Try Our Chunky Banana Protein Shake Recipe!

One of the great things about our Nutriboost shake is that you can use it in your recipes for different kinds of protein shakes. Besides having high nutritional value, our chocolate flavor Nutriboost is perfect for when you want something a little more dessert-like! If you like those popular chunky chocolate banana ice creams, our recipe for a Chunky Banana Chocolate Protein Shake will give you all the flavor without the fat and calories. And you'll get key vitamins and minerals that swimmers need like iron and vitamin B. This recipe also has almonds and bananas, both of which are natural sleep aids, so this recipe is a great shake to enjoy before bedtime to ensure quality sleep.

 

CHUNKY BANANA CHOCOLATE PROTEIN SHAKE

INGREDIENTS:

2 Scoops Chocolate Nutriboost

1 Banana

2 Tablespoons Low Sodium Almond Butter(or your favorite nut butter)

1 Cup Milk

1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Handful of Ice

DIRECTIONS:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add more milk if you like a more liquid consistency, and more or less ice to your taste. Enjoy!

For another great recipe using Nutriboost, click here to try reader favorite "Steph's Smoothie Deluxe", which uses our Strawberry flavor Nutriboost. Yum!

May 27, 2016 — Michael Shead

It's Not Too Late! Why You Should Join a Masters Swim Team

If you've been reading our blog lately, then you definitely have seen some of our articles featuring Masters swimmers who are breaking records and having great success in the pool. Maybe you're debating whether or not you should join a swim team and if you're ready. But as you'll see, it's not too late to join a Masters swim team and there are so many benefits to being part of this reputable organization.

 

To get some perspective on being part of a Masters Swim club, we talked to Kyle Deery, Director of Marketing for U.S. Masters Swimming. On joining a swim team, Kyle shared, "Many people have hesitation to join a Masters team because they think you have to be over 45 or you have to compete or you have to be fast…that is not the case." The USMS organization has swim teams all over the United States and in every age group, starting at 18-24 years old all the way up to the 100-104 age group. 

There are many reasons why people get involved with Masters swimming, which is what makes it a great choice for everyone at every level of fitness. In our conversation with Kyle, he also said that Masters swim clubs are great "if you are looking to improve your technique, become more efficient in the water, and want to be a part of a larger community."


The Benefits

- Diversity: There are so many different ages, backgrounds, and swimming levels on each team. Being exposed to a diverse range of swimming partners helps you improve your own skill level and helps you to get inspired by other members' success stories.

- Coaching: Access to top coaches is unparalleled to the exposure you're going to get with a Masters swim club. If you are serious about competing and taking your swimming to the next level, the USMS swim coaches are there to help improve your technique and efficiency. Working with coaches at this level is one of the biggest benefits that isn't found elsewhere!

- Sense of community: Not only are you in an environment where your teammates constantly push you in practice to achieve your personal best, but you also get to have fun with outside of the pool. Having a sense of community and making new friends is a healthy, positive way to build a community and network outside of your normal channels.

How to join

It's easy to start! Head to this page to search for a swim club in your area. In some neighborhoods, you may have access to different swim teams, so visit them all and find one that suits your goals and meet with the coaches if you have a goal of competing. Whatever you decide, don't wait! Joining a Masters swimming club will be one of the best decisions you make for yourself, both physically and personally.

For more articles on nutrition for swimmers and the importance of keeping a well-balanced nutrition plan for optimal performance, read our P2Life blog today!

 

May 26, 2016 — Michael Shead

How Magnesium Benefits for Athletes Applies to Swimmers

Taking the right vitamins and nutrients is an important part of nutrition for swimmers. With the intense training and workouts, it's imperative that your body is properly fueled at all times to maximize your performance. But how do you know which ones to take and if they're benefiting you at all? Magnesium is involved in enhancing strength, energy production, and protein synthesis - all key factors for any athlete's success. These magnesium benefits for athletes also apply to swimmers and can help supplement your balanced diet to make sure you're performing at your best!

