Monthly Archives: June 2013

7-1 WOD

Buy in…

2 Rounds of

Pendlay Snatch Drills
* 2nd round with a bar if you can ohs it… If not stay with PVC

Skill…

5 Minutes working on good positioning with the swing and wall ball

Conditioning…

50 Doubles (3:1 Singles)
Then
35-25-15
Wall Ball
KB Swing
Then
50 Doubles

Cash Out…
100 Meter Farmer Carry
10 Supermans with a 5 sec pause
Shoulders and pec with a ball

Courtesy of Marks Daily Apple

Frozen Coconut Macadamia Bars
Is it a Primal Energy Bar or the perfect Primal dessert? Call them what you will, these delicious little morsels deliver a healthy dose of fat and protein and satisfy an urge for something sweet. Frozen Coconut Macadamia Bars are incredibly easy to make and have an deliciously decadent flavor and texture.

Macadamia nuts and coconut oil add a naturally sweet taste. Coconut flakes and chia seeds add a crunchiness that contrasts perfectly with the otherwise smooth and creamy texture of the bars. That’s it for ingredients. Just pop the bars in the freezer and 30 minutes later they’re done. Keeping the bars frozen is essential; if left out too long they’ll start to melt. The cold texture is partly what makes them so delicious, almost like a Primal ice cream bar.

Low-calorie they are not, so don’t plan on eating an entire pan of Frozen Coconut Macadamia Bars in one sitting. The good news is that the bars are so rich and satisfying that you’re not likely to be tempted to overindulge. A small bar is all you need for that special occasion.

Servings: 12 to 14 small bars

Time in the Kitchen: 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes to freeze bars

Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut (60 g)
1 1/2 cups raw, unsalted macadamia nuts (150 to 160 g)
3/4 cup melted coconut oil (180 ml)
1 tablespoon chia seeds (15 ml)
Pinch of sea salt
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 ºF.

Put the coconut flakes in a pan and toast in the oven until lightly browned, about five minutes.

Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.

Process the macadamia nuts and coconut oil in a food processor until very smooth. Add the coconut flakes and chia seeds and pulse a few times.

Pour the batter into the 8×8 pan. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top.

Freeze until solid, about 30 minutes.

Cut into small bars. Store in the freezer.

Advertisements

6-28 WOD

Buy in…

4x
3 Pull Ups ( Strict if you can )
6 Push Ups
9 Squats

WOD…

2,000 Meter Row for time.

Optional 2nd WOD if you want more. Make sure you rest 10-15 minutes after the row if you do this.

3x

5 Front Squats ( No more than 135/95)
10 Burpee Pull Ups

Cash out…

Easy 200 Meter Run
Roll Quads
Roll Calves

Courtesy of Poliquin…

Tip 585: Do Full Squats: How & Why To Squat For Strength, Muscle & Fat Loss

The full squat is unquestionably the single most productive exercise you can perform. No other lift works as many major groups as thoroughly or with greater intensity, making it a superior fat burning exercise.

To give you a full understanding of the benefits of squat training, this tip will start by addressing three myths about squat training, and then tell you why and how to squat for best results.

Squat Myth #1: Squats, especially heavy ones, will widen the hips. The squat works the gluteus maximus, but because neither its insertion nor its origin of attachment is at the hips, when it develops, it grows back, not out. Wide hips no, a firm, rounded booty? Yes!

Squat Myth #2: Squats, especially deep, below parallel squats, are bad for the knees. The opposite is true! Concern about squats being bad for the knee stems from two areas: First, people who train partial squats with poor form will complain of knee pain, often because they have muscle imbalances in the thigh from doing squats incorrectly. If they were to train them correctly, and did structural balance exercises, the majority of knee pain would go away.

Second, there is a misconception that it is bad for the knee to travel over the toes, which supposedly puts excessive shear force on the knee. In fact, your knee travels forward over your toes any time you walk up or down the stairs. Not only that, studies suggest that the greatest shear force on the knee is at the start of the squat when the lifter initiates the bend of the knee. The force in the lowest quarter of a full squat places much less force on the knee.

