Friday, December 16, 2011

Vega Sport:: My New Workout Obsession and a Giveaway!

While I try to rely much more heavily on whole foods to meet my nutrition needs, rather than the likes of shakes, protein powder, and bars, there is one product on the market that continually exceeds my expectations when it comes to sports recovery. Sometimes you just want or need a quick source of protein and calories, and no one does it better than Vega. Most plant-based protein powders either a. taste horrible (I can not stand hemp) or b. fall very short
nutritionally-either with too much added sugars, too little protein and not enough vitamins. Vega beats out their competition in both categories.
I've been a long-time fan, and sometimes tell people my goal in life is to move to Vancouver and work for both them and Lululemon. But in the meantime I'll keep enjoying their delicious, nutritous products. I was delighted before my birthday with this amazing package of Vega goodies- their newly launched Vega Sport Line. This line launches off their regular vegan supplement line with increased emphasis on timing of nutrients and increasing recovery time-two things essential to all athletes. Brendan Brazier is a vegan world-renowned triathlete who worked with Vega to develop this line. I'm a huge fan of his books- Thrive Fitness and Thrive and recommend them for their quality nutritional information and recipes. But this line is superb and I just couldn't wait to share it!

Note: You probably won't need Vega Sport if you're walking or going to yoga (which are both excellent forms of activity), but rather for sweat-dripping-down-your-forehead-rawrrrrr exercise.

Pre- Exercise- 20-30 minutes prior to exercise your body needs simple carbohydrates-sugars-to gear up and give you that instant energy you need.
Vega Product: Pre-workout energizer: brown rice syrup gives your body the sugar it needs, with additional green tea and yerba mate for an extra boost. The lemon-lime flavor taste great. I grab this if I'm doing a long workout immediately after getting up-when it's super easy to grab while still half-asleep and if I'm in a rush.

During exercise:
If your physical activity is less than an hour, you don't need to worry about eating or drinking anything besides water during exercise. However if you are working out for over 60 minutes your body is going to need additional simple carbohydrates (sugars) to help maintain energy levels, and prevent you from relying just on muscle or liver glycogen. Usually liquids or gels are easiest (unless you're an ultra marathoner no one really wants a pb&j while working out).

Vega Products: Electrolyte Hydrator. A non-calorie electrolyte supplement that uses stevia instead of aspartame or splenda. I prefer lemon-lime to pom-berry.
For longer workout there is the Endurance gel. With sugar from dates, and fat from coconut oil this is great for endurance events like half and full marathons. This is was the one product that I did not like-the taste is not something I would want mid-exercise. But I tend to shy away from anything berry flavor so it could just be me.... for now i'll stick to the Clif gels....
Post Workout: The correct post-work out meal-eaten within 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise will help to reduce recovery time. A 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein, as well as additional compounds like antioxidants, electrolytes and omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation is the ideal meal to help muscles heal and increase in strength faster.

Immediately after exercise-Your window of opportunity for optimal muscle recovery is within 30 minutes of ceasing activity. If you work out away from your kitchen, it's important to remember to pack something. Again you want a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of carb to protein (PB & J meets this one. Or look at the nutrition label. 30g carb to 10g protein, etc). You need more protein than carbs to give your muscles glycogen to store, but some protein facilitates better glucose
absorption
Vega product: Recovery accelerator: 4:1 ratio of carb to protein, and I loved the tropical flavor. This powder also has turmeric and cayenne which are super anti-inflammatory spices!

After exercise: within 1-3 hours is when you want to replenish your protein stores to help build back muscles. Branched chain amino acids (BCAA) are the best type of protein to aid in muscle re-synthesis.
Vega Product: Chocolate Sports Protein Powder is a blended plant based protein of brown
rice, pea and hemp. I like this much better than a whey or soy protein because it's more whole food-not just isolated compounds. It's also extremely allergen friendly and easier to digest. BCAA. This protein powder has a delicious creamy taste that i have been unable to find in any other vegan powders. It even passes the "boy-test". I made my "lil" brother try the smoothie:
(14 years old, but has surpassed me in height and activity level. He's currently in both basketball and hockey and spends 16 hours a day running around)
I blend 1 scoop with 1 banana, almond milk as a base and mix in any combination of: espresso shot (for the morning), peanut butter, almond butter, frozen dark cherries, mint oil, cayenne powder.
Chocolate coconut protein bar. This is the most delicious vegan protein bar I have ever tasted. I'm obsessed with it. 240 calories, 15 g of protein (pea, and whole grain brown rice), 4 g of fiber, gluten free.

