Micro vs Macro: What you need to know

Healthy food

We all need macronutrients and micronutrients in our diets. Macronutrients are essential – they give us energy, and they are needed for the growth and maintenance of our body. Macronutrients (or macros for short) are made up of carbohydrate, protein and fat.

Those who are training, have a specific goal or body type may tweak the percentage of each macronutrient in their day-to-day diet. Or look to supplements to increase their protein intake, and therefore muscle growth and repair.

Image of Reflex Ambassador Emil

I usually aim to keep my protein around 2g per kg body weight so at 115kg this is around 230g for me. As I lean down and start to drop body fat I tend to increase my protein intake slightly to preserve muscle and can go to 250g or even 280g per day. As well as maintaining and growing muscle, protein is great for keeping you full when dieting!

Emil Hodzovic, Reflex Ambassador, Doctor and Bodybuilder


Given that ‘macro’ is the Greek for large and makes up a high proportion of our diet, it can be easy to focus on them and forget about the small, yet equally important, micronutrients.

With this in mind, we wanted to give a little time to the micronutrients. Here we discuss what they are, why they are in important and where can you get them from.

What are micronutrients?

While macros help our bodies to function in a big way – think general energy, growth and maintenance, micronutrients help the more intricate parts of our body – the workings of our organs, nervous system, cells, joints, ligaments and metabolism to name a few.

They also help with the efficient metabolism of macronutrients, which can maximise all your efforts in the gym. Despite being needed in tiny amounts, micronutrients are essential to our diets.

Where can I get micronutrients from?

Vitamin A

Cheese, eggs, oily fish, liver, milk and yoghurt are some examples of where you can get a good source of vitamin A. You can also eat food with beta-carotene, which your body can change into vitamin A – foods with beta-carotene include yellow, red and leafy green vegetables and yellow fruit like mango or apricots.

B vitamins and folic acid

Thiamin (Vitamin B1)

Good sources include fresh and dried fruit, eggs, peas, wholegrain breads, some fortified breakfast cereals and liver.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

Milk, eggs, fortified breakfast cereals and rice are good sources of vitamin B2, although these foods should be kept out of direct sunlight because UV light can destroy vitamin B2.

Niacin (Vitamin B3)

Vitamin B3 can be found in meat, fish, wheat flour, eggs and milk.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is present in lots of food – some examples are pork, poultry, fish, wholegrain cereals, eggs, vegetables and milk.

Biotin (Vitamin B7)

Vitamin B7 can be found in a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and wholegrains. It’s also made by the bacteria that lives naturally in our bowel.

Vitamin B12

This is found in meat, salmon, cod, milk, cheese, eggs and some fortified breakfast cereals.

Folic acid

Leafy greens like broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, asparagus and peas contain folic acid. It’s also found in chickpeas and fortified breakfast cereals.

Vitamin C

Oranges are known as being an excellent source of vitamin C. You can also get this vitamin from peppers, strawberries, broccoli and potatoes.

Vitamin D

Sunlight is the primary way of getting vitamin D but you can also get it from red meat, oily fish, liver and egg yolks.

Vitamin E

Nuts, seeds, avocados, wholegrains and plant oils like olive oil are a good source of vitamin E.

Vitamin K

Leafy greens appear again – this time as a source of vitamin K.


Iron can be found in meat, beans, nuts, wholegrain and kale.


Calcium is usually associated with dairy products but this mineral can also be found in leafy greens and nuts.


Again, this mineral can be found in nuts, leafy greens and dairy. Wholegrains and meat are also a good source of magnesium.


Famously found in bananas, you can also get potassium from nuts, seeds, pulses, meat and fish.


Meat, dairy, bread and cereal products are good sources of zinc.


Selenium can be found in meat, fish, eggs, brazil nuts and oats. Also, along with vitamin C and zinc, selenium can be found in our Beauty Bar.

To find more out about the sources of these vitamins and minerals, the recommended amounts and what their functions are, take a look at the NHS guide.

While micronutrients can be found in food, those with vitamin deficiencies, specific dietary requirements or wanting to ensure they’re getting their daily quota may turn to multivitamins. For your vitamin top up, shop Nexgen Pro.


What our ambassadors say about supplements


Reaching a protein goal is tough on purely just food, so supplements are extremely useful. Other than protein, I have range of daily supps such as omega 3, multivitamin and vitamin D. Read more here.

Alex Crockford, Reflex Ambassador and PT


Gauri working out

When I can feel a cold coming on, I do like to ensure I top up my vitamins with Nexgen Pro to ensure my body is fully equipped to fight off any nasty bugs! Read more here.

Gauri Chopra, Reflex Ambassador and PT



The Benefits of Multivitamins and Nexgen

Nexgen Pro

While many of the nutrients we need come from a balanced and varied diet, there are certain factors that mean we don’t always get the goodness we need to be at our full potential. The answer to this can be multivitamins.

Here, we take a look at why we need to supplement our diet with vitamins, considerations when choosing a multivitamin and why our multivitamin Nexgen can benefit your health and wellbeing.

Why do we need to supplement our diet with multivitamins?

The ideal situation would be to eat organic fruit and vegetables, providing a dense array of vitamins and minerals.  The amount we would eat would be directly related to not only our base requirements but we would be optimising our intake relative to our lifestyle and the physical demands that we place ourselves under.

However, the idea of relying on food as being a source of vitamins and minerals is an ever increasingly flawed thought for some very simple reasons.

1. Modern farming cuts down our mineral intake

Since the advent of intensive farming techniques, the land has had to sustain an ‘intensive’ approach.  Even where crop rotation is implemented, the ever increasing demands being placed on the fixed available space has an effect.

