I don’t think Surge is being reforumulated. Same old Surge - same fantastic benefits.
As far as protein types, here’s a monster amt of text for ya…(comes from Sports Supplement Encyclopedia - you can find it on my site).
It’s a bit older but still great info!
Whole Foods vs Supplemental Protein
Athletes and nutritionists have been arguing for years about whether or not protein supplements are necessary. Nutritionists argue that protein needs can be met by whole food sources. They also say that supplemental protein powders offer no advantages. We don’t necessarily agree with the nutritionists on this point. Certain protein supplements do offer significant advantages over whole food sources. In our opinion, they definitely have a place in any athlete’s nutritional program.
Variety and Convenience
Most athletes and nutritionists will certainly agree that protein intake should come from a variety of sources. Different protein sources have different amino acid, vitamin and mineral profiles. The consumption of a limited variety of any macronutrient (protein, carbohydrates, or fats) or micronutrient (vitamins or minerals) can lead to nutritional deficiencies. So how does one prevent deficiency? Eat variety! Mainstays of the diet should be protein sources like lean beef, eggs, low fat cheese, milk, fish, and chicken.
But there is a problem here. The problem is that most typical nutritional programs, even in athletes, are far from the ideal recommendation for variety mentioned above. Typically athletes choose protein sources that are convenient and require minimal preparation (there goes the chicken, beef and eggs). In this scenario, because the protein sources are limited, the athlete doesn’t eat enough of them. After all what 200lb guy wants to eat 3 whole containers of cottage cheese just to meet his 180g-protein requirement for the day. People don’t often really realize just how difficult or important it is to get sufficient protein. If you can fit in 5 meals a day, this amounts to an average of about 40 grams of protein per meal, every meal. Since a can of tuna or a 4 oz chicken breast only contains about 30 g of protein, getting all your protein is difficult indeed; especially from whole food sources.
In addition to how difficult it is to get enough protein without good planning, the food protein sources chosen for convenience may be missing certain amino acids necessary for growth and repair. If this happens, although the grams of protein eaten may seem to be adequate, there can be serious deficiencies in the diet. Specific amino acid deficiencies from limited variety can seriously impair normal function.
Again, we recognize that suggesting changes in food selection may correct this problem. But these dietary changes may compromise the convenience factor. If this happens, the new diet will not be followed for long before the athlete slips back into convenience mode. And when in convenience mode, meal planning is at a minimum. This leads to poor food choices. Most “on the go” snacks are usually sugar and fat laden while containing very little protein. It’s not easy to find high quality 30-40g protein meals at the local mini mart on your way to work or to the gym!
Protein supplements are the answer to the convenience factor as they can fit quite nicely into any schedule. Protein supplements often contain very high quality protein that require no meal planning short of remembering to grab your protein packet or protein bar on the way out the door. In addition, since these protein powders are often fortified with vitamins and minerals (two other components of a balanced diet that many athletes are lacking), they may provide an easy source of other nutrients necessary for optimal nutrition and growth.
Protein Supplements and Cost
One common and sensitive issue focuses on the cost of protein supplements. Nutritionists have claimed that protein supplements are very expensive relative to their protein content and that whole food sources are cheaper.
Protein supplements, while slightly more expensive in some cases, are not substantially more expensive than whole food sources when compared per 40g of protein. We therefore believe that protein supplements are not unaffordable. Again, taking into account the convenience factor, most supplemental protein powders that offer around 40g of protein, 24g of carbohydrate and 3g of fat are substantially cheaper (and certainly more nutritious) than the fast food meals that some individuals would choose over cooking - lb of chicken or preparing a dozen egg whites. In addition, since many food sources contain other macronutrients, (carbohydrates and fats) if an individual is interested in increasing protein intake with a minimal increase in calories from other macronutrients, fat and carbohydrate free protein powders are ideal.
Protein and Digestibility
Finally, another advantage of supplemental protein sources is that they are liquid and therefore more quickly digested than whole protein sources. In addition to rapid digestion, a very high percentage of a good supplemental protein powder is completely digested and absorbed due to the amino acid profiles of the supplements and the lack of lactose or fat. Today many supplemental proteins are also partially hydrolyzed (broken down) when processed. Therefore they require less natural GI processing before absorption. For athletes requiring an abundance of calories, these benefits are desired since they will allow for more feedings during the day without feeling constantly “full”. In addition they will allow for less GI distress during training and competition.
Since I think we made a pretty strong case as to why you may need protein powder supplementation, let’s talk quality.
Which protein is best for muscle growth? Well, that question can’t be answered because the best thing for muscle growth is to consume many different proteins. However, much of your protein should come from high quality sources. Quality is measured in many different ways but two of the most common are biological value (BV) and the protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS).
The BV score gives us an indication of how much of the protein eaten remains in the body (the rest is excreted via sweat, urine, feces). Since the BV score is measured relative to a high quality “test protein” (usually egg protein), the test protein is given a BV of 100. Therefore protein sources can either have BV scores less than 100 indicating that they are less useful than egg protein in creating protein retention in the body or they can have a BV score of greater than 100 indicating that they are more useful than egg in creating protein retention in the body. A BV score of 70% or greater is usually considered good quality protein.
The PDCAAS measures the individual amino acids in the protein. As we stated earlier, a deficiency in only one amino acid may cause dramatic negative consequences. Therefore this measure of protein quality examines the essential amino acid content of the protein in question and compares it against the human requirement for essential amino acids. Since a protein is only as good as it’s weakest link, the amino acid that is lowest in the protein source then is termed the limiting amino acid. Here’s an example. Wheat protein is known to be a poor quality protein due to the fact that its limiting essential amino acid is lysine. Since the lysine content of wheat protein is only 8mg/1g protein while the human requirement for lysine is 19g/1g protein, this protein source only provides 42% (8 divided by 19) of the necessary lysine for growth and repair.
So as you can see, animal products seem to score better on both the BV and PCDAAS scales. This is why animal proteins are typically the proteins of choice for athletes. Other protein sources like beans, grains, and peanuts can be eaten but are usually insufficient to provide the body with the amino acids necessary for growth.
Due to the high quality protein in animal sources, researchers have examined whether animal protein is better for getting stronger, gaining mass and losing fat than vegetarian protein. From these studies it has been concluded that an omnivorous diet containing protein from several sources including various meats, eggs, and dairy is superior to a vegetarian diet containing no meat and only a small amount of dairy and eggs.
Milk Protein Components
In addition to the animal protein vs. vegetarian debate, another debate has recently heated up regarding the benefits of different milk protein components, namely whey and casein.
Whey and casein make up at least 90% of the total cow’s milk protein content. You will also see that table 9 contains a listing of the peptides and proteins contained in both whey and casein. Milk is probably more complex than you thought!
We point out these components of milk protein for good reason. Many studies have shown that whey and casein proteins have different properties in the body (NP Shah 2000, L Hambraeus et al 1995, P Roberta and S Zaloga 1994, J Morley 1982, Y Boirie et al 1997, M Coste and D Tome 1991, V Brantl et al 1979, R Demling and L DeSanti 1998, R Demling and L DeSanti 2000). These studies have shown that even the whey and casein peptides listed in table 9 have even smaller subunits that have very profound pharmacologic effects (drug-like effects). These effects include the prevention of cancer, the ability to decrease blood pressure, the ability to stimulate the immune system and fight infection, the ability to increase nitrogen retention, and the ability increase the efficiency of nutrient delivery into the muscle mass.
Protein Processing and Isolation
It is very important to note here that these amazing properties of whey and casein are only available if the processing of the original milk protein is done properly (i.e. the proteins are not destroyed or denatured nor are the active peptides lost; G Bounos et al 1991, A Enomoto et al 1993). The processing of milk can be done in several ways in order to separate out the casein and whey from the lactose, fat and other milk componenets. Since casein is relatively easy to separate and whey protein is a bit more complex, let’s discuss whey.
To concentrate whey protein many companies use 6 major processing steps including: a) partial predigestion b) enzyme hydrolysis c) ultrafiltration and dia-filtration to remove lactose (milk sugar) and fat d) reverse osmosis to separate different sized whey particles e) an ion-exchange processes and 6) high-speed air drying at low temperatures. These steps start with liquid milk and end up giving us a concentrated whey protein in powder form.
