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Protein Supplements Exposed



1. PROTEIN GUIDE
2. WATCH OUT
3. REQUIREMENTS
4. COMPARE

Complete Protein Guide
      


There are various tricks brands use to persuade consumers in purchasing lower quality protein supplements, brands will often lower their quality just so they can improve their profit margins. Syn-Tec Online was designed with the purpose of teaching all about these misconceptions, finally exposing this sad truth that has been continuing for far too long. Whenever you purchase Protein Supplements please read your labels very carefully. This page has been broken down in these three sections:

1) READING NUTRITION LABELS
2) WHEY PROTEIN PROCESSING METHODS
3) “DRY WEIGHT” & “RAW WEIGHT” FORMULAS

These are the three most commonly used ways that manufactures are able to literally misinform consumers out of there hard earned money. Resulting in money spent of supplements that may either not absorb, not supply to the body what had been promised on the label or include added ingredients that result in more harm than good. By carefully reading though both of the guidelines detailed bellow, you will never need to worry about choosing a lower grade protein again. Please pass on this information to others so that we can start educating consumers throughout and stop the monopoly of lower grade products infiltrating the industry any longer.

READING NUTRITION LABELS


In this section we will break down the correct way to read the nutritional label on a protein powder, what to watch out for and how to know the product you are taking is a high quality protein supplement. Unfortunately as dietary supplement science progresses, so do the ways that brands are able to hide lower quality products luring unsuspecting customers through overlooked techniques that make their label look great at a glance, though really being just an inferior product when looked over a little closer.

The example nutritional panel below is the exact nutritional section of Syn-Tec’s Glyco-Whey formula - Which is a WPI (Whey Protein Isolate) / WPC (Whey Protein Concentrate) High Protein, Low Fat, Low Carbohydrate Formula.

Please read over carefully We begin in the Per Serve Section as this is the first place most consumers will assess to see if the Protein Supplement is a good quality product and is right for them. Unfortunately compared to other sections on the label this is really the most irrelevant in regards to the quality of the product for manufacturers have looked to develop numerous ways to make this section look good while substituting quality in other sections that matter more, this will be explained further as you read on.

The most commonly found trick presented on most Protein Formulas is the addition of an unnecessary large serving size. Brands will often increase the amount (volume) Per Serving so that it will result in their Protein Per Serve looking much higher in the Per Serve Section that it necessarily is. Even though your protein might have a large amount of Protein Per Serve say 30gm+ most often it will only be due to the large Serving Size (Large volume of formula directed per serve) be wary of large serving sizes. Unless your protein is a weight gainer like SYN-TEC's Maximus formula, for you may be spending a lot of money just for filler ingredients.

The Per 100g section is by far one of the easiest sections to read though is also so often over looked. This section simply states the Percentage of Protein, Fat, Saturated Fat, Carbohydrates, Sugars etc included into the formula. No matter what the product states as the protein per serve or what serving size a product uses, you can easily determine just how much Percent of either of these ingredients are by looking in this section. As you will see for an example in this formula it is marked 82.8gm of Protein Per Serving this means that this formula is 82.8% Protein. Another great formula to asses is SYN-TEC’s Synthesis Formula which is over 90% Protein.

B- Vitamins are such an important role to a protein supplement as they play the role of assisting absorption. If B-Vitamins are not included into a protein supplement this may result in a substantial amount of less protein absorbed, this is also an important part that is often over looked as supplement manufactures will often leave B-Vitamins out simply to boost profits through less cost.

These 3 amino acids Isoleucine, Leucine & Valine are Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA’s). These aminos are a high importance when taking a protein supplement. To find how much BCAA’s are included per serving add all 3 of these amounts together = Isoleucine 5295mg + Leucine 9996mg + Valine 4932mg = 20,222mg. Then divide by the amount per gm as shown in this case 100g, to show how much BCAA’s per 1gm. Now multiply by the serving size in this case 28gm. 202.22mg x 28gm = 5662.44mg to find that in this Glyco-Whey Formula there is 5.6 grams of BCAA’s per serve. As you should see this is a high Branched-chain amino (BCAA’s) count for such a small serving size.

