It's hard to remember now, but it wasn't all that long ago that protein supplementation meant consuming raw eggs and egg whites. (Think Rocky.) The first protein powders (greatly celebrated in their day) were little more than chalky, low-grade mass gainer powders consisting of inferior protein concentrates and base impurities. It really wasn't until the arrival of the original NytroWhey in 1997 that what we think of as the modern era of protein formulation began. That original NytroWhey marked the introduction of the first truly 100% pure, precision micro-filtrated protein, and it is still the protein of choice for a generation of athletes. Original NytroWhey, of course, marked the beginning of a long research and development process that has culminated in NytroWhey Ultra Elite. For the ProSource customer, the NytroWhey family is where it starts and begins.
To this day, ProSource customer service representatives still field this common question from athletes new to the brand: "Which is the best NytroWhey for me? What's the difference between original NytroWhey and NytroWhey Ultra Elite?" Let's see if we can answer those questions definitively.
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Before we get into the more specific questions, let's establish some background. First, all parts of our body are made up of protein and our skeletal muscle is the largest storehouse for bodily protein. Each protein is made up of hundreds to thousands of amino acids and when you exercise and train intensely, these proteins get damaged or broken down and your body synthesizes the protein found in your diet to replenish what is lost. Common recommendations for daily protein intake range from 1.0 - 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day and recent reviews indicate that elevated protein intakes support and facilitate gains in strength and fat-free mass (when combined with a challenging resistance training program) (Campbell 2007; Cermak 2012). For a typical 180 - 220 pound bodybuilder or athlete, this means you need to consume 80 - 150 grams of protein per day.
While a number of high-quality protein sources found in food are excellent considerations and offer additional nutrients, the protein found in the milk proteins, whey and casein, are of particular interest to bodybuilders and athletes for several reasons. For starters, these proteins consistently have the highest concentration of amino acids found within them and in addition to their superior quality; many versions of them can be formulated into supplemental powders that offer outstanding texture, consistency and flavor. While narrowing your protein focus down to a milk protein is helpful, the number of options can still be daunting and this is where products like NytroWhey and NytroWhey Ultra Elite do more than hold their own against the competition. Why are they good considerations?
The Supremacy of Whey Isolate
For starters, both NytroWhey and Nytro Whey Ultra Elite use a whey protein isolate as their protein base. As mentioned before, whey protein is one of the milk proteins and even when compared to casein protein, whey protein routinely exhibits higher ratings of quality. The isolate aspect, however, is the key part. For a protein to be able to be called an isolate it must be at least 90% protein by weight. In other words, for every 100 grams, at least 90 grams of it must be protein (the remaining 10 grams is typically carbohydrate and/or fat). If you are wondering what "concentrate" means, that is reserved for products that are anywhere from 30 - 89% protein, and buyer beware because companies aren't required to tell you what level of quality their concentrate represents. In other words, stick with isolates!
All of these facts are all fine and good, but does this higher concentration of protein translate to favorable outcomes relative to muscle building? In several studies, the answer to this question is yes. For starters, Hayes and Cribb reviewed the impact of whey protein isolate in 2008 on its ability to impact strength, body composition and hypertrophy and they indicated in their review that several studies illustrated favorable effects (Hayes and Cribb 2008). Similar conclusions were made by Tang and Phillips in a review where they directly compared the impact of several other protein sources and concluded that protein quality was a key consideration (Tang and Phillips 2009). Finally, another study by Tang directly compared the impact of ingesting a whey protein hydrolysate, casein isolate or soy isolate both at rest and after a single bout of resistance exercise and found that in both conditions the high-quality whey protein led to greater increases in muscle protein synthesis (Tang 2009).
Timing is Everything: Faster is Better
Finally, another factor that continues to garner more interest is the impact of nutrient timing. While much more long-term research is needed (Aragon and Schoenfeld 2013), several studies continue to illustrate that in the short-term, timed consumption of high quality protein sources like the proteins found in both Nytro Whey and Nytro Whey Ultra Elite may offer up a favorable advantage, particular for recovery and growth (Kerksick 2008).
