Description: Protein Powder (Drink Mix). Ultra-Premium Whey Protein Hydrolysate + Isolate Blend
The easier it becomes to exchange information, the more low-quality information, or noise, we will have to sort through. This is just a fact of life.
One place where there is a lot of noise is the bodybuilding supplement marketplace. For instance, advertisers frequently hype up their products by implying that they are capable of producing effects that they are not. Such tactics don’t just hurt the consumers of these products; they also tarnish the supplement industry as a whole.
So-called white papers are generally used to argue a political position or, in the case of technology products, give consumers the information they need to justify making a purchase. BI’s best-selling Muscle Provider protein powder can certainly be considered a technology product. It contains numerous complex ingredients (mainly proteins) capable of impacting your body’s biochemistry and physiology in numerous complex ways. It is manufactured using detailed and often standardized methods, advancements in which are continually being made. The main difference between Muscle Provider and a technology product like a smart phone or a digital camera is that, as a nutritional supplement, it is meant to be consumed.
This white paper is intended to serve as a noise-free haven where you can learn everything you need to justify purchasing Muscle Provider. For the first time since nutritional ingredients researcher Jim Heflin founded BI in 1967, we will give you unprecedented access to the NSF-registered and sport nutrition-certified manufacturing laboratory where Muscle Provider is produced. This has been done in an effort to capture the complexity of this exceptionally high-quality nutritional technology. The informational revealed in the discussion which follows is exceptional in its depth, authenticity and relevance to your purchase decision.
What problems does Muscle Provider solve?
Products should solve problems for consumers. To understand what problems Muscle Provider solves, we need to understand the basis for using a protein powder in the first place.
Building muscle –bodybuilding– ultimately comes down to protein synthesis. Every cell in your body contains protein. Myofibrillar proteins are of particular interest to bodybuilders and athletes of all kinds. There are two reasons for this. First, myofibrillar proteins enable your skeletal muscle cells to produce force; they are literally the machines of muscle contraction, or shortening. Second, the more myofibrillar protein your muscle cells accumulate, the bigger and stronger your muscles will tend to be.
In order to accumulate myofibrillar protein, or even just maintain its current level, your muscle cells must synthesize it. There are essentially 3 ways that you can stimulate this process:
1. You can perform resistance exercise.
2. You can eat.
3. You can rely on growth hormones.
All of us use the second and third methods, whether we are aware of it or not. We have to eat to live. When we eat protein, in particular, this stimulates protein synthesis and suppresses protein breakdown. In healthy individuals, the end result is that you merely maintain your existing muscle mass (though your ability to do so seems to deteriorate with age). In other words, your muscles don’t get bigger and stronger each time you eat a protein-containing meal. If only it were that easy!
Our bodies naturally produce a number of growth hormones (e.g. testosterone, insulin and GH), all of which play important roles in facilitating protein synthesis, to varying degrees. When we are young, this orchestra of hormones is loud enough to permit actual increases in muscle size and strength without us having to go to the gym and lift weights. As we get older, however, our hormone levels tend to weaken and this is no longer the case; it is a struggle just to maintain our existing muscle mass, let alone increase it. One way around this is to artificially raise your growth hormone levels, such as by injecting testosterone or analogues thereof (i.e. anabolic-androgenic steroids). If they are raised high enough, then your muscle mass may increase markedly, particularly if you are performing resistance exercise. Unfortunately, administering growth hormones brings with it all kinds of undesirable side effects, many of them inherently unavoidable.
The first method, resistance exercise, is by far the safest and most potent means of stimulating myofibrillar protein synthesis. So potent is it, in fact, that it can actually produce increases in muscle size and strength in mature adults. This is why it is the mainstay of bodybuilding training. Yet despite its potency, many thousands of people perform resistance exercise every day and fail to see satisfying results.
Protein begets protein
Your workouts are only as good as your diet, of course. (Genes also play a big role.) If you fail to provide your body with sufficient nutrients, then your muscles won’t get any bigger or stronger. Protein is generally regarded by scientists as the most potent nutrient with which to stimulate myofibrillar protein synthesis. This makes sense: The protein you eat is largely digested into amino acids before being absorbed. The amino acids subsequently circulate in the bloodstream until they reach your muscle cells, where they are absorbed and used to synthesize protein. Thus, (dietary) protein begets (muscle) protein.