This has been documented by research “The Chemical Composition of Foods” (1940-1991 Special Report Number 235) commissioned by the Medical Research Council who reported on the mineral content of 27 vegetables, 17 fruits and 10 cuts of meat in relation to their sodium, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, iron and copper content between the years 1940 and 1991.  The results are stark as seen below:






Loss of 49%

Loss of 29%

Loss of 30%


Loss of 16%

Loss of 19%

Loss of 16%


Gain of 9%

Gain of 2%

Loss of 28%


Loss of 24%

Loss of 16%

Loss of 10%


Loss of 46%

Loss of 16%

Loss of 41%


Loss of 27%

Loss of 24%

Loss of 54%


Loss of 76%

Loss of 20%

Loss of 24%



Loss of 27%


This study shows that many of the foods that we eat on a daily basis contain less minerals than they used to.

2. The recommended daily allowance is based on the average person

The NRV (nutrient reference value) or RDA (recommended daily allowance), a measure of the ideal intake of a particular nutrient, is based on a panel of average individuals.

It is fair to assume that people who regularly undertake strenuous physical activities are probably more likely to be on the upper limits of the RDA.  Here at Reflex Nutrition, we produce products that often contain ingredients that might exceed the NRV, but the important fact is that we never exceed the recognised Safe Intake level where concerns of toxicity or lack of non-incremental benefit exist.

What to consider when selecting a multivitamin

So, given some of the reasons for supplementing your diet with multivitamins, here’s what you should consider when selecting a multivitamin. Firstly, not all minerals are created the same. For example, there are different forms of minerals and those differences are significant. For example, any oxide form of mineral will be far less capable of being absorbed by the body than a chelated form.

The chelated form relates specifically to the mineral being bonded to an amino acid, which means that it becomes far easier for the body to utilise.  It is also true of other forms of minerals.

So, if you see an oxide form on the ingredient list, remember that your body’s ability to make use of it is very compromised.

Secondly, another consideration is that friendly bacteria (pro-biotic) is only a positive thing if it is allowed to work.  The friendly bacteria that we use are enteric coated which means that the bacteria can pass through the harsh stomach acid environment and reach the intestine intact, where they can start to activate.

What’s the difference between Reflex Nutrition’s Nexgen and Nexgen Pro?

Because we use the chelated form of minerals and enteric coated friendly bacteria, you may have decided that Nexgen is for you. But, which kind?

Broadly speaking Nexgen is intended for most people, whereas the Pro variant is formulated for those people who are undertaking strenuous activities on a regular basis.

Therefore, from an ingredient perspective, Nexgen Pro has higher dosages of many of the ingredients.

Either way, they both make use of the same branded ingredients and the same capsule technology, so if you decide that you want a multivitamin the only decision you need to make is whether you go for Nexgen or Nexgen Pro.

Plant Based Diets

Plant based food protein alternative

Plant based eating has grown in popularity lately and is widely regarded as one of the healthiest approaches to fueling your body. Our resident dietitian, Rachel Hobbs, explains the benefits and practicalities of replacing meat with two veg.


What is a Plant Based Diet?Plant based - rice, beans, advocado and seeds

Plant based diets are a bit of trend in the nutrition world at the moment. The media claims they can do anything from cure cancer, to prevent heart disease and reverse diabetes; but what is all the fuss about and do they actually benefit us at all?

As a dietitian I define a plant based diet as a diet that aims to maximise the consumption of … you guessed it, plant foods, whilst minimizing processed foods, oils and animal produce. Sounds identical to a vegetarian or vegan diet? Similar, yes but the main difference is that often individuals choose to become vegetarian out of ethical or environmental reasons. Meat, fish and animal products such as milk, cheese and eggs are not banned from a plant based diet, but they are minimized.

A plant based diet encourages individuals to consume lots of vegetables, fruits, beans, pulses, seeds and nuts and is generally low in fat; this can seem impossible and confusing for many, especially as for the past 10 years the fitness industry has hammered into the general public they should be eating chicken breasts, tuna and other high protein foods to be healthy.



What are the Benefits?Plant based - oats, raisins, seeds and nuts

There are many benefits of a plant based diet if it is followed correctly; science says that they are better than meat heavy diets for weight management and fat loss. This is hypothesised to be because they are higher in fibre and therefore make us feel fuller for longer; but also they are more nutrient dense, therefore contain more vitamins and minerals, allowing our bodies to work more efficiently. Research also shows they may prevent heart disease and diabetes too. Due to the increased fibre intake of a plant based diet, scientists suggest that they decrease the risk of getting some cancers, especially those associated with digestion such as colon and stomach cancer.

The jury is still out as to whether it is the increased consumption of fruit and vegetables that decrease disease risk or the reduced intake of meats and processed foods, personally I believe it is a combination of the two.
When discussing a plant based diet with my clients there are a few questions which are commonly asked; I will answer these now.



“Where will I get my protein from?”Plant based - vegetables, peppers, cabbage, green beans, chick peas and advocado

Many of my clients come to me with elevated protein levels in their diets without a balanced consideration of the role of other nutrients, often carbohydrates

Instead of focusing so strictly on grams of protein per day, I ask my clients to focus on food quality- if they consume foods of high quality or nutritional density, they will automatically meet their protein needs.

The only concern is to ensure adequate essential amino acids are consumed, these are amino acids which cannot be produced by the body. This can easily be achieved by pairing foods with differing amino acid sequences such as beans and rice or hummus and pitta bread.





“What does a typical day’s food intake look like?”Plant based - oats, almond milk, soya yoghurt, nuts and fruit

To meet average requirements, a typical day could look like:

Breakfast: Overnight oats made with almond milk and yoghurt, topped with nuts and fruit

Lunch: Falafel, hummus and avocado wrap with spinach and rocket.

Snack: Peanut butter on toast.

Dinner: Lentil dahl with rice and peas.

Sometimes it takes a little while for the gut to adapt to the higher fibre intake so a pea protein shake such as Reflex Nutrition’s Vegan Protein would be a great supplement to take. This would also be ideal post workout or to add into a breakfast smoothie.



“Should I not eat any meat now?”

A plant based diet is exactly as it sounds, it is based around plants, which doesn’t mean all meat and animal products are banned. I actually recommended my clients to have two portions of oily fish a week such as salmon or mackerel to ensure they consume adequate Omega 3.