The ingredients section on a Nutrition Label is by far the most important section to look over in regards to knowing if the product is of high quality and most importantly right for you. This section should outlay in great detail the quality of the product and if parts of this section are not included on a protein supplement as informed on this guide then start asking questions why! First and foremost the breakdown, in this section whatever ingredients are read first (on top of this list) are also the ingredients of the highest volume within the formula. Watch out for supplements that state “Proprietary Blends” for these products will usually not show just how much of what is included into the formula and often mislead consumers by adding it to the top of the ingredients list even though the ingredients stated within the “Proprietary Blend” are not of the highest volume within the formula. Please view our American Supplements Exposed Page to see more on this. Next make sure your protein clearly states what type of filtration method has been used to filter out the raw protein’s fat and lactose. This is another big issue that many manufactures are substituting quality for as there are now a number of ways to filter raw protein, resulting in low carbohydrates and fats on a label while substituting the quality of the protein due to the denature of the following:
1) Glycomacropeptides (GMP’s) – biologically active proteins which have a positive effect on the digestive system, antiviral activity, improved calcium absorption and enhanced immune function.
2) Immunoglobiums – antibodies for immune boosting.
3) Lactoferrin – has anti viral and anti microbial properties, anti cancer and immune enhancing effects.
4) Alpha lactalbumin – contains large amounts of essential amino acids.
Please read more about Filtration Methods bellow to get a full understanding about what a quality protein really is, educate yourself so you never get fooled by an inferior protein formula ever again. In addition to the filtration method as stated on the First Protein Guide page we discussed the importance of the origin of the protein. Syn-Tec Nutriceuticals resources all protein from New Zealand and since Whey Protein is from Milk and New Zealand has the best dairy in the world due to paster raised cows grown from the rich volcanic soil the country is known for world wide. We strongly recommend that you always stick with New Zealand Whey Proteins for the quality of the protein is only as good as where it comes from. Be wary of protein supplements that don’t state the filtration method or where their protein comes from for a brand if of high quality will always be proud of stating these facts on their label.


WHEY PROTEIN PROCESSING METHODS


This is probably the most over looked way to assure that you are purchasing a quality product.
There are two main components of milk protein:

1) Casein
2) Whey Protein

Whey protein in the most part is a by product of cheese manufacturing. The casein coagulates and separates leaving raw whey uncurded on top of the casein. The casein is a very rich source of protein and natural vitamins etc as it has not been denatured in any way.

The whey however, undergoes various processing steps and it is these processing steps which determine the quality of the whey protein in the end product.

During the processing, fat and lactose (milk sugar) are filtered out to make a lower fat, lower carbohydrate and higher protein powder. The final protein content in a whey product can range from 30% to 95% depending on the filtering process used. The higher the protein content on a gram per gram basis, the more processing (filtering) is needed. When a whey protein count is greater than 85% in protein concentration, it is considered to be WPI (whey protein isolate). Less than 85% and it is considered to be WPC (whey protein concentrate).

During filtration, low molecular weight compounds such as lactose is removed. The protein becomes more concentrated. The two basic methods used to process whey protein into Whey protein isolate are:

1) Ion Exchange
2) Micro filtration / Ultra filtration

Ion Exchange / Cation Exchange

Ionic exchange processing involves separating proteins based on their electrical charge. The chemicals hydrochloric acid (battery acid) and sodium hydroxide (salt water) are used in this process. The whey protein is mixed in the solution of hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide and an electrical charge is run through the solution. The protein attaches to the electrical reaction vessel and this is the result is raw WPI being collected and harvested. However, because of the chemical reagents used, pH sensitive protein fractions are damaged and some amino acids are denatured. Some protein fractions that become denatured are:

1) Glycomacropeptides (GMP’s) – biologically active proteins which have a positive effect on the digestive system, antiviral activity, improved calcium absorption and enhanced immune function.
2) Immunoglobiums – antibodies for immune boosting.
3) Lactoferrin – has anti viral and anti microbial properties, anti cancer and immune enhancing effects.
4) Alpha lactalbumin – contains large amounts of essential amino acids.

As you can see, a lot of the good stuff is lost with the ion exchange process. One benefit of ion exchange processing is that the end product has less fat and lactose (sugar) and in some instances higher in BCAA compared to ultra filtered proteins and this is a heavily marketed ploy to get consumers to buy these products, despite the disadvantages of this process which denatures many of the other protein sub fractions such as Lactalbumin, Lactoglobulin and Glycomacroptides and increases the sodium (salt count) to higher levels when compared to ultra filtrated whey protein.

Foot Note:

In some cases a supplement brand maybe using ion exchange WPI in their formula without you even knowing. The label may just list WPI or instanized WPI without the word ionised in front of it. Instanized WPI is WPI from any source which has lecithin sprayed on to it so that the protein does not stick together. This enables an easy mixing formula. An easy way to identify if your protein brand maybe using ionised WPI in stealth is to take a look at the nutritional panel and look at the sodium (salt) content. A high sodium count compared to the potassium count normally is the sign that ion exchange whey maybe present. Micro or ultra filtered WPI will have extremely low sodium counts compared to potassium.

Micro filtration / Ultra filtration

The other type of processing and filtering whey is a method called microfiltration and or ultrafiltration. Micro and ultrafiltration are very similar. The main difference between them is the average pore size of the filtration membranes. Microfiltration membranes are about one micrometer, which is very small. However, ultrafiltration membrane is about 4 times smaller than microflitation at about 250 nanometers or (0.25 micrometer). Ultra Filtration is superior providing a finer and smoother mixing powder as has been witnessed by many Syn-Tec customers who have made comment on this observation alone.

