's Forum Archives - Racing

Archive Home >> Racing(1 2 3 )

Whey isolate vs. regular whey powder(36 posts)

Whey isolate vs. regular whey powdertuffnick
Jan 26, 2002 9:42 PM
I'm a sprint cyclist on the track and for the last month or so have switched to a whey isolate protein product over the regular whey protein. Is it worth it? The way it was described to me is that the whey isolate is absorbed faster after a workout hence justifying the approx 30% increase in cost over the regular whey.
re: Whey isolate vs. regular whey powderweiwentg
Jan 27, 2002 6:58 AM
well, whey isolate is purer than whey. I do NOT know about 30% faster absorbtion, but I don't think so. sounds like marketing hype - although yes, whey isolate MIGHT be absorbed faster. they're both whey, and whey protein is absorbed fast. I would worry about it if I were a bodybuilder. For a cyclist, regular whey (i.e. whey protein concentrate) is perfectly all right.
Forgive me for this, but it's kind of like the difference between Campy and Shimano. you will pay more for Campy and whey isolate. do you need it? not really.
cheaper solutionpeloton
Jan 28, 2002 2:40 AM
You would be better off just spending your money on something else than protein supplements. The average diet in the US contains far more protein than you could possibly metabolize into muscle. Your body simply doesn't have enough testosterone to bind it to actin and myosin, so you break it down inefficiently for energy or pass it through urine.

If you are really concerned with getting protein after a workout have a glass of milk. There's more high quality protein in there than in many of those supplements, and it's a heck of a lot cheaper. Protein supplements are a scam.
cheaper solutionweiwentg
Jan 28, 2002 5:19 AM
not quite. research has been done that shows that whey protein is absorbed very quickly, much faster than the caesin protein in milk. Milk is about 20% whey ... yes, you could indeed drink a big glass of milk. but those protein supplements are not scams. you might as well say that (forgive me for this) Campy is a scam ...
(in case it's not obvious, I have nothing against Campy. my cranks and BB are Campy.)
here's the dealpeloton
Jan 28, 2002 9:17 AM
Protein supplements are a scam. Your body simply doesn't need that amount of protein. There are studies out there right now that show an endurance athlete needs about 57% more protein than the typical diet provides based on the 2000 calories per day figure and a ratio of 15% protein. The thing is that the typical endurance athlete consumes 3000 plus calories a day when in training and this brings in this additional 57% just by maintaining the 15% protein figure. Your body needs testosterone to bind the amino acids from protein into actin and myosin at binding sites on the muscle fiber. Excessive protein consumed isn't made into muscle tissue because you only have so much testosterone for binding. This extra protein is turned into ATP through the process of gylconeogenesis. This is inefficient as it wastes a lot of ATP in the process, and creates ketones. The blood gets more acidic due tot the ketones and the kidneys have to work harder to maintain adequate ph levels, a condition called ketonacidosis. A difference of only .3 will kill you, so imagine the strain on the renal system in a diet excessive in protein. Protein that isn't used in either of these two fashions is passed through the urine. The average American diet contains WAY more protein than is needed to maintain muscle mass and recovery. Protein supplementation is not needed, and just an expensive waste of money.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, but there's just no way the body needs it. If someone in the protein supplementation industry could please tell me how this extra protein gets metabolized to do the things they claim I'll eat my bicycle and wash it down with a protein shake. Go to your local university and ask someone in the kinesiology or physiology department and they will tell you the same thing. The best and cheapest way to get your protein is from food, and you will get enough.

Trust me, save your money for tires and new drivetrain parts. It will be better spent.
What if your a track sprinter?tuffnick
Jan 28, 2002 12:23 PM
I realize the average cyclist it doesn't matter but theres a number of things you aren't factoring in:
1) I'm a track sprinter
2) I compete at an elite level
Sure for the average cyclist recovery time doesn't matter and the extra protein isn't necessary but being a track sprinter where size and power is everything I can't afford to save my money and try to find protein elsewhere. After a hard bike workout or weight room session I immediately have a protein shake to maximize regeneration so in essence I need to take 2-3 servings of extra protein a day.