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Interestingly, whey protein isolate like that found in NytroWhey digests more rapidly and as a result exerts a more powerful anabolic response, particularly when compared to casein (Boirie 1997; Dangin 2001) making it an excellent consideration for any bodybuilder or athlete. While much of the research seems to indicate that consuming high-quality nutrients like a whey protein isolate is best indicated soon after you complete a workout (Tipton 1999; Borsheim 2002), some studies also indicate the pre-exercise ingestion (Tipton 2001) or ingesting during your workout (Bird 2006) may also offer some benefit. To further reiterate the potential impact of protein timing, a study was recently published that compared the impact of ingesting different patterns of the same amount of whey protein over a twelve-hour period when recovering from a single bout of resistance exercise. A total of 80 grams of whey protein were ingested whereby one group ingested two doses of 40 grams separated by six hours, another group ingested four doses of 20 grams every three hours and a final group ingested eight doses of 10 grams every 90 minutes. While all groups ingested the same amount of high-quality protein over the same time period, the group which ingested four groups of 20 grams exhibited the largest increases in muscle protein synthesis (Areta 2013). To maximize the benefits of timing, products like NytroWhey and NytroWhey Ultra Elite which use a whey protein isolate are ideal considerations.
When considering all of the facts NytroWhey is a powerful consideration due to it being comprised primarily of a whey protein isolate. The information presented tells us that ingesting NytroWhey will deliver a concentrated source of high quality whey protein isolate, which is known to deliver an optimal amount of the essential amino acids. And a number of studies have indicated that ingestion of a whey protein isolate is responsible for favorable changes in fat-free mass, strength and body composition, particularly when it use is combined with a heavy resistance training program.
NytroWhey Ultra Elite: The Next
Evolutionary Step in Protein Science
If original NytroWhey delivers an ideal dose of the powerfully anabolic essential amino acids, what makes the Ultra Elite version any better? The answer lies with the addition of exclusive protein processing techniques by Glanbia Nutritionals, an international leader in protein manufacturing, called Leuvon and Thermax. These valuable additions push the needle even higher relative to the concentration of the essential amino acids and in particular, leucine. And remember, research clearly tells us that the essential amino acids are responsible for muscle protein synthesis (Tipton 1999; Volpi 2003), but more and more research reinforces the importance of ingesting maximal amounts of the essential amino acid, leucine (Cuthbertson 2005).
In fact, Leuvon technology found in the Ultra Elite versions of NytroWhey repeatedly produces some of the highest concentrations ever found in a whey protein product. Leucine availability is critically important and a recent study examined the impact of leucine ingestion on changes in skeletal muscle protein metabolism. Ingestion of nearly 3.5 grams of leucine resulted in a 110% increase in muscle protein synthesis and it also result in significant increases in the activation of several key proteins found inside our muscle that are known to promote muscle growth (Wilkinson 2013).
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Using a whey protein isolate is commonly accepted to be one of the single-best strategies to encourage optimal adaptations to your intense resistance training program. Before, during, or after a resistance training workout, delivering a healthy dose of the essential amino acids is important and both NytroWhey and NytroWhey Ultra Elite do an excellent job of accomplishing this objective.
Due to the greater hydrolyzing of the protein and the fact it contains cutting-edge protein and amino acid technology from Glanbia Nutritionals called Leuvon and Thermax, many athletes consider using NytroWhey Ultra Elite during times when rapid delivery of near-maximal levels of the essential amino acids. Combining these factors with recent studies that indicate a more regular feeding pattern optimizes amino acid entry into the blood as well as a maximal increase in muscle protein synthesis, the combination of cutting-edge nutrient timing research with a superior protein product should ultimately lead to improved outcomes.
On the other hand, there are legions of athletes who were converts to the original NytroWhey, and have simply never seen any reason to switch. Original NytroWhey, by virtue of its ultra pure, whey protein isolate and revolutionary flavoring system, was the first protein formula that could truly be said to have the taste, consistency, and texture of a milkshake treat. Many of ProSource's longest-established customers still swear the original NytroWhey is the best tasting NytroWhey.
And then, too, there's the matter of budget. Many athletes recognize original NytroWhey's ratio of cost-to-premium-quality-amino-content as the supplement world's best buy, and original NytroWhey simply fits their budget best. Original NytroWhey changed the game when it came to protein "bang for your buck" and competitors have never really caught up.
Finally, many NytroWhey fans use both varieties, NytroWhey Ultra Elite immediately post-workout and original NytroWhey as a high-quality product to fill in gaps in nutrition throughout the day.
While scientists continue to uncover various things a protein product should and shouldn't be, bodybuilders and athletes routinely choose NytroWhey as an excellent source of a great-tasting, high quality protein product. When situations arise in which the athletes wish to maximize recovery and growth, using NytroWhey Ultra Elite during the post-workout period should facilitate optimal recovery and maintenance of elevated levels of the essential amino acids.
Aragon, A.A. and B.J. Schoenfeld (2013). "Nutrient timing revisited: is there a post-exercise anabolic window?" J Int Soc Sports Nutr 10(1): 5.