As you might expect, some dietary proteins are considered better than others. Muscle cells require many different amino acids in order to synthesize protein. Some dietary proteins contain plenty of these amino acids, whereas others fall short in one or more regards. Some proteins are digested and absorbed quickly, whereas others take a bit more time...and so on.
Of all the whole-food dietary sources of protein investigated to date, the most potent muscle builders are considered to be milk and egg. As you might expect, digesting and absorbing the protein supplied by a glass of milk or a plate of scrambled eggs poses a different challenge to your body than does a serving of concentrated whey (derived from milk) or egg protein powder, for instance. The protein in whole foods is housed in a labyrinthine framework of carbohydrates, fats, minerals and other nutrients, and sometimes even anti-nutrients. This effectively slows down the process of digestion and absorption. The protein in a protein powder, in contrast, has been largely extracted from the framework of the original whole food source. It can therefore be more quickly converted into muscle protein. At the risk of oversimplifying, this explains to a large extent why protein powders can be much more potent muscle builders than whole foods, not to mention the far-reaching benefits of convenience.
Making anabolism easier:
All of which brings us to Muscle Provider. The original Muscle Provider formula was invented by BI founder Jim Heflin in 1995 working in collaboration with a team of food scientists. Muscle Provider was then and still is today considered a designer protein. It was designed to be the most anabolically potent and convenient source of protein nutrition available, superior to whole foods and existing protein formulas.
Each serving of Muscle Provider contains a collection of the world’s highest-quality proteins and supplies more than enough of every amino acid required to synthesize protein in muscle and every other tissue on your body. Having been freed from the framework of their respective whole food sources, Muscle Provider’s proteins can be digested and absorbed and begin stimulating muscle protein synthesis and inhibiting muscle protein breakdown virtually immediately. Nothing stands in their way.
Of course, BI isn’t the only company capable of making such claims for a protein powder. What makes Muscle Provider so different? The discussion which follows will answer this question in unprecedented detail.
The Muscle Provider Manufacturing Laboratory
Let’s start at the top. The laboratory where Muscle Provider is manufactured (referred to here as the MP lab) occupies some 45,000 square feet and contains more than 20 pieces of analytical equipment including infra-red (IR) and ultra-violet (UV) technologies. The top 3 employees alone possess more than 100 years of combined industry experience. The CEO, with over 25 years of experience, has a master’s degree in physical chemistry and a PhD in naturopathy. The president has nearly 30 years under his belt.
The NSF (www.nsf.org) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts third-party certifications. According to Jessica Evans, NSF Dietary Supplement Group Leader, the MP lab is compliant with both their GMP and GMP for Sport programs. In fact, they are not only compliant with 21 CFR 111, but they are also able to produce dietary supplements for NSF’s Certified for Sport program because they do not produce any products with banned substances.
If it sounds like we are speaking in code, that’s because we are. Essentially what all of this means is that the MP lab has gone above and beyond the proverbial call of duty as a manufacturer of dietary supplements. The call of duty”is defined in the FDA’s Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21, Part 111 (21 CFR 111). There it lays out the minimum current requirements, known as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) necessary for activities related to manufacturing, packaging, labeling, or holding dietary supplements to ensure the quality of the dietary supplement.
To remain compliant in the eyes of the NSF, inspectors are sent out to the MP lab twice each year to ensure that everything is being done properly, i.e. according to current GMP. When the inspectors arrive for a GMP audit, they check lab equipment, documentation and other items. They do not perform tests on any products manufactured at the facility, however. The audits are not performed for free, by the way; the MP lab must pay a steep fee to have the inspectors come.
Sometimes you will hear a supplement company describe its manufacturer as FDA approved. This is just marketing noise. As the FDA explains on its own Web site*, it does not approve manufacturers or any other companies. Similar to NSF, FDA inspectors visit the MP lab to verify that it complies with current GMP.
FDA inspections can be quite intensive. For instance, an inspector may walk into an office, open the filing cabinet, randomly take out a file folder and examine its contents. If he or she finds any inconsistencies -say, an invoice from a service company indicates that a repair to a bay door is required but it has not been completed- then the facility may not pass the inspection, or only on the condition that the inconsistency is resolved.
