Cacao – a superfood worth celebrating on World Chocolate Day!

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Historically referred to as the “food of the Gods”, it’s no coincidence that we’re singing cacao’s praises today, on World Chocolate Day. We all know chocolate is delicious but when it comes to the superfood qualities of chocolate we must give thanks to the mighty cacao bean… that’s what we’re really talking about.

Reasons to eat celebrate cacao:

  1. Bursting with antioxidants

Raw organic cacao has 40 times more antioxidants than blueberries! Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that protect our cells against free radicals that can cause cellular damage and disease.

  1. Improves heart health

Cacao is rich in plant flavonoids called flavanols. Flavanols work similarly to antioxidants in that they help repair cellular damage, and they also improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow to the heart and brain.

  1. Magnesium-rich food

Magnesium is an essential mineral required for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body and aids in maintaining a healthy immune system, normal nerve and muscle function, a regular heartbeat, strong bones and the production of energy from food.

  1. Makes you feel good

When we consume cacao, our brain releases neurotransmitters giving us a natural high. Phenylethylamine (PEA) is a chemical compound our body releases naturally when we’re in love or excited and can be supplemented to treat depression. It is also one of the many feel-good chemicals cacao produces in our bodies when we eat chocolate!

  1. Improves gut health

Cacao is a high-fibre food and has the potential to not only make you feel fuller, but also keep your gut healthy and bowel movements regular!

  1. Makes you look good

The antioxidants found in cacao may also prevent wrinkles and protect the skin from the damaging effects of UV rays from the sun. Substances found in cacao promote healthy looking skin by increasing blood flow, improving skin density and hydration.

  1. Potential to fight cancer

Whilst the results are only suggestive…  researchers have investigated dark chocolate’s role in preventing the growth of cancer cells in the body, due to its rich supply of flavonoids. Suggestive is enough for us…

Nuzest Clean Lean Protein Rich Chocolate utilizes cacao powder due to its many health benefits as we’ve discussed above. Try our nourishing cacao protein latte today!

RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 1 serve (2 scoops) Nuzest Clean Lean Protein Rich Chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon organic coconut butter
  • 300ml plant milk of choice (rice, almond, coconut, soy)
  • 50ml water
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Method:

  • Add your milk, water and coconut butter to a small pot and stir them slowly over a very low heat – making sure it doesn’t come to a boil
  • When very hot, add your protein and cinnamon and whisk into the milk until smooth
  • Pour into a tall mug and sprinkle a little extra cinnamon or cacao powder on top to serve

Multiple Sclerosis, Nutrition and Good Green Stuff

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The spotlight is on Multiple Sclerosis this month and it’s a cause close to our hearts at Nuzest. My own diagnosis at 22 years old was the driving force behind the company and now good nutrition and the products we have created deserve much of the credit for the fact that now, more than a decade later, I still live a full and active life.

Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system. It’s chronic, progressive and debilitating. It is also very complex, affecting everyone differently, and with people responding to different treatments and protocols.

It stands to reason that it’s the same with diets – while good nutrition (we believe) is a must, the is no hard and fast rule about which diet is ‘the one’ to follow. None claim to cure the disease, but all have the potential to improve the outcome of MS and assist with managing the effects it has on day-to-day life like fatigue and recovery.

I’m going to look at four well known ‘MS diets’ and what they have in common:

  • The Swank Diet – proposed by Dr Roy Swank back in 1949, the Swank diet is low in saturated fat, and high in Omega 3s and whole foods;
  • The Overcoming MS Diet – a modern adaptation of the Swank diet developed by Dr George Jelinek that promotes a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle with plenty of added fish, Vitamin D and other micronutrients;
  • The MS Hope diet – from MS sufferer (conqueror?) Matt Embry and based around fresh foods and supplementation;
  • and The Whals Protocol – a Paleo diet extremely high in vegetables and the only one on the list that strongly advocates consuming meat and animal products (though still only in moderate amounts).

All have loyal followers and all have been known to make significant improvements in the lives of MS sufferers. Despite some differences – namely, whether to reduce or completely eliminate red meat and animal fats, and whether or not grains and legumes are permissible (Jelinek says yes, Whals says no, and Embry is on the fence so long as they don’t contain gluten), these diets have some notable similarities:

  • Plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and berries, with the key being variety. Fruits and vegetables provide micronutrients like vitamins and antioxidants and thousands of naturally occurring phytonutrients.
  • Limit consumption of saturated fats
  • Consume plenty of Omega 3s and Essential Fatty Acids, through eating fish and supplementation
  • Reduce or avoid dairy (though in the case of Swank this is less specific and more due to the saturated fat content)
  • Ensure you are getting enough B Vitamins (especially B12)
  • Keep your Vitamin D3 stores high, either though sun exposure or supplementation

While each has its own twists, the foundation of all these diets is basically eating a predominantly plant-based diet that comprises a variety of clean, whole foods to achieve adequate macro and micro nutrient intake. Eating like this, whichever diet (or combination of diets) you choose to follow, could be beneficial not just to MS and autoimmune sufferers but for anyone looking to improve their general health and wellbeing.

