Neovite Test Team
So a couple of months ago I received an email from the guys at Tri247 telling me I had been selected to take part in the Neovite Test Team study, effectively looking at how Neovite, a colostrum supplement affects athletic performance. A few days later and a parcel containing a couple of bags arrived in the post. We had the instructions to take 20g a day for 15 days for the first back, and then 15g for 20 days for the 2nd bag, so it would be a 5 week study.
For those of you that don’t know, Neovite is a dairy protein from milk taken in the first 48 hours after calving, and includes colostrum as well as a whole host of other things that are supposed to be good for you, helping you to build muscle (i.e. recover quicker) and help support your immune system (i.e. get ill less). A lot more information can be found on their website.
I started the trial on Week 1 of my Roth training, and effectively jumped from under 10 hours a week training, to over 15 hours a week, a 50% increase in training. Over the first couple of days I only had small changes in digestive habits, with a bit of bloating and needing to go to the toilet more regularly, all of which settled back down quickly. I certainly had nothing like the horror stories that I had heard about as your stomach and digestive system adjusts to taking the stuff. I do know, however, that I have a fairly solid stomach that can cope with most things, including dodgy food, both questionable cooking and best-before dates, as well training on full stomachs, so having no effect on me wasn’t too much of a surprise.
During the period of the trial, I only had a couple of colds, certainly nothing that affected my training, and only one point where I thought I was getting ill. However this passed very shortly, and overall I stayed in good health, depsite sustaining a lack of sleep at certain points, due to Univeristy work and commitments whilst training full-time.
In terms of recovery, I did seem to be recovering well. I know that I can cope with big increases in training load (my age certainly helps!) but I was surprised at just how well I was coping. Sure, after big days in the saddle, my legs would be tired and sore, for instance, but a good meal and sleep later, and I would be fine the next day, ready to cope with the next day’s training, so I do feel that I was recovering quicker whilst on the Neovite. Since I stopped taking it, I do appear to be recovering slightly slower, though how much of this was down to not taking Neovite, and how much was affected by my Final Year Project deadline, which was adding a lot of external stress and significantly reducing my sleep, is difficult to tell.
I attempted many methods of taking it. I tried just with water, tasted horrible. With squash or juice – made it quite thick and odd-tasting. With a smoothie – didn’t mix at all, and I might as well have just eaten the powder on its own! With milk – mixed well, but still had an odd taste. With milk and nesquick – perfect! Mixes well and tastes nice. Just had to ignore the amount of milk I was drinking!
Overall I felt that the Neovite helped me go from a relatively small maintenance training load, back up to training full time pretty well, and helped me recover from it well, and kept me healthy. I certainly didn’t feel any negative side-effects. How much was down to a placebo effect, diet and general fitness, and how much could be accounted for by the Neovite is difficult to tell, though on balance I think it certainly helped, and will certainly consider it when going on training camps, or attempting big increases in training.