Squat Myth #3: Squats are bad for the back. This myth comes from trainees squatting too heavy with bad form. Some trainers recommend squatting with a flat back, which is nearly impossible to do on account of the natural curvature of the lumbar spine, and it reduces the ability of the spine to absorb or distribute the weight of the moving bar effectively.

In addition, research suggests that when trainees do partial squats with heavy loads, it is common for them to overload the lumbothoracic spine. Instead, technique is paramount, trainees should strive for optimal structural balance, and going all the way down with progressive overload is critical.

How Should You Squat?
Obviously, all the way down. Be sure not to relax or bounce in this bottom position because the knee joint opens up slightly, exposing connective tissue to stress levels higher than their tensile strength. A controlled pause in the bottom position is perfectly fine as long as you keep the muscles under tension.

Take note that there are many variations of the squat—front, back, dumbbell, single-leg, rear-foot elevated, and split squats. Training suggestions of each is out of the scope of this tip, but generally, split squats are where you should start, next progressing to the front and back squat, and using single-leg training to maintain structural balance.

Why Should You Squat?
Simply, it works so many muscles in one exercise that it’s a great bang for your buck exercise: the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, erector spinae, and even requires stabilization of the abdominals. Squat training will improve your functional mobility, help you run faster and jump higher, and elicits a significant fat burning hormone response.

For more squat and lower body training tips, check out the new edition of the Poliquin Principles from which many of these points are taken.

Reference
Marshall, P., McEwen, M., et al. Strength and Neuromuscular Adaptation Following One, Four, and Eight Sets of High-Intensity Resistance Exercise in Trained Males. European Journal of Applied Physiology. November 2011. 111, 3007-3016.

Lorenzetti, S., Bulay, T., et al. Comparison of the Angles and Corresponding Moment in the Knee and Hip during Restricted and Unrestricted Squats. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2012. Published Ahead of Print.


6-27 WOD

Buy in…

200 Meter Run
400 Meter Row
40 Squats
20 Sit Ups

WOD…

600 Meter Run
50 Walking Lunges
40 Russian Swings (53/35)
30 Sit Ups
20 Burpees
10 TTB

Cash Out…

100 Meter Jog forward
100 Meter Jog backward
Bar on 1st Rib
Ball on Chest

Courtesy of Breaking Muscle

Stop Fearing Your Food: How to Create a Healthy Relationship With Your Nutrition

Megan Clements
Contributor – Nutrition

What do you think of when hear the word diet? The first word that springs to my mind is restriction, closely followed by hunger and hard work. Generally not something anyone is too excited to embark upon; in fact, it seems a little scary.

The reason for this is that most diets today are focused on fear in one way or another – fear of fat, fear of calories, fear of carbs. Not to mention the fear of high GI foods, sugar, anything artificial, or fear of eating the wrong ratios of macronutrients, not eating every three hours, not eating breakfast, or eating carbs after 7:00pm. The list goes on. I don’t think I’m saying anything groundbreaking by suggesting perhaps these diets aren’t quite working out well in the longer term, since we’re all still on diets. Not to mention if you tried to combine them all you’d probably find yourself on a not so exciting (and not so nutritious) diet of organic, grass-fed low-fat beef jerky, with a side of organic non-GMO lettuce, unless you’re vegetarian that is.

Then on top of all the diet rules, we add your athletic goals into the mix, be it improving performance in your sport of choice, building muscle, losing fat, running faster – or for the ambitious folk, all of the aforementioned. So you train and train and train, and if you hit a plateau you just train harder and dedicate yourself to following an even stricter version of your diet. If you weren’t losing weight on 1,400 calories a day, the logical next step is to go down to a miserable 1,200, right?

End result: you’re more tired than ever, trying to get motivated to train whilst your undernourished body raises all the strength it has to fight off the latest flu going around, eventually leaving you bedridden for a couple of days (and possibly curled up with a nice pile of comfort food, and back to square one).