Thanks for your opinion though... I do realize I'm in the minority here that ask what protein is best since most (if not all) are not in the same boat I am in.

What if your a track sprinter?peloton
Jan 28, 2002 3:31 PM
I understand your thinking. It still holds true though for an elite athlete. You have a certain amount of testosterone in your body and a certain amount of binding sites on your muscle tissue. A larger athlete might be able to metabolize more amino acids because they may have more binding sites on the muscle tissue and more testosterone hence the larger cross sectional muscle size of said athlete. After a certain point your body just doesn't have the ablility to use any more protein for recovery or building muscle. Then it just gets used for ATP or wasted, just like everyone else. If you are eating properly, then you get enough protein in your diet even as an elite athlete and the supplements aren't helping you. The only way they would be is if your diet is lacking.

I see where you might get the idea that protein supplements would help from some of the people out there spreading misinformation. Trust me though, there is no evidence that point to excessive protein helping. I too was an elite athlete in a more power oriented sport, a professional coach, and have a background in kinesiology. Trust me on this one. Save your money and just eat well and your performance will not suffer.
Serious cyclists NEVER have an average dietHugh
Jan 29, 2002 1:29 PM
and because they do not have an "average diet" so please refrain from using that as some sort of benchmark. The average American does eat way too much protein, but most cyclist don't drink milkshakes, chow burgers and steak, or eat lots of cheese. I do not eat 2 hamburgers a day. As an athlete, I also have HIGHER TESTOSTERONE LEVELS than the average sedentary person. (except when I am overtrained, of course..)and process more protein continually.
Serious cyclists NEVER have an average dietpeloton
Jan 29, 2002 2:48 PM
It's true that serious cyclist don't eat like the average American. It's still easy though to recieve adequate protein from a well balanced diet. The average American diet is so much higher it's silly, and 15% is a low figure to reach. Even on a 3000 calorie a day diet that would satisfy the studies that show endurance athletes need 57% more protein you are still only talking about 450 calories a day, or about 110 grams of protein. Serious cyclists also tend to have LOWER levels of testosterone than the average person even due to the training loads that are taken on. And even if you did have above average levels of testosterone for amino acid metabolization than you would still have an adequate amount of the protein amounts for recovery and muscle building that I've mentioned. There is research to back this up. It's simple really. Unless your diet is lacking, there is no benefit to protein supplementation. And if your diet is lacking then you would be best served to change it. The protein you would get from diet will be higher quality, more variety, and cheaper.

I'll leave it at that. Research backs it up. Supplement if you want, but it's not helping you except maybe in the placebo effect.
Serious cyclists NEVER have an average dietweiwentg
Jan 30, 2002 5:06 AM
>>but it's not helping you except maybe in the placebo effect.<<

the rest of what you said is quite correct, but you're wrong there.
Serious cyclists NEVER have an average dietpeloton
Jan 30, 2002 6:20 AM
Show me the research that proves I'm wrong then.
Unless your diet is lacking, it isn't helping. Research shows this, unless you listen to the salespeople at GNC.