We created Good Green Stuff to address the issue that not everyone is eating an optimal diet every day, and even those who are may not be getting all the nutrients they need from their food (this is a story for another day). Good Green Stuff sources as much of its vitamin and mineral content from whole foods as possible so you get the added benefit of all the phytonutrients and trace elements.

To achieve the superior levels of nutrients it offers, we have fortified the formula with the most body-ready forms of ingredients for maximum absorption. For example, many people cannot convert folic acid to the natural form of folate used by the body. Good Green Stuff addresses this by using the already converted form Methyltetrahydrofolate. Its a mouthful to say but your body thanks you for it.

It’s completely vegan and packed full of a variety of greens, fruits, herbs and berries. It’s free from gluten, dairy, soy and other common allergens; and is one of the few supplements on the market that contains Vitamin D3 from a vegetable source. For me, Good Green Stuff is the perfect complement to my MS diet and ensures my body is getting the nutritional support it needs every day.

Is Nuzest Organic?

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Is Nuzest organic?

We get asked this a lot. Which is good. We ask it a lot from other brands ourselves. Organic is a good thing.

We are not organically certified

We are however very open and honest and transparent and would rather explain what that means than just shrug our shoulders and say “so what?”. We believe organic is important for lots of reasons, from the quality of our environment to the risk of contamination of the food we eat by pesticides and heavy metals. So we want to give a full account of why we’re not organic so you can feel confident in the premium quality of our products and the way they are produced.

We are incredibly clean

Clean Lean Protein isn’t organic because it represents the very highest quality of pea protein we can get anywhere in the world. At present, we cannot guarantee supply of organically certified protein of this quality. It’s also incredibly clean. It’s a very high purity isolate containing almost 90% pure protein produced from sustainably farmed peas from northern France.

Creating a clean product is about more than organic certification

Every part of the supply chain and production process is important in determining how clean the final product is. We demand the highest quality and standards at every stage of the production process, from the source of our peas to the extraction process of the isolate to the levels of lectin in our isolate and the testing we use to reassure ourselves it’s clean.

It’s good to be worried.

We think that the public SHOULD be concerned about contaminants in vegan protein. There have indeed been genuine issues with specific types of plant proteins containing excessive levels of heavy metals and chemical compounds. But it is important to appreciate that this risk occurs whether or not a plant protein is certified organic because the sources of the contamination are from the soil, the air and the manufacturing process. They are not linked to the method of production or whether or not pesticides or artificial fertilisers are used. The contaminated proteins have tended to be rice proteins where heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium and lead can be taken up from the soil and accumulate from polluted environments. There can also be contaminant risks when solvents, especially benzene-containing hexane, are used in the extraction process.

We get our peas from farms (and farmers) we trust

Nuzest pea protein isolate comes from sustainably-cultivated European golden peas grown in Northern France. They are grown in soils that do not have high natural contents of heavy metals. Nor is the environment (air, water, soil) contaminated in any other way.

The French farmers who grow the peas do this exclusively for our protein. They are committed to sustainable production methods that minimise any use of pesticides or artificial fertilizers. What’s more, from an environmental and water usage perspective, peas are among the most sustainable crops that can be grown.

We use a clean and highly efficient extraction process to isolate the protein from the peas

The extraction system used to remove the protein from the peas (that naturally contain around 25% protein) is also entirely water based, with absolutely no solvents or other chemicals being used.

The effectiveness of this extraction process means Clean Lean Protein is lectin free

Lectins can occur in high amounts in peas and other legumes. They are naturally occurring compounds that act as a natural pesticide in the plant to reduce damage by insects. In people, over-exposure to lectins has the ability to damage the delicate intestinal wall promoting inflammation and ‘leaky gut’. Some people are more sensitive than others and may suffer bloating and wind after eating legumes and other vegetables rich in lectins e.g. potatoes. Lectins are generally only broken down after hours of slow cooking.

Our protein is entirely free of lectins. Our manufacturer tests for them regularly and the results are always negative, because the water extraction process is so effective, delivering such a high purity of protein and component amino acids. That purity is evident by the lack of strong smell or taste of Clean Lean Protein – something that can’t be said of some of our competitors.

We test regularly

From a consumer health point of view, the most important thing is the testing of the finished product. Nuzest products are tested routinely for heavy metals, pesticides, solvents and other contaminants. We can guarantee the products are entirely clean and free of contaminants.

We are committed to continually improving the quality of our products and a clean lean future

Looking to the future, as more farms who produce to the standards we demand are certified organic, we hope to be able to offer a certified organic Clean Lean Protein alongside our current offerings. But we can’t do that until we can guarantee a consistent supply chain – and that means we need more farmers to go through the certification process. To cover the costs of certification, an additional premium will have to be applied, yet you’ll appreciate, because of the purity of the pea protein and its almost perfect profile of amino acids, the quality of the product will be the same.

What about Good Green Stuff?

Good Green Stuff isn’t certified organic either. However the bulk ingredients, namely the chlorella, spirulina, barley grass, flaxseed, and wheatgrass are. Why these? That’s because these are the ones present in greatest quantity, for which there can be issues with contaminants when grown conventionally. We also are very confident, now with over 5 years of operation, that we can guarantee the supply of these, week in, week out. We don’t however have the same confidence over the 70-odd other ingredients in Good Green Stuff, all of which we select with meticulous care.

We test that too

So, just like Clean Lean Protein, we not only source our ingredients with the greatest of care, we also undertake routine heavy metal, pesticide, polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) and other contaminant testing of the finished product. We can guarantee that the product is contaminant free. It also doesn’t contain any GMOs or other ingredients that health-aware consumers are keen to avoid.

When Nuzest says #NoBadStuff or no nasties – we mean it!

Put simply, Nuzest is a brand centred around quality. We put a lot of time, effort, expertise and investment into delivering the highest quality products that make the most difference to people’s lives, at the best price – as sustainably as possible. That’s what Clean Lean Protein and Good Green Stuff are all about – it’s a notion that’s embedded deep in the DNA of the company’s founders and formulators – and we wouldn’t be using it ourselves if we didn’t feel the same way!

A professional athlete’s review of Nuzest Clean Lean Protein Bars

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Ben Allen is a World Class Professional Triathlete with over a decade of racing experience. He is a 20 x World Tour Off-Road Triathlon Champion, 2 x National Off-Road Triathlon Champion, National Adventure Racing Champion and 3 x Australian Surf Life Saving Champion. Here’s what he has to say about our Clean Lean Protein Bars.

“I’m super excited that Nuzest has developed a protein bar. Its packed full of everything you need, all natural, high in protein and 100% plant-based.

I have a crazy training schedule, some days with 3-4 sessions in a day and I especially find it difficult to get the proper nutrition in-between sessions to keep me fuelled and recovered correctly. That’s where Nuzest Clean Lean Protein Bars come in handy. I know exactly what I’m putting into my body is going to help me replenish my energy levels and give me energy to go again.

If I’m out on a long ride 3-4hrs I take a bar in my jersey pocket and have it towards the end of my ride to kick-start the recovery process and prepare my body for the following session. I love pea protein as my body absorbs every once, combined with the raw seeds, nuts and fruit. You can’t get anymore natural than that.

I store the bars in all my modes of transport (car, motor bike etc) and in all my bags I take to training (swim bag, run bag etc), just in case I forget I know I have a great source of healthy and nutritious snack waiting for me.

You can’t compromise your health, without your health what do you have… It doesn’t have to be hard work to be healthy or stay healthy. Nuzest is making your life and mine, so much easier by sourcing the cleanest and healthiest ingredients, combining them together and allowing us to reap the rewards on and off the racecourse.

Checkout what Nuzest has to offer and how much they care about wanting you to succeed in living a happy and healthy life.”

Benny Allen
Pro Triathlete

Follow Ben: Facebook @benallenthriathlete | Instagram: @bennyallen

Interview with Vegan Professional Athlete Ben Allen

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Ben Allen is a World Class Professional Triathlete with over a decade of racing experience. He is a 20 x World Tour Off-Road Triathlon Champion, 2 x National Off-Road Triathlon Champion, National Adventure Racing Champion and 3 x Australian Surf Life Saving Champion.

Ben is based in Wollongong, Australia and from April through to October he joins the World’s Elite Endurance Athletes in Europe, basing himself in France.

    1. What do you love about being a professional athlete?

      I race on the Off-Road Triathlon World Tour, taking me to around 18 different countries, 5 different continents and over 50,000 miles of travelling. I am challenged on the racecourse, not only by my competitors, but also by Mother Nature. Climbing mountains, descending steep rock faces, running on uneven surfaces and dealing with inclement weather conditions. You definitely know you’re alive when your heart is beating out of your chest. The lifestyle keeps me fit, healthy and pro-active looking for that next adventure that is life.

    2. Why did you choose to become a Vegan athlete?

      Becoming a vegan has enabled me to sustain a peak physical and mental condition on and off the racecourse. Even from a young age I was a vegan without knowing I was one, I suffered with asthma and not eating meat and staying away from diary helped me breath better. I did start to eat a “normal diet” as a teenager but then suffered a lot of health issues and never performed to my potential as an athlete.

      I was studying to be a PE teacher at Wollongong University and a good friend of mind who is vegan, introduced me to a vegan lifestyle. Lets just say, it was a GAME CHANGER and my health has been the best it has ever been. At first I found it difficult to make the transition, due to not eating enough to fuel my athletic lifestyle, but now I feel like I have a new lease on life and have found ways to help me be healthy and happy.