Electrolyte balance

Swimmers put their bodies through intense training daily; whether it's at the pool or in the weight room. And when you're participating in these endurance activities, especially those that last over an hour, you'll need to keep an eye on your electrolyte balance. Electrolytes contain this key mineral and when you're losing magnesium through your perspiration, it must be replaced. Read more here about how electrolyte balance is important for swimmers.

Muscle relaxation

Another way that magnesium helps swimmers with optimal performance is by ensuring proper muscle contraction. This mineral assists with ATP(adenosine triphosphate) production, which is especially important for red blood cell production in muscle cells. When you don't have enough magnesium to aid in ATP production, you'll experience muscle cramps and your muscles will not relax properly.


Better recovery

If you've been reading our blog regularly, then you are well aware of the benefits of quality sleep for swimmers. Magnesium is a calming mineral plays a key role in sleep and when you are lacking it, studies show that there is altered electrical activity in the brain, therefore causing agitated sleep and frequent awakenings. Having sleepless nights, especially before race day, can negatively impact your swim performance. Magnesium also reduces cortisol, which helps to reduce the effects of this stress hormone on the body and mind.

Magnesium sources

The recommended intake for athletes is 500-800 mg/day. If you're not getting enough, supplement your diet with foods like dark leafy greens, nuts, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados, yogurt, bananas, dried fruit, and dark chocolate. Another great way to enjoy magnesium is with our Nutriboost shake, which has 35% of the daily recommended value in each serving.

If you're experiencing any symptoms like frequent muscle cramps, constant fatigue, poor sleep, chronic pain, anxiety, or nausea you may have a magnesium deficiency. It might be likely since over 75% of Americans are experience a lack of magnesium in their diets. Check with your health professional to see if you're deficient by using a red blood cell test, which is more accurate than a regular blood test for detecting a magnesium deficiency.


Sources:

http://www.chiro.org/nutrition/FULL/Essential_Nutrients_for_Endurance_Athletes.shtml

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17172008

May 19, 2016 — Michael Shead

How To Get Prepared for Your Big Swim Event

If you haven't heard the old phrase, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail", this would be a great time to heed these words. Getting prepared and planning for your big swim event is just as important as your nutrition plan, your sleep regimen, and your focused workouts. Take these steps to ensure that you have a great performance on race day and plan for success!

 

Don't wait until the last minute

Once you've signed up and committed to the event, begin the planning immediately. Set your workout routine, compile your nutrition plan, and have some goals for the meet. At about 6-8 weeks before your event, sit down with your coach and chart a course for your training. This is the time to make adjustments and small tweaks to your technique so that you can improve your time and achieve your personal best.

Outlining a nutrition plan is also important so you can see how certain foods are impacting your performance. You can hone in on whether or not you feel better after eating a certain food, or whether or not you are sore the next day after drinking a bedtime protein shake. Making small adjustments as far ahead as you can will result in a better performance the day of the race.

Planned meals & snacks

You won't want to surprise your body on the day of the big event with any foods that you may find intolerable. There's nothing worse than trying to swim on an upset stomach or finding out that you have a slight allergy to something you ate the morning of the race. Instead, plan your meals out a few weeks before and get into the habit of eating healthy nutrition for swimmers. Include the proper mix of carbohydrates, protein, and any supplements that are missing from your diet.


 

Get enough sleep

Often underestimated by swimmers, coaches, and parents, high quality sleep is critical to preparing for your big swim event. While we sleep, our bodies recover from the strenuous training that are part of an effective swimmer's regimen. Not only are muscle fibers repaired, but there are important nutritional processes happening while you sleep.

Slow absorbing casein protein is preserving and building muscle while you rest at night, but it also helps your body burn more fat. Studies from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that subjects who were on a high protein diet, with all of the protein being casein, burned more calories during the day and reported less hunger the following day than those subjects who were on a low protein diet. Our Nutriboost shake has a proper mix of casein protein so that your body can get all of these benefits while you sleep. 