In this process the whey protein is flowed over the membranes (cross flowed is a term often used) and is forced through the membranes where natural ceramic filters are used to separate the whey protein from the raw protein solution. Undesirable components such as fat and lactose are filtered out. The particles are separated based on their molecular size and shape. This results in a micro or ultra filtrated WPI. No heat or electricity is used so no harm is done to the protein on a sub molecular level.

The key advantages to this processing method include:

1) Minimal denaturing of protein
2) Preserved protein fractions
3) Better amino acid profile
4) Contains more calcium and less sodium
5) Does not damage the many immune boosting components such as alpha lactalbumin, immunoglobulins and Glycomacropeptides.
6) Has the highest level of undenatured protein available.

So in a nut shell, it is Syn-Tec’s opinion that Micro Filtered and or Ultra filtered whey protein isolate is the best quality as it is a whole undenatured protein source. The way nature intended it to be.

Syn-Tec Nutriceuticals never sacrifices on quality and only uses micro / ultra filtered whey protein isolate where required. NO ion exchange WPI is ever used in Syn-Tec formulas for reasons now self explainable to you all. Check out any Syn-Tec protein powder nutritional label and do the sodium versed potassium test for your self. Then take a look at other leading brands for comparison.

Now, just a little bit on hydrolyzed whey protein isolate.

Hydrolyzed whey protein isolate is usually a WPI that has had some of its amino acid peptides broken enzymatically into shorter chains of amino acids. This aids in better absorption in the stomach. However, it is not popular because of its horrible taste due to the hydrolysis process making the whey taste bitter. Generally, hydrolyzed whey protein formulas will be no more than 20% hydrolyzed due to the bitter taste and increased cost to the manufacturer. The more that goes in the formula, the worse the taste and more expensive it gets. Unfortunately with many USA brands you will never know what percentage of the protein is hydrolyzed, as the manufactures will never put the actual amount on their label. It is usually just a token amount so it can be represented in the marketing of the formula. This often is the case too, with some other manufacturers WPI blends who mix ionised with micro filtered whey, but only highlight the micro filtered on their label.

Companies such as Syn-Tec and other leading New Zealand brands are now adding protein digestive enzymes such as Bromelain to many of their protein formulas which help with the digestion process and greatly increase the bioavailability of the protein source in their formulas. There is no real need for hydrolyzed whey to be used when micro filtered whey is the protein source, due to the natural protein fractions being present which aid the natural digestion process.


“DRY WEIGHT” & “RAW WEIGHT” FORMULAS


Sometimes differing descriptions of protein based formulas are used in the sports supplement industry to arrive at achieving a higher protein score on the nutritional panel of a protein powder formula. Terms like ‘Dry Weight’ meaning moisture free powder or ‘Raw Weight’ meaning the active protein source before sweeteners, additives and fillers have been added are sometimes used when valuing a formulas protein score. This tactic helps the manufacturer to arrive at a higher score than the formula really is which makes the formulas nutritional panel look more impressive.

These descriptive terms do not give a true indication of the true amount of protein you are actually getting in each serve due the fact that moisture and food additives do add to the content of the formula and take up space in the powder. For instance, if you take a normal serve of protein powder sourced say from WPI and remove all the moisture that it contains by drying it out (moisture is absorbed from the air around us in the manufacturing process and every time you open a tub and expose it to air), then its actual weight will fall and leave you with more WPI on a weight to volume basis and this how some formulas protein values maybe expressed at the point of sale. This value will be inaccurate compared to the actual serve that is taken from a tub in normal everyday conditions, as who of us will take time to dry our protein powder out by baking it in the oven before use.

The term 'raw weight' maybe used from time to time as well. Carbohydrates, sweeteners, food additives and sometime even fillers are added to the raw protein source such as WPI and depending on what is added there could be anywhere upwards of 20% of the total product weight just there. This can add up to quite a significant number once all other factors are taken into consideration and will have an impact on the final total protein, carbohydrate and fat content of the product.

The entire Syn-Tec sports food range has an independent assay test and micro biological test done to configure the true nutritional value based on the 100g score with all these factors included. The true actual contents of each formula including moisture and additives are represented on the labels via the nutritional description panel as required by law in New Zealand, so you can be rest assured that what is stated on the nutritional panel is actually present in each serve you take along with the safety assurance that the contents are not contaminated in any way shape or form.

Syn-Tec welcomes any third party independent testing of its formulas. In fact many tests have been carried out by other competitors and as is always the case, Syn-Tec formulas have always met their label claims.

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