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Monday, August 14, 2017

Getting to Know #TeamInfinit: 21 Questions with Julie-Anne Staehli

Photo credit: Michael P. Hall
Julie-Anne is a Canadian distance cross country and track and field athlete. She spent her University years competing for the Queens University Gaels, becoming the first 5-time All-Canadian at the University. In total, Julie-Anne has been competitively running for 9 years, and in that span she has represented Canada on 4 National Teams. She has raced at the 2014 FISU World Cross Country Championships, the 2014 NACAC Track Championships, the 2016 Pan Am Cross Country Championships, and the 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships this past March.

Currently, Julie-Anne is training in Kingston, ON with hopes of representing Canada on more National teams, including the team that will be sent to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Welcome to #TeamInfinit, Julie-Anne!

What/Who is your favourite:

Athlete Gary Reed
TV Show The Office
Movie The Italian Job
Song Stubborn Love by The Lumineers
Food Mango
Cheat Meal Going back to the main course after dessert.
Author I’ve read a lot of Nicholas Sparks …

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?

What is your favourite/most memorable moment as an athlete?
Winning OFSAA in 2011/2012.

What is your greatest accomplishment?
First 5-Time All-Canadian at Queen’s

Who is your hero and why?
My parents, for raising me.

What does being an athlete mean to you?
Learning a lot about yourself.

What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?
Being patient and consistent.

What would be your ultimate achievement in life?
Run every day.

What was the best advice you were ever given?
Enjoy the journey.

Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?
Dreams don’t work unless you do.

Do you have any pre-race/competition rituals?
Running through the race in my mind before getting on the line.

If you could train with any athlete, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Claire Sumner and Victoria Coates, the best training partners I have and had.

What’s something interesting about you that most people don’t know?
All of my family is from Switzerland.

What is your training schedule like?
Two workouts a week, 4 E-days (60-80min), and a Sunday long run… usually works out to 105-135 km.

What does a typical “Day in the Life” look like for you?

Wake at 8, brew some coffee, pet and feed Charlie (cat), head to the lab, 5 o’clock run, post-run swim, come home and make dinner, play some piano, plan for tomorrow, FaceTime a friend, have a snack, bed by 11 … usually fall asleep with a book.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Getting to Know #TeamInfinit: 22 Questions with Fawn Whiting

Fawn Whiting is a Canadian triathlete and member of #TeamInfinit. Fawn splits her time between Vancouver, BC and Mooloolaba, Australia. Before she fell in love with triathlon, Fawn competed in gymnastics and figure skating, before transitioning to distance running when she began University.

Throughout her University career at UBC, Fawn completed her masters in physiotherapy while also racing for the Thunderbirds in track and field (marathon) and cross country. After graduation, Fawn began to train in swimming and cycling, as was soon signed up for her first long distance triathlon in 2012, at Ironman Canada in Penticton, BC. After finishing as the 9th female in the race, Fawn was hooked and the rest is history. Learn a little more about Fawn through the questions below, including her favourite cheat meal, the most valuable piece of advice she has learnt, and what a typical day in her life looks like.

What/Who is your favourite: 
Athlete: My favourite athlete is Bo Horvat. I like that he was a rookie, but blew everyone away in his first year as a Canuck.
TV Show: Suits
Movie:  Ocean’s Eleven
Song:  “Free”- Rudmental
Food: Peanut butter
Cheat Meal:  Still peanut butter
Author:  Mitch Albom

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
A gymnast or a veterinarian

What is your favourite/most memorable moment as an athlete?
Placing 3rd in my age group at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii in 2016

What is your greatest accomplishment?
In sport my greatest accomplishment is my most recent race. I finished 5th Female Pro in Ironman Canada in 9:46:07.  It was my first time breaking 10 hours in an Ironman and it was a challenging course and windy day.

Who is your hero and why?
My mom, because of her strength, patience and selflessness.

What does being an athlete mean to you?
Dedication to sport and striving for improvement in the good times and in the more difficult times.

What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?
1) Consistency: I don’t believe in major breakthroughs in ability or at least this has never happened to me. My improvements have come slowly from training day after day, week after week, and year after year.
2) Putting in the effort and not giving up in my workouts.  Some workouts may not be as speedy as others, but I’m always giving my best effort.

What would be your ultimate achievement in life?
To always keep striving for improvement…. Keep the possibilities open.

What was the best advice you were ever given?
When I was on the track team at UBC and was running my first marathon, my coach told me that there would be highs and lows in the race and to expect them. This is even more true in Ironman racing so I don’t worry too much if I am having a low, because chances are it won’t last.  

Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?
“Why not?” 

Do you have any pre-race/competition rituals?
Trying on my race suit at least a few times during the week before the race
Eating the same dinner the night before the race- rice and tuna

If you could train with any athlete, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Heather Jackson – I am so impressed by her strength and modesty

What’s something interesting about you that most people don’t know?
I broke my elbow a month after I did my first Ironman in 2012 and ended up having 2 surgeries to fix it. Now I have a metal piece about 2 inches long in my elbow called a radial head replacement. I still don’t have full range of motion and likely never will but I don’t let that stop me.