In the past, the isolation process was not as streamlined and efficient as it is today. This meant a high lactose and fat content in these original whey protein concentrates. In addition, these methods utilized high temperatures or large changes in acidity in order to concentrate either the whey or the casein. Due to these extreme treatments, whey protein products contained only 30-40% protein and high amounts of lactose, fat and denatured proteins (AJ Vasbinder et al 2001, AC Alting et al 2000, T Desrosiers et al 1991, AJ Law and J Lever 2000, JE Kinsella and DM Whitehead 1989, MP Vasson et al 1998). This means that the whey structure was destroyed and many of the most potent peptides in whey and casein were eliminated.
Today, however, more advanced methods of isolation have been developed (R Rossano et al 2001). The following types of whey protein are available today:
Whey protein concentrates are now processed at low temperatures and low acid conditions. They can contain as much as 70 to 80% percent protein, with small amounts of lactose and minimal fats. In addition, this process ensures that about 90% - 96% of this protein is undenatured. It also contains most of the active peptides discussed above.
Ion exchange whey protein isolates are now processed to contain more than 90% protein content with minimal lactose and no fat. This offers an advantage over whey concentrates in terms of pure protein content. However some of the isolation procedures (ion-exchange procedures) lead to a denaturation or a loss of the important peptides discussed above. Therefore ion exchange whey protein isolates may be higher in protein percentage but may not offer the same health and muscle building benefits as the lower protein whey concentrates.
Cross flow micro (CFM) filtration methods have been developed in order to prevent the problems seen with ion exchange proteins. This method is by far the best for whey protein concentration and isolation. In fact, just like ion exchange proteins, this method produces an isolate that is greater than 90% protein with no fat or lactose. However, unlike ion exchange proteins, CFM proteins are at least 99% undenatured and retain all of the important peptides discussed above. Also, the calcium content of CFM protein is high and this is an important consideration with high protein diets (see side bar #3).
Obviously we are most enthusiastic about the CFM process for isolation of the milk proteins and peptides. The only drawback to this technique is the price. It is a bit higher than whey concentrates or ion exchange isolates but again, you get a better concentration of protein and the important peptides that enhance immune function, decrease blood pressure, and increase nitrogen retention. When we mentioned earlier that price alone shouldn’t determine your choice in a protein powder, this is exactly why. You could pay less, but if you do, you may be getting a protein powder that is of less value (in terms of biologically active peptide content) than plain old milk.
One more recent development that is gaining popularity is the ability to separate out individual portions of the protein (i.e. β-lactoglobulin, lactoferrin) so that they can be taken in larger quantities without all the “extras”. The future may hold a time when you can supplement your diet with bioactive peptides rather than the whole protein.
Before we delve further into specific protein types and their effects we would like to make a brief note about protein hydrolysates. Whey or casein protein can be hydrolyzed (broken into smaller pieces) by enzymes that produce small chains of amino acids called peptides. This process mimics our own digestive actions. This makes hydrolysis an ideal way to process protein as long as manufacturers are careful not to denature it. Once hydrolyzed, these undenatured peptides have many benefits over and above whole protein sources. First, since the GI prefers peptides to whole proteins or amino acids, hydrolyzed proteins are more easily broken down and absorbed into the blood stream than whole protein sources (S Ziemlanski et al 1978). In fact hydrolyzed proteins may be absorbed in about half the time that it takes free from amino acids or whole proteins. This can lead to a more rapid delivery into the body, especially when it is needed most (like after weight training workouts – see side bar #2).
Also, hydrolyzed whey protein concentrates have a higher BV score than whey protein concentrates or other milk protein preparations (149-159 vs 104; S Ziemlanski et al 1978). As we already know, higher BV scores translate to better processing and utilization of protein in the body. In addition, this increase in BV may increase the release of IGF-1, which, as mentioned earlier, can stimulate muscle growth (GR Adams 1998).
Finally, studies have even shown that hydrolysates do not stimulate the release of the catabolic hormone cortisol whereas whole intact proteins do stimulate this catabolic hormone (M Slag et al 1981).
