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Why This is the one of the best Protein Supplement in the Market, A critical analysis from a Bio technologist
on August 28, 2011
As a fitness enthusiast and a Science guy, I am always curious to find the real value of a supplement. What works and what does not work. More importantly, I believe the analysis of a product should be based on strong scientific knowledge base, combined with good old fashion practical use of the product, and only then one should come down to the final conclusion.
This product review and analysis was conducted based on 3 parameters
A. Constituents: What comes in the box, the real value of the product
B. Assimilation: How does this product goes down in your system, how much of it will your body assimilate
C. Usability : Long term usability and and effects.
I believe this is one of the best supplements available in the market today. The Question is Why?
1. The Quality of protein. Since its manufactured by Glanbia (who owns Optimum nutrition), this product is coming straight from the manufacturer. This is a BIG factor, 90% of the protein supplement companies source their raw materials from third parties, often importing them from third world countries.
100 grams of Whey protein isolate from one source is NOT equal to the 100 gram Whey protein isolate from another. Inferior resources usually have high level of Heavy metals and cattle Hormones. This has been elucidated from recent tests and published widely in the consumer reports. ON aced this report with minimum levels of such harmful residues. Reason is simple, they make their own whey in a plant which has to abide all regulations under US law.
Just for the point of reference. I am from India, and therefore know first hand how many poorly regulated cheese plants export their whey to Europe and US. So make sure your Whey protein is coming from Whey extracted in the US!!
2. Ideally, I will prefer the protein powder with no artificial sweetener. But lets face it, such a product will be hard to sell. However, Golds whey keep artificial sweeter to minimum. If you check Bodybuilding.com forums, lots of consumer complain that its not sweet enough. I request all such folks to realise that is actually good for them, if you feel this product is not sufficiently sweet for you. Its better you use lesser amount of hydrant (Milk, water, juice etc), or add a tiny bit of Honey.
The Profile- The Myth about Isolate vs a Blend
3. This might be hard for some people to digest. However, the truth is 96% people who use Whey supplements, will have no additional benefits of taking an Isolate vs a Blend. Please note, when I use the word blend, I mean a product lile Golds whey which is well balanced with Whey isolate and Whey Concentrate. (not any junk product form the market). If you take the blend, you might get 1 gram of extra fat or 2 grams of extra carbs which is absolutely nothing. You can burn this by adding 1.5 minute to your jog routine or walking for 2-3 minutes. You will get the same result and effect as the Isolate, so its not worth spending extra refined Isolate. The Isolate rumor is just a Hype created by the supplement industry. I will repeat this again, if your blend is as good as Golds whey i.e you are getting 24 grams per 30 gram scoop, you don't need an Isolate.
Who all comprise the 4% population who can benefit from an Isolate. First people who are extremely lactose Intolerant. I have used the word extremely since all good products add enzymes to digest the little amount of lactose residue in the supplement. Lactose is not a a bad thing, its simply the milk sugar. So if you are highly allergic to Lactose, Isolate will help (they have negligible levels of lactose)
Second tier of people who can benefit from Isolates are professional athletes who are pepping up for an upcoming competition. This competitive set is consuming 5-8+ scoops of Whey protein daily and therefore will benefit from reduction in additional fat or carbs.
4. Why go for Whey protein blend when you have specialized protein powders with Whey,egg and Casein.
Its simple science, Whey is just better with the best Biological value*. This means that your body will better absorb and use the protein source from Whey more than any other source, therefore no wastage. Egg is also a great resource, which is just behind Whey. However in real world it lags behind Whey substantially, even the delayed absorption rate cannot compensate much. Scientifically it has been proven that Whey is just better, since it doesn't tax your digestive processes as much as an egg protein.
Question of Casein:
Its true that Casein has an edge when it comes to delayed absorption. Its anti-catabolic properties and slow absorption makes it an ideal night time protein. This said, its best when you take Casein in concentrated from, i.e. if you need Casein, take only Caesin, do not mix it with Whey... Why do I say this, Its a big topic based on metabolism response(will add a different thread later). One last thing 24 grams of Whey protein is NOT equal to 24 grams of Casein as the Biological value of Casein is lower than Whey.However Caesin does have its own benifit of delayed response, provided you actually need it.
*Biological Value: Biological value (BV) is a measure of the proportion of absorbed protein from a food which becomes incorporated into the proteins of the organism's body.
Whey protein concentrate: 104
Whole egg: 100
Cow milk: 91
Always keep a note of how much protein you are consuming from Supplements Vs straight from the food. Ideally one should keep protein sources from supplements under 25%, but if your life style is demanding and you are unable to get hold of good meals rich in protein, you should always keep your protein dependency under 50%. In layman terms, for most of us who are looking for fitness, keep it not more than 2 scoops/day. For those who really pump some heavy Iron keep it upto than 3 scoops/day. (let me know if you wish to know the science behind this)
In the end Supplements are only Supplements. The word Supplement has a lot of Drama attached to it, as if, if you don't take a protein shake within 30 minutes of your work out.. you will never make good gain. Total Crap. This is not a make or break factor(its just beneficial). Baring few exceptions. Supplements adds up only 20 percent of your fitness equation.
In the real world, for over 90% of us. The fitness equation is something like this.
A Intensity and Regularity of Workout: 30- 35%
B Lifestyle and Nutritional Choices: 40- 50%
C Supplements : 0 - 20%
So the most important thing is to focus on A%B. Once you have maximized A and B, think about C