What is your training schedule like?
I swim 5-6 days a week, bike 4-5 days a week and run 4-5 days a week. I still work as a physiotherapist 2 days a week.  My training is variable based on where I am at in my Ironman build but typically Mondays and Tuesdays are my easier days, Wednesdays includes a hard bike and Thursdays, a hard run. Friday is a lighter day and Saturday includes a long ride with a run off the bike, and Sunday is a swim and a long run.

What does a typical “Day in the Life” look like for you?
I love to train in the morning so I’m typically up early for my first workout, usually a swim. I enjoy my second breakfast and coffee after my first workout and then typically I’m out for my second workout of the day.  Several days a week, I go to work in the afternoons and see patients until the evening. On the days I don’t work, I try to relax and rest and prepare for the next day’s workouts. When I can fit it in, I practice Pilates or yoga. I’m lucky that my partner does Ironman events as well so we can train together on the weekends.

Favourite Infinit blend:

Repair in Chocolate Flavour (InfinitTip: Just leave us a note a checkout asking to try it in Chocolate!), but I’m excited to try the new Infinit Cold Brew!

Monday, July 10, 2017

#AskInfinit: Everything you need to know about BCAA's

Branched chain amino acids, better know as BCAA's, are the building blocks of muscle; they make up 35% of muscle mass and their presence helps stimulate muscle protein synthesis. BCAA refers to three main essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine.

There are 9 essential amino acids. They are identified as essential because the body cannot naturally produce these amino acids, so they must be obtained through nutrition/diet. Complete proteins provide all 9 amino acids. Animal protein and soy protein are considered complete proteins. In this post we will focus on Valine, Iso-leucine and Leucine, as well as Glutamine, the fourth amino acid that makes up Infinit's Amino Blend which goes into most of our products.

Valine is not heavily researched in isolation, but when paired with iso-leucine and leucine, it helps to activate muscle protein synthesis in the body.

Iso-leucine is similar to both valine and leucine, as it helps stimulate muscle protein synthesis in the body - it is stronger than valine, but weaker than leucine at doing so. Furthermore, iso-leucine is able to increase glucose uptake and the usage of glucose during exercise.

Leucine is said to be the most important BCAA. It is the main component responsible for muscle protein synthesis, the process which stimulates muscle growth and development through diet/nutrition and resistance exercise training.

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body, accounting for more than 60% of the total intramuscular free amino acid pool, according to 1st endurance. Glutamine is a fuel for muscle growth in the body, and is beneficial for performance.

When should I supplement with BCAA's?
There are two main instances when one should supplement with BCAA's: to accommodate muscle protein synthesis when protein intake is low, and to prevent serum decline during exercise. For those athletes with a low protein intake, supplementing with BCAA's can assist in muscle protein synthesis. As mentioned above, Leucine is a key contributor to muscle protein synthesis. BCAA's are important to ingest on a daily basis, but they can be found naturally in foods such as meat and eggs; therefore athletes with a high protein intake of 1g-1.5g per kg of bodyweight do not need to supplement with additional amino acids.

Novice athletes can also benefit from BCAA's. Supplementing with BCAA's prevents a serum decline during exercise. This decline would normally cause an increase in tryptophan into the brain, followed by production of serotonin, resulting in fatigue.

Another interesting finding on BCAA's is their benefits to performance when combined with carbohydrates. It has been found that oral ingestion of BCAA's can have an anti-catabolic affect on skeletal muscle. When combined with carbohydrates, the amino acids stimulate muscle protein synthesis and maintain full body balance better than when supplementing with carbohydrates alone. (Koopman, 2005)

I'm an endurance athlete, should I take BCAA's?
We are often asked by endurance athletes if they should supplement with BCAA's, as generally you hear a lot of body builders or strength based athletes supplementing amino acids. BCAA's, especially valine, iso-leucine and leucine, are beneficial to endurance athletes. During prolonged exercise, the amino acids are taken up by the skeletal muscle rather than the liver in order to contribute to energy production.

But what about glutamine? 1st endurance discusses the benefits of BCAA's and glutamine for endurance based athletes. They state: "There is evidence that during times of stress the body cannot produce enough glutamine to keep up with demand which in turn can reduce performance, immune function and affect mood state. Athletes at risk for inadequate stores of glutamine include those not eating enough calories, carbohydrates or protein or those participating in strenuous endurance events."

Furthermore, they mention that "Glutamine supplementation is most effective during those times of high-volume and/or high intensity training, particularly if you are in danger of OTS (overtraining syndrome). Though glutamine may not offer a direct ergogenic performance enhancing effect, it will offer insurance for the maintenance of skeletal muscle and immune function."

In closing, we recommend you check your protein intake throughout the day. If you're high in protein (1-1.5g per kg of body weight), BCAA supplementation is not necessary. However, if you find you are low on protein, consider adding in a high-quality BCAA product to help meet your body's needs and improve performance.


