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20 January 2014

Monday Quickie: Picking a Protein That's Actually A Protein And Not Rich Gaspari's Poor Facsimile Thereof

I get a ton of requests for protein recommendations, and as such decided to throw out a quick post to let you know what I'm using and hit you up with a badass spreadsheet I made with a broad who'd like to see me on fire and down a well for no reason I could possibly ascertain (well, that's not true- I'd imagine most broad would like to see me on fire and down a well).  In any event, I mention her involvement just so she doesn't send me anthrax for not giving her anonymous credit.


Not this brand of Anthrax, unfortunately.  Wouldn't mind being caught in a mosh right about now.

Onto the business at hand- protein.  Everyone has their own preferences on protein, but to me it breaks down to price, protein source, and flavor.  Given that I'm basically living in a van down by the river, I am currently living on Vitamin Shoppe's Whey Tech Pro 24, as it's low carb, tastes decent, and is cheap as fuck.  Were I to choose a protein purely based on taste, with no regard whatsoever for my wallet, I'd likely choose Species or 1stPhorm's proteins, both of which are whey.  I know I've bagged on whey in the past, but blended proteins usually taste like shit and I'm tired of gagging protein back up when I'm hammered and trying to get in a bedtime meal.  Additionally, I've been adding two tablespoons of heavy cream to my shakes on keto days to slow the absorption of the whey, and I eat every 2-3 hours anyway, so it's really not necessary for me to use a blended protein.




As you'll see when you check out the spreadsheet, my old suggestions of Elite XT (which I cannot stomach because I despise soy) and Matrix top the list for affordability and lack of bullshit, which is less life-affirming for me than you'd think but nevertheless nice to know.  One thing for which you guys really need to look, and I cannot stress this enough, is protein spiking.  I've got a column in the spreadsheet indicating where there's been foul play, but I thought I'd give you a quick intro into protein spiking so you'd know what was going on.


Fruit Loop flavored protein?  Might be worth the $55.

Download my spreadsheet on MEGA.

If you’ve been living under the impression that all proteins contain what the labels say they do, you’re sorely mistaken.  Protein manufacturers are, by and large, less trustworthy than toothless Russians selling handguns in Moscovite back alleys.  The problem for them is that there is less margin in protein than there is in gasoline, so they either have to cut corners and sell a shitty product or they have to sell an incredible amount of volume.  Only large companies with deep pockets can afford to go the volume route, which is why companies like Optimum Nutrition can make (generally) affordable proteins that meet their labels claims.  Too often, however, smaller, less-known companies try to compete on price point and have to lie on their labels to make a profit.  This became even more of an issue when Pepsi bought the rights to sell a shitty knockoff of Muscle Milk in vending machines (check dem labels, bro), and then the Chinese decided a couple of years later to buy up the majority of the world's extant protein supply in some bizarre scheme that is ostensibly intended simply to deny Americans the protein that is rightfully ours as masters of the planet.


It's certainly not going into Wen Jiabao's personal reserve.

Frankly, I could give a fuck what killed the margins on protein.  I have a very deep and personal vendetta against a couple of companies for fucking me by spiking their proteins, and I will happily stuff my fist down Rich Gaspari’s throat for robbing me blind for years if I ever get the opportunity to meet him face to face.  If you’re unaware of the practice of adding nitrogenated amino acids to raise the listed protein content of your favorite protein powder, here’s the deal- there are a couple of amino acids, namely glycine and taurine, that are used to “spike” protein.  According to Scott Welch of Muscle Insider,
“Protein spiking is where a protein manufacturer adds amino acids that are cheaper than the base protein powder it’s actually selling in order to increase the product’s nitrogen content. When this is done, the company is able to lower the cost of goods. A basic test for total nitrogen is often used to quantify the amount of protein per serving, and this test can be cheated by using cheap amino acids to spike the nitrogen content. The problem is that the inclusion of odd amino acids usually has nothing to do with increasing the performance of the whole protein itself, and it usually makes key ratios such as BCAA content go down, which is a total rip-off. If a protein powder (usually whey isolate) is so cheap as to seem too good to be true, check to see if certain aminos such as taurine and glycine are sky-high. If they are, you could be using a protein that’s been spiked. Also look for white specks in the protein powder (easy to see in chocolate). These specks are usually the amino acids that were added to the protein to offset the cost and raise the perceived protein content"(Welch).
Cheap, thieving shitbag or simply catastrophically stupid dickbag?  You make the call.

