Protein Powder For Women – Should Women Use Protein?
Many women looking to improve health ask if there is a protein powder that satisfies their specific needs, but the truth is this: regular protein powders are not just for male bodybuilders; they benefit women, too.
Protein has proven to be one of the best ways to improve health for both men and women and offers several benefits to both sexes.
If you have additional questions about protein powder for women, here’s a quick guide on how protein powder for women.
Let’s discuss how protein affects women, how much protein women need, and what benefits are available if women supplement with protein powders.
RECOMMENDED: See the Top 10 Protein Supplements on Supplementing.com
Some of the protein powder benefits for women:
- 1. Appetite Suppressant and Weight Loss Aid
- 2. Muscle Growth and Repair
- 3. Skin, Hair and Nail Health
- 4. Cycle Regulation
- 5. Preventing Muscle Breakdown
Appetite Suppressant & Weight Loss Aid
Protein is an effective appetite suppressant, which means women wanting to lose weight will be less likely to overeat.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition released a study reporting women who supplemented with protein experienced better satiety and weight loss results than women who did not. 
Of course, you don’t want protein powder to be your sole source of protein and nutrition. But, taking a shake or supplement in addition to a healthy diet gives the sustaining power needed to cut calories without feeling starved.
Muscle Growth and Repair
Protein powder allows for healthy muscle growth and recovery. However, this doesn’t mean you’ll turn into the Hulk if you take additional protein.
Rather, protein creates the ideal environment for repairing muscle tissue after extensive exercise; it doesn’t build muscle on its own. It aids recovery during DOMS, delayed onset muscle soreness, so you’ll be able to get back in the gym more quickly. 
Furthermore, most women don’t have the hormones and the additional genetic makeup to pack on large, bulky muscles. 
Consequently, weight loss experts and personal trainers encourage women to strength train regularly and to supplement with protein powder to slim down and tone up.
Skin, Hair and Nail Health
If your hair is lacking shine or your skin is looking less than healthy, you might not be getting enough protein.
Collagen is a type of protein present in skin, hair, and nails. It is primarily made of the amino acids lysine and proline. These amino acids are mainly found in milk products, including whey and casein protein powders. 
Protein supplementation may improve collagen production, which in turn optimizes growth and appearance of skin, hair, and nails. 
Menstrual Cycle Regulation
Your nutrition needs vary depending on your time of the month, and those needs include protein supplementation.
According to studies, protein is essential for maintaining healthy nitrogen utilization during the menstrual cycle. 
Additionally, hemoglobin is a protein that composes and is vital for a healthy blood supply. Many women who complain of heavy menstrual cycles may have conditions relating to a low hemoglobin count.
Studies show protein supplementation positively affects hemoglobin count and supports healthier menstrual cycles. 
Preventing Muscle Breakdown
At night, the body undergoes 6 to 8 hours of rest and repair. During this time, it uses nutrients it stored during the day to rebuild damaged tissue, secrete helpful hormones, and maintain other bodily processes.
However, 6 to 8 hours is a long time. The longer your body goes without additional nutrients, the more creative it has to be to find the building blocks necessary to function. Subsequently, it starts to pull these nutrients from wherever it can find them; namely, by breaking down muscle tissue – all your hard work at the gym starts to go down the drain.
Fortunately, there is a protein powder for women that counters this breakdown: casein. This protein digests slowly, taking up to 7 hours to digest.  Subsequently, it provides energy and prevents the body from breaking down muscle during long periods of inactivity and no consumption. 
How Much Protein Does a Woman Need?
Daily recommendations from the Institute of Medicine are about 46 g protein for the average woman. However, Harvard Medical School recommends women consume 15% of their daily calories from protein – or about 75 g protein in a 2,000 calorie diet.
Keep in mind, women may need to consume more if participating in high intensity or extended endurance exercises. It is safe for women to consume as much as 1.1 g protein per pound body weight per day.  In that ratio, a woman weighing 140 pounds could potentially consume 154 g protein to increase muscle, strength, and lean body mass.
 Noakes, M., Keogh, J. B., Foster, P. R., & Clifton, P. M. (2005). Effect of an energy-restricted, high-protein, low-fat diet relative to a conventional high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet on weight loss, body composition, nutritional status, and markers of cardiovascular health in obese women. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 81(6), 1298-1306. Available from: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/81/6/1298.short
 Etheridge, T., Philp, A., & Watt, P. W. (2008). A single protein meal increases recovery of muscle function following an acute eccentric exercise bout. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 33(3), 483-488. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18461101
 Chee, Rosie. “Breaking the Myth. Increasing Testosterone in Females Equals Muscle Accretion, Strength Gains, and Fat Loss.” BodyBuilding.com. Available from: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/myth-of-women-lifting-heavy2.htm
 “Can you tell me which foods promote collagen?” The World’s Healthiest Foods. The George Mateljan Foundation. Available from: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=fightdz&dbid=6
 “Lysine.” University of Maryland Medical Center. Available from: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/lysine
 Calloway and Kurzer. ‘Menstrual Cycle and Protein Requirements of Women.” The Journal of Nutrition. 112: 356-366. 1982. Available from: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/112/2/356.full.pdf
 Orten, A. U., & Orten, J. M. (1943). The role of dietary protein in hemoglobin formation. The Journal of Nutrition, 26(1), 21-31. Available from: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/26/1/21.full.pdf
 Boirie Y, Dangin M, Gachon P, Vasson MP, Maubois JL, Beaufrère B. “Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Dec 23;94(26):14930-5. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9405716
Wein, Debra. “Whey Protein vs Casein Protein and Optimal Recovery.” National Strength and Conditioning Association. Available from: http://www.nsca.com/education/articles/whey-protein-vs-casein-protein-and-optimal-recovery/
Coleman, Erin. “How Much Protein is Too Much for a Female?” SFGate. Available from: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/much-protein-much-female-6346.html
Arnold Iron Whey
Arnold Schwarzenegger is partnering with MusclePharm to release a new line of supplements: the Arnold Schwarzenegger Series.
This line of supplements is designed to help athletes grow muscles so they can be as legendary as Arnold. One of the products in this new line is Iron Whey, which is a whey protein powder.
Arnold is an icon; if you look at photos of him at the height of his bodybuilding career, you can’t help but be impressed.
To find out if his products live up to his reputation, let’s take a closer look at the formula and the price.
Inside the Formula
Even though this product is created and endorsed by Arnold, it deserves a closer look to see if the ingredients deliver.
Whey Protein Matrix
Although it doesn’t say on the nutrition facts label, each 32.4 gram scoop of Iron Whey is supposed to contain 22 grams protein. There are three protein types in the blend: whey concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate.
Concentrate has the most whole proteins and delivers sustained energy, but it is the hardest to digest. Hydrolysate proteins are processed into peptides for quick bursts of energy, and they are easiest to digest. Isolate lies in the middle. Together they provide energy throughout your workout and afterward. 
Free amino acids are included as residue from the proteins. The main amino acids in the blend are glycine, taurine, and glutamine. They all convert to energy and contribute to muscle mass gains. 
Branched chain amino acids are scientifically proven to prevent muscle breakdown and build muscle mass during exercise. 
The typical BCAA ratio is 2:1:1, leucine: isoleucine: valine. In Arnold Iron Mass, the ratio is 3:1:2, a patent pending ratio. 
Is Arnold Iron Whey A Good Buy?
Arnold Iron Whey is available from BodyBuilding.com and TigerFitness.com for $48 and $55 respectively for a 5-pound tub.
With Arnold Iron Whey’s emphasis on quality over bargain, this seems like a simple case of one’s priorities. If you’re looking for a product with higher quality ingredients, Arnold Iron Whey is a good option.
The combination of Arnold Schwarzenegger and MusclePharm makes an impressive team. They both have major credibility in the bodybuilding world. I anticipate this product will be incredibly popular, but I recommend waiting until customers start logging results before purchasing Arnold Iron Whey.
 Mollica, Monica. “Show Me the Whey: Concentrates vs Isolates vs Hyrolysates.” Sports Nutrition Insider. 9 Mar 2012. Available from: http://sportsnutritioninsider.insidefitnessmag.com/3771/show-me-the-whey-concentrates-vs-isolates-vs-hydrolysates
 “Glycine.” Biology-Online.com. 3 Oct 2005. Available from: http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Glycine
 “Taurine.” Biology-Online.com. 3 Oct 2005. Available from: http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Taurine
 Bowtell, JL, K Gelly, et al. “Effect of oral glutamine on whole body carbohydrate storage during recovery from exhaustive exercise.” Journal of Applied Physiology, 86.6 (1999): 1770-7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10368336
 Kimball SR, Jefferson LS. “Signaling Pathways and Molecular Mechanisms through which Branched-Chain Amino Acids Mediate Translational Control of Protein Synthesis.” Journal of Decision. 2006 Jan;136(1):2275-2315. Available from: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/136/1/227S.full
 Campbell B, Kreider R, Ziegenfuss, La Bounty P, Roberts M, Burke D, Landis J, Lopez H, Antontio J. “International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: protein and exercise.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 26 Sep 2007. Vol. 4. Available from: http://www.jissn.com/content/4/1/8
Arnold Iron Mass
A soon-to-debut muscle weight gainer from MusclePharm, Arnold Iron Mass is purported to trigger “gains in hard, dense muscle mass & strength.”