I mean, it's nothing to me if you spend your money on protein supplements. I'm just telling you what research shows, and how the body works. I'm in sport science, and it annoys me when I see what I percieve as people being taken advantage of by companies enticing them to be spending money on things that don't help. It's your money though. Read up on proven research though, and you'll see I'm not BS'ing you. Try Medline for some good studies.
Serious cyclists NEVER have an average dietweiwentg
Jan 30, 2002 11:14 AM
all right, go to this link:
and ask this guy:
kinda hard to locate the articles on the Net, I'll admit.
Not disputing wheypeloton
Jan 30, 2002 4:59 PM
The article does point out some possible uses for whey after more studies are done. I never said that whey was a bad thing. There are still no studies though that suggest protein supplementation is needed on top of a healthy diet. I've told you the physiolgoical reasons it doesn't work, but we can debate this until we are blue in the face. Go find a trainer who has at least an MS (not the college kid at the gym), or go to your local kinesiology or phys department. They will give you the same reasons that you don't believe from me. Protein is good, too much is wasted.
Jan 30, 2002 7:08 PM
I see. Considering that I supplement, I generally try, as I said, to adjust my protein intake downwards. you are correct to say that too much protein is wasted.
which brings up the thorny topic of how much is enough. bodybuilders recommend 1 gram per pound of bodyweight, but they're trying to promote large-scale muscle synthesis, which is not our goal as cyclists.
Jan 31, 2002 6:58 AM
I bet you are going to enjoy your new TCR 1 ;)
here's the dealweiwentg
Jan 28, 2002 7:34 PM
in my case, I use protein supplements to get nutrients to my muscles FAST after a workout. and I eat less meat. in my case, I don't think I consume excessive protein, even with supplements. and I only use my supplement (Endurox) after workouts. And I only take 2 scoops (recommended serving) after the very hard workouts.
don't forget, your body has to disassemble the proteins in regular food before it can get to the muscles.
you're probably right that supplementation is not necessary. but I believe it does help. and done smartly it certainly does no harm.
Protein suppsbrider
Jan 28, 2002 12:02 PM
Hey Nick, I'm not going to say anything about your choice to supp with protein powders. Go for it. As for the comment on just taking a glass of milk, well, that's only 1gram of protein per ounce. I use Optimum Nutrition's 100% Natural Whey Protein, I get it through a company called, and they have the best prices ($28 per 5 lb tub) I've seen (with no shiping if the order is over $100). As much as Peleton is correct (as far as the generally accepted medical literature is concerned), I'll go with the anecdotal evidence I see every day. Is there a huge difference between the different processes for isolating the whey protein? Probably not $30 worth.
Protein suppstuffnick
Jan 28, 2002 12:27 PM
Do you have any idea whether they ship over the border? Also I know the Canadian government tends to regulate supplements a lot more than the FDA. Met-Rx was gonna hook me up with some product until they realized it'd mean they'd have to ship it over the border which scares me because since I do compete at a national/internation level if I get drug tested and something isn't good in the protein I'm buggered.
Protein suppsbrider
Jan 29, 2002 11:43 AM
They do ship all over the world -- here's the link to their international policy:

There are some restrictions, but I don't think you should have any problems with Optimum's protein -- that's all it is, with some flavoring. Of course, the free shipping thing goes out the window with across-the-border stuff, so you'll have to weigh the pros and cons of that.
Protein suppsweiwentg
Jan 28, 2002 7:36 PM
agree with you on the last sentence, Brider. unless, of course, you're a Campy fan ;)
Jan 28, 2002 7:41 PM
Yes most people do not need so mucj protein and it is wasted, but most people do not work legs like we do. After a long ride our legs are sore due to microscopic little cuts in our muscle. When these cuts heal you want them to heal better than they were, hence a bigger stronger muscle. Protein shakes provide these proteins and amino acids to heal these microscopic cuts. Without a certain amount of protein your body's muscles will not heal up stronger. Do yourself a favor. Go to Simply Good, GNC, or Vitamin World and Buy "Pro Blend 55" by MD Labs ( Try this every night for three months and you will see a dramatic increase in Performance, muscle mass, and recovery. If you don't I will eat my bike and wash it down with a big glass of MILK!
Jan 29, 2002 5:32 AM
True, you do need protein to recover. Diet provides enough to adequately do this even for an eiltie athlete.

Microscopic cuts?? You mean z lines? Or do you know?