    3. How does Nuzest help you perform at your peak?

      Nuzest plays an important role in my lifestyle being an athlete and vegan, allowing me to stay fuelled with all the essential amino acids and vitamins that my body needs, as I constantly am pushing it to its limits both physically and mentally. Not to mention travelling to countries where I am not able to get good quality food, I feel undernourished. But now with Nuzest’s help, I don’t worry at all as I know I have everything I need to fill in the gaps and keep me healthy and continue to live a well-balanced life.

    4. So why Nuzest?

      It’s simple really. All natural ingredients, packed full of all the essential amino acids and vitamins my body needs and I love all the functional flavours available depending on what my taste buds are craving that day. I take Nuzest on training rides, with Good Green Stuff bars and also have my post session recovery shake on hand to replenish my energy levels, ready to go again for the next session.

      I feel very honoured to be involved in Nuzest, I believe it is the BEST product on the market. The Nuzest family are passionate about wanting to make a different in your everyday life. A lifestyle where you feel happy, healthy and can live without feel yuk. You will be surprised how much your body will love you by fuelling it full of all the good stuff. Thanks Nuzest for giving me a new outlook on a happier and healthier life.

    Follow Ben: @benallenthriathlete

NEW Clean Lean Protein Bars

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European Golden Pea Protein Isolate blended with only whole food ingredients, pressed into a tasty and convenient bar form, making quality nutrition even more accessible when you’re on the go!

At Nuzest we believe in a planet thriving on plant-based nutrition. We love listening to our customers’ needs to help them simplify their diet and lives to ensure they meet all their nutritional requirements, daily.

Introducing our new 100% plant-based Clean Lean Protein Bar range, available in two delicious flavours -Cacao Coconut & Vanilla Almond.

With up to 14g of your favourite plant-based protein from European Golden Peas, they provide the ideal balance of energy contribution from protein, fats and carbohydrates; helping you stayed fuelled for the day the healthy way!
Efficacy of our ingredients has always been our top priority, so you won’t find anything you don’t understand in our ingredients list. We’ve utilized ingredients from whole foods such as nuts, seeds, and fruit in as close to their natural state as possible, to ensure we fuel and nourish every cell of your body. Like the rest of our range, our bars are vegan, gluten free, soy free and GMO free meaning you won’t find anything artificial; no fillers, no additives, and no scary stuff!

Our Clean Lean Protein already contains sufficient levels of all the essential amino acids, however the addition of nuts and seeds means you’re boosting your protein intake with the added benefit of essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals to ensure you’re performing optimally every day.

HOW TO USE
Our bars make good nutrition so simple; all you need to do is choose a flavour to suit your daily requirements, tear the wrapper, bite and chew! Always ensure you dispose of the wrapper appropriately.

WHEN TO USE
Keep your cupboard stocked with our Clean Lean Protein Bars so that you can pop them into your gym bag, handbag, nappy bag, lunch bag or your back pocket and consume any time you’re looking for a snack that is good for you, whilst also tasting like a treat! Great to have every day post workout, for a mid-morning or afternoon snack, to stay energized when travelling, or when your hunger creeps up on you between meals.

INDEPENDENTLY TESTED & FREE FROM COMMON ALLERGENS
Ingredients are blended in Australia under strict GMP standards. The finished products are then tested to ensure they are safe and free from gluten, dairy and soy.

An interview with Janis Blums from Sweaty Soul

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Janis is a former junior Australian High Jump Champion and Sydney AFL Captain, Best & Fairest Winner and Team of the Year Representative. He is currently serving his 10th year as a Fire Fighter for Fire & Rescue NSW and is the creator of FDPT – Fitness Development and Personal Training.

Coupled with his major in Psychology from the University of Sydney, Janis provides a highly educational approach that utilises behavioural change techniques within a client’s training program that not only inspires but also empowers them with the inner discipline necessary to take full ownership of their health and fitness, lifestyle and ambitions in the future.

    1. What is your all-time favourite type of work out and why?

      My go to would be a kettlebell complex workout that involves Turkish Getup’s, swings, cleans, goblet squats and windmills. It will definitely keep you really honest in form and technique but it will also give you gains in strength, stability, mobility, conditioning and motor control all in 20-30mins.

    2. What is your go-to snack/meal/drink pre- and post-training?

      Pre-workout would definitely be an Acai bowl with banana, strawberries, muesli, coconut and goji berries on top. Post-workout, a Nuzest Clean Lean Protein Matcha shake mixed with Good Green Stuff.

    3. If you had to choose the 3 most effective exercises – what would they be?

      Deadbug – It’s an amazing exercise to build core/pelvic stability, strength and motor control for all levels.

