Welcome and thank you for checking out my blog. My first entry will be an introduction and explain the purpose of this blog as well as provide some insight as to the topics of future blog posts.
I want to first introduce myself and briefly talk about my background and experience. My name is Andrew Brindle and I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. I am originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan and have resided in Vegas for 4 years. I have been heavily involved in the fitness and nutrition industry for over 15 years. I am an avid weight lifter, runner, and jiu jitsu/submission wrestling competitor. I have tried pretty much every fad diet, supplement, and workout. Through trials and tribulations, a lot of reading and research, and more trials and tribulations to test results on myself, I know what works and what doesn’t work. I know what is hype and what is real when it comes to fitness and nutrition. There is a ton of fluff and BS within this multi-billion dollar industry and my blog is aimed at helping you navigate through it all. With an unbiased opinion, my blog posts will cut through all of the crap and make sense of things to help you improve your health and fitness. Yes, those can be two completely different things! I will dive deeper into that topic in future blog posts.
I will be covering everything from exercise to nutrition. The focus will be on vegan or plant based diets and supplements. Depending on your goals, I will be talking about what exercises, diets, foods, and supplements work and why. A big part of this blog will be clearing up misconceptions on nutrition, whole foods as well as supplements. I want to make sure you’re educated enough to know exactly what you’re purchasing, what it will do for you, and why. I also want to make sure you’re not wasting money on health food products and supplements that are all hype and BS. There are literally 1000’s of products out there that are garbage.
So there, a little forecast of what is to come from this blog. I look forward to providing valuable information that will help you achieve your health and fitness goals and hopefully save you money as well. I look forward to answering questions and comments you may have about the blog posts. See you next time!
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Despite what most people think, “protein is protein”, is FALSE. Not all protein is created equal, especially in the plant based protein supplement industry. This blog post is going to break down the key components that make up a high quality protein supplement and explain what to look for and the calculations to make in order to make sure you’re purchasing a high quality protein supplement.
First, let’s talk about amino acid profiles. I am sure most of you have heard of AAP’s but just incase you haven’t, I will briefly explain them right now. An AAP shows the 18 amino acids typically listed in your protein and shows the abundance of each amino acid (usually in miligrams) in each scoop or serving of protein powder. Here is an example of an AAP:
Different amino acids serve different purposes and there or also different categories of amino acids. The main categories you may have heard of are Non Essential, Essential, and Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s). Non Essential amino acids are amino acids that can be synthesized or produced by the human body. Essential amino acids are amino acids that cannot be produced by the human body and must be consumed in your diet. There are 9 Essential amino acids : Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, and Valine. BCAA’s are amino acids that have an aliphatic side chain with a “branch” (a central carbon atom bound to three or more carbon atoms). Enough of the crazy science talk, here’s what you need to know about BCAA’s. There are 3 of them: Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. They are essential amino acids so they must be consumed in your diet or through supplementation. They are arguably the most important to muscle recovery and building. They are also not as abundant in plant based protein products as they are in other non vegan sources (one reason a lot of bodybuilders have always preferred whey protein) but they can be added to any protein blend. Glutamine is also a very important amino acid just like BCAA’s that is pertinant to muscle recovery and building. There are BCAA and Glutamine supplements out there but ideally you want to get them in your protein powder. An ideal amount of BCAA’s and Glutamine per serving is 1500mg of Isoleucine, 3000mg of Leucine, and 1500mg of Valine alongside 5000mg of Glutamine. As you will see in the products listed further down this blog post, most products don’t reach those numbers.
Now let’s talk about protein concentration. When I say “protein concentration” I am referring to the amount of actual powder it takes to achieve a certain amount of actual protein. Example: Serving size is 30gms and each serving contains 21gms of actual protein. 21gms/30gms=70% protein by weight. Protein concentration is arguably the most important factor to consider when choosing a quality protein product. The reason I say this is because any company can list an amino acid profile based off a certain amount of protein such as 25gms and compare almost identically to another product’s amino acid profile based off 25gms of protein. It doesn’t tell the whole story. Example: Product A and Product B both contain 25gms of actual protein per serving and have similar amino acid profiles listed. However, Product A’s serving size is 30gms of powder and Product B’s serving size is 40gms of powder. This means that Product A is 70% protein by weight and Product B is 63% protein by weight. If they came in the same size/weighted jug, were priced identically, and you flipped a coin and chose Product B you just got ripped off. Moral of the story, always look at the nutrition facts to compare serving size, the amount of servings, and the amount of protein in each serving. Most of the top plant based products have a relatively balanced and “complete” amino acid profile so the most important thing is to check protein concentration! The biggest company in the plant based industry just pulled a fast one on people introducing their “new and improved” formula but if you look at the numbers, they actually made their product weaker and are ripping you off! Keep reading to find out what I am talking about.
Listed below are some of the leading plant based protein product’s nutrition facts and amino acid profiles for you to compare. As you will find, the current best plant based products are around 70% protein by weight. Real Pro Life Nutrition is aiming to be closer to 80%.
Now onto the industry leader that just came out with their “new and improved” formula that they claim offers more protein and costs you less.
Vega was recently purchased by WhiteWave Foods for $550 million in cash. WhiteWave is public traded on the stock exchange. It’s no surprise that a publicly traded company would pinch pennies anywhere they can to maximize profit for their shareholders. So here’s the deal on their “new and improved” Vega Sport formula. The original Vega Sport protein blend was made up of pea, sacha inchi, sprouted brown rice, and alfalfa protein. The new formula took out brown rice and sacha inchi protein and replaced those ingredients with pumpkin seed and sunflower seed protein. Currently, pea protein and brown rice protein are some of the best purest plant based protein forms raw. Taking out brown rice protein and replacing it with pumpkin and sunflower seed is a mistake. But don’t take my word for it, lets look at the numbers. The original formula contains roughly 25 servings, serving size of 34grams, delivering 26grams of protein per serving, and roughly 5000mg of BCAA’s and 5000mg of Glutamine. That means the original formula is roughly 76% (26/34) protein by weight. With a total protein amount per jug of roughly 650grams of protein (25servingsX26grams per serving). The NEW Vega Sport promises 30grams of protein per serving, 6000mg of BCAA’s, and 6000mg of Glutamine!! Wow sounds great right?? WRONG. All they did was increase the serving size from 34grams of powder to 41-43grams of powder (depending on the flavor). A Vega representative told me there are only 19-20 servings per jug! Their serving size went up 20% but protein per serving only went up 15%. The new total protein per jug is only 600grams (20servingsX30grams of protein). Original Vega Sport-650gms vs NEW Vega Sport-600gms. For virtually the same price (depending on where you buy it), you’re getting roughly 8% (650/600=108) LESS PROTEIN! Here is the nutrition facts label of the NEW Vega Sport that you can see on their website.
Thank you for reading this super long blog post. I hope you found it informative and valuable when it comes to making your next purchase of protein. If you have any questions or need advice feel free to hit us up through email or on our Instagram @RealProLifeNutrition. Thanks again for reading!
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