03-13-2005, 06:19 PM #1
The main things of consideration when buying a protein powder are:
Economically value is a referent term. It applies and refers to objects available for purchase. Naturally then, value is an expression of the benefits of a product (Quality), minus the drawbacks of the product, divided by the cost of the product. Put another way:
Value = Benefits (Quality) - Drawbacks / Cost per serving
Value is the sum statement about a products worth. What a product is able to do for you or not, are things considered. Then, one ponders the cost of the product based on having weighed the "pros and cons."
"Buying a protein is like buying a car: Different options for different price ranges."
Value is the expression of the idea "Am I getting my moneys worth?" Ultimately, all things considered, the final factor of cost analysis is determinative. Buying a protein is like buying a car: Different options for different price ranges.
Quality is relative concept. Speaking specifically of protein, quality is a statement of products desirability relative to other available choices. Lets face it, not all protein powders are created equal. Some protein powders cause gastro-intestinal bloating, cramps, and flatulence. Yet still, some taste like plaster of paris, are not very blendable, and are so thick that it makes you regurgitate.
The quality of a protein product is determined by the satisfaction of several requirements: Yield, Amino Acid Profile (BCAA - EAA ratio), WPI:WPC Ratio, Filler Percentage, Taste, Ease of use, Blendability, Digestibility and results
Yield refers to the percentage of protein per serving that is obtained. Mathematically it appears as follows:
(Grams Protein Per Serving x 100) / Serving Size In Grams
For example, say we had a protein powder that had a serving size of 100 grams total mass. Lets also assume that in that 100gm serving size 50gms was protein. This would be a yield of 50%. Therefore, when purchasing the product, you would be paying for 50% non-protein! Not a good deal. If you want protein you should pay for protein, not non-protein [some of which will be filler].
With protein products it is impossible to have all protein. Some of the product will be composed of filler, and other non-protein mass. The main thing to be concerned with is the percentage of Whey in the serving. The other mass which will be non-protein mass may be filler or…
4. Amino Acid Profile
The amino acid profile of a protein powder is also important to consider. For example, with 100% Whey cited above, it has been shown that 75% of the total mass is protein. This represents an excellent yield. However, this means also that 25% of the total mass is not Protein. At this point, some may conclude that the product is "25% filler." This is not correct. Filler will be discussed later, but for now we are concerned with the Amino Acid profile, as this too contributes to the "non-protein mass" component of the product.
There are two classifications of Amino acids that you should look for when buying a protein product. They are BCAA and EAA. BCAA stands for Branch Chain Amino Acids, and EAA stands for Essential Amino Acids. Both are important.
Branch Chain Amino Acids act as nitrogen carriers, which assist muscles in synthesizing other amino acids required for anabolic effect [Transamination]. They also stimulate production of insulin that allows circulating blood sugar to be taken up by the muscle cells and used as an energy source. Further, during a fat-reduction cycle, Amino Acids function in an anti-catabolic manner, thus helping the body to spare lean muscle tissue.
Essential Amino Acids include Tryptophan, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Valine, Isoleucine and Leucine. Amino Acids will determine how "complete" or "incomplete" a protein is, because proteins are made of a combination of 20 Amino Acids. When considering the Amino Acids present in a protein product it is important to remember that there are 20 amino acids, and that they each perform different functions in the human body. Below is a list of each amino acid and their function.
