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  1. #1
    Bill_89's Avatar
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    Hemp V. Whey

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    I'm looking to start taking a protein powder with the hope of adding some muscle. Everything I've read in the past sang the praises of whey, but now I'm reading that hemp may in fact be superior. As is so often the case in issues like this, it is hard to know who to trust. The claims?

    Whey:
    -More bioaviable
    -Faster digestion

    Hemp:
    -Won't cause "intestinal toxemia." Won't cause "bloated look.
    -Proteins are not denatured
    -Will "alkalize" the body to promote muscle growth.

    Thing is, I do sense a bit of "vegetarian dogma" from a lot of the hemp protein advocates. I suppose the only way to know for sure is to try . . .

    Personally, I was/am on the brink of purchasing "One World Whey," which appears to be the best whey money can buy. But if the "intestinal toxemia" thing is true, maybe I'd be better off with hemp? Wish these things could be more clear cut, but that's life.

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    Dave_o's Avatar
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    Forget both and spend your hard earned on time proven amino acid powerhouses like beef, chicken and fish.
    If you're to lazy to prepare whole foods, then I doubt you'll muster the motivation to build muscle either.
    Intestinal toxemia from whey? - please - only if you ingest your whey anally..

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    I like whey. It's fast. It's easy. It's cheap. It tastes really good. I take it 4 days a week after my heavy workouts. I skip it the other 3 days where I either take off or do low level cardio. When I take it, I use a scoop and a half. IMO, it's been around long enough to have been proven safe, but I haven't gotten off of it long enough to see if my body looks better without it. I WILL say THIS:

    Due to the insulin spike, I tried taking off from whey protein for one week. I took BCAA's still. I took 4.5g of BCAA's before and after my workout, I took L-glutamine, L-arganine and L-carnitine. I still ate nearly 200g of protein a day. I just ate more meat...and I'm only 135 lbs, so people would say I took in way more protein than necessary. I WAS A FREAKING WREAK. Every part of my body hurt. My legs were killing me. I hurt my shoulder military pressing. My chest, which is normally sore for a day or two, killed me all damn week. My forearms hurt for God's sake. I felt like total shit all week. That next week, I got back on the whey. Within a week, all the muscle pain was gone and I've been great ever since. Skipping out on the whey for "real" protein sources like beef, pork and chicken killed me. The whey is so much more bioavailable and so much faster absorbing, I apparently rely on it to get through my workouts. I will never cut it out of my life again. My body needs it for recovery. That's one insulin spike my body loves.
    Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 07-14-2011 at 06:21 AM.
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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    Abu Reena's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_o View Post
    If you're to lazy to prepare whole foods, then I doubt you'll muster the motivation to build muscle either.
    Uh, no. I use whey protein. I'd prefer real foods to get my 200g protein a day, but that's not always feasible. Between working and working out, and trying to parent four kids, I don't always have time to prepare real food. A shake is fine.

    It's not a magic bullet (look at Al Kavadlo's blog on that) but it's a useful substitute if you need to get your protein in and don't have time for a real meal. Heck, even Mark Sisson admits to having protein smoothies and sells Primal Fuel which is . . . whey protein.

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    AndreaReina's Avatar
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    Absolute bollocks. The very bioavailability of whey says that it's not that toxic: bioavailability means a higher percentage of the protein is capable of being digested and absorbed. Undigested proteins are what cause toxicity (that's why gluten, lectins, and for some people, caesin are problems). Hence, there is very little to become toxic.

    Now, let's look at hemp. Lower bioavailability, meaning more undigested protein, meaning more opportunities for a problem to arise due to a potentially leaky gut, or bacteria digesting the left-over proteins and so producing toxins. And sorry, all proteins are acidic -- they're called amino acids. The "alkalizing" effect of vegetation is from the minerals plants come with, and they're unnecessary if you're eating a balanced diet. Besides, we know that GOMAD is an excellent way to bulk up (caesin sensitivity aside). We also know that populations such as the Masai and the Inuit are not weaklings even though they eat an animal-product-dominated (and hence "acidic") diet. Not to say that such extremes are optimal, but that's saying something, isn't it?

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    Bill_89's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses guys.

    I sort of figured I would be chided for suggesting a protein powder, and I understand that whole foods are generally preferable. However, for use a post work out recovery protein, I still think a powder makes sense, if only for convenience. For the rest of the day, I emphasize real foods, but the last thing I want to do after a morning work out is have to come home and prepare a meal--I need quick nourishment.

    I did just order a 5 lb of "One World Whey." Expensive as hell (though a better value than comparable products). I've been wanting to try it for a while. It's grass fed and supposedly never heated. The only ingredients are whey concentrate, cocoa powder, and stevia. If it lives up to its claims, it is by far the best product I've found. I'll let you guys know how it goes.

