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Andrew riding Alpe D’Huez in 2007
Andrew riding Alpe D’Huez in 2007

Bikefood customer Andrew Hill shares his experiences of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and how he has been using Bikefood Raw Protein Powder to fast track himself to the road of recovery.

Before I begin with my story on how Bikefood Raw Protein has really helped me in my recovery of CFS, pharm I thought I’d tell you a bit about me.

My name is Andrew and I’m a very keen cyclist, unhealthy father of 2 children and a hard working IT consultant. I’m 40 years old and have been cycling and racing since I was 14 years of age… albeit with a break in the middle whilst I enjoyed the fruits of my 20s.

Why am I writing this?

I’m writing this because I feel a genuine appreciation for what the Bikefood Hemp Protein has done for me, sale plus, for anyone who has suffered from this horrible illness will testify, you feel duty-bound to help others in your situation.

My problem started in 2009 whilst training for the Marmotte in the French Alps. However, I guess this was starting to rear its ugly head several years before when I started to cram more intensity in to cope with my reduced free hours due to work and home life.

This mind-set carried over into 2009 when even on 6 hour rides I would tackle climbs full on! My average HR would be in the high 150s for a 6 hour ride!

Andrew riding with David Millar in 2007
Andrew riding with David Millar in 2007

Throughout the year I experienced fatigue like symptoms and several sinus infections, but the bomb went off in September that year when during a hill climb event in the Peak District I felt worse than I’d ever felt. The symptoms didn’t disperse and in November that year I had it confirmed – I had glandular fever.

I carried on working but didn’t touch the bike for 2 months. I figured that I could get through this and in January 2010 I started my intervals again. I was pushing some good watts and was riding pretty good despite feeling terrible (adrenaline). Throughout the year I experienced more fatigue and the cloudiness was ever present. Finally in December that year I completely broke down and in January 2011 I was so bad I could barely walk 100 meters. I spent 2 months unable to do anything including watching TV – I did a lot of staring out of windows.

After lots of wasted time and money taking advice from so called experts, who just simply pushed pills that did nothing other than increase the cost of my urine, I finally discovered (from some very helpful people) 2 excellent sources of information – Dr Sarah Myhill and Dr Phil Maffetone.

Both of these sources provided the answers to the questions that nobody, including my doctors and these self-proclaimed experts could answer – What causes CFS and how can I overcome it?

I won’t go into detail here because you can read about it in these sources, and I highly recommend you do! But I will summarise a few things here. Basically adrenal exhaustion causes a lot of damage inside the body. The fatigue is the brain shutting down the body to prevent further damage. The damage occurs to the cells mitochondria which are responsible for producing energy called ATP and what you have to do is repair that damage whilst overcoming the mental damage at the same time.

So how do you do this? By rest and proper diet. That’s it!

You need to consume foods that don’t trigger energy spikes whilst at the same time provide you all the required nutrients, amino acids and essential fatty acids that are needed by the body to repair your cells.

I embarked on a diet that cut out wheat (which I found I was allergic to) and cheap carbs. Instead I ate lots of good fats (nuts, avocados, olive oil), EPA capsules, proteins such as chicken, beef and oily fish. My carbs all came from fresh low GI fruit and veg.

So where does the Bikefood hemp based protein come in then? Well, I was making a pretty good progress on the diet but to say my progress accelerated when I started taking the BikeFood Raw Protein Powder is a massive understatement!!

The problem with CFS is that you don’t recover quick enough to build your muscle back which is needed to gain more energy. I had tried Whey protein combinations with amino acids before but I always ended up feeling worse. This is because the Whey clogs up the intestines and causes bloating, cramps and general sluggishness. The added artificial sugars also feed the bad bacteria in your intestines which further increases the fatigue.

The Bikefood hemp based protein was a revelation. I had read about it and simply put 2 and 2 together – this gives me all my 20 essential amino acids (cell repair), Omega 3, 6 and 9 in the right combination (brain function, energy and anti-depressive) plus the highest quality protein required to build muscle I thought. It’s no wonder they call it Natures Super Food! The results were staggering! Almost instantly I felt more alert, energised and best of all I was recovering quickly from my rides. In fact my recovery was back to normal while I was taking it and for the first time in over a year I was building my muscle back.

Of course this is not a scientific study, this is me giving you the benefits of my experience, but I would bet somewhere down the line there will be a study on the benefits that Hemp Protein provides against CFS.

How do I consume mine?

After each ride, and even on days when I don’t ride, I will mix 2 x 30ml scoops with a little warmed water from the kettle to make a liquid paste. I then add the following and blend:
• 3 strawberries
• 5 blackBerries
• 5 cherries
• 1 plum
• Half a red grapefruit

This mix gives you all the nutrients you need and is great post-ride because it’s replenishing glycogen stores, cleaning up free-radicals, repairing damaged cells and building muscle. I LOVE it!!

Thank you and all the best with your recovery,

Many thanks to Andrew Hill who provided his words and images.

Buy Bikefood Raw Protein Powder here.