Why you should avoid nearly ALL ‘one-a-day’ multivitamins on the market

sports Multivitamin tablets are bad vs Nexgen Pro

It’s a bold title aimed to get your attention because it’s something that everyone should know and the information is aimed to arm you with sound scientific facts to ensure you can make better, more informed choices when it comes to your use of a multivitamin, even if it remains a one day tablet.

As a bonus for reading this post you can get 50% OFF* Nexgen® PRO using the code NEX50 at the checkout.

*Offer valid until 31st May 2016

 

Before I continue I’d like to give a little background to the reason I wrote this blog. At Reflex Nutrition we manufacture two state of the art sports multivitamin formulae, Nexgen® and Nexgen® PRO, with arguably the most researched and highest quality forms of minerals, like Albion®, and vitamins like DeltaGold® in the world. I recently found myself in a health shop which did not stock Reflex Nutrition products so I thought it would be interesting to see what they thought their best multivitamin was. The normal three well-known brands were quickly revealed to me with the shop assistant proudly saying that these were the best because they sell more of these three products than anything else in the shop. I asked the assistant about the ingredients, again I was quickly told that they all provide 100% of RDA of vitamins and there was little difference between the three. The assistant was correct, all three were one day tablets made from almost exactly the same ingredients.

Here is the problem, many of those ingredients are poorly absorbed and they have little or no benefit. It’s my opinion that these types of products are simply made to a price to make as much money as possible. We do things very differently and some even question our business practises because they often come at the cost of profit. The point is though I make supplements because I love making them. If I want a multivitamin product I’ll make it myself, I’ll make the best, I’ll use the best possible most highly researched ingredients on the planet, I’ll use the best delivery format, I’ll use the best equipment and I’ll want research to back up every ingredient I’ve used. At that is exactly how Nexgen® multivitamins were born. Along with the rest of my family, I take Nexgen® PRO every single day.

So now that you have a taste of the passion I have for making multi-vitamins I’d like to tell you what to look out for when buying a multivitamin. Even if you are not a Reflex fan its worth reading and understanding the following differences because they are not small or slight they are overwhelmingly significant.

Top Tip Number One – avoid one a day multivitamins

Always be wary of any one-a-day tablet. To fit everything in a tablet requires the use of cheaper minerals like magnesium oxide, zinc oxide which are poorly absorbed. In addition tablets will often use binders to help them glue together, not ideal for digestion. To illustrate my point I don’t think I ever seen a one day tablet supply all the daily minerals in amino acid chelated form in just one tablet. In addition, many B vitamins are water soluble and are in and out of your body in hours. It’s another reason why a one-a-day is not a good idea.

Top Tip Number Two – avoid cheap poorly absorbed minerals

Minerals. I’d argue in most cases, that they are more important for people than vitamins. As mentioned in Tip One, the use of cheap minerals like magnesium oxide is absolutely rife in the industry. Look for a multivitamin which provides a significant proportion of the key minerals in amino acid chelated form or for minerals like magnesium in salts like magnesium citrate. Both Magnesium Bisglycinate (amino acid chelate) and magnesium citrate are enormously superior in terms of absorption when compared to magnesium oxide. The same is true for most minerals when comparing oxides to state of the art amino acid chelates. You can read more about amino acid chelates here.

Top Tip Number three – look for reputable branded ingredients

The best nutrients and nutraceuticals you will find in a multivitamin are nearly always those of which are branded, often patented and supported by published scientific studies. These are the ones to get excited about because the studies often demonstrate tangible benefits to those taking them. Brands like Albion® Minerals, K2VITAL®, DeltaGOLD®, Sabinsa® and more. It will come as no surprise that here at Reflex Nutrition we make extensive use of such ingredients.

Top Tip Number four – does the multivitamin offer value?

If a one-a-day multivitamin laden with cheap oxide minerals cost just 99p for a month supply it would still be poor value for money because your body really can’t absorb much of it. If you can find a quality product which delivers a decent range of minerals in amino acid chelated form, perhaps branded and your daily RDA of vitamins for £10 for a month supply you are getting good value. I have always thought that if you can find a product offering this type of value then that company must be doing something right. From £10-£25 products should be at the top of the game offering all minerals from amino acid chelates, additional anti-oxidants and well researched branded ingredients. Anything over and above £25 for a month supply needs to be offering something very, very special indeed.

Top Tip Number five – does the multivitamin contain shelf stable friendly bacteria?

Lots of multivitamins say they do contain pro-biotics or friendly bacteria but unless they are a known branded product which is scientifically proven to be shelf stable I’d very wary. In addition, many strains of friendly bacteria work best when coated with protective barriers so that they can survive the acid environment of the stomach and reach the intestines intact where they can flourish.

Top Tip Number six – look for multivitamins in capsules

Any company that makes capsules gets thumbs up from me. They will have done so really for one reason and one reason only, maximum absorption. Capsules cost more, are more difficult to make, the machinery is expensive and they are slower to make, so when a company does make capsules, they do so at great expense with really only one advantage, and that advantage is to the consumer- yes, absorption. It’s a big win and a big step in the right direction. Capsules are king.

Top Tip Number seven- look for multivitamins with a bioavailability enhancer

With so many ingredients in a multivitamin, your body needs all the help it can get. Luckily there is a well-known bioavailability enhancer called Bioperine® from Sabinsa. It is a patented extract of black pepper and has been extensively studied for its role in improving the bioavailability of various vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.

Concluding, this blog has given you the basics of what to look out for and why, the best advice is to take your time to evaluate the product. I’ve no doubt you will be taking a multivitamin to support your health so don’t rush in and buy without thinking, millions of people are seemingly making this mistake every single day. It need not cost the earth either, just £10 will buy a multivitamin which is dramatically different to a one a day.