      Rows – These should be done frequently as they are a movement that promotes external rotation of the shoulder joint (as opposed to the pull/chin up that reinforces internal rotation aka rounded shoulders) whilst strengthening the muscles of the mid back that often become lengthened and weak from our highly sedentary lifestyles.

      Split Squat – Quite often the Squat is a movement that should not be loaded for a high proportion of the population due to common pelvic instability or insufficient mobility of the ankle, hip or thoracic regions. The Split squat however is harder to execute incorrectly, still gives you a super pump even without weight, helps correct asymmetries and improves balance.

    4. What makes Sweaty Soul unique to other fitness studios?

      Sweaty Soul offers Spin, Boxing, Pilates and FITHIT classes, so I think there’s always a fun choice to be made each day about what type of training they would like to do. Sweaty Soul Personal Training is unique because it’s completely private and gives the coach and client a really good learning environment without added noise and equipment delays.

    5. What is your no1. tip for someone starting a new training regime to keep them motivated?

      My number 1 tip would be for them to start by simply accepting where they are right now in terms of fitness and strength and not put too much pressure on themselves. To look at the new training as the beginning of a new journey for them and like all journeys there will be highs and lows and to celebrate the little gains and understand that each setback is a learning outcome. And make friends with people at the gym, its a great way to get excited about going to each session.

    6. What is your favourite CLP Functionals flavour?

      I can’t choose between the Vanilla Matcha and the Coffee, Coconut & MCTs!

Follow Janis here:
Instagram: @sweatysoulsydney @janis_blums
Facebook: www.facebook.com/sweatysoulsydney/
Website: Sweaty Soul

An interview with Nick Walsh from Sweaty Soul

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Nick Walsh is the owner and director of Sweaty Soul – a boutique, class-based Studio in Edgecliff, with an aim to improve your fitness levels and leave you feeling invigorated. Having had an extensive and awarded career playing and coaching AFL, Nick is now a defensive coach for the GWS Giants and currently completing his Masters in Performance (Strength and Conditioning).

  1. What is your all-time favourite type of work out and why?

    I love to Box. I have boxed since I was young but always trained at it as a secondary sport alongside of football. Boxing teaches you great discipline also.

  2. What is your go-to snack/meal/drink pre- and post-training?

    Since learning about the Nuzest range my new go to is the Clean Lean Protein Vanilla Matcha with ice cold water. Don’t mind throwing half a banana in from time to time.

  3. If you had to choose the 3 most effective exercises – what would they be?

    Movement preparation – to build efficiency when going to lift.

    Olympic lifting – in terms of full range for function (not necessarily heavy but dynamic)

    A combo of high intensity – to keep the body guessing and burning afterwards.

  4. What makes Sweaty Soul unique to other fitness studios?

    I guess I see Sweaty Soul as a boutique class-based studio that offers a range of classes – Spin, Boxing, Fit Hit & Pilates.

    At Sweaty Soul, we are very much in check with building a small community around the Edgecliff/Rushcutters area. We love our clients, we personally take the time to get to know them and we are very open and transparent with them. The small setting allows for very personal Training.

  5. What is your no1. tip for someone starting a new training regime to keep them motivated?

    Come down and try Sweaty Soul. Haha! No seriously, just come and try a class. You are guaranteed to find something that you’ll like and an instructor that motivates and challenges you. By sticking with them you will see benefits almost immediately.

  6. What is your favourite CLP Functionals flavour?

    Vanilla Matcha!

Follow Nick here:
Instagram: @sweatysoulsydney @nickowalsh
Facebook: www.facebook.com/sweatysoulsydney/
Website: Sweaty Soul Sydney

Matcha Green Tea: The Ultimate Pre-Workout Supplement

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Matcha lattes, matcha smoothies, matcha ice-cream, matcha donuts, matcha protein balls – the world’s gone matcha mad!… and for good reason! Not only does this bright green powder taste amazing but it is also incredibly good for your skin, memory, concentration and mood. And if you’re a health-conscious fitness-fan then matcha has the potential to help make all your health goals a reality (in addition to a healthy diet and exercise of course). This powerful plant has been proven to aid weight loss, increase muscle building and improve energy levels. It has it all!

Made from finely ground leaves of the Camellia sinensis (Green Tea) plant, matcha has even higher levels of caffeine and antioxidants than are typically found in green tea. The specific methods of growing and cultivating the leaves creates a unique and potent nutrient profile. When you drink matcha you’re getting 100% of the plant’s vitamins, minerals and fibre content, and 137 times the antioxidants found in a regular cup of green tea.

