Naturally, our fitness writer Kerry was first in line to shake it up. This is what she thought of the fitness guru and menopause campaigner’s first-ever food supplement
In the same week as Davina McCall announced that she has signed up to the Zoe programme (with the now ubiquitous blood sugar-monitoring yellow arm patch) as an ambassador, she has brought out two protein powders in collaboration with food supplement brand Foodspring. The new shakes, called Protein+ Focus and Protein + Relax, both £34.99, aren't just designed to boost protein levels though. Like her fanbase of female midlifers, they are consummate multi-taskers. Both contain vitamins, such as vitamin D and vitamin B and minerals such as magnesium and zinc. They also feature adaptogens such as ashwagandha to help the body cope with daily stresses, plus the issues that crop up consistently during the (peri)menopause years, such as sleep problems and mood swings.
They are high in protein (20g and 22g respectively). By way of comparison, an egg contains around 13g of protein and we are advised to eat around 0.8g of protein per kg of body weight per day. For a 60kg person that equates to 48g of protein per day. They are designed to be mixed with water and - sorry vegans - the protein in both is derived from dairy. The Focus shake uses whey and Relax contains casein.
“Protein plays a big part in my diet and it's important for every part of my body - it's not just about exercise,” says the 55-year-old fitness guru, menopause campaigner and TV presenter. “Sometimes I find it hard to consume the right amount of protein and work can mean that I'm not always eating as well as I should be.”
McCall has previously worked with vitamin brand Millions and Millions but this is her first food supplement. She once told Get The Gloss that her go-to breakfast is Warburtons crumpets, which are not renowned for their high protein content - so presumably they’ll now be taken with a shake chaser.
Which Davina McCall protein shake is for you?
Protein+ Focus £29.99 for 480g
Chocolate flavour, to be taken during the day. A serving contains 109 calories. Here's what's in it:
- 20g protein, from whey and sunflower seeds.
- The adaptogen ginseng. It’s used in traditional Chinese medicine to help even out energy levels.
- Vitamin B5. Boosts brain performance.
- Vitamin B12 and vitamin C. Strengthen the immune system after exercise.
- Zinc. Helps the immune system, reduces inflammation.
- Magnesium. Reduces tiredness, boosts the nervous system.
- Calcium. Encourages relaxation, regulates muscle contraction.
Protein+ Relax, £29.99 for 480g
Honey and spice flavour, created to help you wind down in the evening. A serving contains 108 calories. Here's what's in it:
- 22g of casein-based protein. This releases amino acids more slowly than whey protein, so helps gradually mend muscles while you sleep.
- Ashwagandha. An adaptogen used in Ayurvedic medicine to help manage stress.
- Iron. Reduces fatigue.
- Vitamin B2. Helps metabolise protein for muscle growth.
- Vitamin D. For the nervous system and bone health.
- Vitamin B6. An immune system booster
- Vitamins B12, C, zinc, magnesium and calcium (see above for benefits).
With both shakes, you add three tablespoons of powder to 250mls of water and shake for 30 seconds (with a lid on your container, obvs). You can warm up your shake if so inclined.
I tried it: by Kerry Potter, GTG contributing editor
As someone who lifts heavy weights and is repeatedly told by my PT that I need to up my protein levels, Davina’s shakes hit the spot on weekdays when I don’t usually have the time to get enough protein through diet alone (languorously roasting a chicken has to wait until the weekend).
Up until now, I simply hadn't liked the taste of any protein powders I'd tried enough to make them a new healthy habit. In fact, some of them made me gag - I think it's a texture thing. However, these are different. They seem less… powdery. They mix up quickly, with no horrible floaty, lumpy bits, and a non-gloopy consistency. Sweetened with sucralose and stevia, they are just sweet enough for my taste (although I have an extremely sweet tooth - if you don't perhaps they might be a bit much). The honey and spice Relax shake is especially delicious and soothing. When I work out in the evening after work, I find it hard to eat the right things when I get home and my sleep can be patchy, as it takes several hours for my heart rate to drop off. But this made a noticeable difference in terms of filling me up and calming me down.
The chocolate Focus shake gets me through my personal daily 4pm Danger Zone, when I’m at my desk, starving and going cross-eyed from staring at my computer… but dinner is still some hours off. I’ve been reaching for a chocolate shake rather than actual chocolate, which is bad news for Tony’s Chocolonely’s bottom line but good news for my waistline (it contains 109 calories per serving, the honey and spice one is 108), not to mention my concentration span and blood sugar levels.
I wouldn't drink one every day (just as I try to avoid eating too much of anything processed with a huge list of ingredients that you don't tend to find in your kitchen) but for a quick fix on super-busy training days, they're perfect. For 35 quid, you get 16 servings, which equates to £2.19 per go. For a protein shake with benefits, that’s decent value.