While hundreds of people consider applying for refunds on their hastily bought 2013 gym memberships, AOC’s resident runner Sam Stow turns to Multipower’s tasty new flapjacks for some serious sports nutrition…
For many people the temptation to hit the streets or head to the gym is never greater than straight after the festive season. Days (sometimes weeks) of eating and drinking tend to add a pound or three to most waistlines, and with those pesky New Year’s resolutions to be made you’ve no doubt seen a few more joggers out and about since the start of 2013.
If you are planning to use Christmas excess as motivation for getting into shape and improving your fitness, you’re best advised not to rely on that leftover chocolate Father Christmas to fuel you through that gruelling 10-mile training run. In fact, if you’re planning a pretty serious fitness programme, it is essential that you’re eating enough of the right kind of food to both a) give you enough energy for exercise and b) protect against injury.
Over the past couple of years, middle- and long-distance running has becoming a regular part of my life. There have been breaks, before and after events, but by and large, I head out for a run at least twice a week. With a preference for distances between 6 and 13 miles, I often need a bit of a boost before and after training sessions, with loss of fluids and the risk of injury being my biggest concern.
With this in mind, I decided to try Multipower’s Fit Protein Flapjack. With 18g of high-quality protein in every 70g bar, it is ideal for kick-staring muscle recovery and re-building after training, and with 33g of carbohydrate it provides a useful energy boost prior to strenuous sessions.
I always try and eat a meal with decent protein levels fairly soon after I finish a long run, so I decided to use the flapjacks as a quick snack immediately after training, which I could then back up with some chicken or fish. As sports nutritionists will tell you, the value of eating protein after exercise (at least in terms of injury prevention) quickly decreases if you wait too long, so if nothing else it’s handy to have something you can chow down on as soon as you’ve taken off your trainers.
As such, over the past few weeks, I’ve eaten half a bar at the end of every long training run that I complete (in my world, a ‘long’ run equates to anywhere between 7.5 and 9 miles). First up, I’m pleased to say that these flapjacks are probably the best-tasting sports nutrition products I’ve tasted. Normally, even with the better options, there’s an artificial edge or slight after taste, but I’d happily eat one of these flapjacks out of choice with a cup of tea (not advised if you’re not actually exercising, of course).
The telltale sign that these bars aren’t just a tasty treat is that they are incredibly filling. Each bite is packed with protein and it feels like it, so make sure you’ve got a glass of water – or Multipower sports drink – to hand to help wash the oaty goodness down.
As for the science, they’re nothing if not an incredibly easy way to energise after strenuous exercise. Half a bar, plus a small protein-based meal, has generally kept me going for three or four hours after a long run, and I’ve felt strong and niggle-free from day to day. Interestingly, I have noticed that my general level of muscle stiffness has been lower than usual, although this may be due to better overall fitness levels.
Chances are, however, that the extra protein is doing me plenty of good, and I’m planning to keep using the flapjacks as I prepare for the Whole Foods Market Breakfast Run (possibly England’s only 8.2 mile race) on March 24. Wish me luck… it’s an 8am start.
For more information on Multipower products check out www.multipower.co.uk