Maxi Nutrition & Human Performance with Dame Kelly Holmes

About a month ago, I received a very exciting email- Protein supplement company Maxi Nutrition had invited myself and several other bloggers (including Snickers to Marathon) along for a unique opportunity to look around the futuristic GlaxoSmithKlein Human Performance Lab, while learning about protein and nutrition.

You may remember Maxi Nutrition in it’s former life as Maxi Muscle. I won’t lie- as Maxi Muscle it had sounded to me like an intimidating product that certainly wasn’t aimed at me. Well, now it’s had a make-over and developed different protein supplements for different fitness needs- not just to meet the needs of those who are pumping huge weights.

Absorbing protein into the body to aid muscle repair after the gym, is something that everyone who works out should at least be aware of. That’s not to say we should all be guzzling 10 eggs after a swim- it’s important that you match your protein intake with your goals, as well as the sort of activity you’ve been doing (i.e. a full-time body builder will need a different protein intake to someone who takes 3 aerobics classes a week). As with all things, it’s about learning a little about the what you’re putting into your body and tailoring it to you is crucial. As is being sensible about your health and nutrition along the way.

Maxi Nutrition are on a mission to become more inclusive to the entire fitness market- and educate their clients about which sort of protein intake is suitable for their individual level of fitness and activity. It was an eye-opener for me, as I have never considered taking protein supplements before, and so I enjoyed the opportunity to learn about why I might start to consider doing so .

Anyway- there we sat, in the Human Performance Lab (HPL) welcome suite, watching the sort of inspirational video that made me want to go and run a marathon and down a tub of protein IMMEDIATELY.

GSK Human Performance Lab presentation on protein from MaxiNutrition

The HPL is the sort of place Olympians and professional athletes come to have their performance tested to the peak of their ability. For all professional athletes, every second they can shave off of their time, or extra kg they can lift- is the difference between medal and no medal. And so each test and improvement that the HPL could discover and recommend to an athlete- that athlete has an improved chance of getting to the top of their game. The lab itself was verging on science fiction- discoveries being made in the fields of nutrition and performance behind these doors were helping develop the next generation of super-athlete, and I felt pretty privileged to be there.

Oh, and did I mention that we’d be lucky enough to watch all of the facilities being tested by none other than Olympic gold medalist Dame Kelly Holmes, as well as members of the London Wasps?! Time for a Sport Geek Swoon.

Everything was built to test, analyse and improve. After our intro, we were invited into the facility labs. Kelly was tiny, far smaller than I thought she would be. But boy did she look like she could pack a punch- I was so impressed with how fit she looked.

Kelly Holmes running downhill

She was strapped up to a downward hill simulation treadmill, running at what must have been over 10km an hour, answering questions almost as calmly as if she was sitting having a cuppa rather than pelting it downhill on a treadmill.

I asked her if she had always found it easy to run and talk at the same time- as I find it difficult to breathe, let alone talk, when I am running. She said that, as an adolescent at running club, her trainer told her during her very first run to talk to others in the group the whole way round the circuit.

Kelly Holmes @ Human Performance Lab w/Maxi Nutrition

She said she didn’t understand why at the time, but now, she could see that she was being encouraged to build up stamina, improve breathing technique and always feel like she was able to talk while running. I concluded this meant that, if I can’t find someone to talk to while running, it was perfectly acceptable to jog the streets of London mumbling to myself. Dame Kelly Holmes said so, which essentially makes it an Olympian-approved fact.

We moved on to watch one of the London Wasps have his hamstring strength tested, and another his body fat percentage measured (the latter saw a guy in a pair of pants and a swimming cap, sit in a pod and try to look nonchalant while we all stared at him through the little hatch- it was pretty funny).

London Wasps showing testing for muscle power

_2018475London Wasps being tested in the "Bod Pod" for body fat percentage (GSK Human Performance Lab, Maxi Nutrition)

(My favourite part of this photo is how faux-shocked the blogger at the end looks at the whole experience- brilliant!)

We ended with a lesson in protein and its function in the body- and why it’s a good idea to up your intake of it when you workout a lot. It was a rather scientific presentation, and although I was pleased to get all of the facts and not to have a dumbed-down presentation, I didn’t quite understand it when it got to the molecular stuff. I am blaming the fact i never paid attention in biology for this. Nevertheless, in terms of nutrition, I felt very well educated about the role of protein, so much so, I now drink a protein shake after certain types of exercise (and swear it reduced the dreaded DOMS).

The whole evening was really interesting, I felt lucky to be there, and pleased for this new insight into my training. And obviously, it was also pretty cool to meet sporting royalty too!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to pop my trainers on and have a natter with myself along a 5k route.

**This post is not sponsored, although I was invited along to the event as a guest and also received a tub of Maxi Nutrition Recover and Rebuild as a gift. This post reflects my own views on the product.

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