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Old 10-17-2002, 04:02 PM   #1  
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Exclamation So-called "Low-Carb Protein"

I know that many of you 3FCer's use protein bars and ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes. I came across two VERY INTERESTING articles...before you pay big bucks for those so-called 'protein' bars or RTDs again, ya might want to read the following - the entire articles are good reading as well.

The first excerpt is from an article called "The Protein Insider: An Inside look at the Protein Business".

The following interview was conducted with someone I met a long time ago while working with EAS. This particular individual who doesn't want his name revealed works for one of the major manufacturers of bulk protein. In other words, his company makes protein powders for supplement companies who, in turn, sell them to you.

However, unlike the cigarette industry's insider, our insider isn't spilling the beans on any corruption inside his company or the protein manufacturing business in general. Instead, he's spilling the beans on the companies that buy his products.

T: What's the deal with the ready-to-drink protein drinks? High quality or low? Are they any better than Slimfast?

PI: They're slightly better than Slimfast.

T: Why are they bad?

PI: You have to literally cook them. The FDA requires that you pasteurize ready-to-drink products, and you end up just destroying these glycomacropeptides they're gone. What you end up drinking is just a basic, bare minimum protein supplement, a very expensive one at that.

Because these products use so much water, and consequently weigh a lot, the shipping costs end up being considerable. That's primarily why they cost so much. You're paying dearly to have someone shake your shake for you. And, unfortunately, the technology that exists today has not improved since they first started doing RTDs [ready to drinks] and so you get a basic protein supplement, nothing exotic, nothing interesting, and usually rotten tasting.

T: You've also mentioned in previous conversations that the protein bar market has, shall we say, it's own share of problems, too.

PI: Sure. The bars are, for the most part, more deceptive than the protein powders or RTD's.

T: What specifically is the current problem with the bar market?

PI: First of all, Atkins and Balance came out with this position that low-carb bars are possible. They play fakery with the glycerin they say it's not a carbohydrate when in reality it is, and everybody latched on to that. Glycerin is sweet and it contains calories, so why aren't they considering it a carbohydrate? According to the FDA, it is a carbohydrate. So what if it's metabolized slightly differently? Eat enough of it and you'll get fat.

Anyhow, everyone, including the big guys, are watching Balance and until Balance drops the "low-carb" claims from their labels, it doesn't seem like anybody else is going to be in compliance with the FDA regulations. It's mind-boggling to have what is about a 3 or 4 billion-dollar a year industry lying en masse about carbohydrates.

Listen, there's no such thing as a bar that doesn't contain at least 30 to 40% carbohydrates. I don't care what they say, if you can chew it, it's got 30 to 40 percent carbohydrates. It's not possible not to. If you think your bar of choice is low in carbs, you're deluding yourself.

T: If you hadn't told me this a long time ago, I'd be choking and turning blue right now. Anyhow, onward. Traditionally, what's been the problem in getting large amounts of protein in a bar?

PI: Well, up until very recently, when you put real honest-to-goodness milk protein in a bar as your only protein source, it turned out like shoe leather, literally. You couldn't eat it.

T: What's changed?

PI: Well, there is a new technology that just came out it took two years to figure this out to blend everything together and do it in such a way using other novel ingredients to get those high quality proteins in there and get that consistency, texture, moisture, mouth feel, and taste that we all look for.

T: And this technology doesn't rely on using Jell-O, or gelatin, as a protein source?

PI: No, no, zero gelatin and very small amounts of glycerin. What companies often did, and still do, is consider gelatin as part of the protein they claim on the label, and as you probably know, the biological value of gelatin is zero, and so, for example, one of the major protein bars had 40% of its protein coming from gelatin. If they claimed 30 grams of protein, all they really had in there that was worth anything was 18 grams. The other 12 grams aren't worth anything from a bodybuilding standpoint.

T: And these guys aren't in jail?