Resources - Iso-leucine, leucine, valine, branched chain amino acids

Koopman R, Wagenmakers AJ, Manders RJ, Zorenc AH, Senden JM, Gorselink M, Keizer HA, van Loon LJ. Combined ingestion of protein and free leucine with carbohydrate increases postexercise muscle protein synthesis in vivo in male subjects. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Apr;288(4):E645-53. Epub 2004 Nov 23.

Seebohar, Bob. Amino Acids: Their role in endurance training. 1st endurance. July 30, 2009.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Canada's 150, Infinit's 10.5!

For the last 10 and a half years, we have had the opportunity to fuel some amazing Canadian athletes, from Olympians to weekend warriors, elite's to age groupers. We've worked with athletes in nearly every sport, including runners, cyclists, triathletes, mountain bikers, basketball and volleyball teams, rowers, swimmers, ultra runners... the list goes on.

Throughout our time, we've come to cherish one thing: being Canadian. There is nothing more gratifying than helping fuel the potential of Canadian athletes through high quality nutrition tailored specifically to their needs as an athlete and their sport. Another thing we pride ourselves on? Sourcing nearly all of our raw materials from right here in Canada. Offering a high-quality, local product to athletes is our number one priority.

"While training and racing in North America and Europe the one thing I have learned about Canada is we have got the best trails in the world. The variety of seasonal weather, paired with Infinit to fuel my adventures makes Canada the ideal training ground for 24 hour solo endurance mountain bike racing." - Andrew Bovard, Deadgoat Racing, fuelling on Infinit since 2014

"It brings me so much pride to be able to represent a diverse and beautiful nation. We as Canadians are known world wide for our kindness and beautiful country. It's especially important to be representing a Canadian company such as Infinit, knowing the quality of product is there and the open arms, welcome feeling of the Infinit team is so truly Canadian. I'm proud to be able to represent both Canada and Infinit, eh!" - Melissa Bishop, 2x Olympian, Team Infinit athlete

We've gained valuable partnerships with organizations such as the Canadian Sport Institute that have  helped foster our work with Olympians from a variety of disciplines. With the partnership, we expanded our product line to accommodate the needs of the athletes under CSI.

Infinit CEO, Darcy, recounts his experience over the past 10 years. "Infinit came from humble beginnings. I remember mixing the first development batches in our kitchen in November 2006, with a Kitchen Aid mixer while being watched carefully by my wife, Brenda (afraid we were trashing her kitchen) before our new facility was ready.  For the first 8 years of business, I led Infinit Nutrition Canada while working as a Production Manager/Director in a pharmaceutical company. I made time before work, lunches, after work and weekends to build the brand with my team to a point that I was comfortable enough to walk away from my then career in 2013.  

A really important opportunity came to us in 2007. I remember receiving a call from Susan Boegman from the then Canadian Sport Centre Pacific (has since evolve to Canadian Sport Institute) while out grabbing lunch.  Susan, a lead Sports Nutritionist, and her team were looking for products that were effective and safe from a banned substance perspective for training and recovery.  I wasn't sure how we could create a program that ensured we were free banned substances but knew it was a great opportunity to fuel some of the best athletes in Canada.  Working with their nutritionists, coaches and physiologists we together put together 12 blends that made up the Custom Fuel Program for them.  The program has expanded across Canada and we have fuelled many Olympic medal performances since 2008."

Read Darcy's full Infinit story here

"Being a track and field athlete in Canada motivates me to represent our great country on the international stage every opportunity I can. I take pride in things that are operated or produced, in Canada or locally, in Windsor. Thankfully, Infinit is owned and operated in my hometown and is a Canadian company. Not only am I confident in the products Infinit offer but I am proud of their Canadian background. After using Infinit as an endurance athlete I can confidently say I would recommend their product. Happy 150th Canada!" - Corey Bellemore, middle-distance runner and Beer Mile World Record holder, Team Infinit athlete

So how are Infinit fuelled athletes celebrating Canada's 150th? Racing of course! Best of luck to all of our Infinit fuelled athletes this weekend!

Kevin David - Powderface Race July 1st
Bonnie Skara - Epic Canadian Maple Leaf 10K July 1st
Alison Parker - Canada Day 4km Open Water Swim Race July 1st
Chris Siegel - Canada Dar Road Race 15km July 1st
Kev & Kat Calder-Becker - Hosting the Canada 150 Ultramarathon Relay from Montreal to Ottawa
Shane Kroger (Team Infinit) - Enduro World Series France June 30th
Lissa Bissonnette (Team Infinit) - Canada Cup Ottawa July 1st
Fawn Whiting (Team Infinit) - Great White North triathlon July 2nd

Of course we are so proud to be fuelling Canada's best, to have a part in seeing these top athletes reach their full potential.  Along the way working closely with some of the top scientists in sport we have been able to improve our recovery options, we have become a much more rounded company as a result of the partnership.

I have always been a proud Canadian listening to our anthem being played and seeing our athletes reach the podium.  Knowing we are part of that equation make me even more proud.  So grateful to be Canadian and have the opportunities afforded to us.