Friday, November 12, 2010

Post- Workout Food: Fighter's Food

It is no secret that how you recover post work-out will set the stage for your next workout. What so many people refer to as the "Window of Recovery" or Anabolic Window (muscle building/recovery), is the one time that supplements may truly benefit you and offer the most benefit. A lot of people refer to this as a 1 hour window, when in fact studies show that taking a post workout recovery product within 15-30 min following your workout really maximizes your results. Think of yourself as a sponge, your glycogen is depleted post workout, muscle fibers torn up, and your body is ready to soak up anything you put in it like a dry sponge to aid recovery. So this is the time that really matters (a worthwhile read on recovery and Nutrient Timing is "Nutrient Timing: The Future of Sports Nutrition). The aim of "recovery" is to Replenish, Rebuild, and Rehydrate.

What you ingest will go towards repairing your muscle tissue, helping rebuild the fibers you have broken up; replenishing your glycogen stores, so you have adequate energy for the next workout, as well as having energy throughout the day; replenishing your electrolytes, so that the water balance in your cells stays balanced, and you do not get dehydrated and weak. Potassium is essential for this, and for keeping your heart healthy. In essence, post workout fuel, determines your next workout as well as your results.

I know many people who are doing the P90X or Insanity (or similar workouts), and I have to say that I find the Beach Body products shameful, insulting to the customers who pay for these products, and pathetic due to the content and quality. I deal with so many people on a weekly basis, looking for a similar product to their "recovery" drink. For anyone not familiar with it, it contains all of 10 grams of protein. I know that the 4:1 ratio is popular, but the quality of product is lacking: at a whopping 36 grams of sugar per serving, it seems sugar trumps all- keep in mind only 10g protein (the first 2 ingredients are glucose and fructose) . People either do not want to spend money ordering it, or once they read the ingredients, are desperate for a replacement that is all-in-one (especially newbies to exercise, who aren't experienced and don't want the complications of making your own mix). Although there is no "one size fits all" product out there, as we all have different needs, workouts etc, I have come across a wonderful recovery product that I feel comfortable suggesting to clients and customers; one that I stand behind.

I have reviewed Nutrabolics Vitabolic in the past (Multi-Vitamin/mineral/greens/antioxidant), and had great results with it. Besides having a full Sports Nutrition Line, they also make some fantastic Recovery formulas not over flowing with sugar. Namely, Anabolic Window, and the one that I want to review today:
Fighter's Food.

What led me to like this formula, is the formula itself! While not perfect, I have found it gives consistently great results, tastes pleasant, and covers a wide spectrum to help your body recover in multiple ways. It is comprised of all the components one would need in a post-workout optimizing product, in a readily absorbed and digested form.

Fighter's Food is described as a "High performance Protein and Micro-nutrient Complex" and comes in 2 flavors: Acai Berry and Chocolate. Surprisingly the Acai Berry seems to be the most popular. I will post the label and ingredients first, and then do a complete run down following their own description:

Fighter's Food Integrals: Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Fruit And Vegetable Extracts.

Here is a brief run down of the different complexes as described by the company:

Precision Engineered High Performance Protein Complex: Fast acting, easily assimilated, and anabolically active multi-spectrum protein matrix stacked with essential amino acids, BCAA's, and growth factors.

Cross-Flow Micro-Filtered Whey Protein Isolate supplies the highest levels of di-, tri-, and oligo-whey peptides, including over 10% immunoglobulins (vital antibodies support a balanced, healthy immune response).

Whey Protein Hydrolysate is Whey Protein Isolate that has been pre-digested through an enzymatic process and is assimilated into the body quickly. This process breaks the protein down into its smaller amino acids and reduces the amount of time that the protein stays in the stomach, thus making the protein more available for the muscles to begin using rapidly without further degradation by digestion. This makes Whey Protein Hydrolysate well-suited for use post- workout and exercise because of the increased bioavailability of the predigested protein.

Freeze Dried Extracts From Berries And Vegetables: Freeze drying removes water from fruits and vegetables while preserving 100% of the biologically active antioxidants and phytonutrients. In terms of biological activity, FIGHTER'S FOOD possesses powerful enzymatic activity and a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals.

High Tech Fiber Blend: For over-all health your nutritional strategy must include high fiber foods. FIGHTER'S FOOD is a powerful weapon in every athlete's diet and is a convenient way to supplement quality fiber into your nutrition plan.

Size Inducing Carb Formula with Waxy Maize Starch: Waxy maise starch is a unique complex carbohydrate capable of being absorbed quickly by bypassing digestion in the stomach. Unlike glucose, waxy maize actually pulls water and nutrients from the stomach and into the blood. Expect fully engorged muscles, increased vascularity, and greater recovery.

You Get:

•Quality Nutrition

•Faster Recovery

•More Energy

•Advanced Multi-spectrum Protein

As I mentioned, it isn't perfect, namely the lack of BCAA's or Branched Chain Amino Acids (which are in their Anabolic Window formula).

Starting with their Protein Complex, the first thing I generally look for is the type of protein used. I was thrilled to see Hydrolysates, and Cross Flow Microfiltered Whey Isolate on the label! Both of these deliver almost immediate absorption of Amino Acids to the muscles, which the body desperately needs post workout. Hydrolyzed Proteins (Smallest particles, enzymatically broken down into di-tri peptides and have the fastest absorbency),  literally is Pre-Digested and offer great benefits to those looking to maximize their nutrient timing and recovery.

I really love the ratios in this product, as well as the freeze dried component; added antioxidants to negate free radical damage caused by exercise is always welcome! I especially love the Land and Sea Vegetable Complex, which among other things contains: Spirulina, Green Algae, Chlorella, Kelp and Dulse! Granted, it is a proprietary blend of products, so you don't know the standardization and amounts (most likely they are there just as a 'garnish), but the fact that they took the time to research, and put these in here is a nice touch, and a very appreciated component!

The same applies to the Herbal Complex, which includes Milk Thistle, Astragalus and Ginseng. I would have loved to see Rhodiola, and Maca in here as well.

Their Freeze Dried Veggie Complex boasts vegetables such as Kale, Broccoli, Wheat Grass, Barley Grass, Spinach, Shittake, and Cabbage. Vegetables and greens specifically are needed for maintaining a more Alkaline PH balance, and are full of phytochemicals, vitamins and nutrients.

The Freeze Dried Fruit Complex contains Acai Berry, Gogi Berry, Blueberry, RESVERATROL (I LOVE Resveratrol, and highly recommend it!), Coffee Berry, which is a potent antioxidant; Elderberry, which boosts immune health and helps combat the flu and viruses; Billberry, which is great for eye health, and Grape Seed Extract. As you can see, the fruits that they picked are among the highest ORAC containing fruits, that pack a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory punch.

Additionally, it contains no added sugars, which generally is a deal breaker for me. It would be nice if they came out in more flavors besides just chocolate and Acai Berry. Overall, this is a fantastic product. I recommend giving it a try, and seeing how you feel after using it!

*As with all of my reviews, I have not been paid for them at all. These are my own opinions and thoughts. Additionally, I have never been contacted by Nutrabolics.

1 comment:

  1. I am so bad about eating before or after a workout. Somehow I have no appetite after exercising? This is a great product for people like me because it is super convenient.

    You amaze me with your knowledge and thoroughness!! Great review - you deserve to get paid for it!