PI: Ha! And you would never know you were being shorted on protein. If you're eating adequate calories, it's not going to dawn on you that you're shortchanging yourself of protein. What's that feel like if you're eating enough calories and not enough protein? Your brain isn't going to tell you that. So if you're eating two bars a day and you're being short-changed 24 total grams of protein, you're not going to know it, but it might affect your physique or athletic goals over the long term. You'd literally be short one protein meal a day.

So with the protein bar business, no one prior to you guys has come up to us and said, "Make me the best bar you can make, and spare no expense." Usually, they say, "I need a bar that costs this much money," and they don't pay that much attention to all the intangibles that would make a good bar. There's no attention paid to the quality of the proteins, or telling the people the truth. In fact, it's like, "Make anything you want and quick as you can, and we'll take care of any shortcomings through spin and hype in the advertising." And that's no exaggeration.
The following is from "Refresher Course: 8 Questions About Protein"

Are Protein Bars Good Sources of Protein?

Well, they could be, if bar manufacturers put a little effort and ingenuity into their products.

Most of us grab a protein bar when we're on the run and toting a blender around isn't exactly practical. There are so many choices, though, and our main consideration in choosing what bar to eat is often how much protein the bar contains. In fact, grams of protein has become sort of a space race, each company one-upping the other in its efforts to cram as much protein as possible into each bar.

First there was the 10-gram bar, then the 20, the 30, and even the 40-gram bar. Soon, bars will come with one of those things they used to use to jam gunpowder into the gaping maw of a cannon.

The trouble is, putting protein into a food bar poses something of a problem. It acts like sawdust in that it sucks up moisture, often leaving you with a bar that's very much like what you'd find piled up in the back yard of a negligent dog owner, after it's baked in the sun for a few days.

Sooo, in an effort to get around this problem, bar manufacturers started putting gelatin, often derived from horse hooves, into their bars. It provided moisture, and what's more, the FDA recognizes gelatin as a type of protein!

However, you may have noticed that no one every really got too buff from eating Jell-O. Witness Bill Cosby.

It doesn't contribute to protein synthesis, nor does it prevent protein breakdown, and aside from having a poor amino acid blend in general, it's even missing an amino acid (methionine).

So, if you look at the ingredients wrapper of your favorite food bar, and you see "gelatin" listed as maybe the second, third, or even fourth ingredient, there's a good chance that about 30% of the protein grams in the bar you're eating come from Mr. Ed's feet.

What's better, casein or whey?

Well, casein often wins head-to-head competitions in research labs, but it probably doesn't matter all that much which protein you ingest to further your muscle-building efforts.

I've always maintained that if you took 10 clones and had them train and live the same way for a year the only difference being what protein powder or MRP they ingested -you wouldn't find all that much difference.

With that said, I'll admit that studies have shown that casein ingestion leads to a greater deposition of protein than whey. It also inhibits protein breakdown to a greater degree than whey. Apparently, when you ingest casein, it forms kind of a gelatinous mass in your stomach, thus taking your system longer to absorb it and ensuring a fairly constant flow of amino acids into the bloodstream.

Conversely, whey protein is emptied pretty quickly from the stomach, which leads to an increase in muscle-protein synthesis without a change in protein breakdown.

Various studies have also shown casein to lead to superior gains in strength over whey, along with having the highest amount of glutamine of all the most commonly consumed proteins.

Still, whey certainly has its place. As mentioned, whey protein is rapidly digested and causes a rapid increase in protein synthesis, thus making it the ideal thing to chug down immediately after a workout.

The best advice we could give is to use both casein and whey in your bodybuilding efforts.

There are so many type of whey protein. Which is best?

The average whey protein consumer is likely to run into three different types of whey, and all have to do with how the protein was processed.

The first type is whey hydrosolates. This just refers to a protein where long chains of amino acids have been broken up either into little-bitty groups of amino acids or freestanding amino acids. When you eat any type of protein, it eventually becomes hydrolyzed in your gut, providing you have the necessary enzymes to do the job.

Taking your proteins in a hydrolyzed state means that a lot of the work's already been done for you. As such, these types of proteins are assimilated much more quickly than other, non-hydrolyzed types.