 

Protein-filled Easter Eggs | Reflex Recipes

Micellar Casein Eggs

Easter: just another date in the calendar to try (and potentially fail) to avoid eating anything overly gluttonous, or an opportunity to whip up something that doesn’t leave you feeling left out but packs in the protein? We opted for the latter and decided to bring you another Reflex Recipe by teaming up with the Protein Chef.

Of course, we had to create an Easter egg, but did so with an added twist. Hidden inside the egg you’ll find a protein crème, made using our Micellar Casein, a product that helps deliver your muscles enough protein for an extended period of time. Perfect to kick off an active Easter Sunday, especially with a choice of flavours that range from Vanilla Ice Cream all the way to Banana Custard!

Ingredients:

100g chocolate
3 scoops of Reflex Micellar Casein
Optional – 20g white chocolate for decoration.

Method:

1. Oil the Easter egg moulds well to avoid the chocolate sticking.

2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water.

3. Spoon the melted chocolate into the Easter egg mould. Fill to around 3/4 of the way up.

4. Tip the mould to spread the chocolate around the sides, then chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

5. Whilst this sets, make up the protein mixture in a small bowl with water. Add the water slowly until you reach a thick and creamy consistency.

6. Loosen the Easter eggs in the moulds to ensure they slip out nice and easily once you have added the protein filling.

7. Add the filling and place them back in the fridge for a few minutes to allow the filling to set a little.

8. Remove the eggs from the mould, place the two shells together and using a little more melted chocolate stick them together.

9. Place the eggs back in the fridge whilst you get your decoration ready. I used white melted chocolate but feel free to add sprinkles, chocolate chips – whatever you like!

10. Allow the decoration to dry and your protein Easter eggs are ready!

Macros (for the egg only, without decoration):

Calories – 120
Carbs – 3.2g
Fat – 8g
Protein – 8g

With each egg factoring in 8g protein and just 120 calories, this might be a recipe you keep in mind for the entire year, and not just Easter! But either way, this is one that takes minimal effort and time, and eliminates the need to buy an unhealthy Creme Egg ever again!

If you do decide to make the recipe this Easter, be sure to share it with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram… and for more Reflex Recipes, simply click here.

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Whey Protein and other protein powder Questions and Answers.

Protein-FAQ

 

Here is our ever growing number of questions and answers relating to not just whey protein but other protein powders and anything related to them. If you cannot find the answer for your own particular query use the contact form on this website and we’ll answer it for you and publish the answer below.

Aaron Howlett asked “How much protein is TOO much ?”

As a general rule of thumb the maximum most people will need if they are training hard in the gym to gain muscle is approximately 2 grams of protein for every kg of bodyweight. This is really as much as you’ll ever need. Much more than this does not necessarily mean more muscle.

Darren Hodgkiss said “I’ve heard different reports regarding how much protein is needed. How much can the body digest in one go? For example if I consume a meal and drink that has 100 grams of protein, will the full 100 grams go into my system?”

If you ingest 100 grams of protein from a protein powder it is likely that your body will absorb a very high percentage of it. However, a very significant percentage of it will be converted to glucose and stored as glycogen. This does have its advantages if you are on a very low carbohydrate diet, but for the majority it is better to consume a meal or protein shake with between 25-50 grams depending on your weight and goals.

Joanne Simmonds asked “How do I decide if I need whey or diet whey?”

If your goal is to specifically reduce body fat then choose Diet Protein, but only if the brand in question provides the scientifically proven daily dosage of 3,000mgs and above of either Clarinol or Tonalin CLA which are the patent protected products made in the EU and USA. Unbranded CLA is nearly all made in China with questionable quality. Choosing a Diet Whey type product with anything less is really a waste of money.

Phill Brooks asked “Is whey better after a workout or a multi stage release protein for hypertrophy.”

For absolute maximum protein synthesis a time release protein is scientifically proven to be superior by a small margin.  Ideally a blend that specifies the exact ratios is ideal, a good place to start is simply mix 1 scoop of Reflex 100% with 1 scoop of Reflex Micellar Casein. Or use Reflex 3D Protein which is arguably the best protein blend you can buy.

Steve Davies asked “Why is it more rewarding to use Reflex Nutrition than the rest ?”

At Reflex Nutrition we have been committed to manufacturing the worlds best whey protein formulas for 20 years.  During that time we have continually pushed for higher quality whey, better manufacturing facilities and better quality controls. When you combine all of these factors we are able to FULLY GUARANTEE every single protein powder we make both in terms of composition and performance. So yes, Reflex Nutrition products are more rewarding because they deliver more than the competition.

Ian Tominski said “I am confused on protein content: 100% Native Whey – the purest and most natural form of whey protein. But it contains 80% protein content. I am not sure if I am comparing apples with apples here but a competitor claims 97.6g per 100g. This sounds more pure but then I have heard of Protein Spiking. So the question is how the hell can you ever tell? Sip it and see?”

Yes, some other companies will claim inaccurate claims for protein such as 97.6.  The product in question is almost certainly made by Danisco under the tradename of BiPro. Looking at the spec sheet it is actually 90-92% on an “as is basis” which what the protein will contain if tested. The figure of 97% is “dry basis”, which is misleading and illegal because it does not reflect the actual content. Unfortunately for consumers unless you happen to be in the whey protein industry you have to be careful because so many companies are more interested in selling rather than focusing on delivering the goods so to speak. Native Whey is derived from fresh skim milk, from grass fed cattle in France, at low temperature using gentle filtration to produce the purest form of whey protein. You can find out more about Native Whey right here.

Habib Noh said “I seen way too much brands! Too many types of protein types!! Whats so special about Reflex Nutrition and never have i heard about this native whey!! Whats with reflex and native?”

Again we have been making whey protein supplements for 20 years and have continually improved whey protein and the quality standards used to make protein powders. In addition we guarantee the protein content, something most companies do not and simply cannot do. Please read our blog on Native Whey Protein to understand why it is the best form of whey protein.