Seriously though, I'm not saying protein isn't important. Diet is adequate to fufill the requirements here though. Look up how protein is metabolized in a physiology text, not from GNC literature, proven stuff from lab studies and you will see what I'm talking about. I am positive, and have seen the results and studies to prove it that protein supplementation is not needed. I'm not talking about what I've heard either, I'm talking what I do for work. Get out the fork and knife, I'll pour the milk.
Jan 29, 2002 12:47 PM
when you exercise hard, you make microscopic tears in the muscle fibers. that is why your legs get sore.
Diet is indeed adequate to fulfil protein needs. but if you want the best ... I say drink a protein supplement after working out and eat less meat at dinner (or lunch). you'll benefit the environment. and as I said, whey is absorbed and metabolized very fast, which means that amino acids get to the muscles very fast. there have been studies done on this ... I read that in some past issue of Ironman magazine (the bodybuilding mag). you may have seen results/studies to prove protein supplementation is not needed, but there have, I think, been studies done to prove that it is helpful. of course, you could say it's a scam. in which there's no point arguing.
re: Cost effectivenessHugh
Jan 31, 2002 12:23 PM
Although I disagree with Peloton's testosterone theory (freely available versus production/utilization) certainly he/she is correct about excess protein. However, I train 25 hours a week, and I am not vegetarian, but very poor financially, so I actually do not buy much meat and have trouble hitting, say 100 grams of protein a day - which brings me to cost. I pay $25 for 5lbs of whey through
and that is 80-85% pure protein, so lets be generous and say that it is 4lbs. How much does 4lbs. of the cheapest tuna cost? I would say about $25, and that is LOW QUALITY and certainly much cheaper. The 4lbs of frozen chicken breats that I buy sometimes cost about $12, but at least half of that is moisture weight and some fat. So why is Peloton so resistant to Whey protein? It is also nutritionally "more complete," so theoretically even less would be required by weight. Drinking 1/2 gallon of milk, even non-fat, is not wise either, same for Soy which would raise your fat intake astronomically.
Jan 31, 2002 10:42 PM
When it comes to testosterone and binding sites on the muscle- It's no theory. It's physiology, and it's factual. I haven't sat through six years of college so that I could make up theories about how the human body works. Look it up. I could reccomend some books if you would like.

Fact is the average diet contains more protein than can be matabolized for muscle tissue and recovery. Excess gets metabolized into ATP for energy or wasted. Supplementation is not needed with adequate diet. The protein that you get from tuna or even chicken is also very high quality, and both contain other nutrients as well. Why supplement something that your diet already has plenty of? Just doesn't make sense from a physiological or financial perspective.

Like I said before though, it's your money. I'm just trying to warn you that you aren't getting a lot for your buck.
Here's an articlepeloton
Feb 1, 2002 12:32 AM
This article was written for a bodybuilders perspective, but it shares some of the problems with too much protein in the diet. It's an easy read, and that's why I copied it here because it does point out some good info. It's very easy to get enough protein in the diet, and I would say 99% of everyone here gets more than enough. Excess can cause some of the problems in this article- renal, liver, and even cardiac problems. Muscle loss can even occur if a overly high protein diet is ended because the body has built up enzymes to break down the excess protein and these enzymes can then have a catabolic effect on the body. Above the 15% protein mark in the diet the body just doesn't have enough testosterone to activate the binding sites on the muscles for amino acid synthesis, and the rest gets used in the ways the article describes. It's easy to get enough protein in the diet. Supplements here are wasted, and can even have negative effects.

Protein Cycling for Maximum Gains
By Marcus R. Jones, MD
Testosterone® | No. 10 | July 17, 1998

What if I told you that bodybuilders eat too much protein? What if I told you that the key to perpetual growth, without plateaus, was within your reach and all you had to do was to cut down on your protein intake? Would you petition the AMA to revoke my license to practice medicine, or would you hear me out? Hopefully, it's the latter and not the former.

With that in mind, let me dive right into my seemingly preposterous concept.

Protein metabolism is complex and a truly complete overview is beyond the scope of this article but I'll deliver some relevant highlights so that you'll have a general idea of why cycling protein intake is so rife with possibility.

Protein has many physiologic roles. The most important to us, as bodybuilders, is that protein is the substrate for the synthesis of muscle. It's also important for muscle hypertrophy and remodeling. These mechanisms, again, do not warrant discussion in detail at this juncture (it would take too long, and it would undoubtedly put you to sleep). Protein also serves as a precursor for gluconeogenesis (carbohydrate creation) and ketogenesis (fat and ketone creation). You knew that already, of course, because many of us obtain a large portion of our energy needs from protein—but this is not necessarily a beneficial or intelligent thing to do—and we'll discuss that in greater detail in a minute.

