Category Archives: Fitness Products

Daily Vitamin Shots – Performance Boosting or a Caffeine Kick?

Energy is big business…and I’m not just talking the kind that flows through power cables. The likes of Red Bull, Monster and Relentless are multi-million pound industries now, with us looking to get that instant ‘pick-me-up’ to get through the day. The next step in the energy drink market was efficiency. We don’t want to have to sit and drink a whole can of energy, we want it in one teeny tiny bottle.

Hence the birth of the ‘energy shot’. These have since gone on to appeal to an even wider marker, by claiming not only to give us enough of a buzz to want to run a marathon – twice- but to ALSO meet a plethora of nutritional needs in one 60ml swoop!

How demanding are we?!  

www.6vitaminshot.co.uk 6 vitamin shot, daily boost, caffeine, coffee, b vitamins, performance boostingA few weeks ago, I was sent 6 bottles of the new ‘6vitaminshot’…the latest brand to produce one of these energy shots, designed to provide the consumer with their ‘recommended vitamin allowance and more’. The shelves are now saturated with competing brands trying to get in on the action, but does this one stand out from the rest?

 What is it?

6vitaminshot is marketed as an energy boosting supplement and having never heard of the brand before, I was excited to give them a go! The ingredients are listed on the side of the bottle, and directions just tell me that for maximum effect I should drink between meals. The front of the bottle claims that is has 6 key benefits:

        – Sustained energy

               – No jitters

               – Mental clarity

              – Increased endurance

              – Enhanced performance

              – Sugar free

How does it taste?

Regardless of the content, the flavour of the shot itself is probably one of its most important features – it may well be able to work miracles, but if it tastes awful, no-one is going to want to drink it! The liquid is ‘Acai Berry’ flavour….not too thick and a pinkish colour; the smell reminded me of artificial sweet drinks from when I was a kid, but I was pleasantly surprised by the fruity flavour! It went down easily, but I did find chilling them in the fridge made them a bit more enjoyable.

But what’s actually in it?

www.6vitaminshot.co.uk 6 vitamin shot, daily boost, caffeine, coffee, b vitamins, performance boostingA fair old bit actually. A ton of ingredients are listed are listed on the packet, with details of the benefits of each on their website (reduced fatigue, antioxidants, athletic performance, metal alertness, a boost during exercise…the list goes on). ‘Sugar free’ is always a bonus, compared to many of the full sized cans of energy drink which are laced with the sweet stuff – though this does have artificial sweetener in it instead.

Taking a closer look at the vitamins contained themselves, the amount per serving is given alongside the % Daily Values recommended. The website says…

‘6vitaminshot contains ingredients which have proven benefits to enhance sporting performance whereas Berocca just contains low dose vitamins and minerals for more general use’

A quick look at the B vitamins shows that many of them are over the recommended allowance anyway (B12 is 8333% – necessary?) and are actually comparable in amount – if not less in some cases – to those in Berocca. The other ingredients further down the list are those that ‘enhance sporting performance’ (Betaine, Taurine, L-Tyrosine). Unfortunately I don’t know enough science behind these to pass accurate judgment, but there are studies available into the effects of them on performance and mood – many of which have proved to be positive. I did quick bit of research into recommended dosage for improved performance – Betaine is 2.5g daily, L-Carnitine is 3-4g daily, L-Tyrosine suggests 0.5-1g 3 times daily). The levels in 6vitamin shot are 0.5g, 0.3g and 0.5g respectively – these low amounts probably aren’t going to make much of a noticeable difference to performance in a single dose.

www.6vitaminshot.co.uk 6 vitamin shot, daily boost, caffeine, coffee, b vitamins, performance boostingOne of the most important features that caught my eye in the listed ingredients was caffeine. Each shot contains 120mg, which is the equivalent to 2 cups of instant coffee. Obviously depending on individual sensitivity, this is enough to perk anyone up! The FAQ section of their website explains the supplemental benefits of caffeine, but says that 300mg is regarded as the safe upper limit for daily, so make sure to factor in any other drinks you’re having that day.

How much will it set me back?

www.6vitaminshot.co.uk 6 vitamin shot, daily boost, caffeine, coffee, b vitamins, performance boostingI’ve not seen these for sale in shops yet, but you can buy directly from their website (www.6vitaminshot.co.uk) priced at £2.50 a bottle or a tray of 12 for £24.99 – if it’s the B vitamins you need, I’d say that you can get a cheap multivitamin tablet to do the same job.

Marketed as a daily supplement, this price is too high for me – while it’s pleasant enough to drink, this could soon add up if you’re drinking one everyday!

And do I feel on top of the world?

Vitamin-wise, I only had a small supply to try, and as I have a fairly healthy diet anyway I don’t think I’ll have been lacking in B-vitamins, so taking extra wouldn’t really make a difference. Sport-wise, it was good to have before the gym for the energy boost (which I definitely need at times!), however, I do think this may have been more from the caffeine and I didn’t notice any marked improvement in performance.

 

A Product Review for the Fitness Fanatics among us: Total Charge Sports Recovery Set by Natural Hero

Following my last review of their Hot Ginger Muscle Rub, the lovely people at Natural Hero sent me their Total Charge Sports Recovery Set to review!

original_total-recharge-eco-bag

The set is available online on www.notonthehighstreet.com, and claims to be ‘the ultimate bundle for the preparation, recovery and training needs of active people’. Containing their Hot Ginger Muscle Rub, Cool Peppermint Muscle Spritz and Hot Ginger Muscle Soak, it all comes nicely packed in an Eco Draw String Bag. It all looks very lovely, and I couldn’t wait to try out the new additional products I hadn’t used before!

original_total-recharge-recovery-bundle1Firstly, I tried the Cool Peppermint Spritz. Cooling treatments are useful immediately following exercise to speed up muscle recovery and reduce inflammation – it was recommended to me for use while I was recovering from a torn hamstring but still training. As it says, this is a spritz rather than a cream like the heat cream, however after spraying it still needs rubbing in. When applied, I found that the peppermint scent wasn’t overwhelming (in fact it had more of an initial ‘alcoholy’ smell) but the mint came through more afterwards. It dried quickly which was very useful, and a few minutes after use, the cooling sensation definitely kicked in – I’d used it on my neck and it felt like I was outside in the wind without a scarf! It was really refreshing to use and helped with muscle relief. I can imagine it’s much nicer to use in summer though! My only gripe would be that because it’s a spray rather than an aerosol, it’s hard to use when the bottle is tipped at too much of an angle (trying to reach my hamstrings or lower back).

The next item in the pack is the Hot Ginger Muscle Rub. This is a firm favourite of mine, and you can read my past review of this product here http://thebeautycloud.co.uk/2013/11/08/product-review-natural-hero-hot-ginger-muscle-rub/.

original_total-recharge-recovery-bundleThe final product is the Hot Ginger Muscle Soak. With a busy few weeks, it’s taken me a while to get the time out to be able to have a bath to try this – but it was well worth the wait! I’d had a few days off exercise, and after going back to a yoga class, I thought that evening was the perfect chance to try it out. The soak comes in a box as 6 individual 18ml oil to be poured in a running bath. I’ve used various bath soaks in the past, but the scent of this one immediately filled the room (and even the rest of my flat!). It’s a non-bubble product, so if you want to this, you’ll need to add extra bubble bath (as I did!). It was as relaxing as any other bath I’ve had, but I could feel my skin was soft (the oil contains sweet almond and starflower essential oils also condition your skin). This was a lovely bonus, especially with my skin drying out in the cold weather. Where I normally wake up with immediate aches the day after a yoga class, I felt pleasantly relaxed and hope this is something to do with the bath soak. It’s a great addition to use once a week or so if your body needs that extra recovery boost.

All in all, it’s a great set of products – it would make the perfect gift and I think anyone active would be lucky to get this under the tree at on Christmas day!

Find out more about Natural Hero and their products online at www.naturalhero.co.uk

Product Review: Natural Hero Hot Ginger Muscle Rub

Rarely a week goes by where I’m not hanging upside down off one leg in a pole class, or bending myself in knots in yoga. Whilst the effects of these classes on my body are generally good, the downside that I end up in a constant state of aches and pains.

The people I went to college with were all very active and injuries were rife – this resulted in a constant and rather potent aroma of Deep Heat at every turn. Not the most pleasant of smells, I’ve always generally tried to avoid using it whenever possible – which is why I was excited to discover the new, far fresher Hot Ginger Muscle Rub by Natural Hero.

Natural Hero hot ginger muscle rub fitness advice

This was recommended to me from a fellow poler, based on the wonders of warmth for stiff muscle recovery.  I ordered directly from their website online. Delivery was free and quick, and they threw in a couple of extra sample sachets, which were handy to take to the gym!

Natural Hero describe the product as a”sports massage in at tube” which ‘helps ease fatigued muscles with its blend of premium grade ginger root, rosemary, starflower and sweet fennel essential oils’.

After a few uses – I’m a convert. Generally I’ll apply it to my constantly aching hamstrings when I’ve showered after a class.  A little goes a long way, and it spreads and absorbs easily so you don’t end up with a mess all over your clothes. The smell of the lotion itself is quite strong, however it doesn’t have the same ‘disinfectant’ smell of Deep Heat and seems much more natural – this is probably explained by the bonus fact that it’s made from 98% natural ingredients!  And much cheaper than a sports massage.

Natural Hero hot ginger muscle rub fitness advice

Once applied, the scent doesn’t linger. After a few minutes, you can definitely feel it working and warming your muscles – as I’m such an impatient person I love that you can physically feel it kicking in! It can be quite tingly and I’d recommend washing your hands straight after using it else they will be getting toasty too.

At £9.99 for 100ml it’s not the cheapest of muscle rubs available, but it definitely relieves the post-exercise agony the day after a workout. As you only need to apply a small amount at a time, my current bottle has lasted a long time and I won’t hesitate to replace it once it’s empty!

Available to order online at www.naturalhero.co.uk or you can use their website to find your nearest stockist.