Plant based salad

 “Where do I start?”

I think it is important to take a step by step approach when making dietary changes, so I often prescribe my clients to just start with a “Meat Free Monday” and to experiment with different meal choices every week so they can increase the variety of plant based foods in the diet and feel more confident to try two days of plant based eating.

So, all in all, I think plant based diets are positive for many individuals. They increase fibre intake, they increase vitamin and mineral intake and they decrease processed food intake. So next week, why don’t you give “Meat Free Monday” a go?





Carbohydrates- There’s a Time and a Place

Carbohydrates- There’s a Time and a Place

In recent years dietary fats have been pushed aside and carbohydrates seem to be public enemy number one. It only takes a quick search on the internet to be informed by a self-proclaimed nutrition expert that pasta will make us fat and sugar will give us cancer; whilst another nutritionist will tell us that we need carbohydrates to keep our metabolism healthy and lose fat. It is no wonder we are confused as to whether these little molecules of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen are friend or foe.

So what’s the truth?

All carbohydrates are derived from plants; which means in their natural state, think sweet potatoes, rice, carrots, dates, raspberries and wheat- they are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. All of which protect us from heart disease, cancer and diabetes. However, when we take a natural carbohydrate and refine it, process it and add fats and artificial chemicals to it, that’s when it can be unbeneficial (detrimental) to our bodies. So potatoes dug up from the ground and boiled until soft are rich in potassium, magnesium, folate vitamin B and iron; but when we peel, slice and fry a potato in rapeseed oil then add salt and preservatives to it to make crisps, we remove the nutrients and fibre whilst increasing the fat and salt content. Effectively the crisp making process turns a nutrient dense food into a nutrient sparse one. The same goes for bread, we automatically associate it with making us gain fat; but a minimally processed wholegrain loaf is rich in fibre and B vitamins, only when we play with it – for example refine it and remove its fibre to turn it into white flour then roll it thinly and top it with cheese, tomato and pepperoni does it turn into something that can easily cause excess fat storage.

So, if we eat carbohydrates in their most natural state, they provide us with nutrients essential for optimal health. That does not mean we can eat as much fruit, vegetables and potatoes as we like though; we must consider the type, timing and amount we consume in order to ensure healthy body composition, good energy levels and our best sporting performance.

Carbohydrate Types

Carbohydrates are split into two main types. The first is starchy carbohydrates often referred to as slow release, which include foods such as pasta, rice, potatoes and wholegrain bread. These foods are often high in fibre which is great for gut health and broken down into smaller particles of sugar and slowly absorb into the blood stream to provide a regular trickle of energy to the body.

The other type of carbohydrates are simple sugars, often referred to as fast release. These are rapidly absorbed into the blood stream and provide an almost instant source of energy- although this energy does not last for long. Simplesugars are found in table sugar, jelly sweets and fruits. Both starches and sugars have health and performance benefits for us.

Carbohydrates contain four calories per gram, which is less than half of dietary fat; however, we still have to consider the amount of carbohydrate we consume, especially if we are looking to lose weight. Put simply, if we consume more calories than we expend, even if we get them from vegetables, we will put on weight.

Carbohydrates raise our blood glucose levels- this triggers the pancreas to release the hormone insulin. Insulin’s role is to decrease blood glucose to safe levels by directing glucose into muscle cells and the liver. We do not want continuously elevated insulin levels as this can prevent fat breakdown, so if weight loss is our goal we need to ensure are carbohydrates only take up a quarter of our plate at meal times and choose higher fibre options.

Using Carbohydrates Effectively

If we are training frequently and looking to improve our strength or endurance performance, then we need a higher amount of carbohydrates to fuel our training and support our recovery. At all meal times we should be choosing starchy carbohydrates, however immediately after a training session we would benefit from choosing quicker release to start the recovery process quickly. If a training session, especially endurance, is over 60 minutes then our performance would benefit from a very fast release carbohydrate during our workout to keep our body fueled.

A typical day could look like;

  • Breakfast: ½ cup oats with milk, pecans and raspberries
  • Snack: 1 pear
  • Lunch: Avocado, feta and quinoa salad
  • Snack: Hummus and vegetable sticks
  • Immediately post workout: glass of milk, handful of dried dates
  • Dinner: Bean and vegetable curry with wholegrain rice

The take home message is that we should be nourishing our bodies with natural, unprocessed carbohydrates to lose fat and improve our health and our performance; we need to simply consider the time, type and quantity we are consuming. It’s time to end our carb-phobia for good.

A Look for the Future

Reflex Nutrition Re-Brand and new categories

Along with a reputation for delivering unparalleled quality in the sports nutrition market, at Reflex Nutrition we are known for our unique holographic packaging.  As part of a process of ensuring that we capture the very essence of the brand and make your navigation around the different categories as logical as it can be, we have redesigned the labels and trimmed the categories down from five to three (but keeping all existing products). Each new category has a dynamic logo that reflects its individual essence;

Strength and performance

Our previous ‘muscle and strength’ and ‘energy and endurance’ ranges have been merged to form a category that contains every product needed for any strength, performance or endurance goal.
The Strength & Performance graphic is designed to represent a brightly shining force, almost star like sense capturing the sense of strength or dynamic performance.

High protein

The High Protein graphic is designed to represent a highly active, almost sense of breakthrough in whatever physical activity you are undertaking.


Our vitality range has been expanded to include out previously named ‘weight management’ category and contains everything from vitamins and minerals to diet proteins and other weight management supplements.
The Vitality graphic is instantly much calmer and softer, representing a more rounded sense of health and wellbeing.

All new Reflex Nutrition products off the production line will have the new packaging layout with existing products coming into circulation from early March.

What is Flexible Dieting?

Reflex Nutrition athlete Gauri Chopra explains why taking a flexible dieting approach to your diet could mean more success in the long run.

