Working with outdoor athletes, always poses some challenging questions on nutrition and on fuelling during 5h plus events or multi-day adventures. In winter-cold temperatures, it is easy ! You can even carry hard boiled eggs and butter with you ! However summer time, food goes rancid, changes taste and texture and becomes non transportable. This is when we start looking for light, high caloric, fast to prepare, fast to eat and easy to digest, hermetically and safely prepackaged and most importantly chemically stable solutions.
Fast food ? Yes, it is not only easy and fast to prepare, but the postal delivery is superbly rapid too ! 24h in Germany, Belgium and Holland and 2 to 4 days in other European countries. I received the pack just after 48hours. I must state, that the company kindly sent me many packs of their shake-ready meals freely, with a new flavour to experience on, for the purpose of this introductory article, however I am not affiliated to them and this review is completely honest and unbiased.
As long term testing goes, I reordered 222 packs of Nano shakes for certain personal expeditions and for a few of my clients. Nano arrived to my local dispatch centre in time, however it was held for 3 days, before it was delivered. Probably obligatory standards on white powder arriving from the Netherlands. When lurking around on the internet, looking for problems, you surely end up in forums. While positive reviews are always found on Facebook, Amazon and the home-pages, trash talk and complaints are hidden in the dungeons of forums. I read from multiple Nano-users, that when one particular flavour was not available, they received another one. Well, this was the case with my order too. Instead of three equal parts of Regular / Banana / Strawberry , I received two equal parts of regular / strawberry and no banana at all ! Apply 20% Discount on the www.eatnano.eu website at checkout: Nanofriend20
Meal Replacement Powder
Maybe you never heard of this expression. These are nutritional packs designed to replace a full meal. In the past, mostly bodybuilding brands were selling these to replace some of the “rice & chicken-breast” food-boxes in the gym duffel, but we could find medical meal replacement possibilities too for certain digestive ailments and for post surgery patients. These were mostly made of whey protein and maltodextrin with some extra dextrose and oats, maybe some added vitamins.
Recently many start-ups came out with a new type of meal-replacement solution. One side would be a 100% natural, grain/seed, dried fruits and herb based powder, while others are highly engineered micro and macro “perfected” meal, like Nano . It has all the necessary nutrients you need:
- Low glycemic carbs for energy
- All amino acids for recovery
- “All necessary Vitamins and Minerals”
- Quality fibre for digestion
Why did I choose Nano ?
When we generally talk about meal replacement powders, unfortunately 99% of the companies provide horrible solutions. We can see unquestionably health-damaging ingredients represented as your daily must ! For instance canola and palm oil as your daily omega 3 source, cheap milk, whey and soy protein and sketchy vitamin/mineral blends ! While Nano is far from being perfect, nor would I recommend it as a lifelong routine, the price-quality ratio is one of the best in the market of cheap meal replacement powders. If you ordered large enough quantities, one bag can come back cheaper than 2euro for 666kcals, while most high-end companies like Ambronite or Ample would offer in the 4 to 8€ range per serving of 400kcals. I am an athlete training often 25 to 40hours a week, so Nano is definitely a lot better option than a fast food chain lunch, or a random triangle sandwich and a chocolate bar washed down with cheap orange juice.
Nano has maltodextrin, waxy maize and palatinose and mainly oats as carbs goes. All of them are very cheap, transformed from corn and basically table sugar. Of course they have high absorption rates and very slow release so together with the fibres, oils and fats in the meal-packs, the glycemic index will be very low, around 25 -28. I am personally not a big fan of the whole GI system. It doesn’t tell you anything about the health benefits of any foods. Dates or yellow melons are relatively high GI, but who cares, they provide you with so much more than sugar. In addition in the book of Rob Wolf – Wired to Eat, we can discover, what I have been suspecting and preaching about for a very long time. Some of us can drink a 15 banana smoothie blended in cane sugar juice with a superbly reasonable blood sugar response, while getting diabeticly high results from one single cookie. Others do 100% well on processed sugars, but when fruits come in, they go overboard.
Pros of NANO:
- 100% Non GMO
- No soy, no palm, no whey, no canola
- 100% vegan
- Some organic ingredients, like flax
- Virtually zero gluten (under 20ppm), with definitely no wheat in it
- Cheap. It can come under 2€ a pack
- Mostly European Ingredients
- Causes no digestive discomfort, even if you ate it 3 times a day (Personal)
- It has 666kcals instead of the widely seen 400 !
- Micro-encapsulated particles to avoid rancidity and oxydation
I already mentioned in a previous article, that I am very much in-tuned with my body. I am not sensitive, but I observe all reactions. Eating low quality chocolate makes my throat itchy, bad quality gluten reddens and dries my scalp and cheap meat makes me feel very sluggish the next day. Most humans don’t pay attention to these signs, but the devil is in the details.
For this reason, I tested nano on empty stomach after a 20hour fast, 3 times that day, drinking only water besides. My last meal previously was a 14h lunch, eating really fatty. The next morning after my liter of water I consumed Nano at 10am / 14h and 18h. I slept normally afterwards, with no issues ever and had a completely normal bowel movement next morning. No side effects or any issues of digestion. I made a similar test with my wife and also had absolutely zero problems. Taste and texture wise, they are also very satisfying. A New blend will hit the market with some caffein, you’ll like it, it tastes epic !