 

Luke Gilham asked,  “Is there any major significance to the additives in some companies whey products? Or could the product be sold in its purest form? Is the additives to lower the cost of production? Thanks!”

Lots of companies use lots of different types of additives to make them taste better, to spike protein content and to lower the costs. Please see our blog which explains which additives pose real issues.

Andy Wolta asks, “Does whey contain vitamin b-12? What whey source contains the most?”

Yes whey protein does contain Vitamin B12, although we do not list it because it varies from batch to batch. 50 grams of whey protein can contain up to 1ug of Vitamin B12 as an example, but sometimes much less and is largely dependent on the quality of the milk and the time of the year the milk is collected.

Ashley Street asked “What is the process of inferior protein supplements/blends and protein spiking ?”

Numerous supplement companies today spike protein powders with Glycine which is a cheap amino acid with a protein content, if measured using Nitrogen analysis, comes at over 100% protein. As a result it is often added by supplement companies to boost protein content very cheaply. We don’t add it to Reflex protein powder because we cannot see any benefit to the consumer.  You can read more about it here.

Andy Waring asks ,”How come whey is less expensive in comparison to casein protein? “

In short Whey Protein is usually cheaper than Micellar Casein because whey protein is a by product of cheese production and there is more readily available. Making Micellar Casein is simply more expensive for the dairies to manufacture because they are in effect producing one product and therefore have to reflect this in their pricing.

Chris Slight says “So… Other than drinking as a shake, can I use my protein in any other way such as baking? If so what’s the best one of your range to use and how can I cook with it?”

You can use any of our protein powders in your cooking, they are usually best used to make low sugar desserts. Depending on the type of dessert it may be best to use something like Instant Whey or Micellar Casein.

Geraint Williams asks, “How long should you wait until having whey after a workout to minimize any adverse effects on your insulin/ gH levels in regards to fat burning and also how can you tell which product is decent quality like reflex and which isn’t.”

If you want to keep insulin levels low and gH levels high for fat burning science indicates that slow release proteins like Micellar Casein are best, and that’s what we would recommend. When looking for quality proteins always try and find a company that will categorically guarantee the protein content, if they don’t ask why?

Adrian Willings asks “Does whey protein give you kidney stones?”

The short answer is for healthy people, no.

James Belbin asks  “Why is whey any better than a single cooked-in-advance chicken breast? Same protein but one is real food the other is processed, surely?”

Convenience is one factor with any high quality protein powder. But perhaps more relevant is the fact  that Whey Protein has the highest biological value of any protein source at 104 B.V, Chicken is 79 B.V. Biological value is measure used to show how much of the protein your body can use. In addition to whey having a higher B.V it also has the highest % of Branch Chain Amino acids and Essential Amino acids, all vital for building muscle.

Chris Summers asks ,”Is whey isolate the best version of whey?”

A Whey Protein Isolate has virtually all excess fat and lactose removed leaving only protein and milk minerals. It is indeed the best in terms of not having any fat or lactose, but you a pay a premium for this. Normal whey proteins as long as they have been made using high quality milk will deliver the same results. The only different type of whey is Native Whey, see the blog here.

Winnie Tang asks, “How different do we digest and process whey protein compared to a nice juicy fillet steak (or any other steaks)?”

Whey protein is digested easily taking around 2 hours.  Part of the reason for this is because it is in a soluble powder format and secondly whey protein is small in structure and easily broken down. By contrast a nice juicy piece of steak will take your body up to 6 hours to digest, this because the meat itself needs to broken down and in addition the physical structure of beef protein is larger and therefore takes more time to digest.

Garrick Murdie asks “By using whey for cooking, does it damage the whey in any way?”

Yes it will denature it and will reduce the bioactive properties (potential health benefits), but NOT the actual protein content in terms of essential amino acids and branch chain amino acids.

Mike Silver asks “Is there any evidence that organic grass fed whey has any more nutrients or less chemicals in than standard whey.”

First its important to understand that all milk in the EU has to meet extremely strict criteria with regard to impurities, so ANY milk/whey product in the EU from any of the top dairies will be pure. Second nearly all milk whether it be organic or standard is nearly always from grass fed cattle because it’s the most economical way for farmers to rear and maintain dairy cattle. As a result, the differences are minimal, in fact in some cases they are often the same. The only occasion where there are differences are during the year when weather effects the growth of grass, during the spring it is normally best and the milk will have slightly higher levels of protein and fat, but this applies to both standard and organic milk. But again it is very weather dependent. The best organic fresh milk does sometimes contain lower levels of saturated fat and slightly higher levels of certain vitamins. However during processing and filtration most of the fat is removed in the first place when making whey protein.

Marcus Rees asks “Is it True/False that too much protein is bad for your kidneys?”

If you are healthy and do not have any kidney related disease then high protein diets are completely safe as demonstrated in numerous scientific studies.

Carl Saunders asks “What is required in the product to ensure it is easily digested into the body? And how does the amino acid profile benefit the rate at which you absorb protein? And last question does the carb profile in One Stop spike your insulin, and if so is this a good thing, dependant on whether you are taking straight after training or just supplementing a meal during the day?”

First additional enzymes like Digezyme and friendly strains of bacteria play their part in helping your body fully digest the protein and carbohydrates found in Reflex protein powders. In addition, in a product like One Stop you will see the addition of a patented nutrient called Bioperine® which improves the absorption of micro nutrients. The amino acid profile has no bearing on the rate at which a protein is absorbed, the size of the protein molecules makes the difference. Whey being smaller means faster and Micellar Casein molecules being larger means longer. The carb content in both versions of One Stop will spike insulin, One Stop Xtreme more than standard One Stop. It is best to take One Stop Xtreme after a workout for maximum benefit, if you take it before a workout it should be at least an hour before.

Andrew Robinson asks “What do you recommend is the ideal amount of protein to take regarding body weight?”

