Struggling to keep on track with your nutrition when out and about? You are not alone. Take a look at our ideas and tips below to help you meet your nutritional goals.
Meal Replacement Powder’s (MRPs)
In recent years a particular category of nutritional supplement has steadily risen in popularity, in no doubt due to the rising demand for a convenient ways of getting whole food like goodness in an easy to consume package.
Meal Replacement’s (MRPs) started with the release of the original MRP by MET-Rx, which kicked off the start of a new category of nutritional supplement. The MRP by MET-Rx was originally intended not as a convenient supplement for use by bodybuilders and athletes but for critically ill hospital patients who required an easily digestible liquid meal. Once a demand was spotted in the fitness community the product was instead marketed to this group which made the founders of MET-Rx quite wealthy.
Today, many such products are available, each filling the need of the busy fitness or bodybuilding enthusiast who needs a convenient nutrition on the move.
Typically, an MRP will be separated into pre-packaged sachets for convenience and need mixing with either water or milk. Each serving will contain protein along with carbohydrates, moderate amounts of fat with vitamins, minerals and other beneficial ingredients.
Though an MRP will not be a replacement for an equivalent meal, today’s MRPs often include high quality protein blends, complex carbohydrates (instead of simple sugars) and healthy fats – as well tasting good and mixing easily – making them ideal for anyone on the move or without easy access to cooking facilities.
>> More info: check out Progen by Reflex.
Closely related to MRPs are protein bars, another category of supplement that continues to grow in popularity. Like MRPs, protein bars normally contain high levels of protein along with carbohydrates and moderate fats.
In the convenience stakes, protein bars go one further than MRPs needing no preparation and can be enjoyed anywhere, at any time. Bars have improved in taste over the years, making them a tasty, convenient snack.
Common complaints revolve around the sometimes hit-and-miss taste and texture that different bars have. Taste is a subjective, so read around for reviews on different bars before giving one a try.
Also, be careful to check the nutritional profile of a bar before purchasing. Some brands can contain high levels of sugar which may not be everyone’s liking.
Of course, for the adventurous, why not have a go making some yourself. It’s not that difficult and lots of tasty recipes can be found around the web.
Not every meal has to be grilled chicken and rice. If you look around the supermarkets it’s possible to find lots of wholesome foods that can be eaten as a snack on the go. Some of my favourites include:
- Mixed nuts, which contain essential fatty acids, protein, fibre and other nutrients. A calorie dense, but wholesome food. Great if for anyone trying to gain weight.
- Cottage cheese – high in protein, low in fat and versatile.
- Natural, unflavoured yoghurt, similarly to cottage cheese is low in fat, medium-high protein, versatile and typically cheap.
- Give beef jerky (what’s that?) a go for a high protein, low calorie snack. Normally found in the crisps/snacks isle, or can be bought online.
- Milk! Available just about everywhere, cheap, and nutritious. Milk was the supplement of choice for old time strongmen and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be for gym-goers today. Choose the skimmed variety for a high protein, refreshing drink.
>> More info: Buy beef jerky online at MyProtein.
Home Made Shakes
Got a blender? Get creative and make nutritious meal replacement shakes at home. There are as many different recipes exist as your culinary imagination allows, so below are some common ingredients you may need:
- Protein powder. Using your favourite brand is fine, however you could save substantially by buying bulk, unflavoured protein to form the base of your shake.
- Peanut butter. Peanut butter (if you’re a fan) can be a fantastic way of getting good quality fats into your shake, and provide an easy way to add calories if you intend to ‘bulk’. It also tastes real good!
- Milk. The perfect medium in which to blend your ingredients, helps thicken up shakes as well as adding in further protein.
- Oats. A great source of complex carbohydrates for your shake. They also blend well and add thickness.
Depending on the desired flavour of the shake, frozen fruits are a easy way to add fruit, and honey is a good natural sweetener.