Amino Acid Listing
Amino Acid Function
Alanine (Non-Essential) Energy source for muscle tissue
Strengthens the immune system by producing antibodies
Arginine (Non-Essential) Helps detoxify liver
Causes the pituitary gland to release growth hormone
Needed to combine proteins
Increases muscle massReduces body fat
Increase immune system strength
Aspartic Acid (Non-Essential) Shuttles toxic ammonia out of body
Cystine (Non-Essential) Antioxidant
Aids Protein Synthesis
Glutamic Acid (Non-Essential) Reduces cravings for sugar
Glutamine Increases Growth Hormone secreted by pituitary gland
Glycine (Non-Essential) Hormone Manufacturing
Hormone Manufacturing Aids digestion
Isoleucine (Essential) Raises energy levels
Leucine (Essential) Helps heal the muscle tissue
Lysine (Essential) Aids in growth
Needed for tissue repair
Produces antibodies, hormones and enzymes
Helps metabolize fats into energy
Maintains nitrogen balance
Methionine (Essential) Helps remove fatty substances from body
Phenylalanine (Essential) Suppresses appetite
Produces the chemicals which control impulse transmission between nerve cells
Proline (Non-Essential) Needed for proper functioning of joints and tendons
Helps strengthen heart muscle
Serine (Non-Essential) Strengthens Immune System
Threonine (Essential) Helps maintain protein balance in the body
Tryptophan (Essential) Releases growth hormone
Tyrosine (Non-Essential) Healthy functioning of Thyroid and Adrenal Glands
Valine (Essential) Muscle Coordination
Any protein powder worth buying will have all of the amino acids listed here, and in good concentration. The concentration of BCAA's to EAA's can be determined by using the following equation:
Total BCAA / Total EAA = x%
A good resultant would be something around 50-55%.
5. WPI:WPC Ratio
Despite claims by supplement companies trying to sell overpriced products, proteins are proteins. However, proteins function differently based on the types you use and how those proteins are manufactured. For example, Whey protein can come in several forms. These forms can include:
Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC)
Ion Exchange Whey Protein Isolate (WPI)
Cross Flow Micro-filtered Whey Protein Isolate (CFM)
Hydrolyzed Whey Peptide (HWP)
These types of protein are distinguished by their differing molecule size, and subsequent digestibility in the gut. The smaller the molecule size the easier the protein is digested. Also, WPI has a higher BV (Biological Value) rating than WPC.
This would lead some persons [and supplement companies] to conclude that WPC is "filler" or "inferior" because its biological value is lower than WPI. If that premise is logical, then anything below WPC must be REALLY inferior...must be, by logical extension [to be scientific like the supplement companies] "really, really junky."
These so-called "junky" and "inferior" proteins would include egg protein, beef, chicken, peanut butter, pork, and every other viable protein sources. Yet, we know that these foods work wonders for adding mass, so how can the idea that WPC is inferior be correct? It is not. As Feliciano (2000) pointed out, a diet high in protein, regardless of the source, will yield similar results.
Having said that, when we examining a protein product it is important to find a combination of casein, whey and egg together. As outlined in Adding Mass in the Offseason, each protein performs a different function within the body. Here is a chart depicting the function of each type of protein.
Whey Fast Acting
High Oxidization Rate
Caesin Time Released
Maintains even amino acid level over time
Other [Egg, Animal, Soy] Combination of both characteristics
When considering buying a protein supplement, then, pay careful attention to the ingredients on the label and look for a combination of Whey, Caesin, Egg and Soy. By doing this you will be "covering all of your bases" when it comes to protein!
6. Filler Percentage
As with any protein powder, some filler must be present. However, "some" can mean .002% or 99%. Some products lean toward the 99% range, while better ones are filtered and manufactured in a way so as to minimize filler.
It is not possible to have 100% WPI; that is a serving of protein with a yield of 100% where the serving size and the protein yielded are identical. Therefore, most filler is comprised of ash, moisture, etc. Filler can best be thought of as: Any substance that is non-protein or non-amino acid. Therefore, ingredients like cocoa, used in the flavoring process, would fall into this category. So would any fats or carbohydrates present in the mixture.
By its very presence filler must comprise even a small amount of the total mass of the product. However, if a product has a high yield percentage and en excellent BCAA to EAA ratio, it is mathematically evident that filler must constitute only a negligible percentage of the products overall mass.
7. Ease Of Use
Ease of use is a measurement of two factors: Blendability, Digestibility. It is important to find a protein powder that will well with a blender, but one that does not REQUIRE the use of a blender to mix. For purposes of convenience you want your protein to mixes easily in a shaker bottle or in a cup by use of a spoon.
