By now, most people are aware that it’s important to consume whey protein. Some argue it should be consumed before your workout, other says after, and you may find some sources that argue before and after is best. This could be debated for quite some time and that’s not what we’re here to discuss.
Many companies false advertise their products or “protein spike”, alongside of providing ingredients that prohibit your body from utilizing the protein. So, if you’re buying sh** like this, it really doesn’t matter what your beliefs about when or when not to take protein.
One thing all studies seem to agree on is that having a whey protein dose post-workout is critical to muscle recovery. Sadly, many protein powders are filled with the same hormones that you’d get in milk, yogurt, or cheese that don’t specify they are “hormone free.” As well, many companies, even those that advertise their products as “healthy,” “natural,” or free of this and that, still contain artificial ingredients or hydrogenated oil.
One of the biggest selling products out there is Muscle Milk by CytoSport. Ingredients include: canola oil, artificial flavors, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, and soy lecithin. You may as well just ask for cancer. What’s wrong with all of these you ask?
Ashley Conrad, a personal trainer in Hollywood, wrote, “Your body doesn’t recognize things like hydrogenated oil and artificial ingredients. Not only does this stress interfere with muscle recovery, immunity and protein synthesis, but poor protein sourcing can fluctuate hormones because the source of the whey has been treated with hormones and antibiotics.” This is aside from the carcinogenic properties found in artificial flavoring, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, and soy lecithin.
What about “protein spiking”? Protein spiking is the sly way in which companies get away with labeling a product with more protein per serving than it actually has. The companies fill the powder with extra amino acids which changes the nitrogen content; this is done in place of using actual whey protein. Even Alex Morrell, of Forbes Magazine, wrote about the lawsuits that have taken place for this. In an article he wrote last year, Morrell stated, “But companies including pharmacy giant CVS Health and MusclePharm, the $110 million (sales) company that uses former Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger in its advertising, may be selling products where the protein content falls far below what’s on the label, according to a spate of lawsuits that have cropped up over the past eight months.”
What should I buy then?
Well, this presents a bit of bad news. Unfortunately, unless your purchasing from New Zealand, the odds are that the protein you’re buying contains hormones and antibiotics designed to fatten animals. This means that you’d need to buy protein that is hormone free and uses natural sweeteners like stevia, AND contains no soy lecithin, hydrogenated oil, canola oil, or other artificial sweeteners and/or flavorings. What this means for you is that you’re going to be paying a premium for your health.
I personally use MRM All Natural Whey Protein. The offer both an isolate and a concentrate. Most people believe that Isolates are higher quality protein. From the research I’ve done, this may not necessarily be true but that’s a discussion for another day. If you want to try MRM’s protein, I’d look at Bodybuilding.com or Amazon.com for best prices. This seems to be the best protein per dollar that I’ve found. If you’re seeking grass-fed proteins, the cost is going to go up even higher. Regardless of what you buy, it’s well worth your health to spend the extra dollar or so per scoop.