These days our social media platforms are saturated with all sorts of diet protocols – ‘clean eating’, ‘low carb’, ‘sugar free’, ‘ketogenic’, ‘paleo’ just to name a few. Whilst each have their own place in the world, they all have one thing in common. They all involve a certain level of restriction. Whether it’s cutting out entire food groups or limiting one to specific foods. For some, having a new dieting style like those mentioned works, at least for a little while anyway… Lets face it, we all know the ‘New Year New Me’ diet to eat 100% healthy food for the entire year will eventually begin to wear off as the monotony of chicken sweet potato and broccoli sets in!

If like me, you are not one of those who can see themselves cutting what most people call ‘bad’ a.k.a ‘junk’ foods out such as chocolate, pizza, ice cream, or passing on a dinner out with friends or family because you’re worried it may throw your hard work down the drain, then you may want to consider the ‘Flexible Dieting’ approach. It’s one that I have adopted for a good few years after experimenting with almost every dieting protocol under the sun, and now advise to all of my clients.

What is Flexible Dieting?

Flexible dieting is a nutritional concept that doesn’t or shouldn’t feel like you’re ‘on a diet’. It involves monitoring your macronutrient (protein, carbohydrate, fat) intake in order to reach a body composition goal.

Of course it’s not as black and white in the sense that you can expect to lose weight or build muscle by filling your macronutrient (macros) with chocolate, ice-cream, and protein shakes. You can eat them, however for it to work you need to get the basics of being in a calorie surplus to gain muscle, or calorie deficit to lose body fat first. From a health and longevity perspective, healing yourself from the inside out by ensuring essential micronutrients such as adequate fiber intake for gut health, and vitamins for proper immune function for your body to function optimally should also be considered.

Why does flexible dieting work?

  • No food is considered good or bad. Every food has its place whether it be for health, performance, or sanity!
  • It allows you to fit food around your lifestyle as opposed to fitting your lifestyle around food. Forget having to midnight meal prep numerous perfectly portioned meals after feeling brain dead from work at an ungodly hour. With this way of eating, the stress of feeling like you’ve completely messed up your diet from not sticking to a rigid ‘five meals a day’ meal plan becomes non-existent.
  • The more you restrict yourself from the foods you love, the more you’ll think about them, only to eventually cave in and end up losing control over your rigid structure. With this way of eating, you can incorporate that tea time biscuit you love, or that burger you’ve been craving without the guilt, because ‘it fits your macros’!
  • It’s a lifestyle approach as opposed to a ‘quick fix’. Once you get used to balancing your nutritional needs with an active lifestyle, eventually you wont have to count macros. It’ll just be a case of being mindful of your protein, carbohydrate, and fat portions in relation to your goal.

My top tips

  • Start simple. Build good habits like reading the ingredients and nutritional breakdown of packaged food, drinking 2L of water a day, or getting at least three portions of vegetables. Diving straight into counting macros can be quite overwhelming if you’re a complete newbie!
  • Aim to get 80-90% of your food intake from wholefoods to maintain a good level of health.
  • Learn to be smart with portion sizes. If you know you’re going out for a big meal in the evening, eat lighter throughout the day and save the calories so you can enjoy feasting with no regrets!
  • Download an app where you can track the macronutrients of foods you eat throughout the day. It’s a lifesaver when you’re out and about with no meals prepped and don’t want to detriment your goals with a poor diet!
  • When you know you’ll be dining out, look up the menu before hand and put what you’ll be having into your food diary, then structure the rest of your day’s diet around it!

To conclude, if you find yourself struggling to stick to a ‘diet’, or feel that you’re having to fit your lifestyle around food, this non-restrictive, balanced and flexible dieting approach is definitely one I would recommend you look into! It’s a lifestyle, not a fad!

Your Guide to Winter Health

As the weather is getting colder it is so important we make an effort to take care of our heath over the long winter months.

The common cold and flu are more likely to catch us between March and November; the flu otherwise known as influenza is actually based on an Italian phrase translated as “influence of the cold”. The fact that more people suffer with illness in the colder months is thought to be due to more people staying inside, which means it is far easier for a virus to spread.

However, there are many ways that we can prevent illness over winter and even improve our health and wellbeing over the cold months.

Here are my top five tips:

1. Get Active

Try to do some sort of physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day; this activity can flush bacteria out of the lungs and the airways which can reduce the chance of getting a cold or the flu. Exercise also causes beneficial changes in our body’s white blood cells, which make our immune system stronger and better able to fight off virus’ and infections. Try to find an activity that you look forward to, anything that gets your heart rate up and a little sweat dripping down you face. Try a spin class, netball club or even an aqua aerobics to mix things up.

If you struggle to find the energy to train after work, try sipping an espresso before training or try Reflex Nutrition Pre Workout.

2.Get Enough Sleep

A lack of sleep can have a detrimental effect on the immune system making it harder for our bodies to fight off colds and illness. Ideally we should aim to sleep for eight hours per night.

Following a pre-bed routine will help get to sleep quickly; try a warm bath with lavender oil, listen to relaxing music, sip on a hot milky drink and switch off the TV and instead have a read of a good book.

3.Scrub Up

Colds and virus’ are spread through human contact, therefore to avoid these germs spreading it is vital that we focus on washing our hands well and ensuring we wipe down our exercise equipment with anti-bacterial spray too!

4.Get Your 5-a-Day

In the cold months it is less appetizing to tuck into a big salad so it may become harder for us to consume enough vitamin and minerals through food sources.

Try experimenting in the kitchen with different soups to increase vegetable intake; give these a go;

  • Carrot, butternut squash and sweet potato
  • Broccoli, leek, potato and pea
  • Tomato, roasted pepper and spinach

Or perhaps experiment with cooking fruits and adding them to breakfast or desserts to increase vitamin intake;

  • Baked apples and raisins with natural yoghurt
  • Cinnamon grilled peaches on porridge
  • Stewed pears with sultanas

To make sure that we are not deficient in any vitamins and minerals it is a good idea to take a daily high quality vitamin and mineral supplement such as Reflex Nutrition Nexgen Pro.