As a general rule of thumb around 2 grams of protein for every kg of bodyweight.

Hamzah Muhammad asks “Normal or hydrolysed whey?”

If you are training for maximum size and training on a regular basis, then hydrolysed whey with plenty of carbohydrate as found in Growth Matrix. If you are a recreational athlete, then normal whey.

Ronnie Raido Riley asks “Should I only consume a whey protein shake after intense exercise to aid with weight loss and lean muscle or can it be used throughout the day too?”

It depends on your diet. Aim to take around 2 grams of protein for every kg of bodyweight and adjust your diet accordingly, use whey protein shakes to supplement where necessary. So yes you might want one extra shake between meals as a snack.

Rebecca Murphy-King says “I am type 1 diabetic. I train 11 times a week and have a full time job on top. Different flavour whey vary in sugar/ carb content so much. Why can’t the sugar that’s added to whey be less complex?”

The trouble with whey and milk proteins is the simple fact that both contain lactose, a sugar. The differences in composition usually come down to chocolate varieties where cocoa powder is used. In Reflex Nutrition products the differences are so minimal between flavours we are able to use one set of nutritionals that applies to most flavours.

Nick Swann asks “How does whey protein stack up against beef protein drinks ?”

Whey Protein is superior to beef protein, whey has a higher Biological Value at 104 vs Beef at 74

 

Ryan Palmer asks, ”Is it true that if you don’t consume whey immediately after a workout you will become catabolic?”

In theory yes, because you have just trained you will probably already be in a catabolic state. More to the point by not eating a form of protein whether it be chicken, fish or whey you will be losing a window of opportunity to boost protein synthesis.

Tristan Webb says, “I always buy high quality whey with little or no carbs, but I’ve been reading that it’s better used with carbs so I’ve been eating a banana with my post workout shake. Should I just buy a shake with carbs in? “

A banana will be just fine, the idea is to provide the body with a carbohydrate source to raise insulin levels maximising protein and glucose delivery to muscle tissue post workout.

Lewis Briggs asks “As such a big sport supplement company how can you prove to us the consumer that what you display on your products is true, as a few big supplier companies have been in deep water as of late for not displaying the correct nutritional information on their products.”

It is simple from our perspective because we are fanatical about quality since the company was formed in 1996. So much so that we came became the first sports nutrition company in the world to become ISO9001 registered for quality control. We were the first sports nutrition company in the world to have our protein products independently tested. We were the first and only sports nutrition company to test and publish competitor results, and we were the first and one of only a couple of sports nutrition companies to have our own lab with the very same lab equipment used in leading laboratories worldwide to assay protein. We test every batch we make and in addition we also send samples off for full group 2 nutritional analysis to verify our claims. Finally we fully guarantee every single product we make for the life of the product.

Eamon Ferguson asks “Why is there so much influence on protein supplements especially whey protein on its supposed effects on the human body relating specifically to muscle repair and growth when there are no in-dependant scientific studies which prove that such supplements have these affects? It’s all just hypothesis and theory that it “works”?”

There are numerous peer reviewed scientific studies that clearly demonstrate the superior nature of whey protein and its ability to stimulate protein synthesis.

Here are some:

1.   Whey protein intake after resistance exercise activates mTOR signaling in a dose-dependent manner in human skeletal muscle.

2.     Myofibrillar muscle protein synthesis rates subsequent to a meal in response to increasing doses of whey protein at rest and after resistance exercise

3.     Post-exercise whey protein hydrolysate supplementation induces a greater increase in muscle protein synthesis than its constituent amino acid content

Arif Banduwale askes “Is whey protein different from casein???”

Yes whey protein is different. In milk there are two proteins, one is whey protein and the other is casein. Whey protein is a smaller component and is fast digesting. Casein is the larger component is is slower digesting.

Ewelina Dolata asks “ I would like to know why your Native Whey is the purest and most natural of wheys and why it would be any better for me than any other whey ? x”

To understand why Native Whey is better than normal whey please read our blog here.

Jon Martin asks “Mixing with milk or water, is there any real difference other than taste..?”

There is a difference aside from taste. Since milk contains casein it will turn your whey protein into an effective time release blend because casein takes longer to digest.

Connor Mayhew “What is a cold pressed protein?”

There is no such thing. There is cold filtered but not cold pressed, this often arises from supplement companies quite literally inventing descriptions to confuse consumers. Either that or the supplement company in question doesn’t have the extensive knowledge required to formulate products.

Kalie-Dee Jones says “The amino acids in protein are obviously present in the standard whey protein. But as a vegetarian I have to look for v friendly whey. I know tofu and quorn products have the aminos absorb differently and can leave you deficient in certain aminos. Is this the same with vegetarian whey protein? And if not, how do you make it so all aminos are absorbed adequately? And is this stuff vegetarian?”

Vegetarian whey is made from cheese whey that does not use animal rennet as a starting culture to make cheese. Most cheese these days is made from non animal rennet. In addition whey like Native Whey uses no rennet. It makes absolutely no difference to the amino acid composition. All of our whey protein supplements are suitable for vegetarians.

 

Protein-filled Strawberries | Reflex Recipes

Reflex Valentine's Recipe

Most of us are only just over the festive period before Valentine’s Day creeps up on us, bringing with it another onslaught of tempting chocolates and potential gluttony. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, we’re all going to want to treat ourselves come February 14th, but at the same time avoid making too much of a dent in our own fitness and nutrition regimes.

Which is why we’ve teamed up with the Protein Chef to bring you another appetising Reflex Recipe. A Valentine’s themed cheat day recipe that settles your chocolate fix while still packing a low-calorie protein punch, pre- or post-workout. So instead of buying the same old box of chocolates this weekend, whip up our Protein-filled Strawberries for your Valentine, using our Strawberries & Cream Micellar Casein, and dipped in a sizeable helping of melted chocolate for extra Valentine’s appeal.

