Product Review : Gotein

It’s been a minute since I’ve last posted a product review and I wanted to put this one out there for those of you who are still looking for ways to enhance your work out, or maybe those who are back in the swing of school and looking for ways to not die of fast food overload.

The website has a great FAQ section, but for simplicity’s sake I would like to at least share the first one with you right here, right now.

Q: What is Gotein™ protein?
A: The main ingredients in Gotein™ are Whey Protein Isolate and Whey Protein Concentrate derived from cow’s milk. Whey protein is an exceptional source of essential amino acids that the human body requires on a daily basis. Whey protein isolate contains little or no fat, lactose or cholesterol. Whey protein is often referred to as the gold standard of protein as it is the most nutritious protein available and because it is absorbed into the body quickly and efficiently.

Over the summer several bloggers wrote about Gotein protein supplements and how easy and/or tasteful they were after a workout or on the go. Many were sent a trial package for free (they also live near the Colorado area, home of the Gotein company), but those of us who do not live close enough to beg for a free trial or to buy them in the store are in luck. You can (and I did) order a trial package of all three flavors. The catch? Please pay 3.00 s&h. This wasn’t a deterrent for me, and I’m glad it wasn’t because I found a fabulous new product. They also email discount codes every so often which makes re-ordering easy.

Quick reference cards, letter and packet, the “trial” package from Gotein

The above image shows most of what I was sent in the mail with my trail package. Most because the Strawberry and Vanilla flavors are obviously not pictured. The sample cards lists highlights of nutritional information for each flavor (protein, carbs, vitamins & minerals, calories) a 3-step guide on how to use it (pour, shake, go) and mine also had a sticker with a discount code for future ordering.

Basic facts

Vanilla:   17g protein.  5g carbs.  24 vitamins & minerals.  100 cals

Chocolate:  16g protein.  6g carbs.  24 v&m.  110 cals.

Strawberry:  17g protein.  6g carbs.  24 v&m.  110 cals.

My experiences

I used the vanilla flavor first. I simply took it along to a run one Thursday when I did a trail practice. It was the day I wanted to impress one of the guys so I didn’t take water with me. (Don’t ask). When I returned to my car I was looking forward to a sweet treat, hydration and added nutrient goodness. The packets (and people who have reviewed them) recommend drinking about 1/3 of the water bottle (standard 16.9oz) before mixing in the powder. Since I had also read some people thought it was thick and I had a 20oz water bottle, I stayed w/ the 1/3 thinking it would help thin out the mix. My first impression was “WOW that’s a lot of mix”. It seriously filled a huge portion of the water bottle. With my hands sweaty and swollen I also found it hard to pour the mix and ended up with half moistened powder all over my hands, shorts, car seat and parking lot. Once I drank it though, all was forgiven. It was similar to a shake, although a little watered down (this may be because my bottle was 20oz). The water was warm from sitting in the car which made it taste funny,but not bad.  This was my mistake not the product’s. I decided the next time I would bring a cooler and perhaps mix the bottle before leaving the house.

I don’t have pics of the actual making and drinking of the product. Both times it simply looked like watery food colored mess and a few clumps of powder. It isn’t pretty and it is no where near as opaque and smooth as the pictures on the main website.

The second time I tried one of the packets I picked strawberry. I LOVE strawberry milk, but can almost never find it. This time around I did another trail run and when I got back to the car I was ready! Both the packet and the water bottle had been sitting in a cooler. I did not prepare it at home, because these items are marketed as easy, convenient and on the go. Making something at home isn’t on-the-go it’s preplanned and if I could preplan I wouldn’t have been drawn to them. (Yes, I do realize a cooler also falls into this category…shush). This time I again thought “Wow, that’s a lot of mix”, but it didn’t seem as watery. Perhaps it’s because I associate fewer things with the strawberry flavor it wasn’t a stretch for me? Needless to say I was very happy with the results. I think even if I had tasted this version warm I would have liked it more than the vanilla. With only 10 more calories, it isn’t a hard switch to favorite status.