5.Avoid Comfort Eating

Colder weather and longer nights can increase our temptation to snuggle under a blanket and eat warming mince pies and drink hot chocolates with cream, however this is not going to beneficial for our health. This means it is important to have healthy food choices in the house, plenty of vegetables – frozen are fine, different fruits, stock the cupboards with lentils, beans, chickpeas and wholemeal rice and pasta and have good quality meats and fish in the fridge and freezer. Having healthy ingredients in the house means we are less likely to give into our cravings and order a takeaway to comfort us.

Some warming comfort meals without the extra calories include;

  • Chunky vegetable soup with wholegrain rye bread
  • Sheppard’s pie made with lean turkey mince and topped with sweet potato and butternut squash.
  • Chicken, mushroom and pesto pasta with spiralised courgette as a pasta substitute


If you are looking to drop some body fat for the New year make sure you have an adequate intake of omega 3 from salmon, mackerel and fresh tuna. Omega 3 helps the body utilise food for fuel instead of storing it. If you don’t manage to eat oily fish three times per week try purchasing a good quality supplement such as Reflex Nutrition Omega 3.

Unreal results made simple, transform your Body

Body transformation gym - Reflex Nutrition

The Brilliance of Nick Mitchell

You’ll see a photo at the top of this blog and see what looks like the impossible. More often than not this type of picture is questionable. I’m here to tell you that the photo above is in fact very real; it is the direct result of hard work, a good diet and smart supplementation. This transformation is the direct result of a new straightforward training approach which is to be detailed in a new book by Nick Mitchell, and yes I’m going the plug it but for one reason only. I personally believe he’s the best at what he does in the world today. My statements are often bold but I stand by them, in the same way that I might say that Reflex Nutrition make the best whey protein supplements in the world, I back it up with hard facts. The point is Nick Mitchell has earned an enormous following for developing training regimes that are based on scientific fact, they produce results, significant results in what is in reality short periods of time. But how?

Focusing on Correct Exercise Selection

Nick Mitchell’s exercise regimes revolve around selecting the correct exercises in a specific sequence which are tried and tested. The exercises when performed correctly create a massive stimulus within the body. The exercises are changed frequently to keep the body adapting, losing more and more body fat and building lean mass in the process. The real key to success though is the focus on intensity and putting 100% effort into every single workout and every single exercise, you need the right mind set and you need to focus.

Focusing on a proper Diet

Without a proper diet the effort you put in will be wasted. However, if you follow the right diet it will work in synergy with the training and fast track results. What is the ultimate diet? Everyone is different so the perfect diet will vary from person to person, but in a nutshell it’s all about choosing quality sources of protein which are eaten throughout the day in conjunction with a varied selection of fresh vegetables, healthy fats and micro nutrients. All the junk has to go and any alcohol is paired right back and if possible removed completely. Sounds extreme? It’s not, and it becomes the norm in a short period of time.

Focusing on Smart Supplementation

When training hard to change your body it requires significant amount of protein, normally about two grams of protein for every kilogram of bodyweight. More often than not, obtaining this amount of protein from whole food sources like beef, chicken and fish for example can be impractical. It’s easy to eat three square meals a day but the additional three portions of proteins needed makes protein shakes very convenient, effective and good value. The best approach is to simply take three protein shakes a day along with omega 3 fish oils and a high quality multivitamin to ensure you are covering the full nutritional needs of your body. There is a separate blog post about why you should take a multivitamin and a number of other posts about protein shakes, in particular protein blends and their superior performance compared to whey alone.

Just a few quotes from leading fitness experts and individuals that have used Nick’s superb training techniques

“In just 12 weeks I lost 8kg of fat, added 10kg of muscle and ended up on the front cover of Men’s Fitness magazine. I don’t for one second believe that there is another trainer in the UK capable of getting such phenomenal results. Nick Mitchell is, without question, the king of body transformations.” – Joe Warner

“With these startling results Nick Mitchell has reaffirmed himself as one of Europe’s top trainers. I myself saw Glenn at the early stages of his transformation and to see him come so far in such as short space of time is a testament both to his own steely determination and work ethic, and to Nick’s depth of experience and coaching knowledge.” – Charles Poliquin

“As the first forty year old man on the cover of Men’s Health magazine I can say that I would have had no chance without coaching, support, and occasional bullying from Nick” – Wesley Doyle

Nick’s own words,those who come to work with me and my team at Ultimate Performance should come because they want something special, something that you would never find in a commercial gym or a pristine, chrome-filled personal training studio. We ask a lot of our clients, but we give even more back, and because of this we are certainly not the right Personal Trainers for everybody. But if you want results – real, tangible life changing results – then I think you should be knocking on our door.

If you are serious about changing your body in the most efficient way possible I thoroughly recommend that you visit Nick’s website and check out his Twitter and Facebook pages, they make for entertaining reading and of course look at his training material. It’s easy to follow and as long as you put the effort in you’ll get the results you want faster than you thought.

Delta Tocotrienol, The Vitamin E Star of Anti Ageing

Delta Tocotrienol - Reflex Nutrition

In this blog I would like to re-introduce a topic that was written for us a few years ago by Dr Barrie Tan , his area of expertise is research into Tocotrienols. Before you read Dr Tan’s very informative piece on Tocotrienols I would like to point that as a result of working Dr Tan we only use Delta-Gold as our source of Vitamin E in Reflex products, I think I’m correct in saying we are the only sports nutrition company in the World to be in this pioneering position.

You’ll understand why once you read this post & watch the video:


“Since the early 20th century, life expectancy has increased at an astonishing rate.

While just a century ago we were faced with pathogenic challenges and high infant mortality, we are now confronted with an entirely different problem – we are growing older than ever before. Ageing brings with it both the joys of an extended lifespan and the difficulty of having to cope with its associated chronic challenges. The move from a pathogenic to a chronic challenge is synonymous with a shift in healthcare focus to a prevention model that anticipates adult onset conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, loss of vision, cancer, and – a dilemma most discernibly associated with ageing – the wrinkling and damage of the skin.