Even starting off with the best intentions of a balanced approach we find ourselves getting that little bit stricter in the hopes the results will come faster, and this is where a lot of people get themselves into trouble. And it’s not just for the low-calorie folks out there, the same applies whether it’s low-carb, paleo, Zone, or whatever your chosen diet.

But I’m going to suggest perhaps the problem is not that you’re not being strict enough – it’s that you’re being too strict.

So, lets take a step back and consider ditching the diet, losing the fear of whatever it is, and coming up with a plan to nourish our bodies and support our athletic performance. After all, real food is the sustenance of human life. It makes no sense to be fearful of it. But how do we do this?

Firstly, give up the idea that you’re going to lose 10lbs of fat or gain 10lbs of muscle in the next two weeks. Embrace the idea that you’re about to start nourishing the amazing body you’ve got.

Secondly, follow some basic guidelines on what you should be eating. Note the use of the word guidelines not rules. Hence, it’s a general idea of what you should be eating most of the time, not a five-step test for everything that passes your lips, only to beat yourself up about when you “fail.”

1. Eat a wide variety of natural and unprocessed foods as often as possible. It’s a dummy’s way to ensure you’re not eating anything too poisonous, and you are getting lots of vitamins and nutrients. If it grew on a tree or in the ground, or had a face once upon a time, chances are it’s okay to eat. If it’s organic, hormone-free, and grass fed, then great. If not, that’s okay too – remember, guidelines!

2. Eat according to your energy expenditure. Quite simply, how big are you and how much do you move? Now make sure you eat around about the right number of calories to support this. Consistently eating significantly more or less will get you into all sorts of trouble in the long run. (And for those of you who just thought, “Oh so if it’s only troublesome in the long run, I’ll shoot for 1,200 calories just for a few more weeks until I drop a few pounds, then switch to a more moderate approach,” remember to bookmark this page so you can come back to read this when you’re curled up in bed with the flu next month.)

3. Avoid things that make you sick. This one is where listening to your body comes in. Sometimes our body is very vocal about what makes us sick (think back to your last hangover), but sometimes it’s subtler. Bloating, skin problems, sinus issues, and inflammation are all signs of your body not being too happy about something. If you suspect it’s food related, remove the potential culprit from your diet for a month and see how you feel.

4. Actually listen to what your body is telling you, and I mean really listen, not just to the stuff you want to hear. More often than not your cravings are telling you something. If you’re a low-carber and after a workout all you can think about is something sweet, maybe your body is trying to tell you it needs a few more carbs. Or perhaps that coffee hit you want so desperately is actually just leaving you with an upset stomach and has you craving your next hit in a few hours.

5. Eat primarily to nourish your body and to fuel your athletic performance, but every now and then eat for pleasure. We were given taste buds for a reason!

I certainly don’t believe there is one perfect human diet out there that everyone should be following. We are all individuals. Our bodies are different and what we ask of them is different. But for most of us, following these five guidelines and tweaking as required on an individual level will not only get you a long way towards the body and performance you want, but leave you with a much healthier and happier relationship with food.


6-26 WOD

Buy in…

9-6-3
TTB
Slow mo Burpees

Conditioning…

16 Min AMRAP

5 Pull Ups
10 Push Ups
15 Double Unders
* At some point in the WOD row 1000 Meters

Cash Out…

10 Hollow Rocks
10 Supermans (3 sec)
Roll quads
Ball on hammy
Ball on shoulder


6-25 WOD

Buy in…

3x

5 Bar Complexes
10 Sit Ups

Conditioning…

4x

1 Rope Climb or 10 Ring Rows
10 Thrusters
100 Meter Run
* 2 Minutes Rest

Cash Out…
100 Meter Farmer Carry
Roll Out Your Calves and Achilles

Courtesy of Poliquin
by Poliquin™ Editorial Staff
6/19/2013
Certain foods are packed with massive amounts of nutrients that help you achieve a lean and muscular physique. Eating these superior foods won’t save you from a poor diet or regular over eating, but they can give that extra boost when trying to get lean, while feeling energized throughout the day.

