal.

So without further ado:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of soy flour
  • 2 scoops vanilla whey protein (I used Dymatize Elite Gourmet, which has casein in it.  Helps keep me full longer)
  • 1/2 cup chopped & shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup stevia extract (Truvia is my sweetener of choice)
  • 8 oz. carrot baby food (Don’t be afraid to pick this up if you have no kids…but if anyone at Whole Foods asks, I have a 2 year old)
  • 4 oz. unsweetened soy milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl
  3. Mix the egg whites, stevia extract, baby food and soy milk in a separate bowl
  4. Combine the bowls until you have a consistent batter
  5. Spray a 10″ x 10″ pan with non-stick butter spray (Pam) and fill with batter.
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes
  7. Let the bars cool for 5 minutes, then cut into six bars.

Goes great with your morning cup of joe!

Now, you can up the ante in the protein category by going with a higher-protein powder or 2% milk instead of soy.  The beauty of this recipe is that you can mix & match ingredients and have an entirely different bar each time.  I’ve actually made some banana bread protein bars with walnuts & berries in it using the bulk of this recipe (and it came out effing AMAZING).

So there you have it; a protein bar you can make at home with zero fillers and all good old-fashioned ingredients.  Happy baking!

Nutritional Info (per bar)
  • Calories: 200
  • Fat: 7.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates:  18 grams
  • Protein: 22 grams




Your “Tasty Tuesdays” Briefing (5/22/12)

22 05 2012

Your protein bar sucks.

I learned this a few years ago.  Being in a time crunch on the way to and from Fort Lauderdale,  I’ve pulled over to buy one while gassing up my car.  I also grabbed one on the go when I was working a long shift at the restaurant where I was Kitchen Manager during college.  My thought at the time was that protein bars with high amounts of protein were perfectly fine for consumption, right?

Yes, at one point, this was a good option.

I couldn’t have been any more wrong.  Sure, a bar can promote 32 grams of protein per serving,  but upon further inspection, it’s not the highest quality protein.  Using the MetRX “Big 100” as an example,  take a look at the nutrition label and remove protein content from the equation.

Couldn’t have been ANY more wrong..

That is a meal chock full of fat, sodium and sugar.  While it’s only 5 grams of saturated fat, those three pieces of nutrition each contain 25% of your daily needs!  When you’re eating small meals every 2-3 hours (as you should be),  that’s a recipe for disaster.

Anything with a novel on it’s packaging ain’t worth it!

Also, take a peek at the ingredients list.  I don’t claim to have a degree in biomedical sciences or chemistry, but I can only tell you what purpose a handful of the ingredients serve.  The rest (i.e. xantham gum, brown rice syrup) serve as filler.  Nothing more.  Even breaking down where the protein is coming from, it’s good to see that it’s isolate sources, but soy has been known to be a less stable building block for muscle-building than whey.  The soy crisps in this particular bar are also the source of most of the sodium content in the bar!

What does this all have to do with today’s “Tasty Tuesday,” you ask?  Well, today’s recipe is how to make a protein bar using fewer ingredients (more importantly, that you can actually pronounce).  I’ve always been a big advocate for making as many of your meals as possible, since that means you know what you’re putting in your body.

So I hope you enjoy your “Tasty Tuesday,” GymGeeks!  If you want to share your thoughts on the topic of protein bars (or want to share what’s on your plate today),  feel free to share it here and over at Twitter or Facebook.  I’m up for a lively debate today! 🙂

Jonathan





Welcome to “Tasty Tuesdays”

15 05 2012

Happy Tasty Tuesday, GymGeeks!

I thought this would be a good day of the week to formally start talking about nutrition.  On Tuesdays, we’ll be talking about a fat burning or muscle building food that you may (or may not) know about, as well as a recipe for the week.  I’m currently in talks with a few guest bloggers who know how to cook way better than I do (although I’m getting much better as I go) and also have a vast database to choose from.  Until then, I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I’ll share.

Mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-day snack all ready to go!

