Build Muscle

Supps Under the Microscope

We take a closer look at USN Pure-GF1.

Supps Under the Microscope

Pure-GF1 is a low fat, low carbohydrate, premium blend of whey protein concentrate and isolate fortified with added milk protein (Isolate & Casein) following removal of cheaper soy protein from the formulation.

The blend consisting of four different protein sources: milk protein isolate (which contains both whey and casein), whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, and egg albumin. To maintain the product's purity, the formula is free of any soy products.

Protein blends are very popular today with athletes. The theoretical advantages of these protein blends are that different protein sources have different digestion rates (and therefore different [complimentary] effects on stimulating muscle growth and/or slowing muscle protein breakdown) and provide complimentary types of key amino acids that one isolated protein might be suboptimal in (e.g. leucine, glutamine, arginine).Each 56 gram serving of Pure-GF1 contains 864 KJ (204 kcal) of energy, 40 grams of protein, a paltry 4.2 grams of carbohydrate, and only 2.2 grams of fat. This formula is rich in the essential amino acids (EAA), branched chain amino acids (BCAA), and includes a variety of vitamins and minerals. Collectively, the ingredients are designed to magnify the effects of resistance training on the development of strength and muscle mass. This versatile formula can be used before or after training, in-between meals to increase caloric intake, and before bed to improve recovery.

WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE (WPC) is a fast-acting protein that contains a high concentration of the branched chain amino acids (BCAA) leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAAs are revered by athletes for helping reduce muscle soreness and speeding muscle recovery from intense training. When WPC is cold micro-filtered and contains at least 80% protein by weight, it retains very important fractions from milk that other proteins (like whey protein isolate) sometimes leave out. These native fractions (e.g., alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin, lactoferrin, various immunoglobulins, glycomacropeptide, etc) have immune-enhancing properties and help regulate over 200 different genes within our body. One study that compared WPC to whey protein isolate reported greater improvements in peak power, work capacity and decreased body fat in the WPC group. Other studies have shown improved antioxidant status in subjects ingesting WPC. This doesn’t necessarily mean that whey protein isolate is inferior to WPC, but it certainly shows that a high quality WPC has very powerful recovery effects.

Scientists consider WPC a “fast protein” because it is digested rapidly and causes sharp increases in amino acid levels in blood. This is exactly what I recommend during the post-workout period, where a rapid delivery of amino acids to muscle can quickly reverse the catabolic effects of intense training. Many bodybuilders also use WPC first thing in the morning to quickly reverse sleep-induced muscle protein breakdown.

Recent studies have shown that in younger subjects, 20-25 grams of whey protein is enough to maximize muscle protein synthesis. In older subjects though, up to 40 grams is usually necessary for the same effect in muscle.

WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE is a type of protein derived from the water-soluble portion of milk, but unlike milk, WPI has no lactose, cholesterol or fat. WPI is typically at least 90% protein. WPI is a fast-digesting protein that is high in L-cysteine and the branched chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. L-cysteine helps regulate blood sugar and may decrease blood vessel inflammation and attenuate exercise-induced oxidative stress. The branched chain amino acids are helpful in reducing muscle soreness and speeding recovery from intense training. There are other good reasons to use whey protein, even if building massive amounts of muscle isn’t one of your goals. These include improved satiety (feeling of fullness), regulation of blood pressure, increased high-density lipoprotein (HDL-cholesterol), and lowering of triglycerides. These effects can be variable however, and depend on the individual’s background health status. The bottom line is that scientists know more about whey protein isolate than any other protein on the market. Its muscle building powers are the stuff legends are made of.

MILK PROTEIN (MP) is protein extracted from cow’s milk. Specifically, MP is produced by filtering (concentrating) skim milk, and contains both casein – a “slow burning protein” (80%) and whey – a “fast burning” protein (20%). A fairly recent study in 2012 examined the effects of ingesting 40 g of casein prior to sleep on the rate of muscle protein synthesis. The results revealed that ingesting casein before bed increased muscle protein synthesis by 22%, and therefore represent an important strategy for athletes who are trying to gain lean (muscle) mass during training. Got Milk? You should, because milk is an outstanding source of muscle building proteins and biologically active ingredients.

EGG PROTEIN is protein derived from whole eggs and is low in lactose, cholesterol and fat. Egg protein is considered a good source of riboflavin and biotin and has been called “nature’s perfect food” because its amino acid profile mirrors the amino acid requirements for humans. Although it does not increase muscle protein synthesis quite as much as whey protein isolate, it is more effective than casein. In addition, egg protein is a rich source of sulfur-containing amino acids that are important in hormone production.

Before whey protein became the King, egg protein was the bodybuilder’s go-to Protein source. Egg white protein has a solid amino acid profile and is low in lactose, fat and cholesterol.

MAGNESIUM is a mineral that participates in over 300 chemical reactions within the body, including energy production, DNA/RNA synthesis, and muscle contraction. Almost 90% of the magnesium contained in the human body is found in the skeleton and skeletal muscles. A few studies have reported increases in total and free testosterone values in subjects taking magnesium for at least four weeks. One seven-week study reported that subjects who took magnesium supplements increased their leg strength 20% more than those who took a placebo. Many athletes I work with have magnesium levels that are below what is considered optimal for health and performance because they do not eat enough magnesium-rich foods (seafood, green leafy vegetables, etc).

VITAMIN D is a fat-soluble vitamin that functions as a steroid hormone precursor. Vitamin D is most well known in medical circles for its beneficial effects on bone health, blood sugar control, immune function, cardiovascular health, and cognitive function. However, recent research has uncovered that vitamin D affects over 2000 genes in the body, including several in skeletal muscle. A growing number of researchers now believe that vitamin D has anabolic properties under certain circumstances. Although more clinical trials are necessary, some preliminary evidence suggests that vitamin D increases total and free testosterone concentrations and increases the expression of the androgen receptor in myocytes (muscle cells).