Matcha owes all its abundant antioxidant properties to a molecule from the polyphenolic catechins group called EGCG (or epigallocatechin gallate), which has been scientifically proven to have anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-carcinogenic properties.1 Studies have also found ECGC to have anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects by reducing circulating cholesterol and triglycerides, reducing blood pressure, improving body mass index ratios, increasing thermogenesis (the body’s rate of burning calories) and increasing body fat oxidation – which consequently results in improved endurance capcity.2,3

We all know how important regular exercise is for our physical, mental and emotional health, but strenuous anaerobic exercises have been reported to enhance the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS); which in turn can contribute to both the initiation and progression of muscle fibre injury as well as impaired muscle performance.4 Green Tea Extract (GTE) however has been clinically proven to prevent oxidative stress induced by high-intensity training and subsequent muscle breakdown – once again thanks to its EGCG content.5

But EGCG isn’t the only active ingredient in matcha that we can be thankful for. The caffeine in matcha can help enhance physical and mental energy by releasing neurotransmitter catecholamines. It also helps fuel our bodies for exercise by increasing blood delivery to our muscles. If you’re not a regular consumer of caffeine and you are concerned about its negative side effects, you don’t need to be! The L-theanine content in matcha works with the caffeine to reduce the risk of energy crashes, jitters and anxiety, and helps sustain energy levels and concentration for longer.6

So, whether your goal is to increase endurance, increase metabolism and/or lose excess visceral fat, matcha can assist the body with all three. For an easy and delicious way to include matcha in your pre-workout protein snacks and smoothies, try our new Clean Lean Protein Functional Flavour range in Vanilla Matcha flavour!

References

1Gahreman, D., Wang, R., Boutcher, Y., & Boutcher, S. (2015). Green Tea, Intermittent Sprinting Exercise, and Fat Oxidation. Nutrients, 7(7), 5646–5663. http://doi.org/10.3390/nu7075245

2Jayakeerthana, S. (2016). Benefits of Green Tea: A Review. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, 8(10), 1184-1187.

3Roberts, J., Roberts, M., Tarpey, M., Weekes, J., & Thomas, C. (2015). The effect of a decaffeinated green tea extract formula on fat oxidation, body composition and exercise performance. Journal Of The International Society Of Sports Nutrition, 12(1), 1-9. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12970-014-0062-7

4Bloomer, R., & Goldfarb, A. (2004). Anaerobic Exercise and Oxidative Stress: A Review. Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology, 29(3), 245-263. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/h04-017

5Jówko, E., Długołęcka, B., Makaruk, B., & Cieśliński, I. (2014). The effect of green tea extract supplementation on exercise-induced oxidative stress parameters in male sprinters. European Journal of Nutrition, 54(5), 783-791. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00394-014-0757-1

6Nobre, A. C., Rao, A., & Owen, G. N. (2008). L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effects on mental state. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 17(1), 167-168.

An Interview with Yogi Kirsten Scott

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Kirsten is a Bondi based Holistic Health Coach, Certified Yoga and Meditation Instructor and Functional Movement Trainer with a passion for all things wellness. When she isn’t caught up working with clients you can find Kirsten on the yoga mat, swimming down at Bondi Beach, sipping on green smoothies and laughing way too hard at her own jokes.

  1. When did you start practicing yoga and why?

    When I first started Yoga it was all about the physical practice, but I came to learn the physical element was just a vehicle for what I really experienced deep down… an inner peace that was simply indescribable. True peace. Calm. Mind, body, spirit awareness. An awareness of a universe so far outside of myself and beyond myself. Beyond everything I go through, to just coming into my own as a human and trying to figure it all out.

    It’s about what happens internally that keeps me sane, keeps me coming back for more, and makes me so incredibly grateful that I found this practice. Yoga and meditation help me maintain power and control over my mind. Because when we have that power and control, we can greatly reduce our own suffering and find inner peace. It has taught me a ton about myself and opened my eyes to an entirely different side of who I am. The side of me that loves to teach, connects with deeply rooted spirituality, thinks less and trusts my gut, allows my intuition to lead the way, and so much more.

  2. If you had to choose your favourite 3 yoga poses what would they be?

    3 Yoga Poses that Make My World Go Round:

    Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, a.k.a Upward Facing Dog

    I love this pose for so many reasons. First, it’s a nice, restorative backbend that strengthens your arm, vertebrae and wrists. It’s a great stretch for your shoulders, abdomen, upper back and even your lungs. Hold for about 10 deep breaths or as long as it feels good.

    Utthita Trikonasana, a.k.a Triangle Pose

    THIS is my #1 favorite pose. Triangle is an incredible release along the chest, upper back and shoulder blades. It is also a great stretch for your thighs and hips. I love Triangle the most for the hip benefits because every time I get into the pose I feel my hips opening up (and I hear them… I’m a crack-er), and it feels AMAZING. Breathe, and enjoy the stretch! I also like the stretch/roll out my neck in this pose because it allows me to get super deep.

