GI Nutrition (Grecian Ideal Nutrition) is a relatively new provider of products like whey protein, food bars and other training supplements. They have Max Seibald (amongst other pro athletes and trainers) endorsing their product and they were nice enough to send over a box of their Focus Food Bars for us to try out. Both Jeff Brunelle and I have been pounding away at our box of Focus Food, and we can both say that we really liked it! The bars tasted good, didn’t make us feel bloated or heavy and definitely provided a nice boost. I would often eat one on my way too, or in between, private lacrosse lessons and I get as much of a workout as my students doing the lessons, so I can definitely vouch for their beneficial qualities.
Now I can’t say that I’ve tested all of these products scientifically, because I simply don’t have a home lab. So my observations are mostly anecdotal, but GI Nutrition products have been certified for use by the NSF, and this means they meet NCAA, MLB, NFL, NFLPA, MLBPA, and other organization standards.
The Focus food bars have a nice little blast of fiber and 17 vitamins and minerals, but they also provide a healthy dose of protein. And because of that, the bar definitely eats like a light meal, but without weighing you down. I’ve tried Met-Rx bars before, and have also tried more protein supplements than I care to remember. But I never stuck with any of them. In the end, I always went back to eating right because the supplements always made me feel too heavy and bloated, or upset my stomach. Neither condition is ideal for a solid workout! So I definitely had my doubts about the Focus Food bars, but they proved me wrong. They actually taste pretty darn good too! I actually looked forward to eating them.
Maybe it was the Caffeine or the Tyrosine that got me going and kept me from feeling heavy. Like I said, I’m no scientist. But I definitely felt like and energized, and much more so than I would have from a sandwich.
Max Seibald is also a believer (and sponsored athlete) in GI Nutrition so we sat down with Max to ask him some questions about working with GI Nutrition, and what he likes about the product.
When did you first start working with GI Nutrition? What interested you most about the brand and their products?
Max Seibald: An old friend of mine first introduced me to his buddies, the founders of GI Nutrition, about a year ago. Other than them being great guys, I found some great tasting supplements. What interested me most about these guys, and this brand, was that they are young guys who are driven, committed and fully invested in developing a great tasting and healthy line of products that are free of any banned substances and fillers, are NSF Certified for Sport, and can make a difference in how you perform and train.
Max Seibald: My favorite product is the Focus Food bar. It is the first GI product I tried, and they can not ship me enough boxes of the stuff! Between myself, roommates, and family, this has fast become a favorite. I love it because it tastes great, simply put. It is an all natural protein energy bar that is filled with vitamins and minerals and none of the bad stuff like high fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes, artificial flavors, or soy protein.
Max Seibald: Correct, I am not a coffee guy. However, the caffeine and tyrosine in the Focus Food bar has really transformed my workouts and gameplay. In the past I never really ate much before games, or workouts. Because I usually workout in the morning, I usually start my day off with a Focus Food bar for breakfast. I also eat a half or full focus food bar before every game, and usually another half at halftime. I really can feel a difference in my energy and focus on the field, and I definitely get a whole lot more out of my workout as well when I eat the bar before hand.
Max Seibald: Over the years, I have tried a plethora of protein bars, shakes, and supplements to try and keep my body, and mind, at their best. I have actually taken supplements my whole life, like a multivitamin and fish oil (Grandparents always keeping me up to date with the latest and greatest vitamin!). But seeing as athletic training and competing at an elite level are now my job, I take nutrition more seriously. I quickly learned, the better you fuel your body, the better you feel on a day to day basis, the faster you recover from a hard workout, and the faster you see results. As mentioned before, I usually have a focus food bar to start my day, especially when I am strapped for time.
Before a workout I usually drink a gatorade or a water with a scoop of the Ideal Pump. Within 30 minutes after my workout, I usually throw down a quick Ideal Recovery shake followed by a small meal. And then on my recovery days and sometimes before bed, I will drink the Ideal Whey. A huge part of training is nutrition, so in order to make strides you have to be very committed to getting the right things in your body at the right times.
Max Seibald: Up to this point, I have not had much input into the product that is out, however we are looking to add a new, innovative product sometime in 2012. For that product, which will be NSF Certified for Sport and geared to NCAA athletes and permissible under NCAA bylaws for nutritional supplements, I will be involved with the product development and testing. We will be working closely with Dr. Tom Bilella (renowned nutritionist) on the science end of it and will be field testing it with the other GI Nutrition pro athletes.
Max Seibald: To the best of my knowledge, GI Nutrition is looking to add a Core Line of everyday basic supplements (i.e. fish oil, ZMA, multi type products) to the e-commerce site by year end. GI Nutrition will also be looking to start rolling out the product line to retail outlets over the next year.
Max Seibald: Yes, GI Nutrition and I will be working this offseason to create media content so that we can begin working with websites/blogs to increase brand presence/awareness to the online lacrosse communities. It is also in the plan to begin gearing up to attend camps and lacrosse events next year within the next year. GI Nutrition’s #1 goal is to educate the lacrosse community on proper, safe nutrition. Eating smart, training safely and supplementing wisely, as this is overlooked so often, by not just lacrosse but all HS & college athletes.
Thanks Max! And Thanks to GI Nutrition! They sent us a box of bars with no promises. All they asked for was an honest review of their product. Well, they got it! Great stuff and it seems like Grecian Ideal (GI) Nutrition has a bright future in the world of sport.