Did you know that there are numerous plants and nutrients that can have a dramatic effect on fat loss? This list only includes the most promising nutrients that support fat loss in multiple ways. I favor nutrients that can be simply added to your diet rather than supplemented, although in certain cases it’s worth it to use a more concentrated extract or supplement form.

These fantastic nutrients can help you tighten up your efforts to get lean via the following mechanisms:

Decreased fat absorption
The fat you eat is not directly absorbed into the body unless it interacts with an enzyme called pancreatic lipase. A number of nutrients inhibit pancreatic lipase, making the fat calories you’ve eaten irrelevant.

Suppressed food intake
Certain foods raise levels of the chemical transmitters and hormones that help you avoid sensations of hunger, while enhancing energy and motivation. Distinct nutrients such as green tea control levels of serotonin, 5-HTP, ghrelin, and dopamine to lead people to eat less.

Enhanced energy expenditure
Your body is capable of regulating the amount of calories burned for optimal body composition, assuming you’re not assaulting it with excess calories, chemicals, and processed foods. Fish oil, for example, is extremely effective at increasing energy expenditure through something called uncoupling proteins.

Stimulating fat burning and “turning off” fat storage
Certain nutrients can inhibit the storage of fat. These tend to be antioxidant-rich nutrients that simply stop the body from storing fat, while decreasing inflammation.

All of these processes depend on those tried and true habits for fat loss: High-protein eatin’, regular activity, stress reduction, and the restriction of foods that stop fat loss in its tracks (fructose, refined grains, trans-fats). Throw in high-intensity exercise and you have a formula for success.

#1: Fish Oil and CLA
The omega-3 fats from fish and conjugated linoleic acid from dairy and meat are superior fat loss nutrients. They improve insulin sensitivity by building the outside layer of cells, which makes them more receptive to insulin. They decrease inflammation—CLA is a potent cancer fighting nutrient—and have a stress reducing effect, lowering cortisol.

Most compelling, fish oil and CLA stimulate thermogenesis, or the burning of calories, by enhancing the activity of the uncoupling protein genes 1 and 3. Simply, the uncoupling proteins lead to excess calories to be burned by raising body temperature. This is why “healthy” fats don’t make you fat, but can make you lose fat.

Take Away: Get fish oil and CLA from cold water fish, wild meat, pastured meat, and whole fat dairy. Eat a serving at each meal, supplementing with fish oil when necessary.

#2: Yerba Mate/Green Tea
If you’re going to take one new habit from this list, let it be that you start getting some green tea in your diet. Green tea and yerba mate come from different plants, but they both contain extremely high levels of the catechin antioxidants that promote fat loss.

The catechins inhibit lipase, decreasing fat absorption, and can suppress food intake. They also enhance energy expenditure via greater thermogenesis, improve liver function, promote the use of fat for fuel rather than carbs, and lead to the death of fat cells (apoptosis).

An example of green tea at work is a study that had overweight women go on a diet for 4 weeks to lose weight. Then for 8 weeks they strength trained and took 10 grams of green tea powder twice a day, losing nearly 10 kg of body fat compared to a placebo group that lost only 3.2 kg of fat, indicating the benefit of green tea for sustaining metabolism as body weight is reduced.

Take Away: Drink tea daily—avoid adding sweeteners or milk. Watch out for bleached tea bags. Quality green tea supplements are pricey, but can provide a profound metabolic boost, making them worth the investment.

#3: Hot Peppers
Hot red peppers have been rumored to have fat loss properties for years due to the bioactive compound capsaicin. Simply cooking with whole hot pepper or adding hot pepper extract or spice to food may decrease hunger and reduce energy intake, while stimulating fat burning and overall calorie burning in the body.

For example, in one study that had 24 individuals drink tomato juice containing 0.9 g of red pepper before a meal led them to eat less, while feeling more satisfied with the meal.

Take Away: Add hot peppers to salad dressing, veggie or meat dishes, or eggs—peppers are a hot thing in Paleo cooking. If spicy food is not your thing, capsaicin is available in supplement form.