Although protein hydrolysates seem to offer some nice advantages when compared to intact proteins, a word of caution is again necessary. Different hydrolysis techniques have been used to break protein down into small peptides. These techniques have had various degrees of success. Older methods of acid-based hydrolysis often led to a substantial destruction of the proteins and peptides. Also, older enzymatic methods often produced incompletely hydrolyzed products that were very bitter tasting and that also lost their functionality (YH Lee et al 1992). Fortunately new methods of mild enzymatic hydrolysis have been developed to hydrolyze whey or casein proteins. So when looking for a good hydrolysate, look for one that has been enzymatically hydrolyzed.
Whey vs Casein - Is One Better Than the Other?
In the previous few sections we focused on the many small active peptides in milk proteins. However in this section we would like to discuss the substantial differences between the major milk proteins, whey and casein. As we already know, whey makes up about 18-20% of cow’s milk protein while casein makes up about 75-80% of cow’s milk protein (see table 9).
While whey and casein may have different bioactive peptides (see table 10), they also have major physical differences. The main difference is how they behave once they enter your GI tract. Both are definitely high quality protein sources with high PDCAAS and BV scores but what differs between the two proteins is their rate of digestion and absorption into the body (S Mahe et al 1996, Y Boirie et al 1997). Simply put, the amino acids and peptides from whey protein move through the GI and into your bloodstream quickly while casein amino acids and peptides “clot” in the GI and therefore are much more slowly digested. Casein therefore takes longer to get to the blood stream than whey.
So what do these differences in digestion and absorption mean to us? Well, functionally this means that the amino acids and peptides from whey will rapidly get into the blood. And these rapid rises in blood amino acids create a quick and short-lived increase in protein synthesis. Studies show that after consuming whey protein, blood amino acids rise and then return to normal 300 minutes after eating). Although this does stimulate protein synthesis, it has no impact on protein breakdown. The balance between protein synthesis and protein breakdown determines muscle gain.
On the other hand, casein creates the opposite effect. The slow delivery of casein will lead to a small but steady increase in blood amino acids over a long period of time. After consuming casein, blood amino acids are elevated for at least 420 minutes. This stimulates protein synthesis to a smaller extent than whey but it does significantly decrease protein breakdown.
So what does this information mean? Well, when the effects of whey and casein were all calculated out and the net protein synthesis or breakdown was measured, you can see from the figure 1 that after 120 minutes there were no major differences in protein balance (the balance of protein synthesis and protein breakdown) between the groups. However after 420 minutes, the casein group had a far more positive protein balance than the whey group (total synthesis was greater than total breakdown).
So what this tells us is that the rate of digestion of your protein has some pretty interesting effects on protein balance in the body. If you recall that a positive protein status is desired when muscle gain is the goal, then you can see why we’re discussing this study. Interestingly a follow-up study to the Y Boirie et al study was published recently to confirm these findings (M Dangin et al 2001). But in this study an interesting twist was added.
In the Dangin et al study, the authors wanted to measure protein balance differences between slow digesting proteins and fast digesting proteins, independent of whey vs. casein. So they compared a slow digesting casein protein to a fast digesting amino acid blend very similar to the composition of casein. Then they compared a fast digesting whey protein to a modified whey protein that had slower digestion rate. At the end of the 7-hour measurement period, the “slow proteins” (whether whey or casein) resulted in a more positive protein balance than the “fast proteins” (whether whey or casein).
So does this resolve the debate? Isn’t it now clear that it’s not a debate between whey and casein? It’s a debate between “slow” and “fast” proteins. In addition, isn’t it clear that weight trainers who eat every few hours probably won’t see a difference between the two types of protein anyway? After all, the only differences in protein balance were seen after 7 hours. At the 2-hour mark, they were the same. Maybe this suggests that a “slow” protein should be taken before bed at night, but during the day, it shouldn’t matter, right? We wish it were so easy!
Last year, a study was published by R Demling and L DeSanti comparing body composition and strength changes in dieting overweight police officers supplementing their diets with 75 g of either a milk protein blend containing mostly casein or a whey only protein blend. Three groups of officers were studied for 12 weeks. One group followed a diet but was given no supplemental protein and did not exercise. The other two groups dieted, weight trained, and received one of the two protein supplements described above. As you can see from figure 4, the milk protein/casein group lost almost 6.5 lbs (3kg) more fat and gained nearly 4.5lbs (2kg) more muscle than the whey only group. In addition, the milk protein/casein group had a 31% improvement over the whey only group in muscle strength.