The second type of commonly found whey protein is whey isolates. These are lonely wheys that spend most of their time locked up in their rooms until they go berserk and end up on a watch tower somewhere with a high-powered rifle. Nah, they're really a type of whey that's been concentrated from various dairy sources. They usually use ceramic filters to isolate the protein and the end result is a high-quality protein that hasn't been subjected to heat. Consequently, it hasn't lost any of its purported immunostimulatory properties.

The third most commonly encountered whey protein is called ion-exchange whey. This is simply a whey that's been purified by controlling the chemical charges of the proteins. They use chemicals to do this so the protein ends up slightly damaged, or denatured, but the final product is the most pure of all the whey proteins.

Does it matter which one you use? Probably not, except in the case of the post-workout period. This is when you'd want a fast-acting, easily digestible protein like a whey hydrosolate.

The girl who gives me pedicures is a nutrition expert. She says that excess protein will cause serious health problems. Is she right?

You know, we hear this all the time from college freshman who are currently taking their first course in nutrition.

Most of the allegations have to do with how high protein intakes can damage the kidneys. Unfortunately, this conclusion was the result of a faulty leap of misguided logic. It's true that high protein diets are rough on patients with kidney disease. However, this is no reason to extrapolate that the same high-protein intake will damage the kidneys of healthy men and women.

Look at it this way, if high-protein diets cause kidney problems, wouldn't you expect to see a high incidence of kidney disease in athletes who started weight training and eating high protein in the 50's, 60's, and 70's? It hasn't happened.

Similarly, high-protein diets are said to cause calcium to leech from bones. That's true. However, drinking a single glass of milk a day (or taking in the calcium equivalent) would provide enough calcium to replace the amount of calcium sacrificed in a high-protein diet.

And lastly, high-protein diets are said to correlate strongly with heart disease. That might have been true in the days before protein powders existed and strength athletes had to rely solely on large amounts of often high-in-saturated-fat animal protein, but it's certainly not the case now.
Just thought these were interesting bits!
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Old 11-22-2002, 01:38 PM   #2  
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That's very interesting! I would much rather eat real food than protien bars, but I thought that they were actually a "good" way to get protien. I won't but another!
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Old 11-22-2002, 01:44 PM   #3  
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I don't eat or drink chalk

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Old 11-22-2002, 05:53 PM   #4  
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Most of the bars are really yucky anyhow and I'd only eat one in sheer desperation. I'm sure if we put our minds to it, we could come up with something more nutritious and tasty than that garbage. I can't even begin to find the words to describe my experience with protein shakes. The word YUCK comes to mind.
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Old 11-22-2002, 06:38 PM   #5  
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As far as protein shakes - there actually are some good ones out there.

BioTest GROW! (they have a low-carb version and a 'regular' MRP version) tastes like cake batter.. mmm...

MetRx Protein Plus blend (the powder - not the ready to drink or the bar). One serving has almost 50g of high-quality protein, so most women can have 1/2 that amount and count it as a serving.

I like to make "proatmeal" - using Old Fashioned oatmeal or Irish oatmeal (stay away from those kiddie 'instant oatmeal' packets - they're LOADED with salt and sugar!) - cook the oatmeal, let it cool a bit, then slowly stir in the protein powder...if your diet permits, you can add a tablespoon of natural peanut butter - with chocolate protein powder it's like a warm Reeses' Peanut Butter Cup flavor...mmmm...
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Old 11-25-2002, 04:36 PM   #6  
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Question Question and comment

Ran into a PT today and told them about my frustration with my plateau. Basically I got told on my "free" day every week I wasn't cheating good enough. I have topped my free day calories off at 2500-3000, she says this is close to my BMR so I am just maintaining. I need to shock the system with up to 6000 calories! Does this sound right

I don't know about lo-carb, but I like the Zone bars. They actually make me feel full and have less calories than a candy bar.

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Old 11-25-2002, 05:16 PM   #7  
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Are you doing Body for Life? You just mentioned the Free Day, thought I'd ask.