Now that you have some recommendations on the preparation needed for your next swim event, you'll feel confident that you're ready to give it your best on race day! For more articles on nutrition and optimal performance for swimmers, check out our P2Life blog here!


Sources:

https://swimswam.com/7-tips-help-get-ready-big-meet/

https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/tips-successful-swim-meet-performance/

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/103/3/766.full?sid=bc366fdd-dbd4-4e5a-9be8-6df75582599d

May 17, 2016 — Michael Shead

How Iron Helps Swimmers with Their Performance

When it comes to nutrition for competitive swimmers, we often hear about protein and carbs. But what about all of the other nutrients that swimmers need to compete as a top athlete? One of those key nutrients is iron, and today we're going to focus on how it can help you with your swimming performance.

 

Its role in the body

Iron is an essential mineral found in every cell of the body, but our bodies don't naturally produce it on their own, so we need to get it from external sources. Among its key functions is to aid red blood cells in transporting oxygen in the blood to our tissues. Iron also ensures that muscles are working properly and while also aiding in the process of converting carbohydrates into energy during exercise.

Are you getting enough?

There are ways to know if you are not getting enough iron in your diet. Pay attention to signs of constant fatigue, irritability, lacking interest in activities, short attention span, or headaches. In extreme cases, a person with an iron deficiency may even experience irregular heartbeats, heart failure, or anemia if the iron deficiency is over a long period of time. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, check with your health professional. People who are at risk of iron deficiency are those with a gastrointestinal disorder that interferes with iron absorption, women who are menstruating, adolescent athletes, and vegetarians.

Current dietary recommendations state that teens 14 to 18 require 11-15 mg of iron per day. The average male adult requires 8 mg/day, while women between the ages of 19 to 50 should be consuming 18 mg/day. If you're an athlete, your iron requirements are even higher: 1.3 to 1.7 times higher for athletes than non-athletes, and 1.8 times higher for vegetarians than meat eaters.


How it helps with athletic performance

Found in the protein hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to the body’s cells, iron also plays a role in the transfer of oxygen to your muscle cells. Sufficient iron levels means higher aerobic capacity and better performance for athletes who are pushing their entire bodies to the limit with each breath. If you're finding that you are short of breath after your workout, you could be iron deficient. Iron is also lost in perspiration, and although you may not feel like you are sweating during your swim, your body is losing this valuable nutrient with every stroke.

How to get more iron

Of course, the best way to get any nutrient is through a natural, unprocessed food source. Some of the top sources of dietary iron that you can include in your balanced diet are from the heme, or easily absorbed, sources of iron like meat, chicken, and fish. Non-heme iron sources, which have a little slower absorption rate, are cooked beans, lentils, and pumpkin seeds. To improve your iron absorption, eat it with foods that promote a higher rate of absorption like brussel sprouts, tomatoes, potatoes, green and red peppers and other vitamin C rich foods. Supplements are also an option, but check to make sure they are tested safe to avoid contaminating your body with banned substances.

You can see how iron helps swimmers and with some focus, you can make sure to get this important nutrient every day to improve your swimming performance. For more great info on nutrition for swimmers, follow our P2Life blog here!


Sources:

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002422.htm

https://swimswam.com/micronutrients-a-swimmer-needs/

http://breakingmuscle.com/nutrition/what-athletes-need-to-know-about-iron-deficiency

May 13, 2016 — Michael Shead

How Do Protein Shakes Work to Help Swimmers with Muscle Recovery?

When swimmers are training for competitions or just keeping in shape in the off-season, they're putting their bodies through rigorous workouts in the pool, weight sessions in the gym, and ultimately demanding a lot from their bodies. Muscle recovery is an important element of helping your body perform at its best throughout the season, so getting the right nutrition is crucial. One way to help this process is with protein shakes; but how do protein shakes work to help swimmers with muscle repair? Let's read on and find out.

 

Preseason

Beyond just eating a balanced diet of healthy carbs, protein, and fats, your body needs a bit more protein at the beginning of your season when you're trying to add and strengthen muscle. Getting protein from sources like lean meats like chicken or fish, low-fat dairy like cheese or yogurt, and low calorie protein shakes are great ways to fuel your body for building muscle.