    A second question I have--what is the best "base" to use for a post work out recovery shake? I know the bodybuilding dogma is that it should be quickly digested. Plain water with protein powder is never palatable, so I'm thinking of using So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk (or maybe just their plain). Typically, I've heard that fat digests slower, but I thought that maybe because the fats are primarily medium chain, this would work well.

    Absolute bollocks. The very bioavailability of whey says that it's not that toxic: bioavailability means a higher percentage of the protein is capable of being digested and absorbed. Undigested proteins are what cause toxicity (that's why gluten, lectins, and for some people, caesin are problems). Hence, there is very little to become toxic.
    Good to know. The primary source that disparaged whey was trying to sell hemp, so I took that into consideration. A lot of the other sources seemed to have a vegetarian agenda. "Intestinal toxemia" sounds a lot like the old myth that meat rots in your gut. And I don't know what to think about claims of "acidity/alkalinity." After all, the body maintains PH in a very narrow range.

    Bottom line, would a post work-out meal of:

    Cultured Coconut Milk + One World Whey + Sweet Potato w/cinnamon

    Be effective for lean muscle gains?
    Last edited by Bill_89; 07-14-2011 at 07:21 AM.

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    CE402's Avatar
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    I like using unflavored whey, coconut WATER, half a chilled, baked sweet potato and a handful of frozen berries. Protein + carbs are what you need post workout, that helps get you the starch you need to replenish the glycogen stores without too much fructose. Also, the sweet tater adds a thick, creamy texture to the drink, more like a shake or a smoothie. The berries are mostly to get it cold, and add some flavor.

    I can chug that mess, spike the shit out of my insulin, hit the shower, and have room for a normal brunch an hour later. Makes getting my 200g protein/day much easier!

    In use coconut milk for meal replacement shakes. Usually when I have a 5am report and won't have time to eat until dinner. 1/2c coconut milk, 2 scoops whey, some berries and a tablespoon or two of either almond or macadamia nut butter. I want something slow digesting those days that WON'T spike my blood sugar and will keep me satiated for hours.
    Last edited by CE402; 07-14-2011 at 02:59 PM.

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    Pandadude's Avatar
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    I mix a scoop of whey with lots of whole milk pre workout when I'm training in the morning and don't want a large undigested meal sitting in my stomach. Tastes good, adds some slow digesting proteins and fat soluble vitamins (not to mention IGF), gets my bowels going before I start squatting Honestly makes much more sense than coconut milk unless you don't tolerate milk. The argument for coconut water could be made for the electrolytes, but only post workout and in the context of HIIT like crossfit or sprints or what have you.

  9. #9
    Dave_o's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post

    Due to the insulin spike, I tried taking off from whey protein for one week. I took BCAA's still. I took 4.5g of BCAA's before and after my workout, I took L-glutamine, L-arganine and L-carnitine. I still ate nearly 200g of protein a day. I just ate more meat...and I'm only 135 lbs, so people would say I took in way more protein than necessary. I WAS A FREAKING WREAK. Every part of my body hurt. My legs were killing me. I hurt my shoulder military pressing. My chest, which is normally sore for a day or two, killed me all damn week. My forearms hurt for God's sake. I felt like total shit all week. That next week, I got back on the whey. Within a week, all the muscle pain was gone and I've been great ever since. Skipping out on the whey for "real" protein sources like beef, pork and chicken killed me. The whey is so much more bioavailable and so much faster absorbing, I apparently rely on it to get through my workouts. I will never cut it out of my life again. My body needs it for recovery. That's one insulin spike my body loves.
    I'd be guessing rest was a bigger factor than whey in relieving muscle soreness. DOMS is the result of muscle damage, not protein depletion.

    As for the insulin spike post workout, that's another one that's going the way of the dodo.
    I'm sure nobody wants to trawl through 18 odd pages of PDF, so here's a summery of what they found.

    Alan Aragon's Research Review:

    Is It Necessary to “Spike” Insulin Post-workout?

    Another concern of the fat-free-post-workout camp is the blunting of the insulin response. The rationale of maximizing the insulin response is to counteract the catabolic nature of the post-trained state, switching the hormonal milieu into an anabolic one, thus speeding recovery. Although this might benefit those who train fasted or semi-fasted, many don’t realize that a pre-exercise meal (and in some cases the mid-exercise meal) is doing more than enough spiking of insulin levels for anticatabolic purposes.

    It’s an important objective to not only maximize muscle protein synthesis, but also minimize protein breakdown. However, the latter doesn’t require a massive insulin spike, but rather just a touch beyond basal/resting levels. To illustrate this, Rennie & colleagues found that even during a sustained high blood level of amino acids, no further inhibition of muscle protein breakdown occurred beyond insulin elevation to approximately 15 μU/l,20 which is slightly above normal basal levels of 5-10 μU/l.