The chocolate I didn’t try, simply from lack of remembering I had it. I also almost always have chocolate milk in the house. I work out a lot and it’s my go to drink afterward along with fig newtons. It’s super easy for me to carry some in a water bottle. I can’t imagine a powder version is going to taste much better. That being said, I know that real chocolate milk can spoil in a car, where as this can’t. Real chocolate milk isn’t as good for me if I ever become serious about my figure. Where I am currently with my goals though, I a have no issues with my logic.

Interestingly enough the two flavors I tried are also the gluten free varieties. I am not sure how the chocolate would interact with my system, as I have been known to have issues before and after work outs. I can’t comment further on that particular aspect.

One final thing, a draw to this product more than flavor is the benefit of getting that protein ASAP. For those who can’t carry cookies or milk with them, this is so important. Water alone is not rebuilding and taking care of your muscles and immune system after a hard work out. Even waiting 30 minutes after a hard work out lessens the effects of beneficial foods and liquids. Immediately afterward is just that, immediately. Drink it while you’re doing your cool down walk. It may take some practice, but just like building speed or endurance or learning to fuel during an event, it is something that needs to be done to become a better athlete.

Cost

Gotein offers a low 5.00 shipping fee for all orders, with free shipping within the Continental US for orders over 60.00.

Beyond the 3.00 sample pack there is an introductory pack of 4 of each flavor for 17.95 (22.95 total w/ S&H). Roughly 1.91 per packet. This pack is also limited to 1 per household.

Typically you’re looking at all one flavor, 12 packets (single serving) in a box. 24.95, almost 30 with shipping and well over 2 bucks per packet (2.49).

I won’t calculate how much you save as you order in bulk, but this is really the only way you’re getting them for under the appx 2/each mark. Now as I mentioned there are coupon codes. My cards for example gave me 4 or 5 off per box (which is basically free shipping) and this month the email code was SCHOOL giving 20% off, or again free shipping. Now if you coach a team or something, order enough to get the free shipping (60.00) and have a discount code of “percent off” then you may be sitting pretty, but you’ll also be sitting on a lot of Gotein packets.

The bottom line?

I have not bought a box this summer. I also have been unemployed and am barely buying groceries. Still, I like how powder won’t spoil in the sun. I like how it peps up my water when I don’t have other options. And I like having something other than chocolate (or vanilla or even orange) so I will be buying at least 1 box of the strawberry.

Side notes

Instead of chocolate I’d like to see like a cafe latte or other coffee-type flavor. I might even like the idea of one with caffeine. Obviously this wouldn’t be aimed for kids, but someone who is on the go. Heck hit up McDs or the like for an ice water (free) dump it in and you have iced coffee on the go. How sweet, huh?

Gotein has a presence all over the web. You can find them at their blog. Follow them on Twitter. Like them on Facebook. Or simply visit their webpage for more information or to show your support.

Oral Surgery Continued

Yesterday I went in for the final portion of my oral surgery. Although they called and asked me to come in an hour earlier last week, I sat in the waiting room for an hour. Not like I was doing anything anyway.

I sat in the chair and they gave me some nitrous or whatever, I closed my eyes and tried to relax. My blood pressure was 129/77 which is high for me. Ugg. Nerves. When they moved the chair I was feeling so fuzzy, I felt like I was under the floor and the doctors were above me on stilts.

Part of me wishes I was asleep for it, I don’t like being aware of people drilling into my mouth. It took a ton of lidocaine and patience. The cool part was when he showed me an x-ray and I knew all about my sinus cavity and jaws. He seemed sincerely amazed about my knowledge of x-rays. SMH.

Afterward it hurt sooooo badly! I went home, took an antibiotic and a Vicodin and crawled into bed. This was just after 1pm, I emerged from the covers shortly before 6pm. The numbness lasted the rest of the night. This morning I still have a tad of numbness at the site of the implant, but it might be swelling and bruising on the gum and along my jaw. However, it feels a ton better than I did the next day last week. THANK GAWD. In fact the other side seems to have magically healed over night and I was able to full on chew with the side, so luckily I’m not on a liquid diet for another week! Woot!

