T Nation

Protein Powder Cycle?

A trainer at my gym stated that protein powder brands should be alternated or cycled to maximize their effectiveness.

I would like to hear any comments on this statement. I would think that as long as you have a variety of protein sources in your diet you could use the same protein powder brand indefinitely.

Sounds like he doesn’t trust any of 'em, so in order to mimimize the crappiness of some (he doesn’t know which) he constantly alternates…though maybe most have different makeups…but then why wouldn’t you just buy what you think it best? Food should be your biggest source anyway, so you should be getting a complete protein intake in general.

I’ve wondered about this too. I remember someone, I think it was Charles Poliquin or Dan Duchaine, saying that if you stay w/ one brand too long, you can develop an allergy to it?

Is that possible?

Berardi recommends this too. If you go to his website he has an article of supplements that he has given his OK on. He gives his rocommendations to three or so protein powders. Grow!, of course is one of them. He has his clients use a bottle of one then a bottle of another, alternating back and forth between the two or three products. I personally do this also. I usually use 2-4 servings of pro pow a day. I’ll use a serving or two of Grow!, then a serving or two of something like Dorian Yates’ brand. Seems to help me with gas.

OK, so apparently this is recommended, but does anyone have any idea why?

I’ve never cycled my proteins. I always use a whey protein isolate mixed with casein, or Grow!. I’ve been living off that stuff for years. I get atleast 120 grams of protein a day from powder sources. a protein is a protein. make sure to eat a balanced diet. I eat a lot of red meat as well as pork and chicken. laters pk

Yeah, I too read on JB’s site that he rotates his protein w/ his client’s. Also, I KNOW Poliquin does this, like grappler said, to avoid developing an allergy. (seems as if people having different opinions on whether an allergy will/can be developed w/ using the same source)

Pkradgreek,

Wow, 120 grams daily is a lot from protein powder. I believe JB recommends not to get more than 20-30% (not sure if those are the exact #'s) of your protein intake from powder. Also, I hafta say, I can’t agree w/ your comment that “a protein is a protein.” Different protein have their own unique benifits. But yeah, as you said, “eat a balanced diet.”

Danny

I agree with others. If you simply have a good quality powder formulation, Grow!, there is no need to cycle it.

I don’t cycle the brand of eggs, meat, fish, or any other protien source, so I don’t see a point in cycling protein powders.

I have JB’s No Nonsnece Nutrition DVD. At the end he goes over the reasons why he advocates this. I’ll be damned if I can remember what he said! Hey, it happens. It made sense at the time though! It had something to do with gastric distress and sub-clinical food allergins and whatnot. Seriously though, it’s not gonna throw heaps of mass on ya overnight or anything but if it reduces the noxious gas eminating from your ass at night by .02%, it might just be worth it!

I spoke with the trainer that mentioned this and he told me that this information came from Charles Poliquin. Apparently, Poliquin stated that protein powder brands and all other protein sources should be cycled to maximize their effectiveness. Whoa, my diet might get more complex. Interestingly, I do not recall ever reading anything about protein cycling on this website so it may not actually be that big of a deal.

I would be curious to hear what the T-staff think of this thread.

I don’t see how cycling the brand of protein powder is going to make any difference at all in terms of effectiveness. Other than for the sake of simply having a variety in taste, I see no reason to vary the source. I’d be interested in viewing any data which supports the idea of using different brands of the same protein type.

I cycle… because of sales and taste. :slight_smile:

I just reviewed JB’s No Nononsense DVD and here’s what they had to say…

They have found (first got the tip from Dr. Eric Serrano) that some of their clients (or people in general) seem to build up an intolerance (maldigestion: i.e. bloating/diarrhea/gas) to the powder in time - if using the same one for a long time. So what they’ll often do is go out and buy 2-3 different protein powders and use one on day 1, another on day 2, and then the last one on day 3 before repeating the cycle. I’m just not sure if they do this for everyone (sounded like they do) or if they just do this w/ people that experience the discomforts listed above.

Danny

Thanks Dboy, I really didn’t feel like watching it again at this particular point in time. But by the way, this practice does seem to help me a little bit with diarrhea and gas. Word to the wise to anyone suffering from these symptoms.

I get between 150-200 grams of protein from powder a day. One reason is because I am broke and protein powder is cheaper than meat, and the other is it’s much more convenient. I can’t be bothered barbequing or frying all day.

I usually eat 6 eggs in the morning, and around 50 grams of protein in the evening from either beef, chicken, or pork everyday.

[quote]Dboy wrote:
I just reviewed JB’s No Nononsense DVD and here’s what they had to say…

They have found (first got the tip from Dr. Eric Serrano) that some of their clients (or people in general) seem to build up an intolerance (maldigestion: i.e. bloating/diarrhea/gas) to the powder in time - if using the same one for a long time. So what they’ll often do is go out and buy 2-3 different protein powders and use one on day 1, another on day 2, and then the last one on day 3 before repeating the cycle. I’m just not sure if they do this for everyone (sounded like they do) or if they just do this w/ people that experience the discomforts listed above.

Danny[/quote]

The bloating, diarrhea and gas are more associated with lactose intolerance in such products, which is more likely as everyone is lactose intolerant to varying degrees, rather than attributing it to some sort of hypersensitivity reaction. I’ve never really seen this anecdotally either. Even if the product is said not to contain lactose, and instead if there were one compound that one were trying to say that a person or persons do have a hypersensitivity reaction to, I don’t see how varying the brand would help. Even if one knew that a given compound were causing the effect and one brand had a lower amount of whatever that may be, why wouldn’t you simply use the brand which had the smallest amount?

OR, now that I think about it, what I’m guessing is the most likely reasoning, being that in those that suffer such reactions, using a given product which causes a greater immune response and then switching to one which causes less of a reaction immediately after, thus potentially benefiting from the tolerance or desensitization developed from using the product which caused the greater allergenic response. The problem I have with this however, is how one determines which brands fit those categories and how accurately one can gauge the degree of response from one product to the next.

I’m having a hard time finding the reasoning behind this, but if those that use this method believe it actually works for them, more power to them. :slight_smile: