Ultimate Muscle Protein: Anabolic Leverage at its Best
Imagine a protein powder that behaves like this. Blend it up with milk or water –it doesn’t matter which—and you are guaranteed of producing a perfectly textured shake that is so addictively appetizing you’ll want to have one for breakfast, lunch and again before bed. The excitement never settles as you leap between vanilla, chocolate, and cookies & crème flavors. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that each one was prepared by a flavor chemist who painstakingly combined aromas, essential oils and essences using a process that is as much art as it is science.
While it pleases the palette like a five-star dessert, this ideal protein powder is so nutritionally complete that you often use it as an entree. Each serving fills your tired muscles to capacity with a clinically-derived dose of the world’s best quality protein source topped with additional amino acids that are regarded as biochemically essential if you are to achieve your bodybuilding aspirations without disappointment.
Disappointed you are not. This protein powder is as much about aspirations as it is about operations. Consuming it every day your metabolism soon finds itself swept up in the accelerating waves of anabolism. It never strains for effect. Barriers to progress that forever haunted your training efforts seem to crumble into thin air, its unprecedented potential reflected in your increasing dimensions. As the days turn into weeks and the weeks into months, your friends, family and coworkers approve of the changes. How could they not? Your much desired, athletically proportioned frame is laden with massive, preternaturally defined and strengthened muscles. When you compare the dollar value of your gains to the sticker price of the protein powder, it is an extremely small investment indeed.
Overthrowing the Supplement "Monarchy"
Without question, bringing to market a protein powder like the one described above would represent a revolution in supplementation, a revolution that is long overdue. How tired are you of wasting your money on protein powders that are as naked of good taste as they are efficacy? If your answer is "very tired," then thousands of bodybuilding consumers around the world are likely to agree with you. We’re sick of falling for the siren songs sung by marketers of products that end up failing to excite our taste buds let alone change the size, shape or definition of our muscles, by far the most important measure of a protein powder’s efficacy.
With the release of Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP), Beverly International Nutrition has put an end to the tyranny of tasteless and inefficacious protein powders. In fact, UMP served as the inspiration for the ideal protein described above. Its exceptional formula, composed almost entirely of top quality milk protein isolate (MPI)(more on this later), has paid bodybuilders, athletes and celebrities incalculable dividends in terms of its ability to support greater gains in muscle size, leanness and overall performance. Regular users admit that they could hardly have known in advance that a protein powder could have such far-reaching effects on their body’s appearance and performance.
Now that UMP is available to the public, it is as if an oppressive supplement industry monarchy dating back decades has finally been overthrown, liberating consumers from market domination by protein powders that fail to either taste, or build your body, better than regular foods. To understand how Beverly has succeeded in making a revolutionary protein like this, we need to bring to light a revolutionary concept in bodybuilding nutrition, that of anabolic leverage.
The “Lug Nuts”
Thump, thump, thump! As you drive down the Interstate at over seventy miles per hour, you hear the discomforting sound of a flat tire. Passersby honk in an effort to draw your attention to the problem. Heartbroken, you pull over to the gravel shoulder, get out of the car and open the trunk. Guess what? You have no tire iron. Left with only your bare hands you make a valiant effort to loosen the set of lug nuts last tightened into place with an air impact wrench courtesy of your neighborhood mechanic. It looks like you’re stuck. Hopefully your cell phone has enough battery power to make a rescue call.
Beverly hasn’t put a tire iron inside every bottle of UMP, not literally, anyways. They have, however, provided bodybuilding consumers with something nutritionally comparable.
Let’s back up slightly before leaping forward. To build muscle tissue, your muscle cells, or fibers, need to synthesize more protein, particularly myofibrillar protein. These are the proteins responsible for generating force during the process of muscle contraction. Myofibrillar protein also contributes to the size, shape and definition of your muscles. Building muscle might be a lot easier for you if there weren’t so many genetic and non-genetic factors holding down protein synthesis. Metaphorically you can think of these factors as "lug nuts."
The purpose of eating a protein powder is to raise amino acid levels inside your body. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, including the protein in the food you eat and the protein in your body. That being said, raising amino acid levels to even very high levels won’t amount to a gram, pound or inch of new muscle tissue on your body unless these levels are sustained. On the other hand, if a protein powder contains a suitably high proportion of so-called "slow-release" protein (more on this later), studies suggest that it may raise and sustain amino acid levels longer, say, for several hours. This persistence of elevated amino acid levels has been suggested to generate strong upward leverage, or pressure, on the "lug nuts" holding down muscle protein synthesis. This is known as anabolic leverage. Sustain enough anabolic leverage, and the lug nuts loosen. You’re finally free to gain all of the size, strength and definition your training efforts had the potential to reward you with all along. You breathe a sigh of relief and exhilaration as those longstanding barriers to progress come down and layer upon layer of lean muscle go up.
The difference between using a protein powder capable of supporting high anabolic leverage and one that isn’t is analogous to the difference between trying to change a flat tire with a tire iron (high leverage) and your bare hands (very low leverage). Viewed from this perspective, it seems as if today’s protein powders are "low leverage". They work more like empty hands than air impact wrenches, wasting your time and money without encouraging your body to change for the better.
How does UMP support high anabolic leverage? For one thing, it consists almost entirely of milk protein isolate (MPI). Per unit weight of protein, UMP contains a staggering 90% MPI. To date, Beverly is not aware of any other company in the world that manufactures a protein powder that can make this claim.
Essentially, MPI is a mixture of milk proteins that has been isolated from milk; namely, casein and whey. In its natural state in milk, casein occurs in a so-called micellar form. Owing to its exceptionally high content of MPI, every serving of UMP provides you with 80% micellar casein and 20% whey.
Casein established itself as a "power protein" more than a decade ago after studies performed by scientists such as Yves Boirie and colleagues demonstrated its talent for producing protein accretion. As explained earlier, to build muscle tissue, the quantity of protein (particularly myofibrillar protein) inside your muscles cells must increase. This is known as protein accretion. In the frequently cited Boirie studies, casein was shown to promote more protein accretion than whey, despite the fact that whey actually stimulated more protein synthesis. This may be explained by the fact that the amino acids in whey protein are absorbed into the bloodstream relatively quickly. For this reason it is sometimes described as "fast-release". Casein, in comparison, takes a while longer to release its amino acids. Once released, however, blood amino acid levels remain elevated for several hours. This persistence of "slow-release" casein pays off: Ultimately it gives casein the power to tilt the balance of protein synthesis and catabolism in favor of greater protein accretion. In other words, casein is capable of generating more anabolic leverage. To reiterate, protein accretion is an essential element of building muscle. If you don’t gain protein, you won’t gain muscle.
“The Leverage Protein”: Milk Protein Isolate
A number of clinical studies have examined the muscle-building effects of proteins containing relatively low levels of MPI. One recently published study by Willoughby and colleagues used a protein containing only 10% MPI per unit weight of protein (i.e. 1 gram of MPI per 10 grams of protein). Nevertheless, when subjects consumed 20 grams of this protein 1 hour before and again 1 hour after a weight-lifting workout (i.e. 40 grams total), they were rewarded with greater gains in total body mass, fat-free mass (this includes muscle), strength and myofibrillar protein as compared to subjects consuming a carbohydrate-based placebo. Again, the protein used in this study was only 10% MPI. Beverly’s UMP, in contrast, contains 90% MPI per gram of protein. This puts it in a league of its own. Imagine what kinds of gains are possible by consuming 20 grams of UMP before and after every workout!
Why doesn’t UMP contain 100% MPI?
You might wonder why Beverly decided not to make a protein powder composed of 100% MPI. They came so close, after all. MPI is quite dense as far as proteins go. By law, "one scoop" is actually supposed to be the amount that mixes properly in a cup of water. If UMP consisted of 100% MPI, one scoop of it wouldn’t mix properly. The consistency would be too thick. In accordance with the law, and to make customers happy, Beverly added just enough whey protein isolate (about 5%, depending on the flavor) to produce a more desirable consistency. Consistent with Beverly’s code of supplement manufacturing ethics, they used the best quality whey protein isolate available (high %, low in lactose).
Speaking of the best, in a global economic slowdown like we’re currently experiencing, it is not unheard of for supplement companies to replace higher quality proteins with lower quality ones in an effort to cut costs. MPI is expensive and its cost continues to rise. Nevertheless, Beverly has insisted on using only the best quality MPI in the same exceptionally high level (90%) in UMP. While this insistence has recently hurt their profit margins, in the long term they trust it will pay off. After all, if you’re happy with the way you look and perform while using UMP, then you’re far more likely to continue using it in the future.