Making a protein powder is a bit like baking cookies, except that it is much more complicated and expensive, particularly when it is done well. In the case of Muscle Provider, the process began with BI developing a formula; i.e., a list of ingredients and their respective quantities. The formula was then supplied to the MP lab, whose staff ordered the required ingredients from raw materials suppliers. Once all the ingredients have been received, a flavor system can developed followed by a pilot, or trial, batch. Several pilot batches were required before the Muscle Provider formula was actually finalized.
With each pilot batch adjustments may be made to the types or quantities of protein or non-protein ingredients, particularly flavors. Protein doesn’t taste very good on its own, you see. Much of the effort therefore involves trying to improve the taste or mouthfeel of the product. It is a lengthy process of trial and error.
The development of Muscle Provider’s flavor system is carried out by research and development (R&D) staff, while quality control (QC) takes care of the testing.
Among the tests performed on Muscle Provider are:
♦ Identity Tests: Identity tests are used to confirm that the ingredients coming from suppliers are what they’re supposed to be. Before blending them together, the QC team performs identity tests on the individual proteins in Muscle Provider using a technology known by the delightful name of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Besides being difficult to pronounce, it requires using a device that costs several thousands of dollars.
♦ Microbial Tests: Microbial tests are used to confirm that Muscle Provider is not contaminated with microorganisms.
♦ Protein Content Tests: After the proteins in Muscle Provider are blended together, protein content tests are performed. These ensure that the total amount of protein in the product matches what is stated on the label.
♦ Content Uniformity Tests: These tests are used to confirm that the ingredients are distributed evenly throughout the product; in other words, each serving contains the same quantity of each ingredient, or very nearly so. The last thing a consumer wants is to open a bottle and find clumps of protein on top and flavoring on the bottom. The QC staff at the MP lab takes extra steps to ensure that this doesn’t happen.
♦ Mixing Tests: Does the product mix properly? What size of serving should be mixed with how much water? Mixing tests will determine the answers to these questions.
♦ Stability Tests: What happens to Muscle Provider when it sits for a given period of time in a given environment? How long will it stay fresh? These are the sort of questions answered through stability testing.
6-Star Protein Nutrition
The nutritional stars of Muscle Provider are its proteins, of which there are six in the chocolate flavor. We discuss them in detail below in descending order of quantity. (Note that each 29-gram serving of Muscle Provider supplies a total of 21 grams of protein. That’s 72.4% by weight. By comparison, a large white egg is only 12.1% protein and a glass of milk comes in at about 3.3% protein.)
Whey Protein Isolate (WPI):
WPI is the largest source of protein in chocolate Muscle Provider. It comes a very close second (behind WPH by a mere 0.2 grams) in the vanilla flavor. Muscle Provider contains more than 35 times as much WPI as some protein powders, despite what the advertising for these products might lead consumers to believe.
Cow’s milk contains about 0.8% whey, much less than casein (2.6%), the other major milk protein. WPI is the purest (>90%) and most expensive whey protein extract available. It is naturally rich in dietarily essential amino acids, of which the branched-chain amino acids make up nearly 50%. The WPI in Muscle Provider contains less than 0.2% fat and 1.5% lactose, making it very good for athletes and lactase-deficient consumers.
There’s more than one way to extract whey protein from milk. After exhaustive research, Heflin and his food scientists determined that cross-flow ultra-filtration was the way to go, so to speak. The MP lab begins the process with sweet dairy whey, a product obtained from cheese manufacturing. Using the latest technology, the sweet whey passes through a complex series of ceramic filters (ultra-filtration). Ultra-filtration removes the low molecular weight compounds such as lactose (cheese whey contains about 5% lactose), minerals and vitamins, as well as fat. What is left is a concentrated whey protein suspended in liquid. The liquid concentrate is subsequently dried and instantized for easy mixing. Instantization involves spraying the protein particles with lecithin. Lecithin enables the protein to dissolve more easily in water. As we shall see, it also enhances the taste. This entire process is carried out without the use of excess heat so as to avoid damaging the product.
Heflin’s decision in 1995 to use expensive cross-flow ultra-filtered WPI was considered bleeding-edge –so far ahead of its time that it boggles the mind of industry veterans even today. It also shows how strongly he was committed to manufacturing products with only the highest-quality ingredients available no matter what the cost, a practice BI continues to this day.
