"The truth that the supplement industry does not want you to know”
In a world flooded with misinformation, the future of health and nutrition will be built on meaningful, tangible results. The most impactful “NEWS” that needs to be shared is that protein supplements are not all what they are cracked up to be. Let’s first agree that the best source of protein should come from whole foods! With that being said, there are circumstances that call for the added protein from a powdered supplement. Not all proteins are created equally when it comes to ingesting, digesting and utilizing the protein from these supplements. Let’s start with some science that has been around for almost two decades that the nutrition and sports supplement industry has tried to suppress. This is all based around different proteins and their ability to be used (bioavailability) by our bodies. A protein’s amino acid composition affects the rate of absorption, with some types of amino acids being absorbed more easily than others. On top of that, research shows that the length of the protein’s amino acid chain also affects absorption, with long-chain peptides taking significantly longer to be broken down and absorbed in comparison to short-chain peptides. As you can see in the chart below, each type of protein has a different rate of absorption. Some types of protein, like whey, have a relatively high rate of absorption, while other proteins, like egg protein, are only absorbed in small amounts every hour. More on that in a minute but let’s talk about two other intriguing determinators when it comes to choosing proteins. The first is PDCAA’s. Some of you reading this paper already are familiar with PDCAA’s, others may not be so I will do a quick and easy explanation. Protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) is a method of evaluating the quality of a protein based on both the amino acid requirements of humans and their ability to digest it. The second is DIAA’s. Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid score (DIAAS) is the ratio of the digestible amino acid content in the food (mg/g of protein) to the same amino acid in a reference pattern taken from age-specific amino acid requirements. The lowest value across amino acids is multiplied by 100 to convert the ratio to a percentage.
These two methods have been the holy grail in ranking proteins and their ability to digest in the body. Here is a chart that shows the DIAAS and PDCAAS for the most common sources of protein. When looking at this chart, it looks like some of the proteins are completely digestible. And this is actually correct and accurate.
Now that we see the digestibility of proteins, we now need to figure out a few other things that impact how the proteins work within our bodies. The biggest factor in how the proteins we consume will impact our nutritional needs is the absorption rate which directly correlates to bioavailability of the proteins in our bodies.
Here are the rates of absorption for the most popular protein powder supplements.
We see by these scientific studies that Whey Protein Isolate is, at best, 34% useable by the human body and that the maximum amount of whey protein isolate a body can use is an average of 8g/hour and that we only have 1.5 hours to process as much of that protein as possible before it is expelled as waste. Conclusion – if we have 1.5 hours to use the protein supplements with the average of 8g/hour to absorb. That means that our bodies can only use, at best 12g of protein. We van also see from these charts that regardless of DIAAs and PDCAAs, the digestibility of the proteins isn’t as important as the absorption and the ability for our bodies to use those proteins. If truth be told, the digestibility isn’t important at all. So those “holy grail” scales of DIAAs and PDCAAs are pretty much irrelevant. What is truly impactful and important is how the proteins we consume are absorbed and used in our bodies.
Why doesn’t the supplement industry want this information out? It’s pretty simple. When you are buying any protein supplement, you are buying the protein that is in the container along with sweeteners, preservatives etc. Let’s look at it from the consumers point of view. You take the huge scoop out of the jug and have 30g of powder to consume. Out of that scoop, 4g of the powder is the sweeteners and flavoring so 26g of the powder, on average, is in that one big scoop. Now, knowing the science of absorption and bioavailability, you take that 26g of protein and your body can only process 34% of it. That means your body is only absorbing a little more than 8g of protein. Sooooo, for every dollar we spend on these products, $0.66 is going right down the toilet (literally). This is also what causes gastric distress in over 90% of consumers.