A "Stimulus Package" in Every Serving
As noted earlier, MPI naturally contains casein and whey, since these are the two principle proteins found in milk. Also noted was the fact that a top quality whey protein isolate has been added to the UMP formula to improve its consistency. The end result is that each serving of UMP provides you with 80% slow-release casein and 20% fast-release whey. Scientists believe it is the fast-release property of whey that enables it to stimulate protein synthesis so quickly, albeit relatively briefly. Some studies suggest that this property may be particularly useful for preserving muscle mass at rest, such as during a layoff from training. The research and development scientists at Beverly use a metaphor drawn from economics when they say that the fast-release whey in UMP functions like a "stimulus package", the purpose of which is to kick things off, grease the wheels of anabolism, and get things moving again. Once whey’s commanding lead evaporates, the abundance of slow-release micellar casein in UMP is there to help keep the anabolic leverage high and unlock those proverbial lug nuts holding down protein synthesis.
Topping it off: "Critical Cluster" Amino Acids
Topping off UMP’s exceptionally high content of MPI are additional "critical cluster" amino acids; namely, glutamine, arginine, leucine, isoleucine and valine. The last three in this list are collectively known as the branched-chain amino acids (BCAA). The name "critical cluster" derives from the fact that each one of these amino acids is considered critical for building muscle tissue.
While it is well known that the amino acid arginine can be converted into the vasodilator nitric oxide (NO), much less appreciated is the fact that glutamine also supports NO levels. Among other roles, glutamine is an important source of arginine. Glutamine obtained from UMP can be carried to the small intestine for use in the synthesis of the amino acid citrulline. In the kidneys, citrulline is converted into arginine and then into NO. Citrulline is the body’s "preferred" precursor of arginine for the purpose of making NO.
It’s also worth pointing out that MPI naturally contains the amino acids cysteine/cystine and the peptide gamma-glutamylcysteine/cystine*. Both stimulate the synthesis of glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant. Glutathione, in turn, support NO levels.
*[NOTE: The oxidation of (i.e. removal of electrons from) cysteine produces cystine.]
How does UMP taste?
Read the introduction to this editorial again, and as you do so, remember that UMP was its source of inspiration. Beverly’s flavor chemists just improved the Chocolate and Cookies & Crème flavors, the result being that they taste even more addictively appetizing than they did before. There is no better way to sympathize with your appetite and stimulate muscle anabolism at the same time than to savor the inviting and comforting flavors of this top quality protein powder with dessert-like taste. UMP can certainly cushion the disappointment and sense of anti-climax experienced with every other protein powder you’ve tried before.
Conclusion: Get Leverage with Ultimate Muscle Protein
In just over a quarter of a century, Beverly has enjoyed a quiet ascent to the position of being recognized as the world’s leading manufacturer of top quality protein powders for bodybuilding consumers of all kind. Their unwavering commitment to taste and efficacy is reflected in Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP), considered by many to be the world’s number one bodybuilding protein powder.
To build muscle you need to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Being that amino acids are the building blocks of protein, supplementing your daily diet with a protein powder seems like a logical approach to accelerating muscle gains. However, if your protein powder only raises amino acid levels briefly, then it may not generate sufficient anabolic leverage to loosen the genetic and non-genetic factors –metaphorically known as "lug nuts"-- holding down protein synthesis, the result being that your training efforts seem to go unrewarded. What you require is a protein powder capable of generating and sustaining high anabolic leverage; one that works more like a tire iron than a pair of empty hands.
Beverly formulated UMP with a mission: To generate and sustain high anabolic leverage. With its exceptionally high content of "the leverage protein", milk protein isolate (MPI; 90% by protein weight), topped with additional "critical cluster" amino acids (i.e. glutamine, arginine, leucine, isoleucine and valine), UMP has the potential to overthrow and subvert its predecessors and contemporaries –the many products that have left you frustrated and tired by their lack of taste and bodybuilding efficacy.
No longer do you have to be subservient to the marketplace. Revolt and overthrow the "monarchy" of tasteless, inefficacious protein powders by making UMP your only protein powder. Encoded in its formulaic logic is a unique balance of proteins intended to leverage and pressure even the tightest of lug nuts into loosening their grip on muscle protein synthesis. Soon you’ll be free to gain all of the size, strength and definition your training efforts had the potential to reward you with all along. Soon your body can have the distinctive motif of the bodybuilder.
al. (2007). Amino Acids 32(4): 467.
Boirie et al. (1997). Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 94(26): 14930.