Helly Hansen AHIGA Trainers – £35.00
On your journey to fitness this year it may have already become apparent that those old trainers from 3 years ago need an update. A lot of men’s trainers focus completely on that practicality but could easily be described as ‘garish’ when it comes to their appearance and style. Luckily you’ll be able to find a great combination of both style and substance with the Helly Hansen AHIGA trainers.
The first thing you’ll notice with the AHIGA trainers is how sleek and subtle they look. There are 3 colour choices: green and black, blue and black or red, white and black. All of the colours compliment each other and look great whether you’re in the gym or out and about. That versatility is essential for modern trainers as it means you don’t have to constantly change your shoes. The second thing you’ll notice with the AHIGA trainers is that they are as light as a feather. The fact that they weighed so little had me concerned that these trainers would fall apart with anything more intensive than a jog, but even after some rigorous sports testing they seem to provide great durability.
I first tested the AHIGA trainers by going for a 30-minute jog, and found that the breathable mesh worked a treat and provided ample ventilation – my feet were noticeably cooler post-workout. I also found that the bespoke midsole and heel technologies provided tremendous support for my feet, and the shoe generally felt shaped to my foot in order to maintain comfort during movement. At first the trainers may feel slightly small towards the toes, but I would recommend wearing them for a few days and you will find that they adapt to your foot quickly.
Overall the Helly Hansen AHIGA trainers offer a comfortable and versatile experience at a very affordable price. At the time of this article they are currently on sale for £35, offering you a 50% saving. Find out more information and pick up a pair for yourself on the Helly Hansen website.
Secret-training.cc Stealth Energy Gels and Cyclist’s Essentials Kit – £49.99
All cyclists have been there. You’re about to embark on a 50 mile sportive, wondering what the hell you’re going to do when you hit *that* hill, carbed up to the eyeballs, and…you haven’t got a pin for your number badge. Luckily secret-training.com have got you covered. This cyclist’s essentials kit, that comes in a snazzy looking bag contains practically everything you need to make your weekend grind that bit more tolerable. And yes, it has pins. Also, we particularly liked the lip balm (great in cold weather) and the facewash – which meant we didn’t have to drive home with mud all over our chops.
The bag itself impressed us the most however. High quality and waterproof, it can easily survive being dumped on the pile of coats and cycle bibs in the sports hall/social club/pub after your ride.
Also from secret-training.com are these Stealth Energy gels. Any cyclist (or runner) will tell you that most energy gels taste like what a child makes when pretending to bake with the leftover ingredients from making a cake, so it is quite a triumph that Stealth have made ones here that taste relatively OK. You’re not going to win Masterchef with them, and that’s not the point. And speaking of that point, did they give us more energy? Well, to tell the truth, having had one at the halfway point of my ride, I wasn’t quite sure if it did. But, hey, everyone’s body works differently and as someone who normally has a chew bar on their rides, it probably didn’t work for this reason. I’m also very unfit…so that will probably be a contributing factor too.
To find out more for yourself, check out secret-training.cc to see a great range of products.
Deep Heat Massage Roll-On Lotion – £4.99
I have been using deep heat for years – it can be a real lifesaver after a long cycle ride or an intense workout. It comes in many different forms, but the basic idea is that it warms up your skin and works deeper to ease tight, knotted muscles – and using it has now become a whole lot easier with the new Deep Heat Muscle Massage Roll-on Lotion.
It functions very similarly to deodorant roll-ons, allowing you to quickly apply it to the affected areas of your body. The heat sensation is fairly instantaneous and I would recommend being cautious on your first use; if you then want even more of an effect then you can simply apply a second layer afterwards. Unlike the traditional rubs and pads, the roll-on Deep Heat allows you to take it on the move and quickly use it half way through the day.
During testing I took a visit to the gym and did an intense workout, leaving me with slightly sore muscles afterwards. I instantly applied some Deep Heat Roll-on and after a short period the pain was almost completely gone; I found it just as efficient as having a warm bath. If you want to try Deep Heat Roll-on for yourself then you can pick it up for £4.99 at most reputable shops, or you can find out more on the Deep Heat website.