Ingredients:

5 Strawberries (the larger the better)
2 scoops Reflex Strawberries & Cream Micellar Casein
50g Dark Chocolate
10g White Chocolate
Water

Method:

1. Cut the top off the strawberries and use a small knife to hollow out the centre. Place these in an ice cube tray.

2. Make up the casein mixture in a small bowl. Add water little by little until it forms a smooth, thick paste.

3. Add the casein to an icing bag and pipe into the strawberries. Alternative, you can spoon it in.

4. Put the tops of the strawberries back on and place in the freezer to firm up.

5. Whilst the strawberries chill, melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over hot water.

6. Once the chocolate has melted take the strawberries out of the freezer and dip them into the chocolate. Tip – If you struggle to do this by holding the lids then pop them on a skewer and go for the dunk!

7. Once coated, place them on a sheet of greaseproof paper while you melt the white chocolate.

8. Drizzle over the white chocolate and decorate as you wish.

9. Chill in the fridge for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Macros (per strawberry):

Calories – 87
Protein – 4.6g
Carbs – 3.2g
Fat – 6.2g

With each large strawberry packing 4.6g protein and only 87 calories, these little treats are the perfect Valentine’s gift that can be quickly made up on the day together, or the night before if you’re after serious romance points. Each strawberry bringing with it a protein-filled surprise and instantly trumping the already tried and tested romantic formula of the standard strawberry dipped in chocolate.

To make sure the filling is both creamy and has the required taste, we recommend our Strawberries and Cream flavoured Micellar Casein used in the recipe, however strawberry flavoured Diet Protein will whip into a cream just as well – so the choice is yours.

All that’s left is to say another big thank you to the Protein Chef for putting together the recipe, and a happy, healthy Valentine’s Day to all of you that are going to try it over the weekend!

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Omega 3, coconut oil, butter and other healthy fats melt styrofoam

Omega 3 styrofoam

You may have seen the video that has been circulating the internet recently. Its shows a high quality Omega 3 oil from Reflex Nutrition dissolving a polystyrene cup. That’s nothing new to us as there are countless healthy oils which will melt straight through polystyrene including virgin coconut oil, butter, MCT oils, lemon oil and many others, some faster than others. The real irony is that the person who created that video is a huge fan of Reflex products and was actually using the test to demonstrate the product’s quality. Of course, it’s easy to jump to conclusions about videos and whilst we’d prefer not to have had this potentially negative publicity, we’re glad this has come to light because it raises a real issue that you should be aware of;

Polystyrene is not ideal for foods

Polystyrene is made up of long chain polymers and the non polarity of polystyrene therefore makes it excellent for liquids which are highly polar. However that’s about all its good for.
The trouble with polystyrene is once it comes in contact with medium chain fatty acids (e.g coconut oil) or worse still long chain fatty acids (e.g any omega 3 fatty acids) which all are non-polar they will start to dissolve because they are similar in polarity. It’s one reason why water and oil do not mix – they are polar opposites! Guess what is polystyrene made from? You guessed it, it is oil.

Omega 3 ethyl ester fats are generally far more concentrated than standard triglyceride Omega 3s and in addition the ethyl ester structure is even more non-polar and will dissolve polystyrene faster.
But Why Ethyl Ester in the first place ?

Reflex Nutrition use Omega 3 ethyl ester fats in preference to triglycerides for three very valid reasons;

  • Ethyl Ester Omega 3 fats are the result of molecular distillation which results in one of the purest Omega 3 products in the world, a tried and tested manufacturing process.
  • Ethyl Ester Omega 3 fats are factually the most researched form of Omega 3 in the world today, with nearly all of most highly praised, most positive and health promoting studies conducted used Omega 3 ethyl esters.
  •  Finally it is more cost effective to manufacture Ethyl Ester Omega 3 fats and as a result Reflex Nutrition’s Omega 3 offers great value delivering 330mg EPA and 220mg DHA from sustainably sourced fish.

On top of these high quality credentials, Reflex Omega 3 is sourced from a partner that Reflex Nutrition has been working with for over 10 years that delivers both the quality and potency we demand but also the guarantee that the Omega 3 oil comes from fish that are sustainable.

http://www.friendofthesea.org/
It’s safe to say either form will offer benefit because ultimately either ethyl ester or triglyceride Omega 3 will both build up over time in very similar concentrations to deliver the health benefits associated with consumption of EPA and DHA, here are the amounts needed, as per EU Health Claims, for those benefits.
Maintenance of the normal brain function- required daily amount 250 DHA, in theory that’s 2 x Reflex Omega 3 capsules
Maintenance of normal cardiac function– required amount 250mg EPA/DHA, in theory that’s 1 x Omega 3 capsule per day.
Maintenance of normal blood pressure – required daily amount 3,000mg EPA/DHA, in theory that is 6 x Omega 3 capsules per day.
Maintenance of normal (fasting) blood concentration of triglycerides – required daily amount 2,000mg EPA/DHA, in theory that is 4 x Omega 3 capsules per day.

Now for something that is worrying;
We all have a genuine duty of care to let the public at large know about this so please share this post.
Bullet proof coffee which has become very popular over the past year or so is coffee made with either the addition of coconut oil, butter or both. Fine when it’s in your favourite mug, not so if you decided to make a takeaway coffee bullet proof that was served in a styrofoam polystyrene cup. AS SOON AS YOU ADD THE COCONUT OIL OR BUTTER THE POLYSTYRENE WILL START TO DISSOLVE INTO YOUR COFFEE AND CONTAMINATE IT.
Very few people realise this and it’s made worse because the coffee is going to be hot which will speed up the reaction. There was an important studied published just last year highlighting this very problem.
See it here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25569333
Whilst it will not dissolve immediately it can and has caused polystyrene fail causing the hot contents to spill! However the most worrying and potentially harmful aspect we can see is the silent and unknowing ingestion of dissolved polystyrene on a regular basis. It’s something everyone should know.
Spread the word on the health benefits of Omega 3 fats, but equally important, please spread the word as regards the potential issues of using polystyrene cups and any oils!

