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  1. #1
    Muscle Bound
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    Dec 2011
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    Default 10 Things I Know About Protein That You Don't! And then 10 more!

    Found those 2 interesting articles:

    I work in the supplement industry and have for the past decade. If you're saying, “Big deal, me, too,” then you can stop reading right now. For the rest of you, I'm betting that I can tell you ten things about protein that you don't know.

    1. There's No Such Thing as Undenatured Whey Protein

    Here's a fact: all whey protein sold in the United States needs to first be pasteurized. Even at the lowest temperature, that means subjecting the whey protein to a level of heat that will cause changes in some of the fractions. This doesn't mean that the protein is useless or won't give you all of the benefits you see touted in advertisements and studies. It just means that undenatured is a meaningless concept when we're talking about whey protein sold legally in the United States. So unless you're clued into the whey protein black market or some whey protein-selling crime syndicate, you're not getting undenatured anything.

    protein, whey protein, aminos, hydrolized, grass fed, GMO, cold filtered

    1.5. If Your Favorite Brand Sells Bioactive Peptides, Find a New Brand

    Bioactive whey peptides are protein fractions that cause a measurable biological response in the body. Maybe it's enhancing the immune system or increasing pumps (for teh gainz). Those peptides come from protein. They come from the protein you buy from that same company.

    See, every pound of protein might sell for $5 at the manufacturer level, but it also might contain $10 worth of peptides in 1/10th of the weight. So they strip all of those awesome peptides out, thereby losing .50c from the protein itself, but in the process they earn double the money from the sale of the peptides they removed. You get the completely denatured protein (stripped of every biologically active peptide they could mine), and they sell you back the peptides in another product (or in the same product, claiming that they have “added peptides”).

    2. Cold Filtered Whey Is Still Heated

    “But my whey can't be denatured from heat, it's cold filtered,” I hear someone saying. That's nice. But cold filtered is the actual filtering process that concentrates the whey into the final percentage of protein (typically +80%). The filtering has nothing to do with the fact that most manufacturers who “cold filter” their whey are still flash pasteurizing it at the highest possible temperature beforehand. Why? Because it only takes fifteen seconds to flash pasteurize whey and it takes fifteen minutes to pasteurize it at the lowest heat levels. So you can produce more whey if you only take 1/60th of the time at this stage of processing.

    3. GMO/Grass-Fed Laws Are Stricter Overseas

    Oh, so your whey comes from New Zealand, and you're bragging about it being non-GMO and free range and all that good stuff? Guess what? All whey from New Zealand is going to be non-GMO and free range. Their laws are far stricter than the ones in the good ol' United States, so it's a bit redundant to talk about how great your New Zealand whey is when every gram of dairy the country produces is just as good. I lived in Auckland, New Zealand, and I've been to the dairy farms, and you're from Maine, so you're probably going to have to take my word on this one.

    4. No Studies Ever Compared Grass-Fed Whey to Grain-Fed Dairy

    Don't get me wrong, I believe that grass-fed dairy (and beef for that matter) is superior to grain-fed. But there are no direct studies comparing them in athletes or in an exercising population. There is tons of evidence showing grass-fed animals (and their meat products) are healthier, but none on dairy in athletes. It makes a much bigger difference with meat, where the fat content can be radically altered by diet, or even with whole fat milk. But with a good whey protein, we're talking about a gram of fat per serving. So while I still prefer grass-fed (everything), this is based more on inductive reasoning than hard and fast studies that examine these parameters in athletes.

    protein, whey protein, aminos, hydrolized, grass fed, GMO, cold filtered

    5. A 100% Hydrolized Whey Protein Doesn’t Exist

    I've seen studies that use thirty to forty percent hydrolyzed whey and spoken to the authors. It's inedible. The reason for this is the fact that breaking down (hydrolyzing) protein is exactly what happens during the digestive process. Protein that has been 100% broken down will not stay together in any form (think about it, what would a slab of steak look like after your stomach has digested 100% of it - now imagine it as a powder). Those “100% Whey Protein Hydrolysate” jugs you see at the local nutrition chain are actually a lot lower. The “100%” claim comes from the fact that the entire jug contains hydrolyzed whey protein (no other types of protein or whey), and that protein itself has been hydrolyzed 2% (or 5% or whatever). So it's all (100%) hydrolyzed - but only by a few percent.

    6. Your Amino Acids Probably Come From Dead Kittens

    Ok, I'm exaggerating - but not by much. The most popular form of amino acid production is through the chemical synthesis of keratin, which requires far fewer steps (and is therefore less costly) than other methods. Keratin is abundantly supplied in hair, nails, claws, and fur. Short of staking out every hair and nail salon in China (where most aminos are sourced), producers instead make them from animals whose pelts are not good enough to use for clothing. So maybe the pelt was damaged in the slaughter process or some other horrific industrial accident. That pelt is worthless as clothing, but can still be used to synthesize leucine (or whatever). I'd estimate 95% of manufacturers are using this process or a similar one, and I'm really good at estimating horrific, awful, stuff like this.

    7. Twenty Grams of High-Quality Protein Is Usually Enough

    Selling more protein makes the manufacturer more money, and having a huge protein-grams-per-serving count on the label helps them win fans in the bodybuilding community. But nearly every study that looks at a decent protein source, like egg or whey, usually concludes that the additional stimulation of myotropic (muscle building) or recovery factors isn't greatly enhanced after twenty grams.

    8. Worthless Aminos Are Often Substituted for Expensive Proteins

    Within the industry this is known as protein spiking. Cheap aminos like glycine are used to pad the protein content of otherwise expensive whey. So if a pound of whey comes in at $6, and a pound of glycine is a $2, maybe two to three grams of the latter are put in the former. Since it's an amino and not a whole protein, it's providing those grams at a much lower cost, and doesn't appear on the label as another protein form, thereby allowing the manufacturer to still (legally) claim “100% whey” or “100% casein.” I know of one brand that uses creatine (technically an amino) to spike their protein, which as a bonus is super-easy to flavor. Their protein is delicious. Now you know why.

    protein, whey protein, aminos, hydrolized, grass fed, GMO, cold filtered

    9. Twenty Grams of Protein Usually Isn’t

    Protein bars are notorious for under-dosing protein and overstating the amount on the label. This is a bit of an open secret in the industry, and although powders are better, they're still under-dosed in a lot of cases. Naturally, the yummy carbs are the exact opposite - you'll find far more in the bar than you see on the label.

    9.1 Twenty Grams of Protein Usually Isn’t (Part Two)

    Hydrolyzed collagen is technically protein. But it doesn't build much muscle, and it has a biological value of virtually nil. I'm talking about the stuff we've been seeing in gels and goops for the past decade (allegedly, there are some recent forms that aren't useless, however it's unlikely that your favorite brand is using them). Gels are obviously the worst offender here, but those little protein shots are pretty bad also.

    10. Most Protein Comes From the Same Place(s)

    If you were to walk the aisles of your local supplement retailer, you'd see dozens of different brands of protein. But if you were to see the actual manufacturers of the protein itself (the people all of those brands are buying it from), you'd see far fewer companies. There are probably ten major players in the field of powdered protein, and that's being generous. They're not just huge; they own other companies that we think are huge.

    Glanbia, for example, produces a lion's share of the dairy products in Ireland. They're a billion-dollar company, they own BSN as well as Optimum Nutrition, and they do contract manufacturing for tons of other companies, both big and small (well, medium). So, when you see Brand X Casein and the store house brand and BSN and ON, all sitting next to each other, there's actually a good chance that the protein in the jugs is identical. And Glanbia is the manufacturer behind the most popular protein brand(s) in the CrossFit world, if we're keeping score at home.

    Anthony Roberts
    “Strong people make other people stronger. They don’t put them down.”
    "If success makes you arrogant, you haven’t really succeeded. If failure makes you determined, you haven’t really failed...''

  2. #2
    Muscle Bound
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    10 MORE Things I Know About Protein That You Don't!

