[\ˌper-ə-pə-ˈte-tik\]: wandering from place to place
If you are an athlete and have ever spent any time searching for a protein powder, you will immediately identify with the frustration I have experienced looking for a product with the best protein/ingredient/cost ratio. I’ve found this problem to be even more exacerbated by the fact that I’ve been looking for a plant-based option (though Whey users shouldn’t stop reading(!)). Granted, there are a number of feasible options available, but I have found that the powders with the higher protein content tend to demand a much higher price.
One of best options for a vegan athlete––which I am not, though I often eat like one––comes from Vega Sport, founded by vegan Ironman Brendan Brazier. In fact, their performance protein may even rival a good deal of whey products. I’m already in love with Vega’s Recovery Accelerator and use it after all of my long runs and speed workouts. Yet the price tag on their Performance Protein is usually quite steep. Most often I see it priced for around $60.00, and with only 22 servings per tub, that amounts to $2.72 a serving. By way of contrast, I’ve found the Recovery Accelerator for as low as $20.00 for 20 servings, basically the price of a Gatorade.
Anyway, after looking at a number of other options and even locating a recipe for replicating Vega’s product (here), I finally stumbled across a little company called True Nutrition (formerly known as trueprotein.com). What this company does is provide a very unique service: it allows one to virtually build his or her own protein powder. The types of proteins vary anywhere from Whey, Soy, Hemp, etc., and one also has the ability to add a good deal of other ingredients. For instance, the order I ultimately placed was for 2 lbs. (30 servings) of powder composed of Hemp Protein (20%), Rice Protein (20%), Pea Protein (30%), BCAA’s (15%), and Glutamine (15%)––a combination that produces a virtually identical nutrition profile to Vega’s product when you factor in a comparison of serving sizes. The cost for this creation:…just over 20 dollars.
I placed the order last Friday and the package showed up on Tuesday, allowing me to be able to try it out after Wednesday’s speed session (i.e., 7 miles total with 10 x 400s @ 1,500 meter pace). Overall conclusion: not bad at all! I had some problems with getting one of the ingredients to fully dissolve in the water. The difficulty here is that I have no idea which ingredient it was, so it may be a little difficult factoring this in when I place my next order. Additionally, I will also probably mix it with a little almond milk next time to give it a little of a flavor boost. The company provides a good deal of flavoring options and even gives one the ability to increase how much flavoring is added. I went with the Chocolate Peanut Butter and it wasn’t bad at all. Vega’s powder definitely wins in the taste department, but I would never describe any protein powder as tasting “good”. That goes not only for plant-based products, but also those of the whey variety.
So if you are looking for a viable substitute to your normal powder, perhaps it is worth your time checking the company out.
(photo credit to: las-initially)
"The principle of specificity means that to become accomplished at an activity, you must practice that activity and not try to achieve gains through performing another activity."
(Borrowing a line from the Rolling Stones)
In January 2011, I was signed up for the Camp Pendleton Mud Run, a difficult 10k trail run occasionally interrupted by Marine Corp style obstacles. Notice that I said “I was signed up” rather than “I signed myself up”. While there was a bit of concession––”Alright, alright…I’ll do it”––the impetus for running the race was my girlfriend’s insistence, not some innate desire to go out and run 6.2 miles.
A little bit of background: prior to being signed up for this race, I could have probably counted the number of miles I had run the prior year with my two hands. I went through an occaisional exercise regiment here and there, but was certainly not in very good shape (though “good shape”, of course, is slightly a relative term). I battled with smoking on and off, often losing the battle to that difficult habit. I didn’t pay too much attention to what I ate, though my passion for cooking already kept me from eating poorly. So when the race confirmation hit my inbox, I knew that I was going to have to start making some changes.
I started running the very next week. I’ve always been able to sustain running 3 miles without stopping, so I started with that three times a week. A month later I completely quit smoking, focused more on my diet, and started to increase my mileage. As it turned out, I quite enjoyed running. I ran the 10k in June of that year with an 8:20 mi/pace (factoring out the time spent swimming, crawling, and climbing).
But things didn’t stop there. I kept up with my weekly mileage during the months that followed, decided to run an endurance race, and ultimately completed the LA Marathon in March 2012. Since then I have signed up for a number of races, ranging from 10ks to half-marathons, and plan to run another full marathon this December.
I am a very analytical person and, therefore, tend to think a lot about whatever it is that I am presently involved in. As such, this blog will primarily be a record of things that I am learning, mistakes that I have made, or, simply, observations that I would like to share––Oh(!), and let us not forget “the occasional picture”.