Why whey protein? What is the best form of whey? How is whey protein made?

whey-protein-cow-green-field-milk-jug

Your questions about whey protein are answered right here in our latest article!

Reflex Nutrition has been making whey protein supplements for 20 years since the company’s inception in 1996. Everything we know, discovered, developed, innovated and researched has been brought together to provide everyone the absolute facts in a very easy to understand article that is outlined below. We answer the questions to what is the best form of whey protein and how it is made.

A quick word from James Phillips, “Whey Expert“ and founder of Reflex Nutrition, “I have a feeling I’ve spent more time working with whey protein and introduced more variations of whey protein and formats than any other company or person in the industry, I’ve now very nearly spent half my life, that’s 22 years, devoted to this business so it is fair to say that myself and the team at Reflex Nutrition are well placed to offer the real facts, I hope this article will point anyone wanting to know more about whey protein in the right direction.”

The Basics of Whey Protein

First of all we’re guessing that you’re interested in whey protein because you want to take additional protein to build lean muscle, to help you lose weight or for the health benefits associated with whey protein. Whey protein is found in milk, it is the small part of milk protein, the larger part is called casein or micellar casein. Nearly all whey protein on the market is derived from cheese production, we’re sure you’ve heard of curds and whey? To make cheese, rennet or starter cultures are added and it makes the milk curdle forming “curds and whey”. The curds are collected to form cheese and the whey is the liquid part which is then collected and filtered to produce whey protein using various filtering techniques.

So what is so special about Whey Protein?

Well first of all, it sits at the top a table which measures the biological value of protein from foods, it’s a measure of how well your body can utilise protein found in food. Whey protein is the best, your body can utilise every last gram. Not only is it the best, it also contains three important amino acids which are used to build and maintain muscle. The amino acids are called Branched Chain Amino Acids, L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine and L-Valine. This is one of the reasons why whey protein has become so popular with sports people and bodybuilders.

What is the best whey protein?

The best whey protein comes from the best raw material so before you can answer that question you have to ask a different question. Where does the best milk in world come from or where are the best dairy herds? And how do you define best?

At Reflex Nutrition we have four very specific criteria which we use to select our milk proteins.

  1. The cattle must be within the EU, this guarantees that the cattle are free from banned antibiotics and growth hormones like rBGH or rBST which unfortunately are widely used in the USA.
  2. The cattle must be grass fed or be grass fed on pasture in all but the most extreme of circumstances. Why? Because grass fed cattle produce the best milk, that’s a fact.
  3. In an ideal world we’ll select only from Ireland, Germany, France, Belgium and Netherlands based on their exemplary dairy industries and reputation for producing the world’s finest grass fed, milk, butter, cheese and beef.
  4. Processing techniques used to make whey protein. They must be the least invasive using techniques that gently filter out unwanted fat and lactose whilst retaining the nutrition qualities of whey protein. These filtering techniques are cross flow micro filtration, ultra filtration and membrane filtration. They all produce whey protein concentrates or whey protein isolates depending on the time and grade of filter. The ONLY difference between them will be the protein, fat and lactose contents in all but ONE instance (see below). The whey protein isolates being the most expensive because it takes a disproportionate amount of time to filter out all of the fat and lactose.

So what is the best form of whey protein ? This refers to the ONE instance from the above paragraph. The whey protein that employs the least processing of ANY whey protein and that is Native Whey which is filtered at cold temperature from fresh milk and NOT a by product of cheese production. Reflex Nutrition uses this whey protein extensively and manufactures a stand alone Native Whey product. You can read more about Native Whey Protein here. Suffice to say it is whey protein in its most natural perfect form as nature created it, hence the name Native Whey.

 

What forms of whey protein do we avoid and you should avoid too?

There are a few and we avoid them for a few reasons.

  1. Whey protein made in the USA where the milk has been derived from cattle which are fed growth hormones like rBGH or rBST, these cattle are often fed grain and as a result the quality of the milk if inferior to that of grass fed cattle. Welfare of the cattle is also a consideration, the use of growth hormone increases the chances of infections and the subsequent use of antibiotics. Google “USA Mega Dairies” for more info.
  2. Ion exchange whey protein, the process uses both acid and chemicals to produce whey isolates. Although ion exchange whey has a very high protein content of around 90% it lacks a few valuable protein fractions that have unique nutritional qualities, so compared to cross flow micro filtered whey, ion exchange is inferior.
  3. Acid whey, dairies produce huge quantities of this material and unfortunately the process used to make it during cheese manufacture employs quite harsh acids which can denature the protein making it difficult to mix. Acid whey is not the best tasting either. We’ve never used acid whey at Reflex Nutrition, it simply does not meet our standards.

Other forms of whey protein

Hydrolysed Whey Protein

This is a whey protein which has been treated with enzymes to effectively pre-digest the whey protein for easier digestion. A process originally developed to make whey proteins hypoallergenic for infants and individuals in hospital who are allergic to certain whey fractions. A true hydrolysed whey protein has a considerable proportion of its whole proteins broken down into small peptides which may be listed on some labels by their molecular weight in Daltons. At Reflex Nutrition we use a couple of hydrolysed whey proteins, the main being of high degree of hydrolysis whey which has been treated very extensively which results in a protein which is absorbed extremely quickly and easily. It is the sole source of protein in our focus post workout supplement called Growth Matrix.

Conclusion

Whey protein is immensely popular and hopefully this article has highlighted the main benefits of whey protein with a brief insight into how it is made. The market out there is a minefield, if you want to choose the best remember to look out for the companies that offer whey that is derived from the EU guaranteeing protein content, have a registered quality control process and you shouldn’t go wrong.