When adding extra protein into your diet to help build muscle early in the season, it's important to eat more small amounts of protein throughout the day than pile your plate in one sitting. Since your body can only efficiently metabolize about 25-35 grams of protein per meal, you want to have meals that are rich in protein, but also add in snacks or post-workout protein shakes to get a steady stream of this important nutrient.


Partners with Carbs

While protein is essential for muscle repair, it works in conjunction with carbohydrates to ensure that your body is performing at its peak. If you're just ingesting protein, you are doing your muscles a disservice since long workouts deplete muscle glycogen and may cause muscle protein to be broken down for energy. Keeping your glycogen storage at the proper level should be done with the right carbohydrates, ensuring that your body is using carbs for energy.

Optimal Functioning

Besides just helping your body with muscle recovery, protein helps the body produce enzymes, create hormones, and transport nutrients that are essential for optimal body functioning. For example, when you put your body through a tough workout, you're breathing harder, which builds up and releases molecules called free radicals. These free radicals can damage your muscle fibers which leads to that soreness that we've all experienced after a long swim. To combat this post-workout soreness, it's important to refuel with protein to begin the muscle repair process. Try our Nutriboost shake, which is made with high quality ingredients and tested safe to ensure the best product for swimmers.

Your protein shakes should also have a proper mix of high quality casein and whey protein. Whey protein has essential amino acids that your body doesn't produce on its own, as well as the highest content of cysteine. Cysteine assists with the biosynthesis of glutathione, a key amino acid involved in the muscle repair process. And combined with casein, which delivers a slow absorbing protein to your body in between the short bursts of fast absorbing whey, your body is getting a steady stream of this important nutrient that many swimmers are deficient in - and don't even know it.

Make sure that you are getting the right nutrition to fuel your workouts and repair your hard-working muscles. For more articles about proper nutrition for swimmers, check out our blog at P2Life.com!


 

Sources:

https://swimswam.com/8-nutritional-recommendations-for-swimmers/

http://www.usms.org/articles/articledisplay.php?aid=369

http://www.swimming.org/masters/the-perfect-protein-shake/

May 12, 2016 — Michael Shead

3 Things Swimmers Need to Know About the Casein vs Whey Discussion

Paying attention to every element of your nutrition plan is part of being an elite and high performing swimmer. From knowing how much water to drink to what snacks are best for game day, it's important that you are vigilant about what you're eating.

And your protein sources are no different. When you're trying to figure out what protein shakes to drink, pay attention to the casein vs whey ratio. These tips will help you choose the best one for a great performance all season long!

1. The benefits of both
Casein, which makes up the majority of milk protein, is known for it's slow absorption, stellar amino acid profile, and also contributes to bone strength. Whey, on the other hand, only makes up about 20% of milk protein, and is a natural by-product of the cheese making process. Its benefits include quick absorption, supports immune function, and has also shown antioxidant properties.

To get the maximum benefit from these high powered proteins, use them together. Since amino acid absorption is key to protein synthesis and muscle repair, having the fast acting whey is ideal for right after an intense workout, but casein will assist in this process while you sleep. Knowing when to ingest your protein shakes is just as important as what type you are taking, so use a protein powder that has both sources for maximum benefits. The P2Life Nutriboost is one example of a protein shake that has both to help your body build muscle properly.


2. Quality is key

As with any other product out there, the quality of your protein should be the best if you are going to perform with elite swimmers. There are plenty of protein shakes out there that are solely whey protein, and part of the reason is that it is cheaper than casein. But now that we know that your body needs both, it's important to pay attention to the overall quality and ingredients in your shake. Sophisticated caseins, while costlier than whey, are worth the extra money and the nutritional payoff.