Protein has a plethora of other roles, too. It's an important player in the modulation of immunity as well as being a precursor for plasma protein synthesis (SHBG, THBG, etc.). And, protein also is the substrate for the synthesis of many cell components as well as being the precursor for peptide hormone synthesis, among other things.

Whew! Now let's talk more about the down side of protein consumption and metabolism. There are several toxic metabolites of protein that damage multiple organ systems. This includes damage and functional compromise of the central nervous system (brain), circulatory system, as well as renal functions. The most important and well-understood toxins are ammonia, homocysteine, and uric acid. Ammonia is a product, formed in large quantities, during amino acid deamination (the process, which modifies aminos to become substrates for carb and fat synthesis—referred to earlier) and is very, very toxic—especially to the brain. Ammonia is the reason people with liver failure get encephalopathic (brain damaged) and is an etiologic factor in their deaths.1

Normally, the liver converts ammonia to urea but this conversion subjects the liver to a great deal of stress under many circumstances and can cause liver hypertrophy. The liver may also commonly be subclinically overwhelmed such that there are no overt symptoms of encephalopathy, just slow brain damage—but we bodybuilders are supposed to be dumb anyway, right? Yeah, maybe in more ways than one. Needless to say there are many, many more sequelae of ammonia but you get the idea.

Another toxic metabolite of protein is homocysteine. This metabolite is a free radical of sorts and is notorious for scarring blood vessels and thus predisposing us all to atherosclerotic plaque formation.2 Just think, we all thought it was only the fat and cholesterol responsible for our early heart attacks and strokes! One thing I've learned is that science and medicine will always throw you a curve ball when you least expect it.

Although there are many other protein-derived toxins, the last one I'll discuss is uric acid. This chemical is the culprit in gout (you know—the "swollen, red big toe" disease). Anyway, uric acid can also get deposited in the kidneys as crystals, which cause poor function, damage, and occasionally, in those predisposed, kidney stones. We won't even begin to discuss the link between excessive protein and cancer because it would take up too much space...3

Haven't you ever wondered why so many guys claim that a protein intake of greater than 400 grams/day is the only key to growth? Well, the reason is that they aren't all that smart. You see, most of us take in so much protein that our bodies have gone into a constant state of panic! I just illustrated how physiologically stressful a huge protein load can be. The body has had to up-regulate every protein destroying and detoxifying enzyme it can synthesize to keep from getting poisoned—literally. In the face of a chronically high protein load, the body also becomes entirely too efficient at disposing of and shunting protein as waste rather than utilizing it for anabolism.

One of the shunting pathways of protein just happens to be muscle synthesis but overloading your system with protein has to be one of the most archaic and unintelligent ways to achieve growth ever used. The key to intelligent protein use is forcing the body to become efficient at protein storage (muscle is the prime storage depot) rather than protein shunting and disposal (muscle is a secondary shunting destination). This is easily done with a little manipulation— which is the whole point of this article.
Here's an article...and morepeloton
Feb 1, 2002 2:13 AM
You might also want to check out this stuff- This site has very easy to read information on a variety of nutritional subjects written by a certified dietitian. Check out what she has to say in the protein section of the site for intake. This site has decent reviews of supplements with the studies to back up or deny what has been claimed by the manufacturers. Good place for info

There is also a site for the USDA that lists the nutritional contents of any food you type into their search selector. I can't remember the address off the top of my head, but try any search engine. It will give you the protein amounts in foods.

The USDA for an adult male for protein is 63 grams per day. Add the 57% some studies have shown is needed above that number, and you are still only talking about 110 grams per day for an athlete. Milk has 8 grams per serving (8 oz), chicken (4oz) has 18 grams, and there are tons of other great sources as well- eggs, beans, even beef. Eggs, milk, and meats all also contain all 8 essential amino acids too so the protein is of very high quality.

A can of tuna is going for about 70 cents at my local grocer. 6oz a can with 33 grams total of high quality protein with all your essential amino acids too. It's easy to get all your protein needs cheaply and effectively from food.

Don't waste your money!!!
Now I'm scared!mikebikr
Feb 1, 2002 8:59 AM
The debate was if we are getting to much protein. Now I think I'm not getting nearly enough.

