For some people protein carries a negative stigma, as they assume it’s only for regular gym goers and/or extreme bodybuilders. When I first got into fitness I looked at protein in this way and sat with the impression that it would make me ‘bulky’ and fill me with toxins. Don’t get me wrong, some proteins are better than others, but brands that know what they’re doing are able to produce supplements that aid your progression, rather than hinder it. It’s important not to get too caught up in this weight loss/muscle gain whirlwind as you can end up forcing yourself to consume ‘any old protein’ just for the sake of it, instead you’re better to know exactly why you want to introduce protein into your diet and trial a few until you find what works for you.
WHY DO I USE PROTEIN?
At first I didn’t have any knowledge of protein, and that covers anything from brands, to types, to their nutritional benefit. I trialed a few over a year or so from the likes of PhD and My Protein, both of which were nice, but they seemed to be missing something. My overall goal is to lose a little weight and build a little muscle in return, and to do this I go to the gym several times a week and keep my diet pretty healthy, though admittedly I’m taking a break from the gym throughout May for personal reasons. The proteins that I’ve previously tried were standard whey proteins, aka the cheapest ones I could get my hands on, so I was very aware of the fact they weren’t necessarily suited to my goals. To get a better idea of what protein would work best for me I spoke to the lovely people at USN, who kindly sent out a few samples for me to try…
CASEIN – NIGHT TIME PROTEIN
‘Night time’ protein wasn’t something I’d ever heard of before, so when I was sent a couple of the USN Casein sachets to try I wasn’t sure what to expect. These protein shakes are no different to ‘day time’ shakes in appearance, however their purpose is of course slightly different. The Casein protein shakes are described as being ideal for anyone looking to maximise their recovery periods over night, and seeing as the maximum recovery periods for your body are during your sleep, the USN Casein is a great option. One 30g serving size (2 scoops) holds 26.5g protein, which is perfect for those fitness enthusiasts looking to maximise their muscle recovery and growth. The top benefits of the USN Casein are as follows:
Contains Premium Micellar Protein
Builds and repairs muscle tissue
Encourages muscle growth and contraction
Seeing as I’m only doing light cardio at the moment the USN Casein isn’t going to work for me in terms of recovery, purely because I’m not straining my muscles as much as usual, however I sampled both the Strawberry and Vanilla flavours that were sent and I can happily say that they tasted amazing. Once I’m back into my normal routine, I can see these being a great option for a late evening snack.
B4-BOMB – PRE WORKOUT SUPPLEMENT
Next up I received two of the B4-Bomb sachets. Now I’m not sure if USN still stock these as I couldn’t find them on their site, however you can read USN’s review on them here. These are something I’m saving for when I’m back lifting weights again as of course, it’d be stupid to take a pre workout supplement without a session taking pace afterwards. The benefits of the B4-BOMB are as follows:
The addition of Niacin helps to reduce fatigue
Its 300mg of caffeine per serving increases stamina
The B vitamins support protein metabolism and normalise red blood cell formation
The C vitamins support immune health
The calcium and potassium aid normal muscle functions
I’m looking forward to trying these in a few weeks as their Pineapple Punch and Lime Lemonade flavours sound absolutely amazing, and perfectly refreshing for summer!
100% PREMIUM WHEY PROTEIN
Whey protein is one of the highest Biological Value proteins available, and USN’s Premium Whey Protein provides the purest form of this single protein substrate. Offering a whopping 24g of premium protein per 34g serving, the Premium Whey is great for fitness fanatics who want to gain lean muscle. The benefits of the Premium Whey Protein are as follows:
Features the revolutionary MyoMatrix™ whey protein isolate and concentrate blend
Provides you with the protein you need to support muscle recovery and growth
The added Tolerase™ has been shown to improve lactose digestion
Quick and easy to blend
I tried the Premium Whey Protein in vanilla, and I must say it tasted incredible! Again, as I’m not taking part in strenuous exercise I can’t necessarily feel the benefit on my muscles, however the quantity of protein really felt substantial as part of my daily diet.
PURE PROTEIN GF-1
As we know, protein plays an important role for the growth and repair of your muscles, and USN’s Pure Protein GF-1 really supports this. Consisting of various different protein sources, GF-1 gives you that necessary healthy protein supply. One 56g serving (3 scoops) holds 44g of protein, which is ideal for those who need that extra protein source throughout their day. The benefits of Pure Protein GF-1 are as follows:
The milk and high-quality soy combine essential and non-essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) to support your lean muscle goals
This blend helps to build and maintain muscle tissue during and after intense physical activity
The added nutrients offer additional advantages such as Pantothenic acid, which has been shown to provide you with the focus and energy to get the most out of your workouts
I tried both the Chocolate Peanut and Caramel Popcorn flavours of the GF-1 and they were incredible. Focus is something I tend to lack during my workouts at the gym when it’s busy, so I’m excited to try these once again to see how they benefit me in the appropriate circumstances!
DIET FUEL ULTRALEAN
And now for my absolute favourite protein shake so far, Diet Fuel Ultralean, a high protein and high-fibre meal replacement shake that not only helps you to maintain a balanced diet, but also to ensure you’re getting those essential nutrients into your body. With 25.4g of protein per 55g serving (2 scoops), this protein shake is a real winner. The benefits of Diet Fuel Ultralean are as follows:
Aiding safe and healthy weight loss, so long as you maintain a balanced diet containing whole foods and regularly exercise
Helping you maintain not only a healthy body, but a healthy mind
Fill you up enough to stop you reaching for sugary snacks
I was lucky enough to try this protein in Vanilla Cream, Chocolate Cream and Strawberry Cream, and although they were all outstanding, the latter really stuck out for me, which is ironic considering I usually detest strawberry flavoured products. Although I don’t use these for meal replacements, they make the perfect morning or afternoon snack when my post breakfast/lunch hunger returns. These are also the only shakes I’ve had where I’ve enjoyed drinking them with only water, however almond milk is still my favourite option! This product really exceeded my expectations and I’m already planning on stocking up on other flavours as I can tell this will now be a staple part of my daily intake, not just for its gradual weight loss capabilities, but also for its generous protein levels which I know will aid my recovery once I’m back at the gym.
A huge thank you goes to USN for allowing me to review a selection of their incredible supplements, it feels amazing to have finally found not one, but several products that work for me and my personal goals. I can’t wait to get back in the game now!
GET 50% OFF!
USN have kindly given me a discount code allowing you to receive a gigantic 50% off their products (excluding gym wear and discount supplements). Simply enter KJC50 at the checkout!
Have you tried anything from USN‘s range before? Let me know what you get with your 50% off on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or in the comments below! If you’re a little unsure of what’s the right protein for you, use their ‘shop by goal’ menu option and you’ll soon have the answer.
*I am not a nutritionist and this information is based purely on my experience | This post was in collaboration with USN however all opinions are my own.