The MP lab president explained that Muscle Provider is the most expensive protein powder they manufacture. Part of the reason for this is that they use the same ingredients suppliers for every batch of product in order to ensure that the quality is consistently outstanding. Other supplement companies may change ingredients suppliers as needed in order keep costs down. Cost is a bigger concern for them than quality.
Not at BI. Here, quality is the main concern. Owner Roger Riedinger does not impose a cost limit on the MP lab. The only restriction is that they use the highest quality ingredients available, with no exceptions. The result is that Muscle Provider provides a very low profit margin for BI. Consumers, on the other hand, profit by getting a protein powder that many feel is second to none.
Whey Protein Hydrolysate (WPH):
WPH is the largest source of protein in vanilla Muscle Provider and the second largest in the chocolate flavor. Their quantities are so close that for all intents and purposes you can consider them to be the same in each flavor.
To make Muscle Provider’s WPH, WPI is partially digested, or hydrolyzed, with the help of enzymes. The enzyme treatment is mild and carefully monitored so as to ensure that the amino acids remain intact. Because it has been partially digested, WPH’s amino acids have the potential to be absorbed more quickly. In this sense, you can think of it as a high-speed form of whey. Moreover, enzymatic hydrolysis can release short chains of amino acids known as peptides, some of which display beneficial biological properties (e.g. anti-inflammatory and appetite-modulating). It is worth adding here that most of the scientific studies demonstrating the physique and performance enhancing properties of whey have used WPH.
Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC):
WPC contains less protein per gram than does WPI. However, it adds important taste and texture dimensions that, when combined with Muscle Provider’s other proteins, makes for a more satisfying user experience. WPC can range in purity from 35-80% protein. In developing the original Muscle Provider formula, Heflin chose a WPC with the highest concentration of protein available. It was also lower in lactose than any other WPC on the market.
Calcium Caseinate (chocolate only):
At 2.6%, casein is by far the most abundant protein in milk, where it is naturally bound to calcium. It tends to be digested and absorbed more somewhat slowly than whey, a property which scientists have suggested allows it to more effectively suppress muscle protein breakdown. As with the other proteins in Muscle Provider, besides its anabolic benefits, the addition of caseinate contributes to the product’s superior taste and mouthfeel.
Hydrolyzed Lactalbumin (chocolate only):
Whey protein can be divided into different fractions. Lactalbumin is the second most abundant whey protein fraction in cow’s milk. It has been found to raise tryptophan levels in human subjects, probably because it is rich in this amino acid. Lactalbumin has also been shown to improve cognitive performance. The lactalbumin in Muscle Provider has been hydrolyzed in order to enhance its absorption.
When Heflin invented the original Muscle Provider formula, egg was considered the best available protein. WPC was just emerging in the nutritional supplement marketplace and ion-exchanged whey was considered the cutting edge. Why is egg white still in the Muscle Provider formula? We tackle this question below.
Why a multi-species protein powder?
Depending on the yardstick by which you measure it, whey protein –WPI, in particular-- is currently regarded as even better quality than egg; it’s the new gold standard. So why not use WPI by itself? Why bother combining it with egg white and other proteins?
Heflin believed that a multi-species protein powder would give consumers a superior amino acid profile for muscle-building purposes. He wanted to extend Muscle Provider’s benefits beyond the ultra-fast amino acid nitrogen hits provided by WPI and WPH. Like every other protein in the formula, egg white has its own unique amino acid profile, speed of digestion and absorption, as well as taste and texture. It is the synergistic culmination of these factors that make Muscle Provider just awesome, in the words of the MP lab president. He tells us that you could certainly manufacture a protein powder consisting only of WPI. It wouldn’t necessarily cost much more. However, the other proteins in Muscle Provider add tremendous value, including taste, mouthfeel and other abstract qualities, plus the complementary amino acid, digestion and absorption profiles just mentioned. He adds The combination and proportions of proteins in this product are entirely unique. They provide the greatest mouthfeel and the best taste with no undesirable aftertaste at all. They really go well together. Also, most products at this serving size do not contain as much protein.
Where do the proteins in Muscle Provider come from?
