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Oct 03
Faster Cycling Launches

​After a long time in its preparation - the online course to learn all about how to train to improve cycling performance gets under way,

Im really excited to be hosting this and special thanks to John Hardy and the team at Faster along with Ideal 3, loads of great people who are kind enough to publish their research into this sport and lots of other people far too numerous to mention who have help made this possible.

Sep 29
Are Sports Drinks a waste of time ?

Im often intrigued by the ethos surrounding the ‘Sports Drink’ as though it has some magical properties that somehow instil the user with an extra level of fitness and ability that they didn’t have before.

Whatever the label says in the way of ‘Power’ , ‘Speed’, ‘Muscle’ , ‘Performance ‘etc – at the end of the day all they contain is Water, Carbohydrates, Protein, Fats and Minerals.

So when do you need one ?

Well, you only really need one if you are at risk from running out of Water, Minerals, Protein or Carbohydrates.

There are basically three types and some try to combine more than one:

Electrolytes: These contain salts and minerals that are often lost during long periods of exercise or when it is hot. Its a good idea to drink these if you are exercising very hard for an extended period of time (e.g. an hour or more) or its hot.

Carbohydrate: Usually a mixture of sugars. You have enough sugar stored in your body as glycogen to last for about 1.5-2 hours of hard exercise (2000 calories). Its a good idea to use these if you are going to exceed 1 1/2 hours OR you have a need to recover that sugar reserve quickly (e.g. 2 or more hard training sessions a day). If you are trying to loose weight, avoid these as you will burn the sugar and not the fat. The other reason you might use these, is if you have a tendency of going hypoglycemic during exercise.

Protein: Usually in the form of shakes. These provide a high concentration proteins used for the rebuilding of muscles. Your body needs about 0.75-2 grams of protein per Kg of body weight an this can usually be achieved by a normal selection of lean meats and vegetables. Its a good idea to use these if you have an intense exercise regime that needs additional proteins to assist recovery and repair. As protein is absorbed more slowly than sugars these are sometimes used to assist weight loss.

With the unnecessary use of a sports drink, the surplus food will most likely be stored as additional fat. The other side effect is that continual topping up with sugary drinks will encourage your body to adapt in a way that over-stimulates sugar use, increased levels of insulin production and over a long period a risk of developing insulin resistance diabetes.

Use sports drinks if you have a need to replace sugar, protein, water and electrolytes.

Other than that, you will be flushing money away – (quite literally !) – and its better to stay with water.

Sep 29
Is Alcohol Cheating on the Diet ?

If you have been trying to lose weight, you are probably familiar with calorie counting and checking Carbohydrates ( 4 calories per gram), Protein (4 calories per gram),  Fats ( 9 calories per gram) and alcohol (7 calories per gram).

So when is a calorie not a calorie ?

Well, it could be when you include the alcohol – so lets see why ?

I’m fortunate to have access to some lab equipment where I can accurately measure peoples metabolism and  whether they are burning fats or sugars. If you are trying to lose weight – it helps massively to know how to shift body fat as fast as possible.

I knew, as most diet books will tell you, that alcohol is a preferred source of energy, and your body will prefer to use alcohol as ‘fuel’. So that nice meal you had with your drink will be stored away as body fat.

What I had not fully appreciated, until I had the opportunity to test someone, was just how much alcohol actually suppresses your fat burning for several hours afterwards.

The effect of having a few drinks the night before was to halve my test subjects use of body fat from 60% to 30%. This was at a modest effort level (like slow walking), and a whole 12 hours after drinking.

Now, I know this person burns about 1500 calories per day at rest – so the effect of those drinks overnight would have been to avoid burning the equivalent of 225-450 Calories of body fat. That’s an extra hour in the gym !

I’ve since found some studies in Sweden where they found that the amount of body fat burned dropped to a fifth, 2 hours after drinking. Effects continued for a further 5 hours.

So are you serious about your diet ?

Leave out the alcohol and choose something else.

Sep 29
What do you do with Pumpkins and Pomegranates

​Loads of inexpensive pumpkins in the shops at the moment. 
We bought a massive one, about the size of a beach ball, for £2.50.

They are really good nutritious food too. Full of anti-oxidants and vitamins, high in fibre.

Water soluble vitamins need to be re-stocked daily by the body. This is good news as pumpkins can supply B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 and C. They also supply a number of fat soluble vitamins A, E and K. The seeds are also a good source of mono-unsaturated fats.

Pumpkin can be used in a variety of great recipes. I had a quick look on the BBC good food guide and found a great range of ideas from baked whole, Pumpkin and Chickpea Curry, soups, omelette. Be careful what you mix it with. It can even blended up to make an after-workout shake. Now that’s a great alternative to something out of a plastic tub.

If you have any recipes you would like to share, please feel free to add them as blog comments.

Ok – now what do you do with Pomegranates

These are another great source of anti-oxidants, vitamins, potassium and iron.

However, I must admit, I was always at a loss with how to deal with Pomegranates, with all those pips, until I had a flat mate who showed me one way.

His technique was to scrunch the fruit whole so that the juice was released inside the fruit. Pierce the fruit and then quickly suck all the juice out, before it sprayed everywhere, leaving a dry husk.

This didn’t always go to plan and left a streak of red juice in an unintended direction!
Now I just use a lemon squeezer to extract the juice.

I think I’ve just had a great idea for a winter shake: how about a Pomegranate and Pumpkin smoothie ? Let me know what you think.

handfull of Pumpkin
1/2 glass skimmed milk
juice of 1 pomegranate
(pinch of cinnamon optional)
blend it all up

Regards, Simon

…get Fitter … get Faster …get Results

Apr 03
Welcome to our New Website

Hi everyone, this week we are rolling out our new Website. Use the site to learn about us, check out our great services, hours and directions, and make reservations or enquiries]. We hope you enjoy the new site. Let us know if you have any feedback by adding comments here or connecting with us on facebook.

Thanks !.

Simon and the Team

Apr 05
Welcome to my blog!

This is where I'll be sharing my thoughts on topics that matter to me. Who knows... I might even share pictures, videos and links to other interesting stuff.

If I catch your interest, let me hear from you.