In theory, ageing is a process linked to the cumulative damage free radicals cause in the body over time. While unsaturated lipids in cell membranes are particularly susceptible to the unstable and highly reactive free radicals, antioxidants such as vitamin E have long been known to counteract such oxidative processes. Surprising as it may be, vitamin E is much more than simply an antioxidant, and addresses a variety of chronic conditions linked to ageing.

What is Vitamin E ?

Vitamin E was first discovered in 1922 by Dr. Herbert Evans, and was dubbed the “birth vitamin” to convey its important task in the prevention of fetal resorption. Although often misconstrued as a single entity, vitamin E is a family of two major subgroups, tocopherols and tocotrienols, with each subgroup containing four similar molecules (alpha-, beta-, gamma-, delta- tocopherols and tocotrienols). At first glance they all look exactly the same, fitting the description of a tadpole with a prominent “head” and a “tail”. While nuances in the head structure destine a vitamin E molecule to be an alpha-, beta-, gamma-, or delta-form, the length of the molecule’s tail determines whether a vitamin E molecule belongs to the tocopherol or tocotrienol subfamily. Tocotrienols have a shorter unsaturated tail with double bonds and are more flexible, while tocopherols have a longer saturated tail without double bonds and are less flexible. With the added flexibility afforded to tocotrienols, this vitamin E subfamily exhibits benefits of cholesterol lowering, improving overall cardiovascular and metabolic health, and more recently, cancer kill.

Tocotrienols Are Superior Antioxidants

The so-called “chromanol” head is the fundamental unit of vitamin E, and is also the location of antioxidant activity. The shape of the head also determines how easily a molecule can access the cell membrane. In general, gamma- and delta- (collectively entitled desmethyl-) heads are smaller, and have greater access to cell membranes, treating damage faster. Hence, they are usually more potent in delivering benefits. Several studies have confirmed the order of potency to be delta- > gamma- > alpha- tocotrienol or tocotrienol mixtures >> alpha-tocopherol [1-5]

. For example, ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) studies at Brunswick Laboratories/Massachusetts compared the antioxidant value of the tocopherol-free delta- and gamma-tocotrienol (DeltaGold®) to tocopherol and mixed tocotrienols, and found that DeltaGold’s antioxidant potential is much higher than that of the other compounds studied. In addition, the Ohio State University found that delta- and gamma-tocotrienol (as in DeltaGold®) protect lard from oxidation at low levels of just 100ppm (parts per million) [6, 7]


Ordinarily, the popular alpha-tocopherol comes to mind in relation to vitamin E’s antioxidant fame. The fact, however, is that tocotrienol is a 40-60 times more potent antioxidant than tocopherol, which was shown by Dr. Lester Packer of the University of California/Berkeley [8]

. The superior antioxidant capacity of tocotrienol is attributed to its greater flexibility, which permits added mobility to cover a larger surface area of cell membranes..

Tocotrienol’s Cardiovascular Benefits

Currently, tocotrienol is most well-known for its cholesterol-lowering properties, its claim to fame when discovered in the 1980’s [9]

. Numerous studies since have demonstrated that tocotrienols lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

The first clinical study on tocotrienol was performed in 1991 at the University of Wisconsin/Madison. In this study, patients initially received 200mg/day tocotrienol-tocopherol mixture. Total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol dropped 15-22% and 10-20%, respectively. However, 15% of the patients did not show improvement, and because of the greater effectiveness of delta- and gamma-tocotrienol, these patients were continued on a high delta- and gamma-tocotrienol supplement (100mg/day). Following 4 weeks of supplementation, the total cholesterol in these initially non-responsive patients dropped 35-40% [10]


In 1993, Bristol Myers Squibb found in an internal study that 100mg of delta- and gamma-tocotrienol per day reduced total and LDL cholesterol by 20-25% and triglycerides by 15-20%. In this study, delta-tocotrienol was the most effective of the tocotrienols.

Clinical studies also determined the optimal dose of tocotrienol for cholesterol and triglyceride reduction to be 75-100mg/day [11]

. Tocotrienol reduces cholesterol by down-regulating the enzyme responsible for its production in the liver [3, 12]

. This is a safe route of addressing cholesterol as compared to statin with its damaging side effects.Although cholesterol management is important for heart health, there are 30,000 miles of arteries that need protection for proper functions. Tocotrienols control inflammatory mechanisms and markers, including reduction of atherogenic lipoprotein(a)[Lp(a)]


and inhibition of the sticky adhesion molecules [2]

present in early stages of atherosclerosis. Bacterial infections contribute to the body’s inflammatory response, and tocotrienols have been shown to reduce infection by Chlamydia [14]

, a bacterium that has been found in atherosclerotic tissue and exacerbates inflammation [15]

. In short, tocotrienols promote arterial health.

Consumption of tocotrienols has been associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease, regression of carotid artery stenosis in humans in a 4-year study [16]

, reduced susceptibility to ischemia-induced arrhythmia, and reduced heart rate accompanied by improved myocardial efficiency [17, 18]


Tocotrienol in Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome

The statistics on obesity are shocking: globally, there are more than 1 billion overweight adults, and at least 300 million of them are obese [19]

. Obesity gives way to a cluster of dangerous cardiovascular risk factors including elevated blood pressure, triglycerides, blood sugar, and insulin resistance, all hallmarks of a condition referred to as metabolic syndrome or pre-diabetes. Drawing from clinical studies, tocotrienols are regarded as excellent candidates in a prevention model for metabolic syndrome. Tocotrienols safely address the three areas of atherogenic dyslipidemia: reduction of triglyceride levels, moderate increase of HDL cholesterol, and reduction of LDL cholesterol. In addition, there is evidence in animal studies that tocotrienol reduces blood pressure [20]

, arterial plaques [13]

, adhesion molecules [2]

, and blood sugar [21]

, all signs of metabolic syndrome.

