What the Heck Are You Talking About?
Gum, Xanthan Gum is the name. I'll take that Casein Protein drink shaken, not stirred. Xantham Gum is made from the outer layer of a small, inactive bacterium called Xanthomonas campestris and comes in a tasteless, powder form. It is basically a thickener for many things, shakes being one of them. The benefit of using this product as a thickener is its ability to bind small particles of food together as well as being a substitute for gluten. You can check out a few different selections over at Amazon. Another nice thing about this product is that per tablespoon, you only get 7 grams of Carbs, but it's all Dietary Fiber! You'll never use an entire tablespoon, by the way, I'll tell you why in a second. Also, this little bag of powder is relatively cheap for how long it will last you.
Sounds Delicious, What's The Problem?
The problem is that if you use too much, you'll end up with a gooey substance that will remind you of everything from a jar full of the school bully's snot to blown chunks, depending on your shake ingredients. Everything but a delicious shake. Mine was a simple one: water, casein protein, and some Girardelli 100% cocoa. I made two shakes (one for mid-morning and one for mid-afternoon) with these same ingredients, but added 1 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum to one shake, and only half a teaspoon to the other shake. I don't remember where I got this tip from, so I don't know who to thank for finding me a new compound to seal tire flats. Yeah, it's that thick.
I tried the shake that had only half a teaspoon of Xantham Gum. That was the only shake that I could drink. First of all, the shake had a strange consistency, like that of runny snot. Fortunately, it didn't taste like gooey boogers, it just tasted like my shake usually does. But we all know that food consistency is almost as important in food as flavor itself. For the almost full hour that it took me to drink a 12 oz shake, trying to figure out what the consistency reminded me of, I couldn't push away the thought of all those extreme Internet videos that I've seen over the years, Ok, so maybe it tasted a little bit funky.
For the rest of the day I could barely eat anything else, much less drink another one of these things. Remember, I only drank the shake with half a teaspoon and the serving size is one whole tablespoon! That's just ridiculous. I wouldn't use that much if I was making shakes for an entire town.
We're Not Giving Up Yet
Being that I'm not known to be a giver-upper, I'm not done experimenting here. Tomorrow, I'll be trying the shake again with the same ingredients, but with a much decreased dose of the Xanthan Gum. God help me it doesn't clog my throat on its way down.
On a different note, I've started week two, Phase I of Maximum Strength and that's been much easier to swallow that the thickener. On Monday I did the lower body workout and already noticed some slight improvements over last week. More specifically, I used the same weights as last week, but I didn't have as much of a problem lifting the weights but the workout was tough, just the same.
With enough weight and proper form, walking lunges can be a great single-leg exercise, especially for hitting the glutes. Now try it barefoot, or in my case, with the Vibram Five Fingers. You'll feel the exercise in muscles you didn't even know you had in your legs. I was reminded of this exercise on my second day, doing HIIT on the Rowing Machine. Every time that I bent my knees and hips, my glutes would stretch and cry out in pain from the day before. I fought the rower, and the rower won. Literally. I did 15 minutes of HIIT, with 15-second work/45-second rest periods. In the middle of the workout, I realized that the rowing machine was actually a Transformer. Worse yet, a Decepticon. And it didn't want anything to do with my sweaty, debilitated glutes rubbing back and forth on its seat. Well, I'm not giving up that easy. The fight is back on next week, and the Rowing Machine should be afraid, cause this fight's been broughten.