With the addition of VAT on protein, it is important that you understand how to use protein powders effectively and how to get the most out of your money. First of all it is important to understand that not all protein powders are equal and yes, the old cliché ‘You only get what you pay for’ absolutely applies here!
You should be looking for a single source protein, rather than a blend; to ensure a higher quality, faster acting, and more biologically active protein. High quality blends do exist (Monkey X-Blend), but you’d be hard pushed to beat the effectiveness of a clean, high quality single source, in the form of an isolate (Monkey Primal26).
Once you’ve found a clean, high quality, extremely biologically active protein, which has retained 90%+ of the protein fractions (Primal26 retains 100%), then you need to be aware of how you can get the most out of it. A protein of this quality does not require that you take 2 scoops per serving and therefore makes it much more cost effective than others. The quality and biological activity of this protein is far superior to those that require 2 or even 3 scoops.
Let’s take a 2.27kg tub and a 30g serving scoop. If this is a premium quality product, such as Primal26, then you will only need 1 scoop and therefore a 2.27kg tub will provide you with 75 servings. Other inferior products that call for 2-3 scoops to compete with the high quality, biologically active Primal26, will give you somewhere between 22-37 servings for the same size tub. At this point, it doesn’t take a genius to see where this is going! Whilst these inferior products draw you in by appearing to be very reasonably priced, you should be able to see that this is not actually the case; they will NOT have the same actions in the body as a premium grade powder!
Just to clarify, if you choose a clean, high quality product, providing superior biological activity, then you will only need 1 scoop per serving! Any more is simply a waste of your money! In most cases the body cannot absorb any more than 13g of protein per hour, so a serving providing 26g of biologically active protein is perfect, as you should be eating every 2-3 hours. The problem with ‘overloading’ your system with too much protein all at once; is that your digestive system more likely than not, will be deficient in the amounts of enzymes required to ‘cope’ with large intakes; which moves us on to the next point.
It is important that rather than just relying on protein shakes and therefore taking 2 or 3 a day (which can become extremely expensive), that you make the most out of your foods. It is not possible to get the same biological activity from whole foods as you can from a whey protein powder, but nonetheless food is still paramount to growth and development. So the secret here is to make sure that you digest these proteins from foods effectively so that they may be broken down into their component amino acids ready for re-synthesis.
If proteins are not broken down properly into amino acids, then smaller amounts of whole or partial proteins are absorbed into the blood. These proteins are not preferable to their micronutrient form (amino acids) and the body considers them a ‘foreign protein’. The presence of protein in the blood instead of amino acids, may lead to food allergies such as skin rashes, headaches, nausea, breathing difficulties and sneezing. It only requires a small amount of incomplete digested protein to cause these problems.
The enzymes responsible for protein digestion are known collectively as proteases or proteinases and a deficiency of these will severely affect how the protein is digested, therefore limiting its action in the body.
So to get the most out of the protein in your foods you should be supplementing with digestive enzymes (Monkey Digestive MX). A complex such as this contains enzymes important for ensuring proteins don’t become oil coated during digestion. Oil coated proteins cannot be digested correctly and therefore cannot be broken down into their amino acid components.
If you are using a premium protein as we’ve already discussed and supplementing with digestive enzymes, then you don’t really need to be having more than 1 shake a day (this is not the same for athletes and bodybuilders). To really reinforce our method for protein consumption in a relatively cost effective way, you should also supplement with an amino acid complex. These work out a lot cheaper than protein powders and should be taken first thing in the morning to take your body out of a catabolic state. They should also be taken just before bed, to limit the amount of catabolism that takes place during sleep. By incorporating a high dose amino acid supplement (Monkey Amino Acid) into your diet you are reducing/removing the need for that extra shake and therefore saving money in the long term. The amino acid supplement you choose should be complete rather than a single source or just BCAAs on their own. The reasons for this are outlined below:
When amino acids are absorbed into the blood, they can then be transported to different tissues where they are then manufactured into necessary proteins. To ensure that the tissues are capable of manufacturing needed proteins, the essential amino acids must also be present for protein synthesis to take place.
If you are consuming a single source amino acid and therefore have a poor/no distribution of the essential amino acids, then optimal protein synthesis of a particular needed protein cannot be encouraged. It should also be noted that once all protein needs are met, an over-consumption of amino acids will result in ‘deanimation’.
This reaction creates ammonia, which is toxic to the body; fortunately enzymes in the liver convert this to urea and this is excreted from the body in urine. As a result of the deanimation, there may also be some fat storage.
Put simply, the best strategy is to supply the body with the widest possible array of essential amino acids, which then allows the individual tissues to synthesise the proteins needed for optimal body function.
So, if we take all that we have learned so far we would supplement in the following way:
First thing in the morning (immediately after waking) – Monkey Amino Acid (2 tabs)
The cost of this with an 840g bag of Primal26 (28 servings), Amino Acid (150 tabs), Digestive MX (60 capsules) would be £68.44. This would last 28 days and still leave you with 22 days of Amino Acid and 32 days of Digestive MX; meaning your next month’s spend would really only be for Primal26. (£32.95). Boxing clever in this way will reduce the amount of money you need to spend on supplements over the year, whilst ensuring you are putting the absolute best quality products possible in your body!