As far as free day goes...there's a great site - here's what he says about Free Day:
A few words about your free day. You should think of the free day as an opportunity to choose "unauthorized" foods. It's not about losing control. It's about making choices and enjoying those choices. The danger of going overboard is that a wild pig-out style free day can blow several days of "caloric deficits" that are essential for fat loss, and can also be detrimental for people who tend to be binge eaters. If you're not a little careful, the idea of "free days" can create an "all or nothing" mindset and sets up binge eating patterns that are hard to eliminate later. That said, kept in perspective, the free day may help counter the risk that your body senses a fasting state. Metabolically, you're trying to convince your body that it doesn't have to lower its metabolism, shed muscle, or defend its fat stores in response to the change in its "environment". You don't need a huge number of extra calories to do that. It's good if your free meals make you feel warm, and it's great if you actually break a light sweat. The free day gives you something to look forward to, keeps your body "confused", and gives you a chance to have that pizza and ice cream you've been eyeing all week, but don't go way overboard. There's some evidence that cycling high and low caloric periods with weight training can help muscle gains, but the effective cycle is evidently about two weeks, not one day. And if your primary concern is fat loss, I wouldn't try to get that fancy.

If you prefer, my impression is that you can substitute the free day with 2 "free meals" between any Sunday-Saturday period (following the program for other meals on those days). Don't try to "spread" your free day across the whole week and then kid yourself that you're following the program. That said, if you do have something that's "unauthorized," don't fall into all-or-nothing thinking and say "I blew it! I'm a loser! The day is ruined! Now it's a free day!" followed by a self-destructive binge. Just have a little bit less to eat later that day, or the next day, to make up for that small amount of lost ground. The main thing is that you don't turn small indiscretions into self-destructive binges. We're all human. If you ate the cookie, you ate the cookie. Now get on with your program.
And from his Q&A section...
Q Hi John - My question is on my free day, should I also try to count my calories? If I have 2 cheat meals, and one is a banana split, how bad is this going to hurt me? I have a hard time being totally devoted on my free day, too. I have to have a couple of treats. Thanks!

A You don't have to rigidly count calories on the free day, but be aware that you're not going wild. I've heard so many people saying that people are advising them to totally pig out on the free day, and it just isn't so. Not if they want to lose fat. You don't really want to go a whole lot over 1.6-1.7 times your BMR, but that's not likely unless you're consciously going wild. A banana split is fine. A chocolate bar is fine. Pizza is fine. Enjoy them without even one guilt pang. Just don't eat all of them 6 times a day. Aerobic "tweaking" can also help the fat loss. Also, you don't have to follow the 6 meals a day plan on your free day either, but you're less likely to over-binge if you do eat regularly. And just as a sidenote, this may not happen, but if it does it's a good sign: Be aware of how you feel about half an hour after eating that banana split. If you break a light sweat after eating a carbohydrate treat, it's a good sign, because it signals that your metabolism is in high gear. Try to eat a modest, balanced protein/carb meal about 2-3 hours afterward though, to keep your blood sugar from crashing after that initial rush. Hope that helps! John
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Old 11-25-2002, 06:06 PM   #8  
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Talking Thank You!

Until I looked at your website I had never heard of body for life, but it sounds like we do alot of similiar things. My plan is to eat 5-6 mini-meals a day, keeping each one between 250-400 calories.

Since muscle burns calories on its own its natural to lift weights. Plus in my work it is very useful to be strong. In order to build my strength and tone I start with 10 reps of lo easy 5-7 lbs. lower than my mid weight, move to my mid-weight for 20 reps, then go to my high weight, if my high weight doesn't feel that hard I try 5-10 lbs beyond. If I can do 7 reps that is my new high weight.Is that what you do?

I also give my muscles a day off and concentrate on different muscles different days of the week.

I also incorporate some aerobic cause it helps me move at work, and burns fat.

I am very impressed by your look Mr. Jim and I think I might pick up the Body for Life Book. But I am a little wary to try anything else since this has worked so far! 30lbs down, 80 lbs left to go!

Miss Chris
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