I also wanted to take this “Letter from the Editor” moment to bring up a very important rule of fitness and health: WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU EAT!  This is something that goes neglected more often than not.  Sure, you can read a nutrition label on a box of something, but it doesn’t really sink in when you don’t step back and see how much of your daily intake that serving actually makes up.  A food journal is a great thing that I discovered a few years ago and it’s helped me on the journey to weight loss, as well as my current journey to put on 10 lbs. of muscle.  In fact, I’ll share with you my current meals during the day (I never go longer than 3 hours between meals) and the TOTAL intake of the important building blocks (calories, fat, protein and carbohydrates) I take in during the day:

Breakfast (4:00 AM)

  1. 1 whole extra large egg
  2. 4 egg whites
  3. 2 tablespoons of salsa
  4. 1 medium navel orange
  5. 1/2 cup of oatmeal
  6. 2 cups of coffee (black)

Post-Workout (6:30 AM)

  1. 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  2. 1 scoop Optimum Nutrition Pro Complex

Mid-Morning Snack (9:15 AM)

  1. 1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
  2. 1/2 cup diced pineapple

Lunch (12:00 PM)

  1. 2 slices 7-grain Ezekiel Bread (no flour, all sprouts & grains)
  2. 3 oz. Boars Head Low Sodium Chicken Breast
  3. 1/3 cup Alfalfa Sprouts
  4. 1/2 cup spinach
  5. Handful (about 14-16) of almonds
  6. 4 oz. baby carrots
  7. 1 medium golden delicious apple

Mid-Afternoon Snack (2:30 PM)

  1. 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  2. 1 scoop Dymatize Elite Gourmet Protein Blend
  3. 1 large red delicious apple

Dinner (5:00 PM)

  1. 1/2 cup of salad
  2. 1 tilapia filet (roughly 4-5 oz.)
  3. 1 medium pear

1 hour before Bedtime (8:00 PM)

  1. 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  2. 2 scoops GNC Beyond Raw “Re-Feed” Protein (Casein)
  3. 1 medium banana

Total Intake:  2050 calories, 31g Fat, 182g Protein, 257g Carbohydrates

A couple things to note about those numbers:

  • I always try to shoot for around 1.5g of protein per pound of body weight (which should be 240g for me), so I see that I need to up the intake in that department.  It allows me to re-adjust for next week (maybe use 2% milk with my protein shakes) to ensure gains!
  • I keep my starchy carbohydrate intake down after lunch.  Since the ones I use are slow-acting (oatmeal, Ezekiel bread), the body absorbs them slow enough to use as a source of energy throughout my day.  The rest come from fruits (in the form of fructose, a sugar) and vegetables.  Avoid sugars like high fructose corn syrup (and even chemically enhanced calorie-free sweeteners)!  Both have been linked to crashes in insulin levels and cancer.  Scary enough, right?
  • The fats in my diet come from my protein sources and nuts.  This means they are either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated, which are necessary for healthy cardiovascular health.  These are the OK types of fat!

So on that note, what are you guys eating today?  Make sure to write it down!  You’ll learn a lot and have piece of mind knowing what’s going into your body.

Jonathan.





Dymatize Elite Casein

7 05 2012

As I’ve always said, I only write about things I use or have tried, whether it’s nutritional, physical or supplemental.

I started using Dymatize Elite Casein back in 2010 and only stopped using it recently for the reason that it was lacking the relaxation blend of GNC’s RAW RE-FEED.

Casein protein is great for overnight prevention of muscle breakdown.  While you’re sleeping, your body goes into a catabolic state and goes after your muscles in starvation mode (assuming you’re eating small meals or shakes every 2-3 hours).  Dymatize, with its 24 grams of slow-digesting protein, helps counteract, while also being quite tasty!

As far as taste is concerned, it really depends on what you’re mixing it with.  With milk (a natural source of casein, might I add), it’s phenomenal.  With water?  I found the flavors I’ve tried (chocolate and vanilla) to be a bit chalky.

To put it simply; this is a great “last meal” of your day.  Pairing this shake with a banana and you’ll have a great night’s sleep without losing muscle.  It’s currently on sale over at Bodybuilding.com ($26.99 for a 2 lbs. tub), so the investment is well worth it!  Leave comments and let me know what you think!








%d bloggers like this: