Nutrition has long been one of those items that I’ve struggled with over the years. When I was at my heaviest it really didn’t matter obviously and while I was never a huge soda fan, sweets were always a problem. As I tried to get healthier, I found myself jumping from bad diet to fad diet. So whether it was shakes or protein-only or Paleo or Vegan or Body for Life or you name it, I always struggled a bit with the balance. I think my first foray into structured meals came with Herbalife which I won’t going to great detail here about, but it did provide a solid level of structure and formed my core going forward.
When it came to this challenge, I knew I needed to create some sort of balance that would allow me to perform better, longer, and more efficiently. My goal was not to lose weight but to increase performance and stay healthy. A few things I wanted to remove from the other systems I tried was a dependency on gluten and dairy for medical reasons and this led me to Vega and Vega Sport.
Breaking Down Vega’s Sport Lineup
Vega is one of those companies that prided itself on being environmentally friendly as well as good for you and many athletes professional and amateur have become huge advocates. For those vegan athletes out there, I’m sure you’ve all heard it “But where do you get the protein? “The answer isn’t as simple as legumes or soy because those create their own issues for people. There’s also the discussion of whether they are as effective. Vega focuses on pea protein which many people have questioned as well, but personally, I find it gentler on the system than others including soy and whey and it is gentler on my stomach both during the day and during an event.
The next most important piece for me was that the system I followed provided a structured plan and many nutrition companies have developed lines based around this, but I think Vega does a really solid job especially with the Vega Sport line. They provide a number of items and visually spell it out for you so you can tell just by looking at the container where the products fit into the routine. To make it easy, I will walk you through my ride and long run routine.
1 – Pre-Workout Energizer
So this is how it starts out. In addition to twelve specific plant based performance ingredients, the pre-workout energizer also has about 100mg of caffeine (from green tea). It comes in Acai Berry and Lemon Lime flavors and consistency-wise I would say its a little gritty. Grab your shaker, dump in a scoop and shake it up well. This breaks down the larger granules quickly. Chug it and then you are good to go. Goes for $49.99.
2 – Electrolyte Hydrator
This is what I fill my bottle with. The hydrator comes in Berry (my favorite) and Lemon Lime. One little capful handles about 20 oz of water, so I fill a bottle and drop in a scoop. Shake well and you are good to go, I really dig the taste here and there is nothing weird about it all, just really simple. Its basically natural flavoring with stevia and beet juice. Typically a tub is around $29.99.
3 – Bars and Gels
These aren’t my favorite, but of the two the Chocolate Peanut Butter protein bars are definitely the standout. The gels are a little gritty for me and honestly a little thick, but the bars taste really solid. They come individually or in boxes of 12. Prices vary.
4 – Performance Protein
This is your post workout replenisher. Available in Vanilla, Chocolate, or Berry and with over 30 grams of pea protein (and pumpkin, sunflower, etc), this is what the core of your recovery drink looks like. About 30 to 45 minutes after a workout, I drop a scoop of this in an extra large shaker along with the next item and drink it down. Its pretty low in sugar, contains a decent amount of fiber, and also contains glutamine. A container is typically around $54.99.
5 – Recovery Accelerator
In Apple Berry and Tropical flavors, this is my extra scoop with the performance protein. This contains electrolytes, glucosamine, and a fair amount of vitamins. They are both decent by themselves, but mixed together its a pretty solid drink and is never too think. This retails around $39.99.
Vega and Vega Sport has really changed the game for me. Its allowed me to maintain my weight and stay strong and minimizes any gastrointestinal issues to boot. The ingredients are real foods and you can actually pronounce all the names in the list. Vega Sport has become part of my daily routine and I don’t feel like there is any looking back. It keeps me balanced, nourished, hydrated, and competitive and its that simple. Definitely check out their Kits while you are on their site as they offer versions for Marathon, Half Marathons, 10K and Cross-fit. Keep an eye out at your local Whole Foods for deals on Vega or sign up for their newsletter on their website and get 15% off your next purchase.