Additionally, some sports nutrition manufacturers use fillers in their protein shakes to cut costs. Pay attention to labels and stay away from low quality protein sources like "gelatin and collagen hydrolysate (hydrolyzed collagen), which are made from animal structural tissues (connective tissue, cartilage and bones), are often selected as a more affordable protein source."1

3. Strike a balance

 

While it's always good to get your protein from whole food sources, "animal sources of dietary protein, despite providing a complete protein and numerous vitamins and minerals, have some health professionals concerned about the amount of saturated fat common in these foods compared to vegetable sources."2 Using a protein shake to balance the heavier sources of protein like meat and chicken is a great way to manage fat intake. Choosing a protein shake that has animal derivative sources like casein and whey is a better choice, and you can even enjoy the muscle repairing benefits with vegetable sources like soy protein. The Nutriboost protein shake has a mixture of high quality casein, whey, and soy protein to give your body the maximum amount of nutrients without a high fat content.

With this new information about the casein vs whey debate, you can rest assured that you are getting the best product with P2Life. For more articles on nutrition for swimmers, check out our blog today!


Sources:

1. http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2013/08/13/the-importance-of-high-quality-protein

2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3905294/

3. http://breakingmuscle.com/supplements/whey-protein-vs-casein-protein-which-is-best-for-what

May 10, 2016 — Michael Shead

Ingredients To Watch Out For In Protein Shakes For Swimmers

Because swimming is a full-body workout, it's important to help keep all your muscles strong and well-nourished. One of the easiest ways to do this is by drinking a protein shake after a swim. Drinking a protein drink after a swim workout ensures your body has a good amount of protein every day so it doesn't lose muscle mass or vital nutrients.

While this is an effective way to help repair and rebuild tired muscles, shakes for swimmers cannot make up for a poor diet. Including other sources of protein such as lean meats, low-fat dairy, and nuts in combination with a high-quality protein powder will meet your daily protein needs as part of a balanced training meal plan. Pay attention to what's in your drink for your best performance!

Way too much Whey

Most protein powders include whey protein. Whey protein is a natural, high-quality protein from cow's milk that has the essential amino acids your body doesn't produce on its own. It also has the highest content of cysteine, which helps in the biosynthesis of glutathione, the amino acid that is the most responsible for repairing protein synthesis, amino acid transport, and enzyme activation - all important for optimal muscle recovery.

So while consuming whey protein powder after swimming can help rebuild muscles, it isn't the only kind of protein you should have in your protein shakes. Too much whey can cause swimmers to bulk up, which is definitely not what you want to have happen if you are competing at elite levels. Your body also needs casein protein to balance the effects of whey protein. Since casein has a slower rate of digestion, it slowly releases these amino acids and aids in muscle repair over a longer period of time. This is important for swimmers who are trying to stay strong and lean.

Filling up on fillers

You'd be surprised at all of the extra ingredients that are added to jars of protein powder in order to make a profit. Read your nutrition label and make sure you are getting enough protein, vitamins and minerals. The lower the percentage of protein, vitamins and minerals that is in the powder, the higher the chance there are more fillers and less useful ingredients in the powder. In July 2010, Consumer Reports magazine analyzed 15 different protein drinks and shakes, and found that every drink in the test was contaminated by arsenic, cadmium, lead or mercury. You definitely don't want to be ingesting those toxic heavy metals! 


Quality not quantity

Consider the source - not all protein is created equal and you get what you pay for! The food source that the protein comes from also makes a difference. It's recommended to use animal protein sources since they have a better amino acid profile. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and the quantities of these types of amino acids in animal proteins are more favorable than from plant sources.

There are non-animal sources of protein, although less effective, which you might consider if your body cannot tolerate whey and casein because of lactose allergies. Try powders that derive their protein from plants like rice, pea, and quinoa.

Artificial flavorings

Many protein powders are just flavored whey, so be careful. Instead of choosing brands that use lots of sugar, artificial flavors, and colors, use natural sources of flavors like fruit, peanut butter, almond milk, and spices. Added sugar in various forms can add calories, which swimmers generally need to keep an eye on so as not to add extra weight. Inspect your label and if your protein powder has more than 150 calories or 3 grams of sugar per serving, it could be doing you more harm than good.

