Summer in Cornwall is essentially long days in the surf, evening barbeques and exploring hidden coves, and it’s the best. Believe me, there’s no better feeling than riding a wave with the sun beaming down on you 🌞 I find myself on a bit of a health-kick every summer once the sea has warmed up because I can stay in for far longer before the shivers set in!
Even though I try and keep up with swimming and other workouts during the winter, it’s been particularly difficult with Covid-19 restrictions due to pools closing and classes being restricted. That means, more than ever, it’s been tough getting back into my fitness routine, so I’ve started paying attention to other areas of my life to improve my performance when I’m out on the water.
Naturally, I eat healthier during the warmer months, and especially so when I’m exercising more (nothing makes you sink quicker than a heavy meal before getting in the water – no, thank you!). But I’ve started thinking about my protein intake and how I can maximize my recovery and muscle building, getting me stronger for the season ahead to compete.
Over the last few months, ahead of the season, I began researching different recipes, learning about batch cooking/how it might work for us, and using indulging in muscle recovery soaks. I also started drinking protein shakes to promote muscle gain and improve performance and recovery. This isn’t something I’d done since I ran a half-marathon many moons ago, so it was time to start learning about the best products on the market, and how to maximize my potential.
Introducing Naked Nutrition: Grass-fed Whey Protein Powder
Naked Whey is sourced from small California dairy farms. Their cows are grass-fed year-round and raised without growth hormones. Not only is grass-fed better for the animals and the environment, but it also comes with several health benefits.
Each serving includes 25 grams of protein and 5.9 grams of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Naked Whey is completely free of additives and artificial sweeteners. They also offer Naked Pea, a vegan option, too.
Already, this straightforward clean approach was winning Naked Nutrition brownie points, in my opinion.
Grass-Fed Whey Benefits
Grass-fed cows in pastures feed on grass, which is their natural food. As a result, these cows are not consuming any GMOs or harmful substances (yuck!) that feed-lot cows are subjected to.
This is also reflected in the whey that these cows produce, as grass-fed whey contains less saturated fats and more healthy fats. It also ensures that the whey is of the highest quality and contains a top nutritional profile.
But does it really make a difference, or is a just a marketing hype?
Boost Immune System
Whey from grass-fed cows contains higher levels of the immune-boosting compounds beta-lactoglobulin, lactoferrin, and lysozyme. These compounds improve your body’s antioxidant response and help the fight against harmful bacteria. Grass-fed whey also contains more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid that boosts immune function.
Lose Fat and Improve Heart Health
In addition to boosting immunity, CLA can also help preserve lean muscle mass and burn more fat. The higher levels of CLA in grass-fed whey can support your body composition goals. Grass-fed whey contains more omega-3 fatty acids and CLA than regular whey. Both CLA and omega-3s can support better metabolism and improve cardiovascular health.
Cold-pressed whey powder, such as Naked Nutrition, use careful manufacturing processes to minimize heat exposure to our whey protein. Cold processing makes sure that the nutrients in whey are non-denatured. It leaves the amino acids, omega-3s, CLA, and immunoglobulins intact.
Non-denatured whey is more bioavailable than regular whey. Your body can absorb the nutrients and amino acids more easily to promote better recovery. As a result, you enjoy more of the benefits of whey protein, such as muscle growth, more energy, and better recovery.
How To Use
If you’re new to protein shakes, you might be wondering the best way to incorporate them into your training routine.
💬 When should I have protein?: Add Naked Nutrition grass-fed whey to protein shakes, smoothie bowls, and baking. Best used in the morning, before a workout, or after a workout.
💬 What should I mix with my protein?: Mix two scoops into 6-10oz of milk, water, or your favorite beverage. Add fruits and vegetables for taste as Naked Whey is unflavored.
Here’s a couple of ways that you can add it to your meals to get you started:
Peanut butter, toast, and nuts
If I know I’m going to be spending a long time in the water, I’ll always have peanut butter and tend to opt for something relatively dry (i.e. steering away from smoothie bowls – but more on that in a minute!). Something like toast is far better than milk and berries sloshing around in my stomach when I’m bouncing around in the surf. Keep this in mind when you’re deciding what to eat ahead of your workout.
Try dry toast with peanut butter, mixing in Naked Nutrition protein powder, topped with sliced banana and a handful of chia seeds. If you want, have a bowl of nuts and granola with a very small amount of yogurt, for an extra boost of energy.
Remember to allow plenty of time before your training session so it’s fully digested. I usually allow up to 2-hours to allow 2 slices of toast, banana, and peanut butter to go down before exercising, but everyone’s different – so experiment with timings.
This recipe idea also works great for after a training session when you need a tasty pick-me-up!
Chai, nuts, and berries smoothie bowl
If I’ve just come back from a hard session, I usually make a super quick smoothie bowl as a quick pick me up, before dealing with my equipment, having a shower, etc. This gives me the boost of energy I need as soon as I get through the door, providing essential nutrients needed, so I can carry on with what I’m doing before settling in with a proper meal for the evening.
Whip up your favourite smoothie (personally, I’m a fan of strawberry and banana, which works really nicely for this recipe), mix in a little Naked Nutrition protein powder, and add it to a bowl. Top with nutty granola, berries and seeds. Again, I use chia seeds as they’re also packed with protein.
Flax seeds, hemp and sunflower seeds are all also great options to aid muscle recovery.
Naked Nutrition Ethos
The brands transparency on ingredients is super important, as someone that’s health conscious.
The company was started as an answer to all the misinformation and unnecessary ingredients in the nutrition industry. They strip away all of the marketing and gimmicks that many companies use today, and are committed to selling products with only the purest ingredients.
Naked Nutrition also seeks to reduce waste wherever possible, and avoid the use of harmful pesticides and farming practices. Another point for Naked Nutrition ⭐️
In a nutshell
If you’re training, you want to get the most out of your session and look after your muscles. There’s so many different types of protein shakes out there, it’s hard to know where to start, but understanding what’s in your shakes can make the decision so much easier. You’ve also got peace of mind that you’re fueling your body with good stuff, and no additives!
Shop Naked Nutrition and their grass-fed whey protein powder online here.
Looking for other ways to improve your surf performance?
Here’s some other articles that may help you boost your fitness and aid your body this season:
What’s your top tip for improving your surf performance when you’re not in the water? 🌊