    Urdhva Dhanurasana, a.k.a Wheel Pose

    Ahhh, wheel pose. If you’re a gymnast, you’re probably used to calling this Bridge Pose. But in yoga, Bridge is different from Wheel in that the shoulders, neck and head stay on the floor. You can practice Bridge until you are comfortable trying Wheel. Wheel feels freaking awesome. It is the ultimate heart opener. It’s an intense pose, so allow yourself to feel that. I usually like to stay up for 5-10 breaths, and come up about 3-5 times in a row. Heart OPENER, baby.

  3. What is your go-to nourishing snack/meal/drink post-yoga?

    I like to keep my post yoga snack simple, uncomplicated and light. After a full-on yoga class all I want is a smoothie. My go to smoothie is full of decadence yet deceivingly totally healthy. 1 scoop Nuzest chocolate protein powder, 1 cup coconut water, 1/2 cup ice, 1 tbsp coconut butter (the nectar of the Gods) 1tsp cinnamon.

  4. What is your no1. tip for someone wanting to establish a yoga practice?

    The only one watching you is yourself – so just relax and enjoy the journey! As a beginner, often we equate yoga with some tough, limb-twisting poses. And maybe your concerned that: “I can’t even touch my toes, how can I do yoga?” Yoga is not about touching your toes, or stretching 98 degrees to your northeast. It’s a simple process of uniting with yourself – using your breath, body and mind. And it’s easy and effortless. So, never mind if you’re not Ms. Flexible or Mr. Stretchable, or are venturing into yoga at the age of 40, or you have secret love handles that are stressing you out – just remove all those myths before beginning your yoga practice!

  5. What advice would you give a well-practiced yogi to take their practice to the next level?

    Practice new poses.The thing that I love about yoga is that no matter where you are in your practice, you can always learn more. When you are ready to practice new poses, prepare yourself by starting with gentle and strengthening preparation poses. I always recommend that you take the time to prepare your body and mind, both physically and mentally, so that when the time is right you can effortlessly glide into your new poses. Some of my favourite poses to practice are variations on Crow (Bakasana), Headstand (Sirsasana), Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana), Forearm Stand (Pincha Mayurasana).Another lovely way to go deeper with your yoga is to experiment with gentle backbends. These will enable you to build spinal flexibility and find more space through your back and spine (and in your life!)

  6. What is your favourite CLP Functionals Flavour?

    Easy – it has to be The Chai, Turmeric + Maca

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Turmeric for post-workout recovery

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We’ve all felt it – that pain and stiffness that occurs several hours (and even days!) after unaccustomed exercise or overworking a particular muscle group. Known as ‘delayed onset muscle soreness’ (DOMS), we typically experience these pains when eccentric muscle activity is involved and the contracting muscles are forcibly lengthened.1 This mechanical stress triggers an inflammatory response and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The result is sustained inflammation and oxidative stress which can eventually lead to muscle injury and the dreaded DOMS.2

The medicinal benefits of regular turmeric consumption have been well documented; from improving brain function to lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, preventing and treating Alzheimer’s Disease and even fighting certain types of cancer. What is less commonly known is that Curcumin (the active constituent of Turmeric that gives it its distinctive yellow colour) has also proven to be beneficial in recovery from exercise due to its powerful antioxidant and inflammatory effects.

To test the theory, a trial was carried out to measure the effects of oral curcumin versus placebo on DOMS following unaccustomed heavy eccentric exercise. The study was a double-blind, randomised-controlled crossover trial in which the Curcumin or placebo were taken two days before to three days after eccentric exercise and the results found that only the Curcumin had beneficial effects. These included:

A double-blind randomised-controlled crossover trial was designed to measure the effects of oral curcumin versus placebo on single-leg jump performance and DOMS following unaccustomed heavy eccentric exercise. The Curcumin or placebo were taken 2 days before to 3 days after eccentric single-leg press exercise and only the Curcumin was found to have beneficial effects. These included:
• moderate to large reductions in single-leg squat and gluteal stretch pain at 24 and 48 hours post exercise,
• reduced pain on walking down stairs, and
• improved muscle performance.3

Another recent randomised, placebo-controlled, single-blind trial comparing Curcumin with placebo was designed to assess the muscle damage of healthy male volunteers after performing a 45 minute downhill running race. Results found that 1g of turmeric given twice daily resulted in:
• reduced MRI evidence of muscle injury in the posterior and medial compartment of both thighs,
• less pain in the lower legs, and
• reduced systemic inflammatory response in comparison to placebo.2

The results from these studies suggest that turmeric has the potential to be very beneficial in reducing post-exercise soreness after high intensity training.

Nuzest’s Chai, Turmeric and Maca Clean Lean Protein (CTM-CLP) contains 1g of 100% pure Indian turmeric root and 19g of digestible protein per 25g serve, making it the perfect pre- and post-workout supplement. Because Curcumin alone has a very low bioavailability, CTM-CLP also contains 100mg of black pepper per serve which has been proven to enhance the bioavailability of curcumin in humans by 2000%.4 A clinical study conducted on elite rugby players has shown that the combination of curcumin and piperine (black pepper’s active ingredient) supplementation before and after exercise may help lessen some aspects of muscle damage.5

So if you’re looking to dial up the intensity of your training, or you want to recover and get back into it faster, try adding turmeric to your diet.