Banned substances

Last but definitely not least, pay attention to what's in your shake since any banned substances can derail your performance, a scholarship, or an award. Always consult with your school nutritionist, coach, or other healthcare professional if you're in doubt. Or check out websites like Banned Substances Control Group, Informed Choice, and NSF are all organizations that certify products and brands and test them for banned substances.

As always, protein shakes should not replace every meal. They should be used
throughout the day for recovery after a workout, before bedtime to facilitate muscle repair, and as a healthy snack. The whole foods in your balanced diet will contain naturally occurring fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals and other protective substances that can’t be reproduced with a diet of only protein shakes. To learn more about planning a well-rounded nutrition plan, take a look at our blog for more nutrition articles for swimmers.


Sources:

www.swimming.org

https://www.teamunify.com/vsnva/__doc__/Fueling%20Swimmers.pdf

www.livestrong.com

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/disadvantages-protein-shakes-7305.html

May 05, 2016 — Michael Shead

4 Types of Vitamin B12 You Need to Know About

Vitamin B12 is important for a host of reasons: it helps with cellular function, it provides your body with energy, and protects nerve and brain cells from free radical damage. And surprisingly enough, you can be deficient in vitamin B12 if you're a meat-eater or a vegetarian. The key to getting the benefits of vitamin B for swimming performance is getting the right type. Here we'll talk about four different types of this important ...
May 03, 2016 — Michael Shead

Why Do Protein Shakes Work Best Before Bed?

If you're considering using protein shakes to help your body recover from strenuous swimming workouts, you've probably heard a lot about how drinking one after practice is a good idea.

But what are the benefits of drinking a protein shake at night before you get a full night's sleep? It may seem counterintuitive, but let's take a look at some of the reasons why protein shakes work best before bed.

Ideal recovery period

Having your protein shake before bedtime allows your body to take advantage of this optimal time for muscle and system recovery. During this rest period, there is an increase in the synthesis of protein in the muscular cells.

But what kind of protein is best:casein or whey? To take advantage of this overnight muscle repair, you should aim for casein, a slow absorbing protein. Doing so allows the protein to enter your bloodstream and muscles slowly but steady, delivering a constant supply of amino acids to your body. Studies show that muscle protein synthesis during the night was 22% higher when casein was consumed before going to bed1. Casein is the best option since it has been proven that it increases this protein synthesis process for almost seven hours.


Metabolism regulator

When you enjoy a protein shake before bed, you are stabilizing your blood sugar levels by bringing them back up a little bit instead of allowing them to drop during the night, ultimately slowing your metabolism. Contrary to popular belief that a bedtime meal will lead to weight gain, which is something that most swimmers don't want, keeping track of how much and what type of protein shake you have will help keep your metabolism and weight stable. In a study conducted in 2015, the researchers noted that it is "better to consume a single macronutrient such as protein rather than a mixed meal"2. A protein shake that's nutrient-dense and with fewer than 200 calories is an ideal choice. Our Nutriboost shake offers loads of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients with 120 calories per shake.

Sleep quality

We already talked about the benefits of getting casein protein before bed, but do protein shakes work if they have whey protein? Whey protein is also important before bed because it is easily digested and is a nutritional supplement that adds high-quality milk protein to your bedtime meal. Dairy foods, like milk, contain tryptophan that is a sleep-promoting substance enabling you to sleep well and recover properly. Other foods that are high in tryptophan include nuts and seeds, bananas, honey, and eggs. For a great bedtime protein shake, mix a half of banana with your Nutriboost shake that contains both whey and casein protein!

Enjoying a healthy, nutrient-rich protein shake before bed is one of the best things you can do for your nutrition plan. Try it tonight and watch your performance improve tomorrow!


Sources:

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22330017

2. http://www.livestrong.com/article/302686-protein-shakes-before-bed-and-weight-loss/

3. https://www.dairyscience.info/index.php/exploitation-of-anti-microbial-proteins/111-milk-protein-derived-bioactive-peptides.html

April 30, 2016 — Michael Shead