So 2020 is upon us. We are now as close to the year 2050 as we are to 1990, McDonald's McChicken range is 40 years old, and kids going to university this year were born in 2002... Terrifying right?
But fear not, because with a new year comes new challenges, opportunities and adventures. More importantly, it also brings with it the age-old promise you make to yourself every year that this year will finally be the one where you haul yourself into the gym, onto a bike or treadmill, or just up a hill to improve your fitness, get ripped, shredded, smash your 5k, 10k, half-marathon, full marathon, the Tour De France (maybe next year) or some other goal.
For many of us (ourselves included), the hardest aspect of any kind of new fitness or training regime usually isn't the hard work you do in the moment, but rather managing your diet and nutrition to aid recovery, growth and ultimately, increased performance. So we're here to talk to you about one of the most important and effective weapons in the arsenal of any aspiring New Year fitness adventurer, and that's diet. Specifically, protein. More specifically, protein powder.
There are a few misconceptions, myths and rumours about protein that we're here to dispel. We're going to simplify how using protein as part of a healthy, balanced diet can help you train better, more frequently and more effectively, and how it can ultimately help to amplify your results regardless of what you're setting out to achieve in fitness this 2020.
So what is protein?
Quite simply, proteins are the building blocks of your body. If you're attempting any kind of new fitness plan or regime, be it running, cycling, fell-walking or weight training, your body will need protein in order to repair and rebuild your muscles. When you work out, you actually put stress on your muscles that leaves them damaged, your body compensates by rebuilding them and making them even stronger than they were before. That's why over time, your muscles start to grow and take shape as you train. To do this, your body needs protein.
So how much protein do I need?
A quick Google search will tell you that the British Nutrition Foundation's Reference Nutrient Intake for protein is 0.75g of protein per kilo of bodyweight. So if you weigh 80kg (just over 12-and-a-half stone), you need about 60 grams of protein. That's 2 chicken breasts (100g each), or five eggs. However, this is really only enough protein to keep your body ticking over. The chances are that if you're setting out on a fitness regime this January, "just ticking over" probably isn't going to cut it. The American College of Sports Medicine reckons that to increase muscle mass, you need to consume between 1.2 and 1.7 grams of protein per kilo. Now our 80kg human needs 136 grams of protein, more than double our previous estimate. That means four chicken breasts, or more than 10 eggs a day! If you're looking to improve your fitness, set new personal bests, increase endurance, grow muscle, get shredded for summer and all that other good stuff, then you need to be consuming ample amounts of protein so that your body can keep up with the stress you're putting it under. Whilst your body can't take on unlimited amounts of protein, don't worry. There is no evidence to suggest that too much protein is bad for you!
I can't eat 10 eggs a day, help me!
That's right. Most people looking to push their fitness will struggle to consume all the protein they need through food alone. Most of us have full-time jobs, family commitments, hobbies and more that leave us short of time. Buying food, preparing it, cooking it and eating all takes time. This is why bodybuilders, endurance athletes, cyclists and sprinters the world over use protein powder to supplement their diet. Protein powder is a really excellent way to help you to achieve your fitness goals. A good portion of protein (usually about 20 grams) can take the place of an extra meal, and be used a great post-workout top-up. If you're putting enough good protein into your body and balancing it with good nutrition all round, you should see your body respond more readily to your 2020 fitness push. You'll recover from exercise more quickly, which will leave you feeling less sore for less time (win), and allow you to train more frequently. It will also help prevent injury, nothing puts a stopper in your exercise plans like not being able to exercise...
Sounds good, do you know any good protein powders?
We are so glad you asked, because actually yes, yes we do. Our KMC PRO MIX is a fantastic protein powder, perfect as a post-workout recovery powder, or a protein hit when you're on the go. It packs in 21 grams of protein, along with just the right amount of carbs to help your body make the most of it. It's gluten-free, vegetarian and Informed Sport Certified. Not only that, it also tastes absolutely incredible. Kendal Mint Cake is at the heart of all of our products, so with our PRO MIX you'll find a fantastic chocolate minty mix, which includes all the natural benefits of mint. Mint is a herb that can help relax your digestive system, and it's also an anti-inflammatory.
When should I take this?
We recommend taking protein right after a workout. It's been specifically designed as a recovery powder to aid in, well, recovery after exercise. There's plenty of research to suggest that your body is particularly receptive to protein for a couple of hours after exercise. This is commonly known as the "anabolic window". Not only will taking protein after a workout maximise recovery, it also means that you've got the rest of the day to fit in the rest of your good food. Remember, protein is a "supplement", so by definition, you should be using it as a tool alongside your training and the rest of your diet. If you take protein after a workout but neglect the rest of your eating, you risk counteracting all those benefits we've just told you about.
Kendal Mint Co. - PRO MIX Recovery Powder 12x40g £9.99
Surprise, right now our protein is on offer for just £9.99. It's usually £21.99, so this is a massive saving. With 12 sachets in every box, that's less than a pound a serving! This offer will be available for the whole of January, so step to it!