By Mark Kenyon
I’m going to come right out and say it.
If you don’t take care of your body, you will never reach your full potential as a hunter. Period.
The stereotypical image of a hunter, especially that of a whitetail hunter, is a lazy, over weight guy that drives up in a pick up truck to the edge of a field, drinks a beer and shoots every deer that runs by. Thankfully, in my opinion, that stereotype is quickly becoming irrelevant, as more and more hunters are realizing that to become the ultimate predator you must invest in your most important tool. Yourself.
Easy now. I’m not trying to say that you need to be an Ultra Marathon runner to succesfully harvest deer, but what I am saying is that if you’re trying to become the absolute best hunter possible – you need to make sure your body and health is an asset, not a liability to your hunting endeavors. That said, my main goal today isn’t to convince you of the importance of health as a hunter. Instead, I’d like to focus on one set of tools that I’ve been taking advantage of to improve my health in my quest to become the ultimate predator. Those tools are the Wilderness Athlete outdoor performance nutrition products.
Wilderness Athlete and the 28 Day Challenge
Wilderness Athlete is a company that produces nutritional products aimed specifically at outdoor athletes which, in their definition and mine, includes hunters. As stated on their website, “We address the need of quality nutrition for the hunting, fishing, and outdoor industry.” They’ve developed an entire line of products with this goal in mind, and they have offerings such as nutrition bars, protein shakes, gels, hydration drinks, energy drinks, multi-vitamins and much more. Think GNC but with a mountain and camo twist!
That said, last summer I got connected with some folks at Wilderness Athlete and they encouraged me to give something they call “The 28 Day Challenge” a try. This challenge includes a bundled package of WA products, designed to last 28 days, that along with basic exercise is intended to help you jumpstart your fitness or weight loss goals. I decided to give it a shot in August of last year, and I excitedly awaited the arrival of my Wilderness Athlete shipment.
When the box finally arrived on my door step, I tore it open to see the following items included …
2 Tubs of Meal Replacement & Recovery Shake Mix
1 Tub of the Hydrate & Recover Mix
1 Tub of the Energy & Focus Mix
1 Container of Green Infusion
1 30 day supply of the Wilderness Athlete Multi-Vitamin
1 30 day supply of Lean Life Weight Loss Formula
Soon after, I got started with the challenge and I began working towards a goal of being in “fighting shape” by the beginning of the 2012 hunting season. A month down the road, the results spoke for themselves.
I’m going to throw out a little curveball here and skip right to the end.
One month after taking on “The 28 Day Challenge” I was feeling more energized on a daily basis (without needing my usual daily fix of Red Bull), I was looking better (according to my better half), and I had lost 10 pounds! I was a happy camper, and I truly believed the Wilderness Athlete system helped me be better prepared for than 2012 season than any other year prior.
Now that said, lets be honest here. A bunch of supplements, drinks and vitamins aren’t the sole cause for this. I’m a firm believer that there is no magic pill for weight loss or any other physical change. Any change of this order requires an improved diet and exercise. But, I can confidently say that the Wilderness Athlete products I used definitely did help me achieve this change!
The Tools and the Tastes
As a whole, I found the products included in the 28 Day Challenge to be a great sampling of what Wilderness Athlete has to offer, and I definitely had a positive experience as I went through my first month using these. For the most part everything tasted good, was easy to prepare, and made me feel energized, alert and healthy.
That all said, now that you know that this whole 28 Day Challenge was actually legit, lets dive into exactly what the products included are all about and my thoughts on each.
Meal Replacement & Recovery Shake Mix: I began each day with a meal replacement shake, which is a simple powder mixed water (or whatever else you’d like to include in your shake). This shake is intended to do exactly what it’s title says, replace a meal, and it includes the necessary calories, nutrients, proteins, etc to make for a great breakfast or the like. I preferred the Chocolate flavor, and it made for a slightly thicker chocolate milk type taste. Not bad at all, and a great substitute for my previous typical breakfast of a Pepsi and Hot Pocket!
Hydrate & Recover Mix + Energy & Focus Mix: Each morning and afternoon I’d mix up what has been called by some “The Superman”. This beverage was a mix of the “Hydrate & Recover” and “Energy & Focus” drink mixes, and it made for a terrific alternative to a coffee or energy drink. It was an easy drink to drain, as the mixture had a sweet citrus flavor, with a hint of a taste reminiscent of Sweet Tarts candy. Overall though, this drink was my favorite of the WA products as it effectively is like a healthier version of a Red Bull mixed with Gatorade! The Hydrate & Recover mix is created to be an improved sports drink, with all the electrolytes and nutrients you need to recover from physical exertion. The Energy & Focus mix then brings in the “red bull” like qualities, as this mix kept me wide awake and alert, but without the crash that typically follows your usual energy drink. The Superman was definitely a winner in my book, and I actually had one this very afternoon!
Green Infusion: The Green Infusion supplement was the one WA product that I honestly had a bit of a hard time with. On paper and in theory, Green Infusion seems awesome. With one scoop of powder, you get the equivalent of 6 servings of fruit and vegetables! Seriously awesome nutrition. But on the negative end of things, it’s a little difficult to take down. It was recommended to me to mix this powder with a small glass of water, and then drink this quickly. I took that advice, and it was definitely the best way to take the Green Infusion – but I still couldn’t help but feel I was drinking a water and grass concoction. But if you can manage the quick swig, the Green Infusion definitely packs a healthy punch.
Wilderness Athlete Multi-Vitamin: Next up came the vitamins, and the Wilderness Athlete Multi-Vitamin seemed to be a great option. According to the WA website, the Multi-Vitamin packs a “full spectrum of pure vitamins, chelated minerals, nutrient cofactors, and BioArmorTM botanical extracts.” It’s hard to judge the taste or quality of a vitamin, but from what I understand the Multi-Vitamin is the backbone of the Wilderness Athlete system, and since that system seemed to work for me, I’d have to give this one positive marks too! No complaints here.
Lean Life Weight Loss Formula: Last is the “Lean Life Weight Loss Formula”. This tablet contains a combination of botanical extracts that helps to suppress appetite and accelerate metabolism. Again, hard to say the effects of this as an individual product, but the pills were easy enough to pop, and I imagine the 10 pounds of weight I lost were in some part due to this formula! I wouldn’t regularly use this type of product, but in the context of a 1 month jump start it certainly did it’s job, and I could definitely see this being a great option for someone trying to get off on the right start towards a healthier and more fit lifestyle.
Without a doubt, I concluded the 28 Day Challenge with a very positive view of Wilderness Athlete and the products they’ve put together. In my effort to become the best possible version of me as a hunter I knew I had to focus on improving my health and physical condition, and Wilderness Athlete helped me do that. I lost 10 pounds and entered the 2012 hunting season feeling great. How’d the season turn out? Well, I ended up killing my best buck to date. Did I kill that buck just because I was healthier than the year before? Probably not. But did it help me, absolutely.
In my opinion, Wilderness Athlete’s nutritional products are a perfect complement to the healthy diet and exercise regimen that many hunters are now adopting to help them get that extra edge in their pursuit of big bucks and bulls. So if you’re interested in improving your #1 tool as a hunter, that being yourself, I’d highly recommend you check out Wilderness Athlete or even give the 28 Day Challenge a try!
For more information from about Wildeness Athlete, visit WildernessAthlete.com