Some Total cereal in the morning with limited milk.
Turkey sandwich for lunch.
Pasta for dinner maybe with some chicken.
Not much other protein. Am I severely undernourished??? Should I take in some more protein? I never eat red meat if that makes any difference.

At least maybe I have a reason for being so slow.
So, peleton,...brider
Feb 4, 2002 12:14 PM
Do you also post on the T-mag forum? Under what screen name (I don't recall seeing "peleton" any where on the forum)? The reason I ask is that there was a discussion on this article just last week, and it called into question the validity of this article. This magazine has published several diet and training articles that really haven't been very successful (The Warrior Diet for one) for more than a handful of people. I'm not trying to knock this particular article (haven't tried most of them, myself). The jury is still out. The studies I've seen that are always quoted when saying "high protein intake causes liver damage" always involve people with PRE-EXISTING conditions. Just as so many of the articles that "prove" that certain supplements increase muscle mass almost always quote studies where the subjects were essentially famine victims (or otherwise disease-wasted).
So, peleton,...peloton
Feb 4, 2002 10:29 PM
Nope, don't post there, or even visit for that matter. Any good info there?

I didn't post that whole article on the protein cycling diet because it didn't really apply to the discussion. I only cut and paste what I did because it was an easy read in terminology, and it did point out some of the physiological stressors a diet too high in protein can create. I thought those points had some value even if the diet may or may not. It's true what you say about a diet high in protein causing acute problems with people who have pre-existing conditions. It's also true though, that while your healthy liver and kidneys may be able to handle the stressors put on them by a bad diet doesn't mean it's a good long term plan. Stress is the number one cause of many of our long term health maladies- ie, heart disease, cancer, etc. Why put the renal system and the liver through the processing of extra stress when it isn't needed? That's why dietitians don't reccomend that anyone consumes a diet that derives more than 20% of it's calories from protein. 15% is a good number in terms of what the body can handle efficiently from protein. It's all about balance.

Again, I'm not knocking protein. We need it for recovery and muscle building. Too much of anything is a bad thing though, and protein is pretty easy to get enough of from food sources cheaply and effectively.
So, peleton,...853
Feb 6, 2002 8:10 AM
The reason most pro Bodybuilders need extra protein is because thay are taking anabolic steroids that increase testosterone, therefore are able to have benefits from extra protein consumption.Of course most people look up to these people and copy everything that they do. So they run to the store and get "The Mega Mass Protein 6000" and gain nothing.
As a natural bodybuilder I didn't realy rely on a high protein diet, more of a well balanced, 6 times a day, keep the metabolizme on high speed diet. My last meal was a whey protein shake before bed just to be on the safe side and to keep my hard earned muscle from catabolizing itself from lack
of extra protein(remember when you go to bed you do not eat for 9 hours - when the muscles are rebuilding themselves and getting ready for that next intense work out)
You have to remeber that weight training increases testostorone levels and therefore you may need extra protein.
Feb 7, 2002 8:24 PM
Wow, you just do not listen do you peloton? I never claimed that testosterone's role in protein bonding was a theory, just its production in free versus bound state. You also continue to use the "average american diet" which is STILL a USELESS concept here. And I am glad to see that others are now finding that their protein consumption levels are still LOW by conservative standards (Like 110 grams a day) that I have a hard time reaching on a low-fat, high carb healthy/athlete diet. Many of our diets, obviously as I have already explained and others have cited, DO NOT GET enough, and whey protein is still as cheap as tuna! Read what is posted before you respond next time. You failed to address the cost efficiency or the daily intake on an ATHLETES diet that I raised, and instead just regurgitated what you had already written without any consideration of what was said.
Feb 8, 2002 6:30 AM
'Although I disagree with Peloton's testosterone theory (freely available versus production/utilization) certainly he/she is correct about excess protein.'

Did I misunderstand you when you said that you disagreed with my perhaps overly simplyfied (more detail would bore you to sleep) statements of how testosterone is used in the binding of amino acids into actin/myosin? It's not theory, it is really true. If there is another way amino acids are being utilized by the binding sites I'd like to be filled in. As another poster added, this is the same reason steroids work. They increase testosterone in the body so that the binding sites are continuously open for amino acid metabolization. This is one of the reasons protein supplements came out for bodybuilders- because they were juiced to the hilt.
The rest of us don't have the testosterone to utilize extra protein in the diet. I don't get where I'm physiologically wrong there.