#4: Pomegranate
The pomegranate is impressively high in rare antioxidants, ellagic and tannic acids, that have multiple fat loss effects. These antioxidants inhibit fat absorption and suppress energy intake. The pomegranate has also been shown to improve cardiovascular health when on a high fat diet and it may have anti-tumor properties for cancer fighting.

Take Away: Eat and cook with pomegranates whenever they are available. People with heart disease or metabolic problems could benefit from a pomegranate extract or pure, organic pomegranate juice that is not sweetened or blended with other juices.

#5: The Meat Nutrients: Glycine, Glutamine, Carnitine
Meat, eggs, and some dairy foods, such as whey protein, provide superior nutrients to aid fat loss, prevent food cravings, and maintain brain concentration. Carnitine is a potent fat burner because it is responsible for the transport of fats into the cells to be used for energy in the body. It works best when ingested with the omega-3 fats to ensure that it loads in the muscles.

Glutamine and glycine are both amino acids that raise your natural antioxidant levels, promote tissue repair and muscle building, thereby raising metabolism, while eliminating food cravings—good stuff!

Take Away: Get these three from pastured or wild meat. Strategically boosting intake can help, depending on training phase, the strength of your immune system, or cravings: Use carnitine capsules during high-intensity training phases such as with sprint intervals; go for glutamine if you are suffering cravings or difficulty sticking with your eating plan; use glycine powder in your post-workout shake to improve tissue repair and raise immunity if you feel burnt out.

#6: Seeds: Sesame, Cumin, Chia, Pumpkin, Flax, Watermelon
Seeds are jam packed with an array of nutrients that support leanness and energy, but the irresistible thing about seeds is how the improve hormone levels. Seeds tend to be high in zinc, boosting testosterone production. They also contain compounds that promote the elimination of estrogens from the body. Supplementation with flax seeds, for example, has even been shown to decrease belly fat gain on a high-fat, high fructose diet.

Take Away: Use seeds mashed into tahini, ground into a protein shake, or mixed into a buttery paste–they make any meal more delicious, especially this Flank Steak recipe.

#7: The Spice Bundle: Cinnamon, Black Pepper & Turmeric
All three of these are anti-inflammatory and there’s promising, if peripheral, evidence that cinnamon, black pepper, turmeric, and various other spices support fat loss.

For example, curcumin improves enzyme activity involved in fat burning and supports the death of fat cells, even when on a high-fat diet. Black pepper raises metabolism by stimulating central nervous system and hormone activity. Cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity and makes just about any dish or protein drink more delicious.

Take Away: You can get extra antioxidant benefits from these spices by supplementing, and make it a habit to use a few sprinkles of cinnamon, black pepper, or turmeric at every meal.

#8: Fenugreek
Fenugreek is a spice that deserves special attention because it is so effective at improving insulin health and energy use, while increasing free testosterone when combined with strength training. A study of young men showed that supplementing with 500 mg a day while training for 8 weeks led to significantly greater improvements in strength, fat loss, muscle gain, and free testosterone over a placebo group.

Take Away: Fenugreek can be used in place of carbs when you need an insulin boost, such as when loading creatine or carnitine into the muscle. It also helps “grab” sugar from your blood to burn for fuel or store as glycogen so it doesn’t get stored as fat. Get this benefit in supplement form, but you can also bake with it too: One study showed that bread baked with fenugreek produced better insulin response and glucose tolerance compared to regular bread.

#9: Ginger
Ginger improves thermogenesis just like hot peppers, and studies report that cooking with ginger can decrease appetite.

Take Away: Ginger is antioxidant-rich, easy to find in the grocery store, and can make a delicious difference when cooked with collards, kale, organic tempeh, or pureed with post-workout protein drinks.

#10: Garlic
Garlic has been found to increase calorie use in the body by raising the ratio of brown fat to white fat (brown fat is considered good, white is very bad).