With the exception of egg white, all of the proteins in Muscle Provider come from fresh milk generously supplied by cows born and raised in the United States. As such, they are subject to USDA guidelines, which we’re told are stricter than those in some other countries. The milk is heated at a minimum temperature of 75 degrees Celsius for 15 seconds. Heating is conducted only briefly in order to prevent the proteins from becoming damaged; e.g., denatured. The MP lab confirms that there is no denatured protein in Muscle Provider.
The milk is also free of the biological agent, called a prion, that is believed to cause Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). Since 1989, the USDA has prohibited the importation of live animals and animal products from BSE-positive countries. In 2004 the FDA also took steps to ensure that cattle materials associated with the highest risk of transmitting the agent causing BSE were excluded from human food, including dietary supplements.
Muscle Provider’s Flavor System
Muscle Provider’s proteins are surrounded from every conceivable angle by exceptional flavors. Developing the flavor system for this product was in fact the toughest challenge faced by the MP lab. It is a custom flavor system, meaning that it is made only for BI on an as needed basis. Besides the high cost that this imposes, it requires performing some complicated chemistry. A time- and labor-intensive auditing process ensures the final product has an aromatic and tasty flavor. No other company uses this particular process; it has been developed exclusively for BI.
Why can developing a flavor system be so difficult? Protein is pretty bland by itself. As mentioned earlier, whey, in particular, presents some serious taste issues. WPI, for instance, has flavor characteristics that have been described as “soapy”, animal/wet dog and cucumber, among other terms. In short, flavors and sweeteners are necessary if you want to give consumers a product that they will find to be satisfactory. If a supplement company doesn’t want to spend a lot of money, then developing a great-tasting protein powder will be difficult if not impossible.
Each round of flavor auditing can take quite a while. At least 5 rounds of auditing were required to get Muscle Provider’s flavor “just right”. The MP lab president reveals “There is no flavor like it anywhere in the world. Children love it. My grandchildren are fussy eaters and have difficulty gaining weight. They love Muscle Provider.”
Cocoa powder is one of the most prominent flavor ingredients in chocolate Muscle Provider. The MP lab also uses a natural chocolate flavor that is said to be the most incredible tasting of its kind. To these ingredients they add another flavor, one that most consumers would not expect, and whose identity cannot be disclosed here. (Some things have to remain a secret!) Suffice to say, it imparts an extra special taste dimension to chocolate Muscle Provider that puts it in a category of its own.
As with chocolate, the development of Muscle Provider’s vanilla flavor system is as much art as science. Since 1995, no one has been able to identify the flavors that are the real secret to this product’s fantastic vanilla taste (sorry, they cannot be disclosed either) and therefore it has also never been duplicated.
At one time, vanilla Muscle Provider contained an enzyme complex in order to assist with the digestion and absorption of the proteins. This caused the product to taste bitter when it was prepared, though only after sitting for approximately 20 minutes. Still, BI figured it was best to remove it. New WPHs were entering the marketplace, and the MP lab eventually found one that didn’t negatively affect the taste. Of course, because WPH has been pre-digested by enzymes, this meant that the enzyme complex was no longer necessary.
The use of caseinate and lactalbumin
You may recall from above that caseinate and lactalbumin are present in chocolate Muscle Provider only. This is because making a great-tasting chocolate protein powder requires adding more in the way of flavoring than is the case with vanilla. The addition of these ingredients effectively dilutes the protein content of the product; it also affects the mixability and texture. BI could have added non-protein filler ingredients to the chocolate formula in order to deal with the mixability and texture issues, however, this would have generated a product of inferior anabolic potency. Instead, they added caseinate and lactalbumin. The particular balance developed by the MP lab allowed them to create a higher-protein product with superior mixability, taste and texture, not to mention the other beneficial properties of caseinate and lactalbumin.
In an effort to maximize Muscle Provider’s health and anabolic benefits, BI insists that the MP lab keep the level of sodium in the product low. Salt (sodium chloride) is often used in chocolate formulations to enhance the flavor profile. Through rigorous trial and error, the MP lab discovered a particular balance of WPH and WPI that allowed them to reduce the level of salt in chocolate Muscle Provider dramatically -from 0.9% to 0.1%- while leaving alone its addictive flavor.
Blending the proteins
How you mix the individual proteins together –blending- is one that many facets of manufacturing that supplement companies overlook when developing a protein powder, according to the MP lab.