The best part? I tried to confirm it will be 6 months to heal, and he said based on the one side it seems like it would be 5 months tops, possibly 3 months. Mind you this isn’t that exciting because I have to play the waiting game with insurance, but if it means fully functional teeth and if it means removable retainers instead of braces I will be the happiest camper!

On an unrelated noted, please enjoy these pictures from Saturday’s relay.

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Along the Towpath, toward the end of my section
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At the start of my relay, already “in the zone”

Akron Marathon Relay experience…take two

I call this take two because I ran the Akron Marathon Relay several years ago. At the time I didn’t know anyone, I wasn’t a “real” runner (in my own mind) and I signed up with a random group. See, the Akron Marathon has this awesome system where if you’re interested in joining a team, they have an online message board system. You can search by gender, age, pace, if you want to train together or not. All types of variables. That year I ran with a family, and at the end of the race learned the woman I mostly communicated with all summer was a drug and alcohol counselor. (This is cool because it’s what I am now). She even graduated from the same program. Small world.

This year I responded to a tweet put out by a fellow blogger. I figured running with people my age and who also put it out there on the web every day would not only be motivational, but would help me meet more people. Turns out that wasn’t the case, but I still had a great time with my team.

Friday night I went to the EXPO. The first thing I did was breathe a sigh of relief when they let me pick up the whole team’s packets. The next thing I did was hit the fun and excitement. I know from attending the EXPO year after year this is a small set up and there really aren’t any interactive stations. My first station was SUMMA (local health and fitness place). The woman told me how she really likes Marathon Bars (referring to my jacket) so we talked about them for a moment. I then waited in line to have my nutrition assessment conducted and a modified gait analysis.

Nutrition-wise I am nowhere near getting enough carbs and protein, I should probably work on that. Also they told me calories to maintain…I’m trying to lose, so perhaps I’m not that bad off? Gait analysis? Well first, holy wow slow motion camera. I saw up close and personal why I need to wear a supportive bra. Ouch. Secondly, why is my ass the size of Texas and consistency of Jell-o? All jokes aside, I was complimented on the way I hold my arms and my foot strike. I land mid-foot and with my balance/weight directly below me. Score one for the minimal running/barefoot training. Next I was told I drop my hips too much and have a weak middle. I know about my troublesome core. She said those were really the main points and it’s better I know my pluses and minuses and to keep working on them.

The only other exciting part of the EXPO was getting a plate from NOVA NORDISK the diabetes company and major race sponsor. I’ve seen these plates before and am THRILLED to have my own! I wish I could find more I would do a giveaway in heartbeat, but only one per greedy customer. Ha.

plate

The other booths were your typical running gear and foods mixed in with local companies. Nothing to write home about. The last stop was getting the shirts. This should be the highlight of the experience, right? Ugg. I picked them up and wanted to cry. They are so ugly. Plain grey, with white letting only of the event. No other colors, no pretty pictures. I won’t be wearing mine at all. The half runners were given a long sleeve shirt in a caution green. The marathon runners were given a jacket. Now don’t get me wrong, everyone else likes or loves the shirts, so it’s just me.

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This is the back, design on the shoulder and shows the color
front
The front. Oddly it looks blue in this picture

Race morning I woke up a little after 5:00, slowly got ready and headed out the door. I knew I would have time to finish getting ready at the car since I was leg 3 of the relay. I gave everyone their stuff and a friend of theirs took a picture of us and threw it up on Twitter. For some reason I blinked when everyone else didn’t. Nice.

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Me, Becca, Julie and Kali

No one seemed too social and this made me sad, but we were in a hurry to get ready. Runner one took his place and we all decided on paces. Turns out my greatest fear was true…I was by far the “slow runner”. Even the guy who was injured was planning to run a “slow” 9:00/mi. Ugg. So I told them the truth, I’m coming off oral surgery and was going to plan a 10:00/mi pace. They seemed OK with this, but insisted I would easily run the 6.3 in an hour (if slow). Right.