References:
1Proske, U., & Morgan, D. L. (2001). Muscle damage from eccentric exercise: mechanism, mechanical signs, adaptation and clinical applications. The Journal of Physiology, 537(Pt 2), 333–345. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7793.2001.00333.x

2Drobnic, F., Riera, J., Appendino, G., Togni, S., Franceschi, F., & Valle, X. et al. (2014). Reduction of delayed onset muscle soreness by a novel curcumin delivery system (Meriva®): a randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of The International Society of Sports Nutrition, 11(1), 31. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-11-31

3Nicol, L., Rowlands, D., Fazakerly, R., & Kellett, J. (2015). Curcumin supplementation likely attenuates delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). European Journal of Applied Physiology, 115(8), 1769-1777. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00421-015-3152-6

4Shoba, G., Joy, D., Joseph, T., Majeed, M., Rajendran, R., & Srinivas, P. (1998). Influence of Piperine on the Pharmacokinetics of Curcumin in Animals and Human Volunteers. Planta Medica, 64(4), 353-356. http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-2006-957450

5Delecroix, B., Abaïdia, A. E., Leduc, C., Dawson, B., & Dupont, G. (2017). Curcumin and Piperine Supplementation and Recovery Following Exercise Induced Muscle Damage: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 16, 147-153.

Benefits of MCTs for Energy and Exercise

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Fats – the endless scrutiny continues. Which ones are bad for us? Which ones are meant to be good for us? Which ones will make us put on weight? Everyone seems to have a different opinion. The good news is there is one type of fat that experts agree we don’t need to be concerned about – one that is not only good for our health but can also improve our energy and the quality of our workouts.

Medium Chain Triglycerides/Triacylglycerols (MCTs) are a unique form of dietary fat that provide numerous health benefits. Their reduced chain length not only means that they carry fewer calories, it also allows for accelerated metabolic conversion. This means that instead of our bodies storing them as fat (like Long Chain Fatty acids (LCTs)), the calories in MCTs are used immediately by our organs and muscles, making it one of the fastest, cleanest sources of fuel for the body.

MCTs have gained popularity with athletes looking to increase energy levels and enhance endurance during high-intensity exercise. 1 A review of the literature has shown that short-term ingestion of foods containing a small amount of MCTs suppresses the increase in blood lactate concentration and the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) during moderate-intensity exercise; whilst extending the duration of subsequent high-intensity exercise, at levels higher than those achieved by ingestion of LCT-containing foods.2

MCTs have also been found to assist with weight loss because of their lower caloric content than other fats, as well as their ability to enhance metabolism, increase energy expenditure, and promote the production of ketones – all without adversely affecting metabolic risk factors such as cholesterol and blood pressure.1,3,4,5 Scientists have attributed the energy-enhancing properties of MCTs to their rapid formation of ketone bodies thus making them an excellent choice for anyone that has increased energy needs or requires enhanced athletic performance.

Now that we have cleared the air on this group of ‘super’ fats, it’s time to put them to use in your own daily routine. Nuzest’s Coffee, Coconut + MCT Clean Lean Protein contains approximately 600mg of coconut-derived MCTs per 25g serve, making it the perfect pre-workout protein smoothie.

Try our Pre-Workout Coffee, Coconut + MCT protein thick shake recipe to help you get the best out of every workout.

References:

1. Dean, W. & English, J. (2013). Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) – Beneficial Effects on Energy, Atherosclerosis and Aging. Retrieved from https://nutritionreview.org/2013/04/medium-chain-triglycerides-mcts/

2. Nosaka, N., Suzuki, Y., Nagatoishi, A., Kasai, M., Wu, J., & Taguchi, M. (2009). Effect of Ingestion of Medium-Chain Triacylglycerols on Moderate- and High-Intensity Exercise in Recreational Athletes. Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, 55(2), 120-125. http://dx.doi.org/10.3177/jnsv.55.120

3. Mumme, K., & Stonehouse, W. (2015). Effects of Medium-Chain Triglycerides on Weight Loss and Body Composition: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Journal of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 115(2), 249-263. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2014.10.022

4. Rego Costa, A. C., & Rosado, E. L., & Soares-Mota, M. (2012). Influence of the dietary intake of medium chain triglycerides on body composition, energy expenditure and satiety; a systematic review. Nutricion Hospitalaria, 27(1), 103-108.

5. St-Onge, M.-P., Bosarge, A., Goree, L. L. T., & Darnell, B. (2008). Medium Chain Triglyceride Oil Consumption as Part of a Weight Loss Diet Does Not Lead to an Adverse Metabolic Profile When Compared to Olive Oil. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 27(5), 547–552.