Although in an ideal world I'd get all my nutrition needs from real food, it's not an ideal world. It's pretty easy to let nutrition ideals slide when we've not got time to cook, or a lot of time to do batch cooking on a Sunday etc. It's one of the number one reasons people bin off their lofty goals to get their sh*t handled when it comes to nutrition. Consistency..and poor strategies!
Or maybe you are like me..I don't like to cook that much. I want simple, easy strategies to stay on track. So I have to have contingencies.
The main one in my armoury is a Meal Replacement Powder. Most people have a poor preconception of these and associate them with Slim Fast, or Herbalife or some other slimming/rapid weight loss product.
Nothing could be farther from the truth when you use a quality one that provides you with the necessary elements you need for your individual nutrition needs.
I personally use Kinetica Complete which provides me with my individual protein needs along with some of my carbohydrate requirements. The rest I add to it via fruit and nut butters to round out my meal and hit my meal make up.
So what am I looking for and why do I choose Kinetica?
PROTEIN AMOUNT PER SERVING:
I need/want at least 28g-35g of protein per meal. Kinetica Complete gives me 35.8g protein. If a product doesn't hit my protein requirement per serving I don't bother buying it. Knowing your numbers and requirements are key on this. If you want some help on that..well you know I do nutrition coaching. Hit me up!
CARBOHYDRATE AMOUNT PER SERVING:
I'm looking for around 20-25g of carbs. It's not as important for me as the protein element because I make up my carbs to what level I want them to be by adding in real food to my meal as a side. Various types of fruit do this nicely for me. Most of the time though my meal breakdown involves more fat than carbs.
Kinetica Complete gives me 3.4g of Creatine per serving. Creatine is arguably THE most proven sports supplement relating to performance there is. Loads of studies to back up its efficacy. With my background in CrossFit and weightlifting its use for the power end of things is invaluable. I'm not going to go into the science but do your own research and you'll see why its a valuable addition if you chuck kilos around in your training.
HYDROLYSED WHEY PROTEIN:
The protein is broken down more before ingestion. Provides more rapid absorption and can be a lot kinder to digestive sensitivities who struggle with traditional whey protein with gas/bloating etc. They actually use it in specialised baby formulas for those who struggle with standard forms.
Hydrolysed whey was used in the Neocate formula my daughter had to go on after numerous problems with traditional milk formulas that aggravated her digestive system in her first year. It's not a deal breaker when choosing but for those that have always had tummy issues when trying to find a suitable protein/MRP then its something to really look at.
A BIT ABOUT KINETICA:
"Kinetica’s products benefit from the unrivalled expertise of our parent company. As a major ingredients manufacturer and producer of top quality Whey Protein, it is an integral part of our innovative product range.
Based in Ireland, our farmer-owned parent company has one of the largest cheese factories in Europe, from where fresh dairy whey is produced. With over 30 years as innovators in the Whey Protein field our close working relationship gives Kinetica products the endorsement that makes them credible, artfully engineered and unrivalled. Further ratification comes from our close association with a number of highly regarded partnerships with leading teams and associations – Connacht Rugby and Bath Rugby.
Uniquely at Kinetica Sports Nutrition, we manufacture all of our own proteins in our state-of-the-art-dairy manufacturing facility and maintain full control over the supply and selection, to ensure that the highest quality whey proteins are available to you. All Kinetica products are batch tested within the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) framework to ensure we offer our customers a safe and dependable sports nutrition product."
I was made aware of this no-nonsense brand through CrossFit circles. Most people's exposure to protein products tend to be via bodybuilding websites and channels. These guys specifically aim to be a top notch sports nutrition oriented company.
My MRP gives me a tonne of flexibility around my nutrition and allows me to work around changing schedules and accessibility to a kitchen or the usual real food I'd go for. All I need is some water, a shaker and some nut butter (peanut/almond) and I have a portable, ready made meal to go!
I use mine for early morning breakfasts, post workout meals, or an easy option when I'm tired or ill and cooking is not what I'm up for.
Yes there are some things in the ingredients that ideally I wouldn't want to normally eat...but the benefits outweigh the cons of the product.
Taste and price are the main concerns anyone should prioritise when choosing this type of product. Now these things never taste amazing. Most products I use are made to taste better by the nut butters I use with them. Peanut butter makes everything in the world better! Price wise it's pretty pricey to get Kinetica direct from them so shop around for the best price for the product you like. Another tip is to try friends options of what they use at the gym before you buy. Or sourcing samples is another good option if you can.
The key is don't turn these things into a crutch and overuse them. If I'm eating 4-5 times a day I only want say 2 meals max that would involve an MRP. When I used to do purely weight training and was eating 6 times a day 3 of my 6 meals did come from this type of product because eating that amount of calories in an all food format is hard and is just not an option sometimes..along with the logistics of prepping that much food each day.
So..hope that helps get some understanding of what/why you would use an MRP (protein/carbs/some fats) or a Protein Powder, and helps you decide if it is something that helps you out in the obstacle ridden world of nutrition.