I sat in my car getting ready and realizing how hungry I was. Not eating all week sucks. Before I knew it an hour had passed and it was time to walk to my exchange point. Along the way I ran into a former classmate so we talked shop.

At the exchange point I waited not very long before hearing our team number. The guy missed me though, since I had changed out of my warm morning clothes, and I had trouble remembering a person I had only met an hour earlier in the dark. The snafu didn’t last long though and away I went with the slap bracelet and high hopes.

I planned to take the arm warmers down at mile 1. The more I ran though, the longer this first mile seemed. I was comfortable though, so no troubles, but it seemed long. Finally we passed a clock and a mile marker and I noticed it was higher than I anticipated. I looked down at my Garmin and noticed I was 1.7 miles into this thing. Nice. I never heard the “beep” but I cleared mile one of my leg in 9:08 I cleared mile two in 9:18. I was flying and feeling wonderful! Then I made it to a water stop and the cold water hurt SO MUCH on my extraction sites. I don’t know if the running made things swell or what, but it was unbelievable. I spit it out and decided this would be a dehydration type of run.

After the first 2-ish miles we hit the Towpath. Many people love running on it, it’s mostly crushed limestone, but I don’t. I feel like I can’t get traction and it’s boring. I need hills or pavement, thank you. Slowly I started to feel like my body wasn’t listening to me anymore. I’m sure being on a diet of mashed potatoes and Mac&Cheese all week + pain meds and antibiotics does wonders for the system. I finished mile 3 in 10:10, but knew something was wrong. Luckily I was half way into it now and on the home stretch. I started coughing and my lungs burned. They felt like I had inhaled some type of spice. Crap I didn’t use my inhaler.

The next mile I fought the blood taste in my mouth, the tired feeling, the burning in my lungs and neck cramps. I made it through in 11:30 followed by a similar mile in 11:22. I was so upset about my slow moving pace, I felt like my legs were shutting down on me and I couldn’t move no matter how hard I pushed myself. It was terrible. At one point my body hurt so bad, my neck pinched and I couldn’t move my head at all! I stopped to rub it out and some guy was like “C’Mon girl, you’re almost done, don’t quit now”. And I know he was trying to be helpful, but stop. I’m doing so much right now! I should be home eating soup, cracked on on pain meds, wrapped in a blanket. Why am I running? Why?

In the last section we hit road and a big hill. My teeth hurt like I couldn’t believe and I thought some pressure would feel good. When my braces hurt it helped. So I tried to bite down my rolled up arm warmers (pushed down around my wrists), but I forgot something. I forgot my arch wire is out and the braces/brackets are all exposed. They got stuck on the arm warmers! I finally yanked free, quite embarrassed. OY!

Up the hill a local girl cheered for me and later told me I looked so strong! The last mile I did just under a 12 min pace and I saw my exchange girl (Becca, from Peace, Love & Bagels) and was thrilled to hand over the bracelet. Final Garmin time read 1:05:xx, a pace of around 10:39 so I was shocked and pleased with just over an hour for just over a 10K. My time was MUCH better than I expected, but the pain was MUCH MUCH greater. It would have been even nicer to clear a 10:00/mi or better overall pace, but I thought I was looking at 11-12 min miles and walking sooooo let’s take what we get, because even with the pain I had fun. If that makes ANY sense.

After the run I hung out with the girls on the hill and cheered and talked. I saw Niall and Elizabeth, which was cool. Then I road a shuttle bus for 12,789 hours back to the finish. By luck I found a few members of the team and we met up with the final runner (Kali, from Finishing Firsts) to gather medals.

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While taking this in the car, the ppl next to me were cracking up

Back home I slept for a few hours, then joined Mom with Emme to meet up with my sis in her neck of the woods. We hiked with the pups (3 different parks) for a total of just over 5 miles. Me and Emme crashed out back home where Mom and I rented Bridesmaids and made Strawberry Daiquiris. Fun fun fun Saturday!