Animal studies show garlic is particularly effective in reducing fat gain from a high-fat diet that is intended to cause obesity. Along with being called an anti-obesity food by scientists, garlic improves blood flow, decreasing risk of heart disease by lowering triglycerides, cholesterol, and reducing plaque in the arteries.

Take Away: Use fresh garlic with all meals. Consider trying raw garlic to get a larger dose of active compounds during fat loss.


6-24 WOD

Buy in…

2x

15 Russian Swings
10 Tuck Jumps
5 Push Ups

Skill/Strength…

Snatch Grip Deadlift

Spend 10 Minutes working up to a heavy-ish 5

Conditioning…

800 Meter Run
50 Deadlifts (135/95)
30 Burpee Box Overs (20″)

Cash Out…

500 Meter Row
Bridge Work
Bar on Shoulder
Ball on Shoulder


6-21 WOD

Buy in…

3x
5 kips
5 Burpees
10 Russian swings
10 Goblet Squats

WOD…

“Tabata Something Else”

Complete 32 intervals of 20 seconds of work followed by ten seconds of rest where the first 8 intervals are pull-ups, the second 8 are push-ups, the third 8 intervals are sit-ups, and finally, the last 8 intervals are squats. There is no rest between exercises.

Cash Out…

Arm Bar – 2x 20-30 Seconds
Plank for 1-2 Min
Ball on shoulders
Ball on pec

Courtesy of Marks Daily Apple…

Dear Mark: A Few Questions About Protein Powder Marketing Claims
I get a lot of protein powder-related questions. Some are requests to try or advertise a new product. Others are queries regarding all the different marketing claims. Is whey protein concentrate really better, more “immune-boosting,” and more complete than whey protein isolate? Who wins in a head to head deathmatch – isolate or concentrate? Should you be worrying about the grass-fededness (yep, that’s a word) of your whey protein? And is beef protein isolate better than everything else? It certainly appears to be the most paleo of the bunch, being made from, well, beef.

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’re going to sift through the marketing fluff and get to the meat of the matter. Let’s go:

Is whey concentrate better than whey isolate?

First, let me explain the difference between whey isolate and whey concentrate. Whey is a byproduct of cheese-making. Some brands of whey protein are derived from milk, but the vast majority comes from cheese. This is fine, even though “byproduct” sounds bad. When you make cheese, you get whey. That’s been the case for thousands of years of cheese-making. The arguments for concentrate being superior usually go something like this:

“Since concentrate contains trace amounts of lactose and milk fat, it’s more of a whole food and therefore superior to whey isolate.”

Sure, I prefer whole foods, too, but when using whey, I’m trying to obtain a very specific nutrient – protein.

“Since concentrate contains more than just protein, it contributes more health benefits and immune boosting effects, whereas isolate provides no health benefits and fails to boost your immunity. Isolate is just for dumb jocks who would actually be better served by a quality concentrate, whereas concentrate has the unique ability to increase endogenous production of glutathione, the master antioxidant.”

The vast majority of studies examining whey protein’s beneficial effects on general health, immune functioning, and recovery from training use whey protein isolate, not whey protein concentrate. Let’s take a look at a few:

Among patients with fatty liver, whey protein isolate supplementation improves liver blood work and reduced fatty deposition. It also increases glutathione production and endogenous antioxidant status, and these increases correlate with the improvements in liver health.

A combination of whey protein isolate and resistance training boost glutathione levels, HDL, and total antioxidant capacity in young men.

In both young and older men, whey isolate after resistance training increases muscle protein synthesis (but the older guys need more protein to get the same effect).

That’s isolate, mind you. Regular old whey protein isolate. Studies show that whey concentrate boosts glutathione, too, but not because of anything unique to concentrate. It’s the cysteine, an amino acid found in both whey concentrate and whey isolate. You could take N-acetyl-cysteine supplements and get similar effects.

“Since concentrate contains a small amount of fat, it therefore contains conjugated linolelic acid (CLA), a dairy fatty acid with some beneficial health effects.”

This is technically true, but the amount of CLA in full-fat dairy from pasture-raised animals is relatively small.

Fully pasture-fed cows produce dairy fat with just 22 mg of CLA per gram of fat (PDF). That’s enough to produce some of the health benefits of consuming full fat dairy, but that’s because full fat dairy has enough fat grams to make it worth it. There’s comparatively very little dairy fat left over in concentrate. A glass of whole, pasture-raised milk has around 8 grams of dairy fat. A serving of your typical whey concentrate has less than one gram of dairy fat – not much room for CLA. The CLA content of a whey concentrate derived from the first colostrum of a time-traveling wild auroch who eats only ancestral grasses, sedges, and rushes unbesmirched by GMO-fed bees, pesticides, and heavy metals would still be negligible compared to actual full-fat dairy. I find it unlikely that any whey concentrate would have enough CLA to make an impact. They could if they added supplementary CLA, I suppose, but even supplementary CLA is fraught with problems.

Whey isolate is the superior product overall. It’s far higher in protein than concentrate, ranging from 90% protein and up, with concentrate being anywhere between 29% and 89% protein. Since they’re asking about a product called “protein powder,” I’d say that people are generally interested in higher protein contents. It’d be nice if there were studies directly comparing whey isolate to whey concentrate, but, to my knowledge, those don’t exist. The fact that whey protein isolate remains the gold standard for studying the effects of whey protein on human health, however, is incredibly telling.

There’s nothing wrong with concentrate, necessarily. It’s way lower in protein and it’s got varying amounts of lactose – which can unfortunately pose an issue for lactose-intolerant people – and fat. It’s also liable to retain impurities and more likely to trigger allergic reactions (mostly because of the lactose content). That’s about it.

What about grass-fed whey?

Why do we eat grass-fed meat and milk? Grass-feeding can affect the fatty acid, antioxidant, and micronutrient content of meat and dairy in a favorable way, but not the amino acid profile. Whey protein is about the protein – the amino acid profile. And the amino acid profile of grass-fed whey protein is identical to that of grain-fed whey protein. You could make an argument based on ethics if you want, but if we’re talking strictly nutritional content, the two are indistinguishable.

I suppose if you were going with a high-fat whey concentrate, you might want grass-fed, but once again the amount of fat in most whey concentrates of which I’m aware is so low as to make the fatty acid profile irrelevant. At that point, you might as well just get your hands on some quality grass-fed raw milk and supplement that with a scoop of whey isolate.

Isn’t beef protein isolate superior to whey protein?

Most proprietors of beef protein isolate would have you believe that they are turning muscle meat into protein powder. That filets, porterhouses, and other prime lean cuts are being broken down into a fine mixable powder. That the raw primal energy of the bull is being delivered to your pectoral muscle fibers via blender. While it’s a nice story and I’d be all for using such a product, it simply isn’t financially feasible to turn what we think of when we hear the word “beef” – muscle meat – into protein powder. The reality is that beef protein isolate comes from hooves, skin, and all the other throwaway bits that usually get diverted into the kibble. It’s gelatin, not that there’s anything wrong with that; I’ve sung its praises before. But you’d be better off just saving your money, buying some properly-labeled gelatin (or making some beef stock), and using whey isolate for your protein shakes instead.

Check out the nutrition label from Carnivor, a popular beef protein isolate product. You’ll notice that they’ve added branch chain amino acids as a supplement to the gelatin masquerading as beef protein isolate. If beef protein isolate really were derived from muscle meat, there’d be no reason to add separate BCAAs, as muscle meat is especially rich in them. Gelatin, however, contains none, and so they must make up for that. The result is a protein powder that’s probably quite effective at supporting hypertrophy, but not because it contains beef protein isolate.

Last, I’ll add that some beef protein sellers claim that their beef protein isolate is “minimally processed.” I’m not sure how one could ever make that claim. There’s a ton of processing involved in converting spare animal parts into a spray-dried gelatin powder.

Those are three of the most common protein supplement marketing claims people write in about, but I know there are more. Feel free to write in with any other protein powder-related questions you might have.