FireStar Energy Sachets – £9.99 for 10
FireStar provides an interesting and thoroughly useful solution for anybody looking for a burst of energy. The pouches are to serve as a smart replacement for sugary energy drinks or coffee, which are generally considered to be fairly unhealthy. They claim to keep you alert during any activity, whether it be during a morning jog or an intense study session.
The portable energy comes in the form of edible crystals (think popping candy or sherbet), which is easy to deposit onto your tongue. A lot of energy boosting products have a major downfall: taste; some are downright unedible. Fortunately FireStar tastes just like a sweet snack and comes in a variety of flavours to choose from. My personal favourite is cola flavour, and the only flavour which I wouldn’t recommend highly would be Ice Mint.
The pouches also come in two varieties, a 2-hour pack and a 4-hour pack. As the title suggests, they provide slow-release energy for the stated time periods and allow you to get through any task. I found the effects of FireStar to be incredibly strong and kept me perked up for the entire stated time. With most energy solutions (such as generic energy drinks) you end up feeling terrible once its effects have worn off, but I found that FireStar left me with no ill side effects. You can pick up a box of 10 FireStar sachets for £9.99, or find out more about the product on the FireStar website.
IdrinQ Brain Boosting Drink – £19.99 for 12
Irish writer Alan Glynn wrote a techno-thriller novel in 2001 called The Dark Fields that featured a terrific plot idea of a drug that could instantly boost human intellectual, creative, logical and processing skills. The book was released as the film Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper, in 2011 and; although the film’s claim that we only use 10% of our brain is a myth, it has raised the question – could there be a Limitless Pill in real life?
While IdrinQ doesn’t explicitly claim to be a Limitless Pill, it does claim to be the world’s first brain boosting drink; thanks to a concoction from German scientists where it contains (and you’ll have to excuse us here if we get the science slightly incorrect) “R(+)-Alpha-Lipoic acid, L-Arginine and B-vitamins”. This drink isn’t an energy drink. It contains no caffeine or taurine. It is “brain food”.
Well, down the hatch it went, and the first noticeable thing was that it tasted…well, nice. Energy drinks suffer from a sweetness that threatens to give puppies and kittens a run for their money, but IdrinQ had a nice subtle almost ice cream sundae taste. But did it boost my brain power? I’m not sure. I’d been in a particularly productive mood that afternoon anyway (not that I’m never not!) so whether it contributed further to this I really couldn’t tell. What I can say though is that I felt quite a bit better than if I had drunk a caffeinated energy drink – no upset stomach or caffeine crash. I also felt a lot more awake. I would certainly urge that you try it yourself, as it’s a great alternative to traditional energy drinks. You can get it from Amazon, or from UK independent health stores. To find out more information about IdrinkQ, check out their website here.
PhD Supplements Tricellar Whey™ – £35.99
PhD Supplements Tricellar Whey is a post-workout protein blend which also contains slow release micellar casein and Micelle XL casein (a UK-first ingredient). It’s mainly targeted at serious athletes and bodybuilders looking for the ideal muscle rebuilding shake following a workout. It boasts less than 2g of carbs and 1gb of sugar per serving.
There are 3 flavours to choose from when you order: Chocolate Cookie, Strawberry Delight and Vanilla Crème. For this review we focused on the Chocolate Cookie flavour, and found it to be surprisingly tasty. Although it’s possible to mix the protein with hot water, we would recommend using milk instead; all 3 flavours work nicely as an easy-to-drink milkshake. Once mixed it also has a similar consistency to milkshake, and unlike other protein shakes I’ve tried in the past, the Tricellar Whey doesn’t clump up into balls of powder.
I’ve been using the PhD Supplements Tricellar Whey for just over a week now, and I’m finding that it’s proving very helpful for my workouts. My muscles aches are significantly lower and it’s allowing me to visit the gym on a more regular basis. Although it’s impossible to give an in-depth review from a week of use, I do feel like it’s doing my muscles a lot of good and drastically speeding up the rebuilding process.
You can pick up a tub of Tricellar Whey for only £35.99, or you can find out more information by visiting the PhD Supplements website.