    If you're like 99% of the people who read part one of this series, you probably learned some stuff you didn't know about protein. If you're in the other 1%, then you probably work in the supplement industry already (or you're one of the soulless cretins who tried using the article as a way to promote your terrible MLM company). Whatever the case may be, I'm glad to have you back.

    And here are ten more things I know about protein that you don't:

    1. Spot Buying

    Sometimes a batch of protein gets messed up during processing. Maybe the manufacturers dry it out too much when making it into a powder or they scorch it during the pasteurization process. It's not ruined, but it's not what companies are looking to purchase because it generally has several areas where it fails to meet product specs for the company selling it.

    protein powder, protein supplements, protein facts, protein secrets, supplements

    In these cases, a phone call is made to a client, and they're offered a nice discount on the damaged product. This is the kind of stuff that doesn't make it into emails. It's still the same amount of (let's say) casein per gram, it's just a bit damaged (and likely less bioavailable). Maybe the flavor is off, or whatever.

    But you know what isn't damaged? The price. The company selling it to you isn't going to knock a few bucks off the retail price just because the protein is lower quality than usual (and especially not when the end customer doesn't know). This is called spot buying - and it's very common.

    2. Salmon Protein Hydrolysate Is Sludge Made of Organs and Bones

    Salmon protein hydrolysate is a nice way to say “waste byproduct of salmon processing.” You're not getting salmon sashimi in liquid form. You're getting the stuff that didn't make it to your local sushi joint - the viscera and bones. This garbage is run through a huge smasher and then hydrolyzed (enzymatically broken down) into salmon sludge, and then turned into powder.

    Can it get worse? I'm glad you asked. To date there have been two studies performed on hydrolyzed salmon protein in athletes. One study resulted in zero performance benefit, and in the other it was actually shown to provide minimal benefit over carbohydrate ingestion to lesser-trained athletes, but in trained athletes, it actually decreased their performance.

    3. Protein Is Not Amino Acids

    I can already feel the venom oozing through the keyboards on this one. About to unleash your unbridled fury in the comments section? Hold that snarky thought for a second. Protein is made up of amino acids, but when we look at a whole protein source, the effects are disparate when measured against the aminos that make it up.

    For example, whey protein has been compared with its constituent aminos (i.e. taking the exact amino acid formula of whey protein and comparing it with just those aminos, not from whey). When they were examined head to head, whey protein caused greater increases in the signaling pathway that causes muscle growth and greater post-exercise changes in the mechanisms that regulate endurance adaptations. Even if we take the exact same aminos in the same ratios and amounts, we can't replicate the effects of the whole protein.

    On a side note, it's a logical fallacy to assume that what is true of a part is also true of the whole, and vice versa. Look it up.

    protein powder, protein supplements, protein facts, protein secrets, supplements

    4. Soy Lecithin Doesn't Matter

    Don't get me wrong, if you're allergic to soy, then soy lecithin can matter. But most studies show there isn't enough soy in soy lecithin to elicit an allergic reaction. The actual amount of soy protein in soy lecithin is less than three percent. The amount of soy lecithin in your protein powder is a few hundred milligrams. So take those milligrams and slice off 97%, and that's the actual amount of soy protein you're getting per shake. There's just no way we'll see a physiological response with a few thousandths of a gram of soy protein.

    There's also an argument that the solvent used to make soy lecithin might still be present after production. In reality, the FDA mandates that a solvent be disclosed on the label if any traces are left in the final product. So unless you see the solvent listed on the label, it's not there anymore.

    5. Your Protein Isn’t Made by CrossFitters; It’s Made by Bodybuilders

    This point relates to my prior article where I wrote about most protein coming from the same few places. In the case of companies catering to CrossFit, most of them are bodybuilding companies in disguise.

    Pursuit-Rx is actually owned by Dymatize, and was formed after several (apparently unsuccessful) months of trying to break into the market under their own name. Nutriforce Sport is actually the same people as Betancourt Nutrition. Wfit Nutrition is Weider. You get the idea - companies who are too bodybuilder-y couldn't enter the market with their current brand, so they started spinning off smaller brands who weren't associated with the bodybuilding world.