    To reiterate, the pre-exercise meal can have profound effects on insulin levels that surpass the length of the training bout. Tipton’s team found that as little as 6g essential amino acids + 35g sucrose taken immediately before exercise (45-50 minutes of resistance training) was enough to keep insulin elevated to roughly 4x above fasting levels 1-hour post-exercise.21 It took 2 hours post-exercise for insulin to return to resting levels. A similar insulin response was seen with 20g whey by itself taken immediately preworkout.22 If carbs were added to the pre-training protein, there would be yet a greater insulin response.

    As far as solid food goes, Capaldo’s team examined various metabolic effects during a five hour period after ingesting a meal composed of 75g carb (47%), 37g prot (26%), and 17g fat (27%).23 Although this study didn’t examine training effects, this meal would make a nice post-workout meal due to its absolute (and proportional) amounts of protein and carbohydrate. The fat-fearing camp would warn against the meal’s fat content interfering with the insulin response. However, this meal was able to raise insulin 3 times above fasting levels within 30 minutes of consumption. At the 60 minute mark, insulin was 5 times greater than fasting. At the 300 minute mark, insulin levels were still double the fasting level.

    Elliot and colleagues compared the effect of fat-free milk, whole milk, and a higher dose of fat-free milk (to match the calories of the whole milk) taken 60 minutes post-resistance exercise.24 Whole milk was superior for increasing net protein balance. Interestingly, the calorie-matched dose of fat free milk containing 14.5g protein, versus 8.0g in the whole milk (an 81% advantage), but still got beaten. The investigators speculated over the possible mechanisms behind the outcome (insulin response, blood flow, subject response differences, fat content improving nitrogen retention), but end up dismissing each one in favor of concluding that further research is necessary to see if extra fat calories ingested with an amino acid source will increase muscle protein synthesis. Lingering questions notwithstanding, post-workout milkfat was the factor that clinched the victory – at least in overnight-fasted subjects.

    To put another nail in the coffin of the insulin spiking objective, post-exercise glycogen resynthesis is biphasic.25 Unlike the subsequent “slow” phase which can last several hours, the initial “rapid” phase of glycogenesis lasting 30-60 minutes immediately post-exercise is not dependent upon insulin. Maximizing post-workout hyperinsulinemia may be beneficial for athletes with more than a single exhaustive endurance-containing training bout separated by less than approximately 8 hours, but in all other cases, the benefit in “spiking” insulin is nil.

    In line with this theme, interesting research has surfaced in recent years challenging the idea that highly glycemic (and thus insulinemic) carbohydrates taken post-workout are the optimal for recovery. Erith’s team found no difference between post-exercise high- and low-glycemic index (GI) carbohydrate intake on exercise performance the following day.26 In a similar study, Stevenson’s team actually saw better next-day performance in subjects who consumed low-GI post-exercise carbohydrate than those who consumed high-GI post-exercise carbohydrate.27

    Is spiking insulin necessary post-workout? Generally not.

    -No greater inhibition of muscle protein breakdown has been seen beyond insulin elevation to approximately 15 μU/l, which is slightly above resting/basal levels of 5-10 μU/l.

    -In one study, whole milk was superior for increasing net protein balance post-workout, despite the calorie-matched dose of fat free milk containing 81% more protein.

    -The initial 30-60 minute “rapid” phase of glycogenesis immediately post-exercise is not dependent upon insulin.

    -There’s no need to attempt to spike insulin for recovery purposes since maximal effects are seen at minimal elevations. Simply getting enough total substrate surrounding the training bout suffices, at least within the context of a 24-hour separation between exhaustive training of the same muscles. Multiple depleting endurance-type bouts per day (i.e., < 8 hours between bouts) may be the exception to this rule.

    -On a related tangent, it’s been commonly recommended to maximize post-exercise hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia by consuming high-GI carbohydrates. However, this strategy has been seen to offer no benefit on next-day performance, and one recent study even saw endurance impairment.

  10. #10
    Dave_o's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Reena View Post
    Uh, no. I use whey protein. I'd prefer real foods to get my 200g protein a day, but that's not always feasible. Between working and working out, and trying to parent four kids, I don't always have time to prepare real food. A shake is fine.

    It's not a magic bullet (look at Al Kavadlo's blog on that) but it's a useful substitute if you need to get your protein in and don't have time for a real meal. Heck, even Mark Sisson admits to having protein smoothies and sells Primal Fuel which is . . . whey protein.
    I'm not implying anyone is lazy, hat's off to you that you can find time to train at all with a bunch of kids.
    Nothing wrong with whey, it boasts a host of health benefits beyond simply helping to build muscle.

    If you're pressed for time, you could always adopt the 'Poundstone shake'.
    Skip to 4.20 to see what that's all about. Actually, the man's an inspiration - so watch the whole thing.


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