Cheaper Protein shake powders - do they work?

  • suedeheadscot

    Posts: 1130

    Sep 20, 2011 7:00 PM GMT
    Maybe this'll be better the UK guys asking this ....does anyone know if the protein shakes they sell in GNC quite cheaply are any good? I'm on a budget and cant really afford to buy promax all the time....there's also a special on Optimum at the moment. Discuss!
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    Sep 20, 2011 7:13 PM GMT
    That's a tricky one, because it really depends.

    While it's a LOT of work, you really need to first compare ALL the nutrition facts. For instance the grams of protein per scoop and how many servings are in the jug. I saw a cheaper brand at Vitamin shoppe recently that said a serving was 2 scoops totaling 25 grams of protein. That's absurd because the bigger brands offer a one scoop serving of 25 grams. so that cheaper brand might be 5-10 dollars cheaper per jug, but you're going to need twice as many jugs to get the same amount of protein.

    so what I do is some simple math: multiply the grams of protein per serving with the number of servings; divide that with the price to find out how much you're paying per total grams of protein in the jug.
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    Sep 20, 2011 7:30 PM GMT
    Urgh, I hate the whole "grams per serving" - what the hell is wrong with "grams per 100 grams"?

    Anyway, the cheaper stuff you find in brick and morter shops are usually a rip off (so is the more expensive stuff too though). Like thenes said they "cut" the protein with cheap carbs. A whey protein product should have 75-80% protein and little in the way of fat and carbs. Fats and carbs are dirt cheap compared with protein which is one of the reasons they are such large components of processed foodstuffs.

    I like MyProtein.co.uk. They have a very nice Impact Whey Protein powder chocolate smooth flavour 5kg for £53.49. I haven't tried the other flavours but they have samples. If money is really an issue you can get 5kg unflavoured for £40. I don't know what shipping is within the UK.
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    Sep 20, 2011 7:55 PM GMT
    I've been told by many of of my close workout friends that certain brands of protein such as EAS and MuscleMilk are better because of the added vitamin blend and things like that. But I've also been told its the same stuff either way that protein is protein. If you take a good vitamin it shouldn't really matter. For awhile all I took after a workout was a full meal packed with proteins and carbs and that seemed to work fine. I do see better results from shakes though, If I was you I'd go ahead and get the cheaper kind and try it out. Its scary how much money the average person spends on the gym and workout products cutting costs is not a bad idea.
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    Sep 20, 2011 8:11 PM GMT
    I think protein shakes main benefit is convenience. Because you could get the same ingredients and protein content just from eating the right foods. While yes its nice that some protein shakes like Optimum add these essential aminos like glutamine, lysine, etc you could get these by themselves in large quantities for VERY cheap. However with convenience comes cost, so in the long run your probably paying for more for shakes unless you can find a great deal.
  • mmmship

    Posts: 152

    Sep 20, 2011 8:18 PM GMT
    STOP!!. You cannot be on a budget if u choose to shop at GNC. Go online. I buy my 10lbs worth of protein either Optimum or Scivation for just $70. If u have just $70, u can only buy a 5lb protein and a drink (ok, maybe a bar).

    Most proteins are good considering competition of other companies. Just read the labels.
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    Sep 20, 2011 8:33 PM GMT
    THEY'RE ALL THE SAME.
    Wether its budget or premium, all of them do the job. It just depends on the ingredients you need to achieve your goal, and importantly, the grams of protein and carbs in each serving.
    Frankly for me i go for taste first, because if i cant stomach it, then its a waste.
    The cheapest i've tried is Muscle Milk and Twinlab, and they taste good.
    Look for sales at Vitamin World and Vitamin Shoppe, or online. icon_wink.gif
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    Sep 20, 2011 9:03 PM GMT
    I'm trying to put on a significant amount of mass and I find that GNC's Wheybolic Extreme 60 is the right one for me, of all the ones I've tried it gives me the best results. Maybe it's not real and just in my head but if all it's doing is providing a placebo effect that makes me feel like I'm getting more out of my hard work, it's worth it. As far as price goes there's more expensive ones out there, but there's also a heck of a lot cheaper ones too.
  • Brugmansia83

    Posts: 14

    Sep 21, 2011 7:16 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI have moved away from liquid protein sources and am now eating solid food. I am saving money and I am not missing out. I'm leaner now than before and I'm not eating so much chemical crap with synthetic sweeteners and awl dat bulshit.


    Well put. You took the words right out of my mouth.

    I see it as, if you cant pronounce most of the ingredients listed then its probably better not to ingest it. PBJ are easy, affordable and cheap along with grilled chicken/turkey sandwiches. Mixed protein shakes are only here for our convenience........ Speaking of which Im gonna go mix me up one right now. :-P
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    Sep 21, 2011 7:41 AM GMT
    Brugmansia83 said
    I see it as, if you cant pronounce most of the ingredients listed then its probably better not to ingest it.


    If sick people everywhere listened to you, they'd all be dead...

    When I started lifting about 2 years ago, I went with the expensive stuff at GNC that sold for around $50 and would last me about a month. After seeing the results with that, which was a good result, I bought $14.99 whey protein from Walmart. It had the same results and I gained the same amount of muscle in the same amount of time.

    Don't forget, different things work for different people... so maybe the more expensive stuff works for other body types, but as far as I'm concerned, you can shell out the money for more expensive supplements and feel like you're gaining more from it, or you can save your money and still get the results you're aiming for.

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    Sep 21, 2011 7:56 AM GMT
    I buy mine at the Bulk Barn icon_lol.gif

    I also don't work out or drink protein shakes though, so don't listen to me. I just sprinkle it in anything where I won't notice the god-awful taste.
  • Buns_n_ammo

    Posts: 12

    Sep 21, 2011 9:05 AM GMT
    Protein powders and supplements are NOT all the same. Although people are right in saying that the ingredients is what makes the difference. Roughly, there are two different styles of proteins - a fast release protein for post training, and a slow release protein for other times of recovery. If you want to maximise your nutrition, results and budget you should be looking at the difference.

    You should only have a fast release protein after you train, as these are the more expensive ones. They are usually made with an Isolate protein (sometimes listed as WPI). This is a more pure protein, which is why its more expensive and there is more protein per serve/scoop - usually around 80-90%. It will be even more expensive and beneficial if it has been 'hydrolysed' - this is where the proteins have been broken down further, or pre digested so that it is absorbed faster. After you finish your training session you pretty much have a window of a about 45 minutes where its essential you digest protein before your body goes into a 'catabolic' state. This means after a hard work out, your body begins to recover and repair the muscle fibres. To do this, it uses proteins. If you don't have enough protein in your body at that particular time for your body to feed off, your body will look for other sources. Namely, your own muscle tissue, as this is made up of proteins. So essentially, your body will eat itself unless you feed it correctly and you wont get as much progress.

    Its still important to go home and eat a proper meal of protein, carbs and veggies, as these are digested slower and will fuel your bodies recovery for the rest of the day. Remember, you don't always need protein after a workout, your body is in constant recovery for days on end, depending on how hard you work out. So you should also be eating protein with every meal to continuously fuel recovery and growth. This is why there are slower digesting proteins too. They include Protein Concentrates, Casein, Caseinate, egg white etc. These are good to have throughout the day if your not eating enough protein, and perfect for before going to bed to keep your metabolism going and your recovery up while you sleep. These are by far cheaper proteins, and there is less protein in them per serve. This is the perfect time to save money and get a shitty protein here, as timing is not essential.

    Hope that helps! Theres allot more to it, but thats the basic rules! Its always better to ask questions rather than read the bullshit the companies wright about their own products in mags and on their labels. Seen a Muscletech ad lately? Its 4 pages of made up words and bullshit that actually tell you nothing! I just moved to the UK myself, and there is a big difference between the variety available here and back in Australia. There isn't much choice here, and brands like Promax and PHD seem to load their products, even the weigh loss ones, with Maltidextrin. This is a sugar and can make you fat if you use it too much. I have been buying my stuff from online stores which work out allot cheaper than in stores. Just google cheap protien. Myprotein.com have some good value options with very few additives, but be prepared for the worst taste you could possibly imagine. But all that doesn't mater since your a beefy muscle god who's all about the results right? ;)

    By the way, this is my first forum post, and I haven't posted before because I don't want to be attacked. So be nice!!!!!
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    Sep 21, 2011 1:13 PM GMT
    Buns_n_ammo saidProtein powders and supplements are NOT all the same. Although people are right in saying that the ingredients is what makes the difference. Roughly, there are two different styles of proteins - a fast release protein for post training, and a slow release protein for other times of recovery. If you want to maximise your nutrition, results and budget you should be looking at the difference.

    You should only have a fast release protein after you train, as these are the more expensive ones. They are usually made with an Isolate protein (sometimes listed as WPI). This is a more pure protein, which is why its more expensive and there is more protein per serve/scoop - usually around 80-90%. It will be even more expensive and beneficial if it has been 'hydrolysed' - this is where the proteins have been broken down further, or pre digested so that it is absorbed faster. After you finish your training session you pretty much have a window of a about 45 minutes where its essential you digest protein before your body goes into a 'catabolic' state. This means after a hard work out, your body begins to recover and repair the muscle fibres. To do this, it uses proteins. If you don't have enough protein in your body at that particular time for your body to feed off, your body will look for other sources. Namely, your own muscle tissue, as this is made up of proteins. So essentially, your body will eat itself unless you feed it correctly and you wont get as much progress.