The only downfall to Vega? Their price tag may make this product not an option for a lot of people. But I truly believe that you get what you pay for, and this is definitely one instance where they have pulled above and beyond their competitors and are well worth the splurge.

But because I love Vega and all of you oh so much there's a Giveaway!
I want to share the Vega love, so will mail one winner an assortment of products from the Vega Sport Line (shown above). Entering is very simple:
  • 1 entry for commenting below on your favorite way to refuel after exercise
  • 1 entry for tweeting "Enter @ElizabethEats #giveaway of @VegaTeam Sport http://tinyurl.com/7gzm4gt #vegan #athlete"

I'll pick a winner next Friday, December 23rd-right before Christmas Weekend and will have it out to you before the New Year-that's my little way of saying thank you this holiday season! Here's to you and yours!

Full Disclosure: Vega in no way shape or form asked me to write positive review or giveaway. They sent me product samples no questions asked. I will only post things that I stand behind 100%. You have my promise.

45 comments:

Lindsey Donner said...

My fav way to refuel is with HEED recovery drink & chocolate milk. Works for me!

I also tweeted the link :)

Mariel BOOM said...

I wish I would have known about this when I was a more serious athlete. Will have to use one when I decided my next endeavour. Almost ready to get back on the competitive horse.

Amanda Adams said...

My favorite post-workout fuel is definitely a smoothie. A little bit of kale, collards, banana, blueberries, cinnamon and protein powder (chocolate flavor). Delicious.

Jennifer and Jaclyn @ sketch-free vegan said...

i like to refuel with brown rice vanilla protein powder, bananas and almond milk, simple but so good!!

Carlene said...

I had no idea hey had so many products! And you would be a great RD for both companies.

eclairre said...

I like bananas and peanut butter!

kshea said...

Nothing beats my heat like the electrolyte hydrator! Keeps the balance going until I'm cooled down for the go-to banana-flip smoothie with performance protein powder in chocolate. I'm a Vega Beggaa!!

Jon Moen said...

Yogurt, banana, kale, almond butter smoothie.

gentlestorm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gentlestorm said...

Bowl of oatmeal with walnuts, chocolate almond milk, and lots of water, warmish shower, and a POWER NAP!

I Pull 400 Watts said...

My favorite post workout fuel is often some hemp protein and/or RunningFood.com's micro milled chia seeds.

And Tweeted :)

ggruen said...

Hemp pea protien beet juice and ginger

Dante said...

I am obsessed with and I love refueling after a workout with the Chocolate Coconut Protein Bars. Not only are they absolutely delicious but good for you too! Double bonus!

BYOL said...

Shoot! I don't have tweeting abilities. Never-the-less, I typically refuel with a hemp-protein and fruit smoothie immediately after working out and a large vegan meal (typically lentils) about 1-2 hours later.

CreativeTim said...

My favourite way to refuel has been vega whole food optimizer. Looking forward to trying the new sports plan.

Taylor said...

My favorite way to refuel is Broccoli Pancakes and Water!

Lynda said...

Agree wholeheartedly, the book Thrive was the best explanation of what actually occurs with devitalized food and I've read many. Though not Vegan I love the optimizer and pre-workout energizer. I dance flamenco and the produces has balanced my blood sugar.

@lyndabauer
http://bit.ly/nycgreen

delightsanddelectables said...

My favorite way to refuel is a protein shake. Right now I'm using chocolate brown rice protein.

delightsanddelectables said...

i also tweeted!

Echelon Health Coaching said...

I love to have a pnut butter and dried cherry sandwich and chocolate almond milk. That is of course if my wife didnt make me lunch!

Dar said...

Dear Elizabeth Jarrard!
I agree Vega rocks in their VEGA SPORT Sports recovery drink,I love the stuff!
And,I use it Pre and Post workout in my POWER YOGA class where I burn 750+ calories in 75 minutes! ARRRRRRR!
Come to Windsor, Ontario Canada where we ROCK our YOGA!

BradfordATL said...

The Vega Sport products have literally changed my life. When I first decided to try a (mostly raw) vegan diet, I was worried about keeping up my active fitness routine. Well, I picked up a Chocolate Saviseed protein at Whole Foods. It as so good that I checked out the Vega website, read about all the Vega products, and picked up a copy of Thrive Fitness. Not only have I maintained my weightlifting and cardio shedule, I've added on triathlon training. I have more energy than ever, and even my weightlifting gains are quicker, all thanks to the prepare/sustain/recover model of Vega Sport. My combo: Lemon-Lime Pre-workout Energizer; Rasberry gels (I actually think these are remarkable, but I love real berries), followed by Apple Berry Recovery and Chocolate Protein. Thanks to Brendan!

laura said...

I love having a smoothie with vega's whole food optimizer. I'm excited to try this new line. Hope to win!

laura said...

I tweeted too!

Anonymous said...

I like a post-workout smoothie: banana, almond milk, almond butter and chocolate vega! Kind of Chunky Monkey... sort of

Erin Serrault said...

The agree that the coconut chocolate protein bats are absolutely AMAZING!!! My second favorite is the chocolate protein powder and based on your recommendation I'll try the tropical flavored recovery drink.

You absolutely get what you pay for with Vega and our healthily bodies are always worth it!!! Hope I get the chance to try more of the vega line through this giveaway : ) it would really make my Xmas!!!

Laura (LunaChickRuns) said...

Great post! My favorite post-workout recovery snack is a smoothie, but now that it's cold, I love having oatmeal with pb & bananas.
I am a fan of Vega, however I have found that some of the stuff (WFHO in particular) tastes awful. I would be very interested to try the sport line!

GB_Runner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GB_Runner said...

Great post, I've tried many of the old VEGA products. They're excellent, I look forward to trying the new, just budget is tight this time of year ;-) thanks for sharing! I forgot to list my favorite "post recovery meal" I'm a vegan in transition, so I'm more or less in between favorites. might sound odd, but I like a bole of brown rice mixed with a few spoons of crunchy peanut butter ;-)

Hey, don't knock it till you try it! But I'd definitely love to try some of the VEGA recovery products (please)

colin said...

Recovery is an integral part of training for all endurance athletes such as myself. I absolutely love Vega products for helping me recovery between workouts. I really believe that the sport protein and recovery accelerator works, it's NOT just hype. I'd love to win some free Vega schwag!

entersarah said...

I love to refuel with a poached egg on 12 grain bread (toasted). Yum!

Melissa Dion said...

After exercise I usually make a shake with protein powder, greens, frozen cherries, and almond milk.

Melissa Dion said...

Tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/mgonyeo/statuses/149588983008075777

milaxx said...

Before a work out I make a protein shake using bichem protein powder in chocolate, raw almond butter ^ almond milk. I typically attend a water aerobics class first thing in the morning. Afterwards I have breakfast. I'm vegetarian so I typically have an omelet and some fruit.

Also tweeted this giveaway.
https://twitter.com/#!/MilaXX/status/149591634940669952

cck said...

Haha thanks for the tweet. You don't hafta twist my arm to enter this giveaway... I LOVE those new Vega chocolate-coconut protein bars. (But, like you, I wish my wallet liked them more!)

Happy holidays, sweet girl!

Shannon said...

I usually have some sort of vegan protein powder posr workout luke pea or hemp. I try to keep the calories low but get in some good protein.

Mary said...

Bananas!!

Sherala said...

I am loving the VegaSport line. I have tried the Recovery Accelerator and I am in love!

anne said...

almond milk, dates, pb smoothie. yum. yum. yum.

EA-The Spicy RD said...

Just saw this on my new latest obsession-Pinterest-ha, ha! Sorry I missed the giveaway :-). I usually use whey protein, but nice to know of a (good tasting) vegan alternative. I'm with you and don't care for hemp powder at all. Thanks for sharing (and pinning!) I'm definitely going to try this out!

How To Get A Six Pack In A Month said...

Supplements are needed to make your body healthier and stronger. Although we can get nutrients from the food we eat, sometimes these are not enough top cater all our needs especially if you have an active lifestyle. Taking supplements before and after exercise will give you a healthier body and refreshing feeling.

orca wetsuits said...

I think I like the Pre-Workout Energizer supplement. This will help me perform well on doing my daily exercises. I always go to the gym and the only supplements I have are protein shakes and tablets. I also have chocolate (protein) ready in case I get hypoglycemia. Aside from going tot he gym, I also love cycling to increase my endurance.

Stew said...

That is such a healthy balance between Aspartame and Pregnancy that you provided here. Very informative blog mate! Cheers!

Jillian Richardson said...

I love peanut butter and banana after a workout!

Jillian Richardson said...

https://twitter.com/Irishchick113/status/280765772115107841

I Tweeted!