Regardless of the "benefits" or "completeness" of a product, the ultimate and determinative question is: Does it work? Lets face it: We don't buy products because they have nice packaging, some picture of the latest GH using "phenom" or because they have fancy sounding names like Phenylalanine or Transamination. We buy them because we want one thing: Results.
Some protein powders that I have used when I was short up for money were worse than my LEAST expectations. Allright I admit, for a cheap product I was not expecting WPI that tasted like a t-bone steak. But, I was also not expecting one step up from horse trough pickings. Unfortunately I would have preferred the horse droppings once I had tried the product.
Get a protein that is very easy to mix, does not stick to the side of your blender [like other products which you must use a knife to scrape off of the side of the blender receptacle]. This will ensure that you do not end up with a protein "shake" that you must CHEW when the protein clumps float on the liquids surface.
Regarding digestibility, it is important that you don't get a protein that will make you feel bloated and full. Often times powders are so crudely manufactured and the products so raw, that the gut has difficulty with absorption.
It is no fun when your 270lbs feeling like you are 400lbs and having painful stomach cramps just because your protein powder was made by some chump who was too cheap to make it properly and skimped out on the manufacturing process
Insulin action on muscle protein kinetics and amino acid transport during recovery
Biolo G, Williams BD, Fleming RY, Wolfe RR.
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, and the Shriners Burns Hospital, Galveston, USA.
We have determined the individual and combined effects of insulin and prior exercise on leg muscle protein synthesis and degradation, amino acid transport, glucose uptake, and alanine metabolism. Normal volunteers were studied in the postabsorptive state at rest and about 3 h after a heavy leg resistance exercise routine. The leg arteriovenous balance technique was used in combination with stable isotopic tracers of amino acids and biopsies of the vastus lateralis muscle. Insulin was infused into a femoral artery to increase the leg insulin concentrations to high physiologic levels without substantively affecting the whole-body level. Protein synthesis and degradation were determined as rates of intramuscular phenylalanine utilization and appearance, and muscle fractional synthetic rate (FSR) was also determined. Leg blood flow was greater after exercise than at rest (P<0.05). Insulin accelerated blood flow at rest but not after exercise (P<0.05). The rates of protein synthesis and degradation were greater during the postexercise recovery (65+/-10 and 74+/-10 nmol x min(-1) x 100 ml(-1) leg volume, respectively) than at rest (30+/-7 and 46+/-8 nmol x min(-1) x 100 ml(-1) leg volume, respectively; P<0.05). Insulin infusion increased protein synthesis at rest (51+/-4 nmol x min(-1) x 100 ml(-1) leg volume) but not during the postexercise recovery (64+/-9 nmol x min(-1) x 100 ml(-1) leg volume; P<0.05). Insulin infusion at rest did not change the rate of protein degradation (48+/-3 nmol x min(-1) 100 ml(-1) leg volume). In contrast, insulin infusion after exercise significantly decreased the rate of protein degradation (52+/-9 nmol x min(-1) x 100 ml(-1) leg volume). The insulin stimulatory effects on inward alanine transport and glucose uptake were three times greater during the postexercise recovery than at rest (P<0.05). ****In contrast, the insulin effects on phenylalanine, leucine, and lysine transport were similar at rest and after exercise.**** In conclusion, the ability of insulin to stimulate glucose uptake and alanine transport and to suppress protein degradation in skeletal muscle is increased after resistance exercise. Decreased amino acid availability may limit the stimulatory effect of insulin on muscle protein synthesis after exercise.
In regards to the *** enclosed statement, GH has been shown to facilitate the amino acid transport of phenylalanine, leucine, and lysine among others (although I can't find the study right now), and therein lies one of the synergistic effects of GH and insulin.....insulin tends to favor transport of certain amino acids and GH tends to favor the transport of the remainder of amino acids so as to provide a full complement of essential amino acids.
10-10-2006, 08:19 PM #2
dude, im late but, GOOD POST!
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