Gauri’s Chocolate Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancakes

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Jelly Protein Pancakes

 

Ingredients for the pancakes:

  • 40g oats (best when ground into a flour)
  • 90g egg whites (or 3 large)
  • 1 scoop @ReflexNutrition Choc Peanut Instant Whey Pro
  • 30ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil to cook in

 

Layers/Toppings:

  • 30g peanut butter
  • 60g mashed raspberries
  • 30g (1/2) White chocolate Raspberry Ripple @ReflexRbars

 

Instructions:

  1. Blend all pancake ingredients into a thick, smooth batter with a blender
  2. Heat a non-stick pan until piping hot (Meanwhile prepare mashed raspberries & heat your Rbar for 10secs in the microwave before rolling into small balls)
  3. Melt coconut oil (medium heat) in the the pan before pouring in the pancake batter to make 4 silver dollar sized pancakes
  4. Once bubbles start forming on top, flip & cook the other side until lightly golden
  5. Layer with mashed raspberries, peanut butter, & R bar

 

Calories: 590

Macros:

  • 50g Protein
  • 39g Carbs
  • 26g Fat
  • 13.5g Fiber

Tell us your gym excuses to win! Prize worth over £160

Gym Excuses Competition

Whether we’re willing to admit it or not, at one time or another we’ve all been guilty of coming up with an excuse for not going to the gym, or at the very least have heard one…

And if there was ever a time to admit any embarrassing excuses, or to stitch a training partner up, it’s now – because the best, most cringe and laugh-inducing excuse will win a Reflex bundle worth over £160 RRP! A bundle that will give you absolutely no excuse to miss your next workout, throwing in everything from gym gear, to R-Bars and supplements.

Whether you’re a personal trainer with a client who cancelled because their ‘dog ate their gym shorts’, or you yourself didn’t go because your clothes got ‘locked in a machine at the laundrette’, we want to hear about it. Just remember to get your excuses in by midnight on Tuesday 9th February. May the best excuse win!

Terms and Conditions:

Participation open from 00:00hrs Thursday 28/01/2016 until 23:59hrs Tuesday 09/02/2016, to UK residents only.

The “Best Excuse” from Twitter, Instagram and Facebook will be selected to WIN the following prize on Wednesday 10/02/2016:

  • 1 Instant Whey Pro 900g
  • 1 Nexgen Pro
  • 1 R-Bar Protein box (12 bars)
  • 1 R-Bar Flapjack box (12 bars)
  • 1 Reflex Gym Bag (medium)
  • 1 Reflex T-Shirt
  • 1 Reflex Shaker
  • 1 Reflex Water Bottle

Protein flavours and t-shirt size to be selected by the winner.

Offer will be sent to the winner’s selected address at no cost.

TWITTER PARTICIPATION DETAILS:

Simply tweet us @ReflexNutrition the following image along with the worst #GymExcuses you have ever heard or given.

Whats-your-excuse

INSTAGRAM PARTICIPATION DETAILS:

Comment on this Instagram post with your excuse using the #GymExcuses hashtag.

FACEBOOK PARTICIPATION DETAILS:

Comment on this post with the worst gym excuse you have ever given or heard.

Deadline for all entrants across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is 23:59hrs Tuesday 09/02/2016. Open to UK residents only.

You Get What You Pay For

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You Get What You Pay For

It’s a well-known saying and for Reflex Nutrition it couldn’t be more appropriate in a market that is now flooded with poor quality protein powders, multivitamins and sports nutrition products, the majority of which are contract packed where profit appears to be the main focus with quality, a mere afterthought. In this blog I’m going to explain why it is possible for so many companies to offer year round discounts on everything from Diet Whey through to vitamins, the truth for some will be painful, but as that saying goes, “You Get What You Pay For!”.

The Too Good to be True Offers

In 2015 we saw a record number of high profile sports nutrition companies offer near year round heavily discounted sports nutrition products. And who doesn’t like a bargain? Well unfortunately it’s never really that straight forward. For ANY company to continually offer year round discounts like buy one get one free something has to give somewhere, you either don’t make any profit or you skimp on the formula and make it cheaper so that you do make healthy profits. Closer inspection from our team reveals that some companies may have been doing the latter, which is basically to cheapen the formula to a point where you can make reasonable profits even when subsidising Buy One Get One Free offers. In essence they are Too Good to be True, they really are.

How they do it, dirty tactics.

An example;   Company Z manufactures a Diet Whey type product and they want to increase sales of that particular product significantly next year. Whilst introducing a new updated label they make some seemingly minor changes to the ingredients and protein % whilst keeping the same RRP. These changes will introduce more cheap Chinese derived soy protein, less of the very expensive actives like CLA, the addition of cheap amino acids to spike the protein content, list protein on a dry basis, and hey presto you have saved enough money to offer the reworked Diet powder on special offer virtually year round whilst still making enough money to keep the accountants happy. Now for some consumers who are savvy, knowledgeable and wiser this is not an issue because they will spot the signs in the ingredient listing, nutrition information and avoid the brand like the plague. However for those who don’t have the knowledge, they will end up buying such products feeling they secured a great bargain. Whilst the product is completely legal, I’m here to say that this type of practise is an utter disgrace to our industry, the consumer ends up with a cheapened product and is unlikely to derive any benefit. In nearly every single case they would have been better off buying a different product at a higher price. Why? Because in most cases, especially with a Reflex Nutrition product, it would represent better value due to the significantly higher doses of active ingredients, quality of ingredients and guaranteed label claims. The case is the same for weight gainers, all-in-ones, creatine, pre-workouts, multivitamins, you name it, somewhere, somehow there will be a company doing their utmost to sell you something at an amazing price whilst making themselves a fortune.

Be Wary, very Wary.

