Chances are you are not alone! Here are some popular ones!
I can’t lose weight no matter what I do, will a fat burner really work?
Many thermogenic (fat burning) products are designed to increase your metabolic rate to aid with calorie burning. This helps to achieve a higher caloric deficit required for weightloss. HOWEVER – if you are over training and/or undereating and your caloric deficit is too great, then this can actually put your body under stress which will PREVENT fat loss and in some cases promote FAT STORAGE! Adding a thermogenic powder in this instances, especially those high in caffeine and stimulants can put the body under more stress and be detrimental to your weight loss!
So if you are eating a good amount of food (but still in a calorie deficit of up to 500 calories per day) and want to get a bit more out of training then a thermogenic supplement would work great for you! If you are under eating/ overtraining and your deficit is greater than 500 calories a day I would instead suggest a non-stim thermogenic OR a combination of L-Carnitine & an essential amino acid which together will prevent muscle breakdown, and promote fat breakdown instead, whilst supporting your bodies natural energy production and not putting stress on your body.
Why does my friend buy their protein so much cheaper online or in other supplement stores?
Many supplement stores carry a ‘homebrand’ product – some stores even have 4 or more different ‘homebrands’ and you would never even know! Except for the fact they are usually cheaper, and often what the sales person would recommend the most. You see it’s a little industry secret that many stores have KPI’s set on how many products of each brand gets sold per day, with some stores requesting cheaper wholesale prices from suppliers on the proviso that the suppliers products gets optimal product placement within the store (eg. Right at the front when you walk in). As they get better profit from these products, they can sell them cheaper.
It is also the case with other stores and cheap online companies that the quality of these cheaper products can sometimes be minimal, meaning although the label advises a certain amount of protein per serve, this protein can actually be bio-unavailable to your body (meaning your body will not absorb and utilise it well). This is by a process called Amino Acid Spiking.
You see protein is made up of ‘building blocks’ called amino acids. To utilise the protein, you need the right ratio of these amino acids. Some of these are ESSENTIAL as our body does not produce them, and some are NON-ESSENTIAL meaning our body can produce them by itself. If you have LOTS of one, but not enough of another – the excess is not utilised. With protein powder production – they test the amount of protein by doing a nitrogen test (seeing how much nitrogen is produced by the amino acids). What has happened is some cases, is that there are high amounts of cheap amino acids (usually non-essential) which register a high nitrogen reading and there for contribute to the overall protein content, but low amounts of essential amino acids that are known to be more expensive.
In some cases, we have come across protein that advertises 27g per 30g scoop, and one of the ingredients is 15g of glutamine of a non-essential amino acid – meaning there was only 12g total of any other amino acids, hoping and praying these are all essential amino acids, that’s the maximum utilisable protein per serve… 12g per 30g serve. So you would technically need double the amount to get the equivalent protein intake than a good, high quality protein with a good amino acid break down.
This is why you will notice most of our WPI proteins have a very similar cost per serve.
So why is it cheaper to buy supplements in a chemist or supermarket?
Often times, the situation is similar to the above question. In many instances though – most supermarket/ chemist brands have an equivalent amount of carbs as they do protein, for example in a 30g serve, there could be 15g of carbohydrates (high fructose corn syrup is very common). If 15g comes from carbohydrates, then that leaves 15g from protein…. Out of that 15g of protein, we then need to establish how much is bioavailable to your body and how much is filler cheap amino acids!
Another way to compare products is to check the ingredients list. Many ‘on the shelf’ brands will list many ingredients – most of which are useless when looking for a protein! Examples include maltodextrin, high fructose corn syrup, casein, guar gum and sugar… where as a simple good quality protein would have a lot less! And yes – there is often sugar and/or carbohydrates in products… even those marketed at WEIGHT LOSS!
Can I use protein as a meal replacement?
To be completely honest, you can use protein however you like… HOWEVER if you start taking out essential food groups and calories, it can increase hunger, cravings, feelings of fullness and satisfaction with a meal… If you think about it – how full and satisfied do you feel after a protein shake as opposed to a meal of chicken breast, delicious roast vegetables and potato? If you swap a meal for a protein shake, and then get hungry and binge, not only could you have just as well eaten a meal, but usually it ends with a mental battle of guilty & self- anger too.
What I would recommend is adding a protein shake as a snack with some nuts or a piece of fruit…. Or mixing it with some natural Greek Yoghurt to curb those night time sugar cravings… you can even combine protein into a smoothie in the morning with some fruit, nuts and baby spinach to make a healthy, but light & easily digested breakfast on the run!
I was told that my partner and I need a protein ‘for her’ and a protein ‘for him’ is this true?
Generally, no its not true. Many places will sell you a ‘his’ and ‘hers’ version of the same products, with minute differences because they make double the money off of your sale. Unless one partner is taking a mass gainer and the other is taking a thermogenic protein, then generally you can use the same one!
But wont a protein make me bulk up?
Absolutely not! A good quality protein should be just that, protein, no different to eating a piece of chicken or steak, except its easily absorbed and can be often more convenient (you wouldnt put chicken in your smoothie right?!)! In fact keeping your protein intake high can be really beneficial for weight loss! Just like the old wives tale that touching weights in a gym will make you bulky, this myth is BUSTED!
What is the difference between a BCAA and an EAA? Which should I choose?
BCAA stands for Branch Chain Amino Acids – these are 3 essential amino acids (ones we HAVE to get from our diet) and their primary job is muscle repair and recovery – particularly during training.
EAA stands for Essential Amino Acid – these have ALL the Essential Amino Acids your body needs to get from a dietary source!
EAA’s can give your body the equivalent to a full scoop of WPI, but in a formula that is easier to drink that a protein shake, or even dietary protein sources! I use these for clients who are in a calorie deficit and are struggling to keep their protein intake high enough to prevent muscle catabolism (breakdown). They can be used during the day and during training
BCAA’s are great for those getting an adequate protein intake during the day but require muscle repair and recovery specifically during training in an easily digested form! (better than eating a tin of tuna during your training session right!)
What is the difference between a WPI and a WPC protein and what does ‘Protein Blend’ mean? Which should I choose?
The main difference between a Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) and a Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) if the protein content. A WPC has a lower protein percentage and it can vary anywhere from 35-80% protein on average. WPCs are usually slower digesting and are great for cooking with! WPI’s are a more concentrated form of WPC, filtering out and isolating the protein component. They tend to have the highest protein content percentage, usually over 80%, and are usually also virtually lactose free. They tend to have lower carbs, mix thinner and are also faster digesting (perfect for after training!).
So what is a whey protein blend? Well simply a blend between the two! Depending on the dominant protein in the blend will depend what you get out of it but are usually a medium cost per serve in comparison to a WPI (most expensive) and a WPC (Least expensive whey blend).