I also distributed 2 packs to 2 of my distance runner athletes to use it as a post workout shake and the returns are: satisfaction, good taste and texture, no hunger and great absorption even at higher altitudes.
I would recommend Nano, to get these ingredients more under control. Some of them are completely unnecessary and not using them would make Nano better, while others could be enhanced in case of quality. Cyanocobalamin for instance is doubled up with methyl-cobalamin, what is more absorbable and less toxic. Magnesium carbonate is doubled up with citrate, what is also superior. They should keep the latest and discard the carbonate version. Molybdenum Aspartate – Excess aspartic acid may be neurotoxic and either ways, we can get enough Molybdenum from real foods. Potassium and sodium citrate should not be listed in the vitamix at all, they are just acidity regulators, flavour enhancers and preservatives. The body will not ever recognise them as absorbable salts. Sodium Selenite - Mineral for glass production and is a pet food additive, but not ment for human consumption ! Manganese Sulphate - Overloading the body with it is toxic and as our water sources and vegetables are already filled with it. I think it is completely eliminable. Copper Sulphate - Highly AntiFungal and disturbs the gut biome. Also used in the old times as a nauseating agent ! These are not in high quantities in the Nano, you don't need to be too afraid of it, but better to avoid them and use safer additives. It would greatly elevate Nano above all others.
How do I use and who would I recommend Nano to ? The most important part of this entire article.
- I do think that in our non-natural busy life, a “space engineered” liquid meal replacement powder can have a part. It takes load off from digestive system and saves time and money. It lets you avoid eating bad quality junk with colourings, fillings and preservatives. When you really need that extra second, but must fuel, take a Nano ! However this would not be a do all/be all solution ! You must still eat your organic veggies, you must still chew and use your salive and teeth multiple times a day ! There would be days I would eat 2 to3 Nano meals, but other times, I would not touch it for a week. I would also recommend to cycle on and off. Use it for a month or two, take 2 to 4 weeks off.
- We professionals, like to take care of our body. We train and like to engage in hardship. Some of us more intensively, longer and faster, others by practicing relaxing yoga 3 x 45min a week. We do not necessarily have a 2hour lunch-break every single day. This is the time to drink a Nano and get back to work after our sweat session.
- The third and most important option for me personally is Nano as expedition fuel. There is no need for cooking or preparation on any ways. Shake it, chew it while sipping on it and keep going. We need to consume often over 5000kcals a day, so this easy option of 666kcals can be a great addition to our cous-cous and dried fruits. I am happily taking 15packs of Nano with me to our next trip to Corsica. With a great friend, we are traversing the Island on the well known GR20 tackling over 10000m of technical elevation gain just under 5 days.
After the free samples I thankfully got from the guys at Nano, I reordered a big box of it, for our future adventures. This is a good sign of my appreciation for the product. As a sports nutritional supplement, I find Nano a fantastic time saving tool. This is why I do not place it at all into the general health food category. Compared to other meal replacement powders, the lack of fillings, lack of cheap oils, micro-encapsulation, the European origin, the European manufacturing, the transportability / stability and the price are great influencers on my opinion. I find it very interesting and will continue to be using it and recommend it. I do not say it is perfect, it is far from it. I state that it can be a good alternative in some situations and a way better choice than all other similarly priced meal replacement powders, energy gels, bars and so.
My Nano Advice: I am not sure how would it impact prices and production, but adding some greens would be a good idea. Organic spinach, chard, kale, stinging nettle, mallow, radish and beet greens or narrow leaf plantain, lamb's lettuce, purslane, rockets and more can be grown/outsourced easily and would add to the nutritional value and probably would replace the konjac and inulin fibres and some of the synthetic vitamins too. No need to go spirulina or to a complete green-blend. It is too expensive ! One single source of greens ! I find the packaging too big for the amount of powder there is on the inside. I would also workout some deals on recycling the used sachets. I am not sure how it could be possible, but would be a great idea. For instance in case of an over 200€ order, all the used up empty sachets could be sent back for free to the company, where recycling would take place. Instead of the 3 starches, palatinose, maltodextrin and waxy maize, other high caloric fatty ingredients could be implemented further reducing GI and sugar content. For instance MCT powder, nut flours like almond, macadamia or pecan powder, but even cacao or dried coconut oil powder. Nobody uses avocado powder yet and due to the thick outer skin, you just have to find a quality dealer, don't even have to go organic. Guess what, you can consume the seed too ! I'd like to see sucralose also to be exchanged with something else cheap and affordable, for instance dried organic pulverised raisins, including seeds or dried banana powder ! At the end, in my opinion, elevating the quality of Nano, would result probably in less immediate profit, but more positive publicity. It would also prolong the longevity of the company. Endorsements and sponsorship deals could be taken into place and so. The typos should be corrected everywhere on the website. The Nano Team is not english, but for the sake of professionalism, it is a must.
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