The take home message is simple; more often than not I’m afraid to say that amazing offers often do not translate into amazing value. Sometimes there really are great offers out there, so do your homework, check the ingredients, the dosages of active ingredients, are they research proven doses? If they are research based dosed ingredients the brand will want to tell you! If they are not they will not say so!

Either way, the more confident you become in making that evaluation, the more money you will save either by avoiding certain deals, or making use of them!

Remember.

“You Get What You pay For!”

 

The Santa Claus Post-Christmas Fitness Regime

Santa Claus Get-Fit Regime

Feeling busy and stressed out after a hectic festive period? Imagine how Santa Claus feels. This is a tough time for old St Nick – long and unsociable hours, grabbing unhealthy snacks on the fly and having little to no time to exercise. We doubt people will be baking mince pies with Stevia or leaving a flask of green tea out for Father Christmas as thanks for his festive labour. We all over indulge over the Christmas period, a time to celebrate with those closest to you over a big meal or a few Christmas drinks. It is only when the dust settles on New Year’s Day that we fall into a state of hungover guilt and declare that this is the year we make positive steps in terms of our health and fitness.

If Santa guzzles a brandy and a mince pie in every home, that is quite the calorie binge. So what can Santa do in terms of minimising the damage done over this period? Are there any golden tips that can help kick start our regimes going into the New Year? We asked a number of #TeamReflex athletes for their tips on getting St Nick back into decent nick and here is what they came up with. All of which can also be applied to your own regime if the gluttony of the festive period has taken hold…

RACHEL HOBBS

Team Reflex’s dietician Rachel Hobbs says “Nutrition is the cornerstone of any health and wellness regime, without a foundation built on solid nutrition basics you will always be limited in your success. You cannot out train a bad diet”.

There are a few basics that Rachel would recommend to Santa when starting a festive fat loss regime. Firstly, get hydrated. Excess alcohol over Christmas can lead to dehydration but consuming enough H20 is crucial throughout the year. The brandies won’t help and neither will running around sweating in a big red outfit, meaning replacing those lost fluids is crucial. Not only will adequate hydration improve all manner of bodily functions and performance, your ability to use fat as an energy source is reduced when dehydrated.

You’d be forgiven for thinking jolly old St Nick should lay off the fats – but fat is actually your friend. Fats are key for brain and hormonal functions and are also very filling. Ensure a variety of nuts, avocado and animal fats, including oily fish, is present in your diet to stay full. Eating fat in isolation will not spike blood sugar levels and therefore will not cause fat storage. It is when fats are consumed alongside insulin spiking sugary foods that problems can occur. Eating foods rich in the essential fatty acid omega 3 can improve the body’s ability to moderate its blood sugar levels and reduce the chances of excess blood glucose being stored as fat. While natural fats are beneficial for health, they are calorific and should be consumed in moderation. If Santa is eating a bag of nuts at every home he’s going to force those poor reindeer to work overtime hauling his generous posterior around.

ALEX CROCKFORD

#TeamReflex cover model Alex Crockford is in totally agreement that diet is paramount when looking to shape up and says that “you cannot underestimate the power of a good breakfast”. It’s long been thought that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and while Alex would not necessarily agree with that notion, he understands the importance of ditching the sugar frosted cereals and choosing a high protein breakfast: “Santa, perhaps it’s time to remember that good old phrase, go to work on an egg”.

GAURI CHOPRA

If you follow #TeamReflex girl Gauri Chopra on social media then you will know that she likes to get creative when it comes to creating meals, often emphasising the benefit of adding a little spice to your cooking. “Dieting can be dull if you’re restricting carbs and calories, but it doesn’t have to be,” says Gauri. “Adding spicy chillies, for example, can make your food exciting while also aiding fat loss. Chillies contain a compound called Capsaicin which can increase metabolic rate and will help Santa maintain those rosy red cheeks”.

TOM WRIGHT

Once you’re happy that you’re making steps in the right direction in terms of diet, it’s time to think about exercise and burning off those mince pies. #TeamReflex PT Tom Wright thinks it’s a wonderful thing that Santa wants to make positive steps but emphasises the need to seek professional advice before undertaking any exercise regime. He believes the key to dropping unwanted body fat is to build a little bit of muscle. “I know a lot of people will say that they don’t want to lift weights because they don’t want to become bulky, if only it were that simple,” Tom laughs, “building a little extra muscle tissue will mean that it takes additional calories for your body to function, which in turn means you will burn more calories doing nothing than someone with less muscle would.” We’re pretty sure Santa would like to be burning extra calories as he whizzes around on his sleigh this Christmas and that extra muscle will help him carry all of those heavy gadgets you’ve all asked for.

OLLY FOSTER

#TeamReflex cover model and coach Olly Foster is a big advocate of finding balance in life. “If you can find a balance that works for you, your health kick will be sustainable. Hitting every home in the world in one night is enough to ramp up the stress levels in even the most patient of us. Stress from work and training can raise a hormone in the body called cortisol, which can be detrimental to both muscle building and fat loss. Also, burning the candle at both ends never ends well – what goes up must also come down. Remember, the importance of taking time out of your day to rest and recuperate should not be underestimated.”

JACQUELINE HOOTON

Finally, #TeamReflex’s Jacqueline Hooton has worked in the fitness and fashion industry for years and has helped people of all shapes and sizes to achieve their goals. “Fitness needs to be enjoyable, therapeutic even. Fitness does not have to be restricted to the gym, the outdoors offers a wonderful arena for fitness. Running along the beach, cycling around town, walking to work or walking the dog, opportunities to burn calories and improve your fitness present themselves every day”.

There you have it, tips for Santa from a selection of fitness pros. Now it’s just a matter of waiting and seeing whether he turns up in December 2016 able to give some of #TeamReflex a run for their money. Good luck to Santa, and we hope these tips are of even greater use to your own post-Christmas get-fit regimes! Here’s to a healthy New Year. To get started, take a look at our Health & Wellbeing range or alternatively, our Weight Management section.

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