Fortunately, there are some incredible companies out there that are making huge strides in scientifically enhanced proteins. One of those companies is Genepro Protein, Inc. They have partnered with some amazing companies to truly add innovation to a category that really has remained the same for decades. They have partnered with such companies as Entera Health and Plasma Nutrition to create the worlds most bioavailable (absorbable/useable) protein on the planet and have based these with over 40 published clinical and research papers. Let’s put their amazing work into perspective. As previously mentioned above, the most “useable” protein supplement is whey protein with that bioavailability of 30%ish.. But, with Genepro, your actually getting 3 times the absorption through the patented plasma treatment process. With Genepro being 99.9% bioavailable you are getting that same amount of useable protein in your body as that big 30g scoop but with a serving size of only 11g… In other words, why use a 30g scoop of your Daddy’s protein and have all the digestive discomfort and wasting close to 70% of what you consumed when you can get the industries best, scientifically proven, protein and have zero gastric distress and zero waste?? No bloat or discomfort and 100% USEABLE by your body.. This isn’t where the Genepro products stop. Their proteins are FODMAP Certified, Truly Flavorless, average 40 calories per serving and mix instantly in any food or beverage. You can even cook and bake with it, Not all protein is created equal and Genepro is definitely not your Daddy’s protein. For more information on Genepro, visit their site www.geneproprotein.com
References: “Protein – Which is Best?” Hoffman, J.R., Falvo, M.J. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine. Sep. 2004. “Dietary Protein and Nitrogen Utilization”Tome, D., Bos, C. The Journal of Nutrition. Jul. 2000. “Contemporary Issues in Protein Requirements and Consumption for Resistance Trained Athletes”Wilson, J., Wilson, G.J. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Jun. 2006. “protein digestion and amino acid and peptide absorption”Silk, D.B., Grimble, G.K.,Rees, R. G. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. Feb. 1985. “Digestion and Absorption of Dietary Protein”Erickson, R.H., Kim, Y.S. Annual Review of Medicine. Feb. 1990. “Protein digestion and absorption in human small intestine”Chung, Y.C., Kim, Y.S., Shadchehr, A., Garrido, A., Macgregor, I.L., Sleisenger, M.H. Gastroenterology. Jun. 1979. “Protein digestion and absorption in human small intestine”Chung, Y.C., Kim, Y.S., Shadchehr, A., Garrido, A., Macgregor, I.L., Sleisenger, M.H. Gastroenterology. Jun. 1979. “The rate of protein digestion affects protein gain differently during aging in humans”Dangin, M., Guillet, C., Garcia-Rodenas, C., Gachon, P., Bouteloup-Demange, C., Reiffers-Magnani, K., Fauquant, J., Ballevere, O., Beaufrere, B. Journal of Physiology. Mar. 2003. “Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion”Biorie, Y., Dangin, M., Gachon, P., Vasson, M.P., Maubois, J.L., Beaufrere, B. PNAS. Apr. 1997. “Effect of Peptide Chain Length on Absorption of Egg Protein Hydrolysates in the Normal Human Jejunum “Grimble, G.K., Rees, R.G., Keohane, P.P., Cartwright, T., Desreumaux, M., Silk, D.B. GASTROENTEROLOGY. Jul. 1986. “Effect of Peptide Chain Length on Absorption of Egg Protein Hydrolysates in the Normal Human Jejunum “Grimble, G.K., Rees, R.G., Keohane, P.P., Cartwright, T., Desreumaux, M., Silk, D.B. GASTROENTEROLOGY. Jul. 1986. “Protein – Which is Best?”Hoffman, J.R., Falvo, M.J. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine. Sep. 2004. “Protein – Which is Best?”Hoffman, J.R., Falvo, M.J. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine. Sep. 2004
Human Clinical Trials:
Postprandial Plasma Amino Acid Responses Between Standard Whey Protein Isolate and Whey Protein Isolate Plus Novel Technology – PDF /LINK
Comparison of a Plasma Modified Non-Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate Supplement and a Standard Processed High DH Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate Supplement on Bioavailability –PDF /LINK
Comparison of a Plasma Modified Branched Chain Amino Acid Supplement and a Standard Processed Branched Chain Amino Acid Supplement on Bioavailability –PDF /LINK
Comparison of a Plasma Modified Pea Protein Supplement and a Standard Processed Pea Protein Supplement on Bioavailability –PDF /LINK
Comparison of a Plasma Modified Pea Protein Supplement and a Standard Processed Whey Protein Supplement on Bioavailability –PDF /LINK
The effects of whey protein isolate vs. a reduced volume of a proprietary processed whey protein isolate supplementation in conjunction with resistance training on body composition in resistance trained males. –PDF /LINK
The effects of whey protein isolate vs. a reduced volume of a proprietary processed whey protein isolate supplementation in conjunction with resistance training on maximal strength in resistance trained males. –PDF /LINK
The Effects of Supplementing Ingredient Optimized Whey Protein Isolate (ioProtein) Versus Whey Protein Comparator Following High-Intensity Exercise – PDF
The Beneficial Effects of Ingredient Optimization Technology on Whey Protein for Body Composition and Senior Physical Fitness Test Performance in Elderly Person –PDF
Comparison of a Plasma Modified Leucine Supplement and a Standard Processed Leucine Supplement on Bioavailability –PDF /LINK
A Circular Dichroism Analysis of Commercially Available Powdered Whey Protein Structure – PDF
Dr. Brian M. Parks
PHD – Genetix Bio-Science
CNS – Certified Nutrition Specialist
CLC – Certified Life Coach
LPT – Licensed Personal Trainer (Master)