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Wednesday, 7 March 2012

REVIEW: Sportique range of bodycare products

Every now & again you come across a product you never even knew existed before.  Long time readers will know that we have been fans of v-pure a DHA/EPA pill made from algae (NOT from fish - in fact the fish eat this algae to get the oil in the first place).  Anyway, a company called nuique have taken over distributing v-pure & this company also do the sportique range of body care products.
Anyway, to cut a long story short I looked about on their site & found that they had some 'weird stuff', stuff I'd never heard of like 'Warming up cream', so I thought to myself "What the hell is warming up cream & why would I need it?  I warm up- hell before I workout these days I foam roll, stretch, then do activation/mobility before I even touch a weight!"  So, as I had some contact with the people producing v-pure I decided to see what the whole deal was?
It turns out that nuique make a whole range of creams & oils that are suitable for vegans & all barre one is suitable for drug-tested athletes (the 'Get Going – Warming Up Cream' contains geranium which can give a false positive in a drugs test- thanks to Pat from the BDFPA for pointing that one out).  So, I got a few different products to try out & I will go through all the one's I have tried.  I will have to get a non-drug tested athlete to test out the 'Get Going – Warming Up Cream' as I can't test that one myself.  Although I haven't got a review of that product yet, I have been able to review several of the products that I thought would be directly related to anyone interested in training or exercise of any sort.

Warming up cream

This was the first one I tested.  I have used chilli style creams before, but never really thought of them as a pre-workout product.  In the past I have used them to aid muscle soreness & recovery.  This cream does all that.  In fact if you want to REALLY heat an area I accidentally discovered the benefit of applying warming up cream to yourself then going to bed on an electric blanket - talk about warming!  By the next day my muscle soreness was totally gone, but it was a weird feeling as it felt pretty hot!  One thing I found about this is that it is a slow building heat.  As I said I've used other chilli based warming products before & this one acts more slowly than some I've tried before, so do not make the mistake of my partner & slap on another layer or two, it will work, just not as fast as you expect.  Now let's talk about what it is named  after warming-up, I'd never thought to use anything like this as part of my warm-up.  So, anyway, during this recent cold weather I've been slapping it on & then starting my warm-up & by the time I'm ready to hit the weights I can feel the very first hints of warming on the joints.  For me I used it where it was needed so if I was doing a lower body session, the knees got some & the hips, if I was really going to hammer the upper body, then it would be applied to elbows, shoulders & if necessary wrists got a rub of the cream. Using it as a pre-work out warm-up cream I didn't use it on pecs, or much of the upper back (I did use it on the lower back-especially before a squat or deadlift session).  I actually found it pretty good - this could all be in my head, but the muscles & especially the joints feeling warm, made the workout really go well.  I wasn't on my first set thinking, "Hell, that joint still doesn't feel ready", the blood was there!  I have only used this in colder weather so far.  I will give it a go as temperatures go up, but I'm betting that it works a lot better in the colder weather as a pre-workout muscles & especially joint warmer.
This product does have another use.  I found it useful for muscle soreness, DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness - also called PEMS by some people), tired achy muscles & some forms of joint issues (I'm thinking the more arthritic type of joint pain); some over-use injuries are actually better served by another of their products in my view the 'Cooling cream'.

Cooling cream

This is about the opposite of the 'warming up cream".  It does what it says on the packet really.  It cools an area down.  If you suffer from overuse issues, sprains etc, the quick application of a cooling product can help.  If you use ice, for some areas applying this after your ice treatment can improve the effect I've found.  My partner also used it on some localised swelling when she wore stupid shoes, it worked wonders with the swelling vanishing really quickly (obviously I can't guarantee it will work on every type of swelling & any cuts should be avoided as should any personal or delicate places - that goes for the warming-up cream as well).  I use this less often than the warming up cream myself, but if you suffer from overuse issues, or related issues then this could become your good friend!  Also as the temperature goes up I might actually find myself using this a bit more after training on those tired out muscles, but we'll have to wait for some warm weather to test that one out!

Foot gel

This is supposed to be anti-fungal & anti-bacterial, but as I am fungus-free & my feet do not smell too bad (which implies not too many stinky bacteria), but sometimes I am on my feet for some time & so having a foot cream is ace.  It is supposed to be 'calming of the nerves', I can't vouch for that, but I can say that especially if you have someone to apply this cream for you, it is an ace way to renew those tired old feet.  I actually found that it works two ways. 1/ It relaxes tired feet, but 2/ If you come home after a long day, but need to go out in the evening, it can actually energise those feet & let you go out for an evening so you can dance, walk or generally have a good time on newly refreshed feet.

Warming up oil

I must confess I haven't used this one pre-workout even though it's a warming-up oil.  One of my hats is I'm a massage therapist & I have used it to massage a few people.  The oil has a nice texture & you will need to use less than you expect when you massage (either yourself or others). It is a warming oil, so it can be used on the joints of arthritic clients & the warming effect & increased blood supply can be very beneficial.  It can also be used by athletes to aid recovery as increased site specific blood flow does appear to aid recovery (that's personal, anecdotal evidence I haven't actually researched that, it just seems to be the case).  Also for really tired people this will really knock them out if you give them a softer massage.  They will often fall asleep on the couch or make it home & really sleep soundly with the benefit of the massage & the warming oil.  I wouldn't use this & gentle massage if you've had a long day & plan to go out, but if you have specific arthritic or muscular pain areas, then rubbing some on before you go out could help relieve the pain enough to enjoy the evening (just remember to wash your hands well as there is few things worse than rubbing chilli into your eyes or if male using the bathroom & getting chilli where you REALLY don't want it!)

There were some things that looked really good, but have bee products in, so they are ok for vegetarians but not us vegans.  They are all obvious as they have stuff like beeswax in them, so a quick read will tell you if they are ok for you to use.  I have got some 'Get Going – Warming Up Cream', but the review on that will have to wait until I can find a non-drug tested athlete to give it a go.  But those are the products I've tried so far - I'm guessing it is going to be similar to the warming-up cream?  There are a whole load of things in the sportique range from aftershave balm to deodorant so it is certainly worth checking out if you are after any body care products, as I said a few aren't vegan, so check the ingredient (& if you would like the look of a product, but it isn't vegan then let them know, if they get enough communication they may well be able to reformulate if the demand is there?).  The stuff I have tried though I definitely like & I have found with the warming up cream a new way to improve my warm up especially on colder days & the cooling product seems ace for swelling, sprains & overuse issues where cooling down is the best approach.

For the full sportique range of body care check them out here

1 comment:

Negi said...

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