'I pay $25 for 5lbs of whey through
and that is 80-85% pure protein, so lets be generous and say that it is 4lbs. How much does 4lbs. of the cheapest tuna cost? I would say about $25, and that is LOW QUALITY and certainly much cheaper.'

I listened here. Tuna- 70 CENTS for 6 ounces at my grocer this week. Only about eight bucks for 4lbs. 33 (half of what most people will need per day, and about 1/3 even for an elite athlete) grams of protein a can, and this is complete protein with all 8 essential amino acids. How is this low quality? There are also some heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids, and other great nutrients in tuna.

So why is Peloton so resistant to Whey protein? It is also nutritionally "more complete," so theoretically even less would be required by weight. Drinking 1/2 gallon of milk, even non-fat, is not wise either, same for Soy which would raise your fat intake astronomically.

If other food sources like milk, tuna, or chicken contain all the essential amino acids, then how is the whey protein source more complete? How much protein does one need?

I'm not talking 'average American diet'. I'm talking about percentages that are viable for athletes. 110 grams (far from low BTW, RDA is 68g for a man- 110 is definitely for the athlete) is about 15% of an athletes caloric needs for the day if we talk in a general sense. I would rather use the percentage than an exact number because it is going to change by situation and individual. It's an easy number to hit with food sources. I have seen many athletes do so, and supplementation isn't needed if the diet is balanced and good.

I don't mean to be disrepectful here. I work with athletes. If you need to supplement protein, your diet probably needs some work. It is a giant misconception brought on by the diet industry that protein supplementation is somehow needed for athletes. It's your money though. I would encourage you to read up on how protein is metabolized though. I would be more than happy to show you some studies or books, and I mean that sincerely. Otherwise, this will be my last post on this subject.
Feb 14, 2002 12:33 PM
I appreciate your comments, I really do, and I agree with them. However: (and this is a cat. 1 phys. student talking too)
1. You have repeatedly misread the sentence you quoted above, ignoring to key word "production ." I know quite well of testosterone's intermediary (it is very complex and still contentious)activities in anabolism, however, you made a comment about athletes not having higher testosterone levels because of utilization in repair. However, athletes DO have higher serum testosterone levels, it is a fact, they just also have a higher turnover rate. (This is the production versus utilization part that you have repeatedly ignored.)
2. Your can of tuna that weighs 6 ounces DOES NOT have 170 grams of protein as you estimate it to. It has 33 grams, the rest is moisture. Whey has no mo moisture.Tuna is still 30% MORE EXPENSIVE than the same amount of Whey Protein Concentrate by YOUR calculations.
3. I think it is pretty clear than the athlete needs more glutamine and less, say, tyrosine. That is what quality means. Specificity of usage. Example is using BCAAlevels or the PDCAA score.
My own empirical experience is that I have trouble daily on a very careful diet, which had little meat, no junk food, very little sugar and low fat, is that 100 grams of protein is HARD to get in a healthy manner. Most meat sources are unacceptable due to fat levels unless everything is cooked at home, and like most, I have work, school and training. 25 hours a week of training. When I started supplementing my protewin intake it hit about 120 grams a day - and this was a huge difference in all aspects of subjective health. Felt better, recovered faster, less overtraining, etc. However, this would only work in cases like mine, calorie restrictive, 100% quality over quantity. The average bike enthusiast with an average diet does nopt require this -- but we are not all average.
athletes and serum testosteronepeloton
Feb 15, 2002 12:09 AM
I think we are agreeing on more than we disagree here. You are right on about athletes utilizing more of their serum testosterone in it's role in repair of muscle tissue, and a higher turnover rate as a result. The higher levels of serum testosterone though might be on a per case basis. Let's say the usual amount of freely availible serum testosterone in a healthy adult male is from 260-1000 ng/dL. I've seen studies in which bodybuilders have had serum levels of around 3500 ng/dL, and some even much higher than that. This is mostly due to steroid or HGH usage. I've also seen studies of bodybuilders after they have discontinued usage (3 monthes after the fact)of anabolic agents in which their serum levels were under 100. Maybe this is due to training loads, or the fact that endrogenous testosterone production was lowered due to the previous introduction of exogenic sources. I've also seen studies of cyclists in which freely availible testosterone was lower as well due to the training loads on the body and the amount of protein synthesis going on for recovery. There was an article I read last year by Jonathan Vaughters who explained that this was the reason that he supplemented his workouts with some strength training so as to try to boost the body's production of testosterone so that he could recover more quickly from all of his workouts. He explained that his testosterone levels dropped to very low levels as the season wore on. Usage outgrows production and what's availible for future recovery is lessened. That would be the same reason Willy Voet had vials of androstol (testosterone) when he got busted crossing the Fraco-Belgian border back in 98. Festina was supplementing testosterone to boost serum levels that were lowered due to the intense training loads of the team. The supplemented levels of testosterone would then allow greater amino acid usage at the binding sites so as to prevent a wasting effect from the cumulation of the season. This would be the biggest reasont that I could see why a cyclist would use an anabolic agent, to boost freely availible serum testosterone levels, surely not for a hypertrophic effect! If freely availible levels of serum testosterone stayed high through training, then there wouldn't be much of an advantage to these substances in the sport of cycling. Although it is case by case, and some people surely have naturally higher levels of testosterone in the body. I think Santiago Botero has a permit from the UCI to be above the threshold that the rules allow for this reason. Maybe your levels are higher too?