A New Angle: Eye Health

Tocotrienols may have application in improving eye conditions, especially those of angiogenic nature. In macular degeneration, central vision loss occurs due to neovascularization in the retina beneath the macula, and leaking blood vessels push up the retina. Similarly, diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to blood vessels of the retina, and is the leading cause of adult blindness. In both cases, angiogenesis – the aberrant growth of new blood vessels – is to blame. Recent studies found tocotrienol to be a superb anti-angiogenic agent, with delta-tocotrienol being the most potent and reducing angiogenesis in a dose-dependent manner [22, 23]


Breakthroughs in Cancer Research

In the context of cancer, angiogenesis is also the fundamental culprit in malignant tumor formation. A variety of studies, especially from the Tohoku University in Japan, show that tocotrienols curb angiogenesis, essentially starving the tumors to death [22, 23]

. Of the tocotrienol isomers, delta is the most potent in cancer application, since it is the most potent cholesterol-producing enzyme inhibitor, the most potent anti-inflammatory and anti-angiogenic agent, and has recently been found to have an elegant key-lock structure for breast cancer [24]

. Delta-tocotrienol is now also in Phase I clinical trials for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, the deadliest type of cancers [25, 26]


Tocotrienols and Skin Health

One of the obvious signs of ageing is skin wrinkling due to prolonged oxidative damage. Aside from being an excellent antioxidant, tocotrienol has been shown to reduce UVB-induced skin damage [27, 28]

, inhibit melanoma cell growth, and produce tumor retardation in mice with highly metastatic melanoma [29]

. Tocotrienols also reduce skin pigmentation [30]

. The skin is exposed to many elements of the environment, both inside (endothelium) and outside (epithelium). Tocotrienols are preferentially deposited in these skin tissues for their protection [27]


About DeltaGold® Annatto Tocotrienol

DeltaGold® contains the wholesome rainforest annatto-derived tocotrienols that have a high concentration of the most effective component of tocotrienols, delta-tocotrienol, using a patented solvent-free extraction method. Annatto tocotrienol contains 90% delta-tocotrienol and 10% gamma-tocotrienol, and better yet, it is tocopherol-free. The composition of tocopherol-free tocotrienol in annatto is unique among the plant kingdom. This uniqueness is preserved in DeltaGold®.

Alpha-tocopherol, which is a popular ingredient in most supplements and is also present in palm- and rice-derived tocotrienol supplements, interferes with the function of tocotrienol. Due to this conflict, tocotrienols should be taken at least six hours apart from a tocopherol product, and preferably in the evening with dinner. Researchers concluded that effective tocotrienol preparations should contain less than 15% of alpha-tocopherol and more than 60% of desmethyl tocotrienols (referring only to gamma- and delta-tocotrienol). Absence of alpha-tocopherol such as in DeltaGold® is unmatched.

DeltaGold® owes its superior functions to a unique composition, one that earns it star power in the field of anti-ageing medicine. Indeed, it is the 21st century vitamin E!”

Thank you Barrie for a great article on an ingredient that features heavily throughout the Reflex Nutrition range, especially in Sports Anti Oxidants. I’m sure our readers now have a much greater understanding of why it’s important to look for Tocotrienols in preference to Tocopherols.


1. McIntyre, B.S., et al., Antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of tocopherols and tocotrienols on preneoplastic and neoplastic mouse mammary epithelial cells. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med, 2000. 224(4): p. 292-301.
2. Naito, Y., et al., Tocotrienols reduce 25-hydroxycholesterol-induced monocyte-endothelial cell interaction by inhibiting the surface expression of adhesion molecules. Atherosclerosis, 2005. 180(1): p. 19-25.
3. Pearce, B.C., et al., Hypocholesterolemic activity of synthetic and natural tocotrienols. J Med Chem, 1992. 35(20): p. 3595-606.
4. Sylvester, P.W. and S.J. Shah, Mechanisms mediating the antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of vitamin E in mammary cancer cells. Front Biosci, 2005. 10: p. 699-709.
5. Yu, S.G., et al., Dose-response impact of various tocotrienols on serum lipid parameters in 5-week-old female chickens. Lipids, 2006. 41(5): p. 453-61.
6. Kim, H.J., Oxidation mechanism of riboflavin destruction and antioxidant mechanism of tocotrienols., in PhD Dissertation. 2007: Food Science and Nutrition. Columbus, The Ohio State University.
7. Kim, H.J. and D.B. Min, Effects, quenching mechanisms, and kinetics of alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocotrienol on chlorophyll photosynthesized oxidation of lard., in IFT. 2007.
8. Serbinova, E., et al., Free radical recycling and intramembrane mobility in the antioxidant properties of alpha-tocopherol and alpha-tocotrienol. Free Radic Biol Med, 1991. 10(5): p. 263-75.
9. Qureshi, A.A., et al., The structure of an inhibitor of cholesterol biosynthesis isolated from barley. J Biol Chem, 1986. 261(23): p. 10544-50.
10. Qureshi, A.A., et al., Lowering of serum cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic humans by tocotrienols (palmvitee). Am J Clin Nutr, 1991. 53(4 Suppl): p. 1021S-1026S.
11. Tan, B. and A.M. Mueller, Tocotrienols in Cardiometabolic Diseases., in Tocotrienols: Vitamin E beyond Tocopherol, R. Watson and V. Preedy, Editors. 2008, AOCS/CRC Press. p. 257-273.
12. Song, B.L. and R.A. DeBose-Boyd, Insig-dependent ubiquitination and degradation of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme a reductase stimulated by delta- and gamma-tocotrienols. J Biol Chem, 2006. 281(35): p. 25054-61.
13. Qureshi, A.A., et al., Dietary tocotrienols reduce concentrations of plasma cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, thromboxane B2, and platelet factor 4 in pigs with inherited hyperlipidemias. Am J Clin Nutr, 1991. 53(4 Suppl): p. 1042S-1046S.
14. Mueller, A.M., B. Tan, and E.S. Stuart, Tocotrienol in the potential treatment of infectious disease., in Tocotrienol: Vitamin E beyond Tocopherol., R. Watson and V. Preedy, Editors. 2008, CRC Press. p. 343-359.
15. Campbell, L.A. and C.C. Kuo, Chlamydia pneumoniae--an infectious risk factor for atherosclerosis? Nat Rev Microbiol, 2004. 2(1): p. 23-32.
16. Kooyenga, D.K., et al., Antioxidants modulate the course of carotid atherosclerosis: A four-year report., in Micronutrients and Health, K. Nesaretnam and L. Packer, Editors. 2001, AOCS Press: Illinois. p. 366-375.
17. Rasool, A.H., et al., Arterial compliance and vitamin E blood levels with a self emulsifying preparation of tocotrienol rich vitamin E. Arch Pharm Res, 2008. 31(9): p. 1212-7.
18. Rasool, A.H., et al., Dose dependent elevation of plasma tocotrienol levels and its effect on arterial compliance, plasma total antioxidant status, and lipid profile in healthy humans supplemented with tocotrienol rich vitamin E. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo), 2006. 52(6): p. 473-8.
19. WHO. Obesity and overweight. 2010 
[cited 2010 2/1/10]