These are amazing differences. And the study above isn’t the first study that Drs Demling and DeSanti have done comparing these two types of protein. In another project they examined the effects of these two proteins on burn patients. Burn patients normally lose large amounts of muscle as a result of the trauma. In the study, the authors were trying to preserve their muscle mass with weight training and protein supplementation. The results showed that casein supplementation lead to the recovery of lean mass and muscle function twice as fast as whey supplementation (R Demling and L DeSanti 1998).
Why such the dramatic differences in these two studies? The authors claim that several factors contributed to the differences between milk/casein and whey. They claim that the contributing factors were:
a) the slow rates of digestion and absorption of the milk/casein protein
b) the idea that milk/casein protein may promote better protein balance over time
c) the idea that the active peptide components of milk/casein proteins discussed above lead to anabolic and anti-catabolic effects
So which protein source is better? Neither! Use both. A combination of whey and casein may offer the anabolic and anti-catabolic benefits of both proteins as well as all those cool bioactive peptides of both. A protein blend of milk protein isolates, whey isolates, and casein will probably offer the best possible combination whether dieting or trying to gain muscle.
Well, now that we’ve covered some of the hottest and most interesting proteins in athletic/bodybuilding supplementation today, we’d like to discuss how best to incorporate these proteins into a daily eating plan. Due to the different effects that the proteins have on the body in terms of digestion and absorption, perhaps it makes sense to utilize these special properties when they are needed most (i.e. after the workout). Since we have all this great science, we might as well use it!
It makes sense to categorize protein sources into two groups; the slow proteins and the fast proteins. Slow proteins would be whole food sources like cottage cheese, egg, beef, fish, chicken as well as supplemental protein powders containing milk and casein (isolates or concentrates). Fast proteins would be proteins like whey isolate or concentrate as well as most protein hydrolysates including casein, whey, etc.
The ideal scenario to make best use of the slow vs fast nature of protein is to understand what the body may need at certain times of the day:
- First thing in the morning. When waking up in the morning, your body has just been through a long “fast” (6-9 hours for most people). During this overnight fast, the body has been using up its stored energy by slowly sending nutrients out from the liver, fat cells, and muscle cells. The body does this in order to keep blood sugar constant and to fuel the brain and other tissues during sleep. Unfortunately, this constitutes a small degree of body cell destruction. At this time, the best thing you can do for your body is to consume a relatively quick digesting protein source. That way you can rapidly end this cellular destruction. Since the use of stored energy will be rapidly stopped, you will be using the stored energy for building new tissues or saving your stored energy for when it’s needed most (high level training). Therefore a fast protein source would be best to start your day with. One nice way to accomplish this would be to drink a small whey protein or hydrolysate shake immediately upon waking. Then, a little while later, consume your normal breakfast meal.
- Immediately after training. Side bar #2 deals with the body’s nutritional needs after training. Basically, after training the body is primed for nutrient uptake, especially the muscles. So this is a great time to consume a quick digesting fast protein. Since whey protein hydrolysates are the fastest to be digested and absorbed, these are pretty much the only choice of protein for post workout recovery nutrition. But don’t forget your carbs and BCAA.
- During the day. Since, throughout the day, your goal should be to eat meals every few hours, the need for “special” proteins is limited. Since studies have shown that an omnivorous diet is ideal for promoting positive training adaptations (see sidebar #1), lean meat sources of protein are ideal during the day. While we encourage lean meat sources of protein for most of your day, if you get in a bind, a good whey/casein/milk protein isolate/concentrate blend can be a good compromise due to the combination of fast proteins and slow proteins.
- Immediately before bed. Before you lie down and enter dreamland, you should consider taking in a final low calorie meal in anticipation of the 6-8 hour fast ahead. You want to prevent the body from using all of its stored energy during the night. This would be a great time for a slow protein since the slow proteins release their nutrients over several hours. In fact, the studies we discussed above showed that even after 7 hours, the subjects were still in a positive protein balance and still had a slow delivery of nutrients (Y Boirie et al 1997, M Dangin et al 2001). So before bed a whey/casein, milk protein isolate/concentrate blend would be good. You could even go with just a slow digesting cottage cheese meal at this time.