Areta, J.L., L.M. Burke, M.L. Ross, D.M. Camera, D.W. West, E.M. Broad, N.A. Jeacocke, D.R. Moore, T. Stellingwerff, S.M. Phillips, J. Hawley and V.G. Coffey (2013). "Timing and distribution of protein ingestion during prolonged recovery from resistance exercise alters myofibrillar protein synthesis." J Physiol 10.1113/jphysiol.2012.244897.
Bird, S.P., K.M. Tarpenning and F.E. Marino (2006). "Liquid carbohydrate/essential amino acid ingestion during a short-term bout of resistance exercise suppresses myofibrillar protein degradation." Metabolism 55(5): 570-577.
Boirie, Y., M. Dangin, P. Gachon, M.P. Vasson, J.L. Maubois and B. Beaufrere (1997). "Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 94(26): 14930-14935.
Borsheim, E., K.D. Tipton, S.E. Wolf and R.R. Wolfe (2002). "Essential amino acids and muscle protein recovery from resistance exercise." Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 283(4): E648-657.
Campbell, B., R.B. Kreider, T. Ziegenfuss, P. La Bounty, M. Roberts, D. Burke, J. Landis, H. Lopez and J. Antonio (2007). "International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: protein and exercise." J Int Soc Sports Nutr 4: 8.
Cermak, N.M., P.T. Res, L.C. De Groot, W.H. Saris and L.J. Van Loon (2012). "Protein supplementation augments the adaptive response of skeletal muscle to resistance-type exercise training: a meta-analysis." Am J Clin Nutr 96(6): 1454-1464.
Cuthbertson, D., K. Smith, J. Babraj, G. Leese, T. Waddell, P. Atherton, H. Wackerhage, P.M. Taylor and M.J. Rennie (2005). "Anabolic signaling deficits underlie amino acid resistance of wasting, aging muscle." FASEB J 19(3): 422-424.
Dangin, M., Y. Boirie, C. Garcia-Rodenas, P. Gachon, J. Fauquant, P. Callier, O. Ballevre and B. Beaufrere (2001). "The digestion rate of protein is an independent regulating factor of postprandial protein retention." Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 280(2): E340-348.
Hayes, A. and P.J. Cribb (2008). "Effect of whey protein isolate on strength, body composition and muscle hypertrophy during resistance training." Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 11(1): 40-44.
Kerksick, C., T. Harvey, J. Stout, B. Campbell, C. Wilborn, R. Kreider, D. Kalman, T. Ziegenfuss, H. Lopez, J. Landis, J.L. Ivy and J. Antonio (2008). "International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: nutrient timing." J Int Soc Sports Nutr 5: 17.
Tang, J.E., D.R. Moore, G.W. Kujbida, M.A. Tarnopolsky and S.M. Phillips (2009). "Ingestion of whey hydrolysate, casein, or soy protein isolate: effects on mixed muscle protein synthesis at rest and following resistance exercise in young men." J Appl Physiol 107(3): 987-992.
Tang, J.E. and S.M. Phillips (2009). "Maximizing muscle protein anabolism: the role of protein quality." Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 12(1): 66-71.
Tipton, K.D., A.A. Ferrando, S.M. Phillips, D. Doyle, Jr. and R.R. Wolfe (1999). "Postexercise net protein synthesis in human muscle from orally administered amino acids." Am J Physiol 276(4 Pt 1): E628-634.
Tipton, K.D., B.E. Gurkin, S. Matin and R.R. Wolfe (1999). "Nonessential amino acids are not necessary to stimulate net muscle protein synthesis in healthy volunteers." J Nutr Biochem 10(2): 89-95.
Tipton, K.D., B.B. Rasmussen, S.L. Miller, S.E. Wolf, S.K. Owens-Stovall, B.E. Petrini and R.R. Wolfe (2001). "Timing of amino acid-carbohydrate ingestion alters anabolic response of muscle to resistance exercise." Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 281(2): E197-206.
Volpi, E., H. Kobayashi, M. Sheffield-Moore, B. Mittendorfer and R.R. Wolfe (2003). "Essential amino acids are primarily responsible for the amino acid stimulation of muscle protein anabolism in healthy elderly adults." Am J Clin Nutr 78(2): 250-258.
Wilkinson, D.J., T. Hossain, D.S. Hill, B.E. Phillips, H. Crossland, J. Williams, P. Loughna, T.A. Churchward-Venne, L. Breen, S.M. Phillips, T. Etheridge, J.A. Rathmacher, K. Smith, N.J. Szewczyk and P.J. Atherton (2013). "Effects of Leucine and its metabolite, beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) on human skeletal muscle protein metabolism." J Physiol 10.1113/jphysiol.2013.253203.