Before they enter the blender, Muscle Provider’s proteins and other ingredients are put through a fine screen. This helps to remove the lumps and otherwise ensure that the product is consistent, or homogenous. Blending is performed at a slow speed using a V-blender in order to gently mix the proteins together and avoid fracturing them. This, the MP lab states, is the secret to preserving their freshness and increasing their shelf life. If the proteins were to be mixed in a ribbon or a high-shear blender, by comparison, the proteins would be severely fractured, causing them to taste poorly and quickly go rancid. The MP lab does not use these other types of blenders.
Does quality really matter to your muscles?
As we’ve discussed, BI insists on using only the highest-quality ingredients available. Quality is the main concern, not cost. Realistically, however, will this cause your muscle-building experience with Muscle Provider to be noticeably different from that of using a lower-quality protein powder?
Yes, according to the president and CEO of the MP lab. They tell us that it will make a big difference. Numerous factors are affected by the quality of the protein and non-protein ingredients in the product; in particular, the manner in which they are manufactured. Higher-quality manufacturing methods yield proteins with superior bioavailability, for instance. This means that more of the protein can be absorbed by the body, and in some cases, more quickly. This directly impacts the anabolic state of your muscles.
There are numerous qualities, or grades, of WPI, WPH, caseinate and other proteins. BI instructs the lab to use only the highest such grades available. As stated, the proteins are always obtained from the same supplier in order to ensure that each batch of Muscle Provider has the same muscle-building potency and incredible taste and mouthfeel. All stages of manufacturing are closely monitored by QC to ensure that this remains the case.
It isn’t easy for consumers to find a protein powder as high in quality as Muscle Provider. The MP lab admits that this is the most expensive such product they manufacture, for reasons explained above. Perhaps the best way to conclude this section is to let the MP lab president and CEO explain in their own words what makes Muscle Provider so different from other protein powders in the bodybuilding supplement marketplace, many of which look so similar to consumers when they encounter them on store shelves.
“First of all, we use the highest-quality proteins in the country. All of the milk proteins are obtained from milk supplied by cows born and raised in the United States. The major source of protein is WPI, which is probably the premiere protein. We also add several other high-quality proteins [WPH, WPC, calcium caseinate, hydrolyzed lactalbumin, egg white] that dissolve and go into solution very easily are very easy to digest. The proteins supplied by an international company that is regarded as one of the world’s best protein manufacturers. Then there is the incredible flavor... Muscle Provider probably has the best flavor profile of any protein powder we have ever manufactured.
The ease with which Muscle Provider dissolves is important. The better the protein dissolves, the more easily it can be digested. The body can absorb Muscle Provider almost totally. If you have a peptide-bonded protein like that in meat, fish, or other whole foods, then your body has to use its digestive system to break it down and get at the protein. Muscle Provider gives consumers protein that is almost totally pure, in contrast. There’s almost no lactose or other sugars in it. You almost can’t find a product with zero sugar. Each 29-gram serving supplies 21 grams of protein. There are few other protein powders that are so dense with protein.
The unique combination of proteins is what really makes Muscle Provider the top protein powder, in our opinion. We could use plant proteins like soy or rice, but the quality is not there and the taste is not good, so we don’t. The combination of proteins is really what makes it stand out... what it does for the taste, texture and mouthfeel of the product, and of course its anabolic potency. If you use other protein powders and you compare them with Muscle Provider, you will feel such a difference.
Unlike BI, some supplement companies are more concerned about cost than quality. They may start manufacturing a product with higher-quality proteins but then cut down to lower-quality ones afterwards...yet their marketing suggests otherwise. Behind the scenes the quality is not the same as what consumers are being led to believe. Companies like these can afford to charge a lower price for their products while claiming that they contain higher-quality proteins; the actual quantities of these proteins are small, however, perhaps even too small to be effective.
Even if we tried to use lower-quality ingredients while formulating prototypes for BI, they would reject them. They only accept the very best. As discussed, Muscle Provider has an unusually high amount of high-grade WPI and WPH in each serving. Most supplement companies keep these quantities lower–in some cases dramatically lower—in order to keep costs down and make more money off of consumers.
Appendix: Miscellaneous Questions
With so many years of experience under their collective belts, we thought it was worthwhile asking the MP lab team some additional miscellaneous questions in an effort to give you even more unprecedented access to the manufacturing details of this best-selling protein powder. Let’s see what they had to share.