These freely availible levels of serum testosterone are what is used for binding amino acids to the binding sites on the muscle tissue. A clean athlete only has so much testosterone for the synthesis of muscle tissue. An athlete might produce more testosterone, but it is quickly used for recovery so freely availble levels may still be low. We agree on excess protein being used in other ways due to this reason. Our freely availible testosterone even decreases with age by about 2% a year after the age of 30. This is one of the reasons we tend to lose some musclular strength as part of the aging process. Our bound levels of testosterone remain about the same though. As serum testosterone levels drop due to age or for recovery, so does our ability to metabolize protein into muscle tissue.

By your own admission though, you do state that you don't eat much meat due to preparation and the usage of a low fat diet. I work 60+ hours a week, so I can relate to preparation time. The downside of whole foods. They are worth it to avoid the sugar in processed foods though. I don't know about cutting out too much meat due to fat levels though. We need fat in our diets as well, and it plays a role in many of our bodies functions, as well as many of the fat soluble vitamins it carries. Or even non-meat sources as well. I use nuts to supplement protein, and they are very high in fat. They do contribute to a nice feeling of satiety, and they have a lot of heart healthy lipids. Same could be said about fish. I really believe and have seen in athletes that I've worked with that it is viable and economical to get one's protein intake through nothing more than food sources. I think it would be safe to say that the only individuals that would be lacking would be on high carbohydrate, low fat diets. I wonder on this traditional endurance sports sort of diet though, what other things may be lacking as well if supplementation is not done. And is supplementing a deficient diet the best answer? I guess one has to weigh that for themselves in terms of the time and preparation that goes into a balanced diet. Supplementation is certainly the easy answer, and better than going without.
PS- buyer bewarepeloton
Feb 15, 2002 12:21 AM
Another thing to watch out for when supplementing protein is to make sure you have a VERY reputable manufacturer. The US bobsledder that was banned from the Olympics last week for nanladrone (an anabolic steroid) levels that were too high could tell you that. Laboratory results proved that his nanladrone intake came from a whey protein supplement that he was consuming (Pro-nitro, I think was the brand). This was not included in the ingredients, and came from some contamination of the product, intentional or not. There were a couple of cases of this at the last summer Olympics, and I know a couple other athletes who had this problem too for the same reasons. It might seem like a lame excuse, but athletes have to be very careful what they ingest. Nanladrone is not something an athlete would probably choose as an anabolic either because it isn't as effective as other options, and it is easily picked up by test results.