    I'm sure I'll get some flack in the industry for this one, but the fact remains that most bodybuilding companies who have gotten a foothold in CrossFit and the emerging cultures (Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, World Series of Exercise), are doing it under a name far removed from the oiled up thong-wearing dorks that constitute their usual customer base.

    protein powder, protein supplements, protein facts, protein secrets, supplements

    6. Your Post-Workout Should Actually Be a Pre-Workout Shake

    Most studies on post-workout nutrition were conducted on fasted individuals. So these people trained on an empty stomach, and when they consumed their post-workout protein shake, all of the biomarkers for muscle building shot through the roof. Hence, the post-workout “anabolic window” myth was born.

    However, when a post-training shake was compared with a pre-training shake in a randomized study, there were no statistically relevant differences between net muscle protein balance and amino acid uptake. Moreover, if we look a bit deeper into these results, we see that throughout training, blood flow was significantly greater in the pre-workout shake group. We also find that (although not statistically relevant) 50% of the pre-workout group had greater amino acid uptake than anyone in the post-workout group.

    7. Your Post-Workout Amino Acids Should Be Pre-Workout Too

    Again, when a pre- versus post-workout consumption of an amino/carb drink was studied, amino acid uptake and other markers of anabolism were higher in the pre-workout group. This actually continued far past the workout itself, easily past the time when we'd have expected most people to have another meal.

    8. Your L-Glutamine Might Contain Gluten

    No only that, but your glutamine peptides almost certainly do. Wheat is a great source of L-glutamine. Because of this, some manufacturers use it to produce their L-glutamine products. Although not as common as it once was, using wheat to produce the much sexier sounding (and expensive) “glutamine peptides” is widespread. Obviously this can be an issue for people who avoid gluten. If you're using L-glutamine or especially glutamine peptides, check the label to make sure it's gluten free.

    protein powder, protein supplements, protein facts, protein secrets, supplements

    9. Chocolate Milk Can’t Live Up to the Hype

    Deep down, even the contrarians who shouted the loudest about how chocolate milk was superior to commercial protein powders must have known how stupid this idea was. Even assuming post-training use only (to justify the sugar content), and figuring on a 20oz glass to get 20 grams of protein, a good whey protein shake is going to produce far greater results.

    But what about the studies? Yeah, what about them? Well, they never looked at a realistic control group, and instead tested chocolate milk as a post-training beverage against carbohydrate + electrolyte drinks or against nothing at all. The only thing those studies could conclude is that protein builds more muscle than carbs. Oh, and these studies were primarily funded by (you guessed it) the people who sell chocolate milk.

    10. Your Triple Cheeseburger Is a Waste of Money

    Let's assume you are the sort of person who occasionally enjoys a nice, grass-fed, free range, cheeseburger. Telling the waiter to supersize it and bring you a triple cheeseburger isn't going to build any additional muscle, even though you're ingesting three times the protein. This comes from a study where 30 grams of protein (90% lean beef) was compared to 90 grams, and both increased protein synthesis by approximately 50%. If you like your burger supersized, I've got no problem with that - but don't think it's going to help you build any more muscle.

    Anthony Roberts
    “Strong people make other people stronger. They don’t put them down.”
    "If success makes you arrogant, you haven’t really succeeded. If failure makes you determined, you haven’t really failed...''

  3. #3
    Canada Bodybuilding VIP
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Rep Power


    Special crossfitter protein lol,they likely would buy into that.Interesting about the comparisons between pre and post protein.Was on a site once that I lost,cited some interesting leads concerning amino acids for the elderly.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Rep Power


    I used to work in an epoxy factory. We had the original brand name, then got contracts for Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, and family owned hardware store. Same exact product. We just put it in different packaging with different labels. Same exact shit.
    Last edited by Mr Pickles; 04-01-2015 at 06:14 PM. Reason: I'm a goof.


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