We talk all the time here at ProSource about protein as a catalyst for muscle mass increase, as an agent for supporting enhanced physique and athletic performance. Clearly, these outcomes are of paramount concern to our fitness-conscious readers.
But we don't often talk about protein in its most basic sense -- as food. But that's what it is, isn't it? Food. And now more than ever, it's essential that we all think about where our food comes from and why that sourcing is important.
When it comes to food manufacturing and retailing, we live in a vast interconnected world of intricate supply chains. A fish caught off the shore of Peru can be iced, transported and appear on your dinner table here in the US in a few days. Olive oil pressed and extracted and bottled in Turkey will materialize in your supermarket almost as fast. More relevantly, for the terms of our discussion, whey protein rendered in France or New Zealand or China can serve as the source material for the protein formulas on store shelves in America.
This is a good thing in some ways, as the world's demand for whey protein is always on the rise. But it can create problems too, because the industrial standards for production, refinement and inspection of whey protein can vary widely from country to country.
There have been extreme examples of this of course. In China, a number of protein-based products (including baby formula) had to be pulled from the shelves several years ago because they contained dangerous levels of melamine, a poisonous nitrogen-dense organic compound that Chinese farmers had been adding to their milk to boost protein levels and pass nutritional testing. Around the same time, retailers had to pull pet food brands from their shelves when plant-based protein content furnished by China was actually killing pets.
Again, these are extreme examples. What's much more commonplace, however, are protein manufacturers who skirt the law and take advantage of lax production and inspection protocols in some countries to cut costs and bring to market whey protein formulas that have greatly diminished nutritional value. These practices are becoming increasingly common as raw material shortages become more frequent and increased tariffs ramp up the costs of doing business overseas. What are these unscrupulous protein production practices and how are they affecting you? Let's take a look.
Tricks of the Protein Trade
In a perfect world, protein manufacturers worldwide would submit their whey protein to inspectors who would determine if those proteins meet the minimum standards for bioavailable amino content and lack of impurities, and that would be the end of it. But as we saw in the rather awful Chinese example, whey producers can be willing to go to some unusual lengths to tip the scales in their favor. One such method is called protein spiking.
Protein spiking is the practice of measuring the nitrogen content of lesser ingredients (such as glycine, taurine, low-quality creatine, or even the simple sugar maltodextrin) and using that deceptive figure to stand in for total whey protein content. The result is huge discrepancies between the amounts of total protein cited on Supplement Facts panels and actual content in the jug.
Another common practice is loading up formulas with inferior forms of protein and hiding the details within confusing label ingredient documentation. If you're serious about your protein supplementation, you know that there exists a specific hierarchy of protein quality. Whey isolate and hydrolyzed whey occupy the top of the ladder, as their bioavailability and nutritive value are unrivaled among protein sources, actually exceeding that of such raw food protein sources as beef, chicken or fish.
Milk protein isolate, a sturdy, easily digestible, and pleasant-tasting protein with excellent texture, and whey concentrate, a form of whey derived by less sophisticated processing methods, are a step down on the ladder. Casein, another by-product of milk production, is harder to digest and best suited to overnight or long-interval protein supplementation. After that, things get dicier. Soy, wheat and other plant-based proteins all have incomplete amino profiles, and in the case of soy, may actually have less-than-ideal hormonal implications. Finally, you get gelatins and fillers that are the unscrupulous manufacturers' bread and butter. These ingredients provide no nutritional value at all and can make up substantial proportions of protein formulas sourced from shady overseas suppliers.
Fortunately for fitness-conscious consumers in the US, manufacturers are required to list their protein sources on the label in the order in which they appear proportionally in the product. Therefore any protein product you buy should have whey isolate or hydrolyzed whey at or near the top of the ingredient list, while other sources are further down or don't appear at all. Even here, manufacturers can muddy the water by listing multiple protein blends, each with their own ingredient profile, thus reslicing an already sliced pie and making a true approximation of respective protein amounts difficult or impossible to determine.
Proteins Made in the USA: A Benchmark For Excellence
Sound confusing? Happily, there is an easy way to ensure you're getting the absolute best quality for every dollar you spend on protein. Turn the product in your hands around and look for an American flag and the "Made In The USA" tagline. The United States has the highest protein quality standards and the most comprehensive and sophisticated product testing protocols in the world. And that's why every ProSource brand product, including its state-of-the-art NytroWhey Ultra Elite protein formula, proudly bears the Made In The USA logo.
Of course, even within the United States there exists some variation in the purity and bioavailability of manufactured proteins. But one manufacturer has firmly established itself as the standard bearer for peerless excellence in protein formulation. For decades, Glanbia Nutritionals has maintained a deep commitment to research and development that has placed it at the vanguard of protein science. It was Glanbia Nutritionals that invented the Crossflow Microfiltration process of concentrating whey that is still the industry's gold standard for whey processing.
Cross-Flow Microfiltration is a sophisticated, chemical-free filtering method that yields the highest levels of undenatured protein content. Glanbia's Provon® whey protein isolate has a biologically natural pH for stability and a carefully preserved amino acid profile abundant in highly bioavailable glycomacropeptides and beta-lactoglobulin, among other essential protein fractions. These intact protein fractions are particularly rich in the branched chain amino acids that have been scientifically documented to support muscle growth and recovery. Provon® also has high levels of calcium, less sodium, and is a virtually lactose-free product.
NytroWhey Ultra Elite: Powered By the World's Most Advanced Proteins
It should come as no surprise that Provon® is the sole source of whey protein isolate in ProSource's NytroWhey Ultra Elite. Our flagship super-premium protein also contains another cutting-edge Glanbia protein called Thermax® that is micro-processed to yield extremely low-molecular-weight di- and tri-peptides for immediate amino absorption and assimilation by the body.
Unlike most hydrolysates that are derived from inferior proteins, TherMAX® starts with premium quality Provon® whey isolate to ensure maximum protein purity and potency. The ratio of whey protein isolate to whey hydrolysate in NytroWhey Ultra Elite is precisely calibrated to take advantage of the different amino acid absorption kinetics of each, thus ensuring maximized blood amino acid levels over both the short term and the long term.
Finally, NytroWhey Ultra Elite contains a state-of-the-art leucine peptide technology designed to maximize protein synthesis in the muscle cell. Studies have shown that peak activation of muscle protein synthesis is proportional to the leucine content in muscle tissue. All protein formulas contain some amount of leucine, though dosages are often so low as to be all but clinically insignificant. The leucine-bound leucine peptide technology in NytroWhey Ultra Elite ensures that both overall leucine content and bioavailability are maximally optimized.
When you source exclusively from the world's purest and most powerful proteins you inevitably end up with the world's best-tasting protein formula. ProSource's NytroWhey Ultra Elite is entirely free of the damaged protein fractions and latent impurities that cause competing proteins to have a disagreeably chalky flavor and bitter aftertaste. In sharp contrast, NytroWhey Ultra Elite's clean, light flavor and smooth texture are a revelation.
ProSource NytroWhey, Proudly Manufactured in the USA
ProSource brand sports nutrition supplements have always enjoyed a reputation as the serious athlete's #1 choice for quality and value. Athletes know they can trust ProSource to formulate our products from the absolute finest ingredients and process them with the most advanced production methods. The ProSource logo is a signifier of quality and excellence and so is the symbol on the back -- the American flag and the statement Made In The USA.
Use as directed with a sensible nutrition and exercise program. Read and follow all product label instructions and warnings thoroughly before use. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for any information herein.