After news of this sheisty practice broke on the web, one Redditor took it upon himself to use his access to a lab to independently assay proteins to determine how much of their label claims were being met.  The results were rather unpleasant, and are available here.  Thereafter, a company called Labdoor conducted similar analyses and showed pretty conclusively that there is no direct correlation between quality and price.  Shitty, right?  One would think that guys who supported lifting would actually provide products that would do so, but I guess I'm just weird in that I would rather fellate a hot motocycle exhaust  pipe with syphilitic blood while letting the rider do a burnout on my cock than have my name associated with a shitty product.  Apparently, Rich Gaspari doesn't share my opinion, because he's comfortable with being a thieving piece of shit.  In any event, here's Labdoor's assay of popular proteins:


Now, you have a but more knowledge in your supplement spank bank with which to make your purchases.  A good rule of thumb is that if your shaker doesn't smell like a rotting corpse stuffed with dogshit and rotten eggs if you leave it unwashed at room temperature for a day, the "protein" you're using isn't protein at all.

Go fort and fill thyselves with the protonz.


Milk.  It does a body good.

Source:
Welch, Scott.  Protein Spiking.  Muscle Insider.  Web.  9 Jul 2013.  http://muscle-insider.com/content/protein-spiking

19 comments :

  1. That's great info and a great spreadsheet. Thanks Jamie!

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  2. Smartpowders .com tends to have ridiculous sales, filling the "no middle man" gap that True Protein left when it went and diversified. Not sure as to their content scores, not on your spreadsheet, but at $5/lb the price is right.

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  3. Here in NZ protein and supplements are a fucking rort. I bought some whey protein concentrate (80% protein) from a guy who works in a formula factory. $300 for 20 kgs (44 lbs). If you buy protein at the supermarket and supp stores it might be a good $60 for a kilo. Fucking ridiculous.....I could get my protein from steak or ground beef cheaper than that.

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  4. If Pussy were a protein I'd be even more fucking jacked than I am by now.

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  5. Michael, NZ produces some of the best whey in the world, from Fonterra. Is that what you purchased from the formula factory? China bought it all up for some reason as Jamie said in the article, but I think it's back in supply now.

    For Americans, some of the main sources are Hilmar, Leprino, and Glanbia, a huge cheese company that owns companies like Optimum Nutrition and BSN.
    http://www.glanbianutritionals.com/products/whey-proteins

    Basically every branded protein out there is made with these companies' powders, and the trick is trying to find the ones that have the least amount of added bullshit to make it seem fancy.

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  6. This is why I always buy unflavored whey isolate: it's easy to tell if it's been adulterated. You can cover up all manner of cheap and nasty additives when your "protein" tastes like a chocolate milkshake. Example: "glutamine peptides" (which really means "wheat protein"...)

    And that's why I could have told you the NOW whey isolate would rank first for purity: they sell an unflavored version. Once you use some, you'll immediately recognize the texture and taste of real whey protein -- and you'll realize that most of what gets sold as "whey protein" is fillers and junk, with very little actual whey protein in it.

    Not sure why Jamie didn't add it to his spreadsheet: it's available for about $100/10# if you shop around, which would put it in about third place on the $/gram list.

    JS

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    1. I don't think I carried it in the store at the time. I was just using the big sellers in my store- the list wasn't intended to be comprehensive.

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    2. You got to be kidding me bro. It was number ! on the spread sheet. With that said, Consumer Lab had a test that showed Nows protein didn't have the right amount on the label. There was less protein then on the label.

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  7. Any reason to pick Matrix 5.0 over Trophix 5.0? I ask because I can get the latter cheaper than the former and just from browsing the labels there don't appear to be any real differences between the two, but you might have some more knowledge on this than I do. I thought the protein I was buying now was fine too until I found out it has 3.5g of fucking glycine in it.

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    Replies
    1. Trophix is lower quality and has higher carbs, as I recall. I'm going off memory, but I recall higher carbs/more sugar.

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  8. What about True Nutrition proteins?

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    1. I've never seen an assay of True Nutrition's stuff. Tastes horrible, though.

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  9. What do you think of this jamie. http://www.bodybuildingwarehouse.co.uk/nutrisport-90-protein-powder-5kg

    It's cheap as hell and the chocolate flavour tastes amazing. Must be something bad about it I'm missing cause it's the tastiest shake I've had.

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    Replies
    1. Based on what I can see it looks decent.

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  10. I really like the taste of Combat Powder but it's still a piss-off to know you're not completely getting what you pay for. I've had way too many protein brands that taste like a fermented bag of smashed assholes, so I guess i'll just have to accept that this is the practice in the industry. Always a motherfucker trying to bend us over.

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  11. Do you still count Nutrex's Muscle Infusion Black amongst protein powders that are not chock full of bullshit? The stupid drippy font they use on the packaging definitely screams "sheister".

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    Replies
    1. I haven't heard anything negative about it. tastes like shit though.

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  12. Gaspari nutrition earning serious dollars from selling sub par products, check this video out, Rich Gaspari's wife flaunting their wealth.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMyrIzUjKkE&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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    1. She seems patently awful. in gaspari's defense, they did innovate initially, but they make nothing but dogshit now.

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