    Its still important to go home and eat a proper meal of protein, carbs and veggies, as these are digested slower and will fuel your bodies recovery for the rest of the day. Remember, you don't always need protein after a workout, your body is in constant recovery for days on end, depending on how hard you work out. So you should also be eating protein with every meal to continuously fuel recovery and growth. This is why there are slower digesting proteins too. They include Protein Concentrates, Casein, Caseinate, egg white etc. These are good to have throughout the day if your not eating enough protein, and perfect for before going to bed to keep your metabolism going and your recovery up while you sleep. These are by far cheaper proteins, and there is less protein in them per serve. This is the perfect time to save money and get a shitty protein here, as timing is not essential.

    Hope that helps! Theres allot more to it, but thats the basic rules! Its always better to ask questions rather than read the bullshit the companies wright about their own products in mags and on their labels. Seen a Muscletech ad lately? Its 4 pages of made up words and bullshit that actually tell you nothing! I just moved to the UK myself, and there is a big difference between the variety available here and back in Australia. There isn't much choice here, and brands like Promax and PHD seem to load their products, even the weigh loss ones, with Maltidextrin. This is a sugar and can make you fat if you use it too much. I have been buying my stuff from online stores which work out allot cheaper than in stores. Just google cheap protien. Myprotein.com have some good value options with very few additives, but be prepared for the worst taste you could possibly imagine. But all that doesn't mater since your a beefy muscle god who's all about the results right? ;)

    By the way, this is my first forum post, and I haven't posted before because I don't want to be attacked. So be nice!!!!!


    Swoon at great first post.

    Double Swoon as you are hot.

    Triple Swooooon as you are in London icon_wink.gif
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    Sep 22, 2011 9:48 AM GMT
    Buns_n_ammo saidMyprotein.com have some good value options with very few additives, but be prepared for the worst taste you could possibly imagine. But all that doesn't mater since your a beefy muscle god who's all about the results right? ;)

    By the way, this is my first forum post, and I haven't posted before because I don't want to be attacked. So be nice!!!!!


    Try the chocolate smooth! Nomnomonomnom icon_wink.gif

    Very good post btw. Another way of saying what you are saying in slow vs fast release is that there are no slow release whey protein.

    There used to be free access to this article http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18679613 but now the assholes have locked it. Anyway, it shows that while there's no difference in the uptake of amino acids into the blood from WPI (isolate) and WPH (hydrolysate) there is a profound effect on the insulin response. To sum up:
    1) Whole whey (WPI or WPC) is digested and enters the blood as quickly as predigested whey (WPH). Whey digestion: ~1 hour. Any other protein: ~8 hours (actually I've never seen any data on this so I guess this is the broscience bit).
    2) There is a difference between WPI and WPH but it stems from the effects on insulin. Insulin is a potent growth hormone and it's used by people on steroids but I don't know how.

    With regard to Optimum - from their American website they seem very expensive and bullshitty.
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    Sep 22, 2011 4:42 PM GMT
    Muscle Milk and MuscleTech are crap. All sugar and terrible protein profile.

    Go for these two, if you have to do the protein powder thing (I'm down to one a day, thank goodness):

    myofusion_hdr.jpg

    natural_oats_and_whey.jpg

    And if there's a Bodyfactory in your neighborhood, those are good.

  • suedeheadscot

    Posts: 1130

    Sep 22, 2011 9:35 PM GMT
    thanks people, you've been a great help as usual! (Although admittedly all argumentative as usual. Why do gym folk never agree on anything?)

    I'm gonna go for the very last brand in the pics above "Oats and whey" as there's a special deal from Men's Health this month....kinda like the sound of it.

    Next time I get pics on here, I'll be a good musclemary and you'll all be after my scottish ass.
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    Dec 22, 2011 10:03 PM GMT
    discountsupplements.co.uk, I buy XL whey, does the job and its about £30 for a 4kg bag.
  • mybud

    Posts: 11836

    Dec 22, 2011 10:10 PM GMT
    Look into Wheycheap.com...They usually have awesome deals on high quality protein products....I usually stock up and buy 2 or 3 tubs at a time....
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    Dec 22, 2011 10:19 PM GMT
    I just bought the Walmart brand cause I ran out of ON, and I had to wait for bodybuilding.com to deliver. But I don't like the flavor of the Walmart chocolate one. ON is a billion times better.