Routine is powerful. Over time, small actions can yield amazing results. But doing the same thing every day can become, well, boring. The best routines are consistent yet include enough variety to keep you motivated. This month's picks include palate-tickling new flavors of the supplements you take every day, as well as new ways to rethink your training and nutrition routines to be more effective.
Remix Nutrition Premium Protein Blend: Hostess Twinkies
Recommended by Jeff O'Connell, editor-in-chief
Hostess products were as much a part of my youth as baseball cards and Farrah Fawcett's poster. Not only was Hostess my snack-food-maker of choice, but their offerings sometimes became meal replacements, usually with one of those heavily glazed, sugary fruit pies substituting for breakfast or lunch.
As the Bible says, "When I became a man, I gave up childish ways," and that included the entire Hostess menu, a decision made more imperative by blood sugar readings that crept higher in adulthood.
So, I was delighted to learn that those beloved flavors are now available in a healthier format. The new product line Remix infuses protein powder with various Hostess flavors. Now I can mix up a protein shake that tastes like one of those golden sponge cakes yet provides 24 grams of protein and just 5 grams of carbs, only 1 of which is sugar.
Next up on my list? I can't wait to try Remix's protein powder flavored to taste like Hostess Cupcakes.
JYM Supplement Science Pre JYM Pre-workout Powder: Grape Candy
Recommended by Tyler McGlasson, M.K., CISSN, senior specialist, regulatory compliance & science
While it may seem easy from the outside, making a great-tasting pre-workout can pose a monumental challenge. All the ingredients we know to be effective (creatine, beta alanine, amino acids, botanicals, etc.) have different flavor profiles that rarely match up. Having helped create flavors for our own Signature products, I know how daunting a task this can be.
So, I really have to hand it to the folks at JYM. The new Grape Candy flavor completely knocks it out of the park. Even with the huge scoop size, Grape Candy tastes sweet without being overbearing and immediately reminds me of the Halloween sweets of my youth. Hats off to Jim Stoppani, Ph.D., and his manufacturing partners for an outstanding new flavor of an already excellent pre-workout.
Combat Fit: 8-Week ACFT Training Plan
Recommended by Nick Collias, executive editor
The Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) is a revolution in military physical training. Gone is the old "2 minutes of push-ups, 2 minutes of sit-ups, and a 2-mile run" test, and in its place, cadets—and even high-level officers—are doing six events straight out of the gym: trap-bar deadlifts; med ball throws; hand-release push-ups; a medley of sprints, sled drags, and loaded carries; a hanging leg tuck; and that same old 2-mile run.
Plenty of people at all levels of the military are understandably nervous and wondering if they're up to the new challenge. BodyFit's new exclusive program, Combat Fit: 8-Week ACFT Training Plan, will get them there. Created by esteemed strength and fitness coach Nick Tumminello, this systematic plan hits the sweet spot of volume, specificity, and intensity to help anyone and everyone not just pass the test, but cruise through it feeling (and looking) their best.
"The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-Term Health"
Recommended by Frieda Johnson, copy editor
I recently read an article discussing the potential impact your gut health has on everything from your immune system to your mental health. I was fascinated by the implications, so I was excited when a friend gave me this book. "The Good Gut," by Justin Sonnenburg, Ph.D., and Erica Sonnenburg, Ph.D., delves deeper into the science and history of the human gut microbiome, but in a way that is easy to understand for the average person.
The authors do a good job explaining the gut's role in things we are only just beginning to understand and illustrating the research currently available. The book is a great crash course on the idea that gut health equals overall health, and reading it certainly made me want to continue learning about microbiota as the research expands. It made me think about my health and lifestyle from a different angle. Anyone who is interested in health and fitness can benefit from reading it!
Bodybuilding.com Signature 100% Whey Protein Powder: Chocolate Peanut Butter
Recommended by Heather Eastman, senior content editor
If I were to train for a physique competition—a big IF considering it's been 10 years—whey protein would be the cornerstone of my supplement stack. Whey protein is an affordable nutritional solution to support virtually any fitness goal, and the Signature 100% Whey Protein in Chocolate Peanut Butter is tasty all on its own yet versatile enough to work in most of your favorite recipes.
Whether you need extra calories to build muscle or an easy meal replacement for weight loss, Signature 100% Whey has you covered. Even if you're not hitting the stage anytime soon, stocking up on whey protein means you always have a healthy high-protein snack ready to go—so your body can get down to the business of being lean and fit.