20. Newaz, M.A., et al., Nitric oxide synthase activity in blood vessels of spontaneously hypertensive rats: antioxidant protection by gamma-tocotrienol. J Physiol Pharmacol, 2003. 54(3): p. 319-27.
21. Qureshi, A.A., S.A. Sami, and F.A. Khan, Effects of stabilized rice bran, its soluble and fiber fractions on blood glucose levels and serum lipid parameters in humans with diabetes mellitus Types I and II. J Nutr Biochem, 2002. 13(3): p. 175-187.
22. Miyazawa, T., et al., Antiangiogenic and anticancer potential of unsaturated vitamin E (tocotrienol). J Nutr Biochem, 2009. 20(2): p. 79-86.
23. Shibata, A., et al., delta-Tocotrienol suppresses VEGF induced angiogenesis whereas alpha-tocopherol does not. J Agric Food Chem, 2009. 57(18): p. 8696-704.
24. Comitato, R., et al., A novel mechanism of natural vitamin E tocotrienol activity: involvement of ERbeta signal transduction. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 2009. 297(2): p. E427-37.
25. Husain, K., et al., Vitamin E delta-tocotrienol levels in tumor and pancreatic tissue of mice after oral administration. Pharmacology, 2009. 83(3): p. 157-63.
26. Hussein, D. and H. Mo, d-Dlta-tocotrienol-mediated suppression of the proliferation of human PANC-1, MIA PaCa-2, and BxPC-3 pancreatic carcinoma cells. Pancreas, 2009. 38(4): p. e124-36.
27. Traber, M.G., et al., Diet-derived and topically applied tocotrienols accumulate in skin and protect the tissue against ultraviolet light-induced oxidative stress. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr, 1997. 6(1): p. 63-67.
28. Yamada, Y., et al., Dietary tocotrienol reduces UVB-induced skin damage and sesamin enhances tocotrienol effects in hairless mice. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo), 2008. 54(2): p. 117-23.
29. McAnally, J.A., et al., Tocotrienols potentiate lovastatin-mediated growth suppression in vitro and in vivo. Exp Biol Med (Maywood), 2007. 232(4): p. 523-31.
30. Michihara, A., et al., Delta-tocotrienol causes decrease of melanin content in mouse melanoma cells. J Health Sci, 2009. 55(2): p. 314-318

One Video I Urge You to Watch

vegetables forming the letter K


It’s not often that I start a blog encouraging you to watch a video. Before you watch it I want to give a brief background to its importance. Many years ago we developed a multivitamin called Nexgen®, if I’m honest it was developed to satisfy my own personal need for an exemplary multivitamin product that would deliver on every level. By making it inhouse, complete control over ingredients used and quality was achieved. That was about 10 years ago and since then Nexgen® has evolved very dramatically as we have improved the formula year after year with the ultimate incarnation being Nexgen® PRO.

It is very difficult to provide a simple explanation of how Nexgen® PRO has been formulated because there is so much to understand, like the specific relationships between key ingredients like magnesium and vitamin D. Few realise the vital relationship these two play in the role of health and the vital importance of these two with another little know vitamin.

I was asked only two days ago what the most important ingredients were in a multivitamin which draws me closer to why you need to watch the video below. I can tell you now that it is not the B Vitamins, Vitamin C or Selenium but a Vitamin that is a game changer that everyone needs. It is Vitamin K2-MK-7, we’ve been quietly formulating with K2-MK-7 for quite a few years and use a specially manufactured variety called K2VITAL.

The power of this ingredient is most succinctly captured in the following video. It is a talk by Dr John Whitcomb in which he details all the latest research and explains why K2 MK-7 is so vital. I think it could be one of the most valuable related videos you will ever watch.


If you’ve just  watched the video, then you might legitimately ask how much K2 MK-7 is in Nexgen PRO. The answer is 75ug of Vitamin K2-MK7 (K2VITAL). The really important aspect to realise is that K2-MK7 can degrade easily in some commercially available K2-MK-7 supplements. Some show significant signs of degradation which is why we use K2VITAL, an extremely stable form. You can read up more about this very high quality form of Vitamin K2.

I’m hoping that you’ve also learnt that there is an important relationship between vitamin D, magnesium, vitamin K2 and to a lesser extent vitamin A. They are all related in the control of calcium in our bodies and they all need to be present. Finding more information on this complex subject is easy; a quick search on Google will reveal a significant amount of valuable information. Have a look at the “COMB” study, that’s very telling, and of course any video with Dr John Whitcomb.

The one thing that is difficult to find is a multivitamin that includes the K2-MK7, vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin A in sensible doses, and that’s why we developed Nexgen PRO!