Q: Why is the egg white in Muscle Provider not hydrolyzed?
A: It’s not necessary to hydrolyze the egg white, as it is already easy to digest the way it is.
Q: What is the purpose of the soy lecithin in Muscle Provider?
A: Lecithin is used as an emulsifier and to improve the taste. [Emulsification makes it easier for the proteins to dissolve in water.] We use a special process to spray the lecithin on the protein particles. This coats them so that you don’t taste the protein. The spraying process is carried out separately.
Q: What is the purpose of the gums (guar, acacia) in Muscle Provider?
A: "The gums that we’ve used in Muscle Provider are very nice. Besides being a source of fiber, they function as thickening agents, improve the taste and help keep the proteins from settling out of solution.
When consumers mix up a serving of Muscle Provider, the gums help keep it suspended in solution so that when you drink it you don’t get down to the bottom of your glass and find a gooey mess."
Q: Is it possible for consumers to differentiate between a higher- and a lower-quality protein powder on the basis of taste or texture?
A: "If a supplement company is more concerned about cost than quality, then it will be very difficult if not impossible to develop an exceptionally great-tasting flavor system like Muscle Provider’s. BI insists that the MP lab obtain its ingredients from the same high-quality suppliers in order to make sure that the taste and other characteristics of the product remain the same from batch to batch, bottle to bottle. This is very important for consumers to remember.
It is certainly possible to differentiate between higher- and lower-quality protein powders on the basis of digestion and absorption. Higher-quality proteins like those in Muscle Provider will produce less bloating. Consumers will immediately feel a difference when they use this product. There will be no heaviness or bloating. It is very easy to digest and metabolize."
Q: What about the thickness of a protein powder? If a product yields thicker protein shakes, does this mean that it is higher-quality?
A: No. Thickness is really a function of the gums in the formula. A product like Muscle Provider will differ from lower-quality protein powders largely in terms of its ease of digestion and absorption and of course the taste, which has never been duplicated.
Q: What should consumers look for when shopping for a protein powder?
A: They should examine the label to see how many grams of protein are in each gram of product. This is what we refer to as its protein density. They should also look at the list of ingredients. The proteins should be listed in descending order of quantity. This will tell you which proteins are present in the largest quantities, relatively speaking. Of course, you can’t tell exactly what ratio of proteins they are using in the product. Ultimately the only real way to compare a protein powder is to try it. See for yourself how it feels after using it -whether or not it poses digestive problems for you, and so forth. This is the only real test.
Q: Is it true that Muscle Provider costs more to manufacture than any of the other proteins you make? Why do you think other supplement companies don’t make formulas like Muscle Provider?
A: Yes, Muscle Provider is the most expensive to produce. It is also the highest quality and the lowest in sugar and fat. Other supplement companies don’t want to spend as much on manufacturing their products because they won’t make as much profit. Muscle Provider is a very low-profit product for BI. But they want consumers to have the very best.
Q: Could a chemical analysis be performed on a store-bought protein powder in order to confirm that it contains the ingredients indicated on the product label?
A: That would be virtually impossible. The MP lab performs tests on Muscle Provider’s individual proteins before they are blended together. Once blending is complete, protein content tests are performed to determine the amount of protein in the blend, not individually identify each protein.
Q: Upon opening a bottle of Muscle Provider, how long will it stay fresh?
A: If you don’t let it get hot and keep it sealed in a dry location, then it can last several years. We had a gentleman who kept a protein in a cold warehouse for 10 years and it was still good. Muscle Provider can stay good for several years.
Q: If a consumer mixes Muscle Provider up with water and stores it in the fridge, how long will it last?
A: We don’t recommend doing that. If you mix it up with water and let it sit in the fridge, it will become very thick. Muscle Provider is not meant to be taken like that. If it were, then we would take out all of the gums. This product is intended to be consumed immediately after preparation. Drinking it right away.. that’s how it is meant to be used.
Q: Does Muscle Provider contain any denatured protein at all?
A: There’s a lot of hype about the issue of denatured versus undenatured protein. The reality is that almost nobody uses denatured protein. There’s so little of it around. No, we don’t use denatured protein. Almost no one does in a product like this. That’s not to say that the protein in some other nutritional products –bars, for instance, couldn’t be denatured.