It accomplishes this by providing 40 g protein. Better still, it’s gluten-free and low in sugar.
While this may sound appealing, you probably have some questions you want answered. Let’s take a look at its price and ingredients.
How Much Does It Cost?
Since Arnold Iron Mass has yet to be released, the average price is not available. However, based on retailing in Australia, it may cost about $85.
MusclePharm boasts its products are sold at many brick-and-mortar stores, such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, and Vitamin World. It is also found in online venues like BodyBuilding.com, Amazon.com, and Vitacost.com.
TigerFitness.com appears to sell the product for about $50, plus $12.18 for shipping.
What Will You Be Consuming With Arnold Iron Mass?
Arnold Iron Mass is comprised of a 71.5 g proprietary blend, and some of its potent ingredients are discussed below.
Creatine Monohydrate. Creatine is involved in producing the energy needed by muscles to function. It is clinically proven to boost athletic performance, especially highly-intense exercise. A typical creatine dosage for loading is 20 g/d, though it may cause stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and muscle cramping. 
Sweet Potato Powder. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium, making them a viable source of nutrition.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs). WebMD experts state BCAAs “stimulate the building of protein in muscle and possibly reduce muscle breakdown.” A recommended dosage is 68-144 mg/kg/d. 
Barley Starch. Barley’s fiber content lowers cholesterol, blood sugar, and insulin levels. Because it digests slowly, barley promotes satiety and suppresses appetite. A recommended dosage is 3-12 g. 
L-Glycine. An amino acid, glycine helps with transmitting chemical signals to the brain. It is effective for treating schizophrenia and leg ulcers. A recommended dosage for treating schizophrenia is 0.4-0.8 g/kg. 
With creatine, BCAAs, and other beneficial ingredients, Arnold Iron Mass may be a reliable muscle gainer.
But, this product doesn’t have consumer reviews to back these claims. Consider waiting for reviews after its release before you spending money on it.
 “Creatine.” WebMD. Available from: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-873-CREATINE.aspx?activeIngredientId=873&activeIngredientName=CREATINE
 “5 Winter Superfoods: Sweet Potatoes: Nutrient Profile.” WebMD. Available from: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/5-winter-superfoods-sweet-potatoes-nutrient-profile
 “Branched-Chain Amino Acids.” WebMD. Available from: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1005-BRANCHED-CHAIN%20AMINO%20ACIDS.aspx?activeIngredientId=1005&activeIngredientName=BRANCHED-CHAIN%20AMINO%20ACIDS
 “Barley.” WebMD. Available from: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-799-BARLEY.aspx?activeIngredientId=799&activeIngredientName=BARLEY
 “Glycine.” WebMD. Available from: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1072-GLYCINE.aspx?activeIngredientId=1072&activeIngredientName=GLYCINE
BPI Whey HD
BPI announced a couple days ago via a photo advertisement the release of Whey HD, an ultra-premium whey protein powder.
Whey is considered a fast-absorbing protein and is shown to improve athletic performance by offering quick supplies of amino acids and nutrients to repair damaged muscles after exercise.
The product image shows Whey HD will contain 50 g protein per 2 servings.
Needless to say, athletes and bodybuilders are excitedly anticipating its estimated fall arrival.
What Flavors Can We Expect?
BPI Whey HD will come in 4 different flavors: Vanilla Caramel, Chocolate Cookie, Peanut Butter Cookie, and Strawberry Chocolate.
Also, WHey HD will come in two size containers, a 2 lb. and a 5 lb.
Will BPI Whey HD Be Expensive?
We’ve already seen a price on some sites for Whey HD where it’s listed as retailing for more than $70, even though the product has not yet been released.
What Do We Know About the Company?
With headquarters in South Florida, BPI Sports is a supplement manufacturer with numerous products under its belt, such as testosterone boosters, fat burners, and pre- and post-workout supplements.
Sister companies of BPI include IMAGE Sports, Brain Pharma, Pro Nutra, and Jay Culter Elite Series.
BPI Products are received well by users, and the company was even given the “Rising Star of the Year” award followed by the “Brand of The Year” award by GNC.
The company received a B Rating from the Better Business Bureau. The rating is based on 2 complaints received in the past 3 years, stemming from problems with the product/service. These complaints have since been closed in the past 12 months.
Keep checking back for more news on BPI Whey HD. We will update this review with new information as soon as it is available.
Inner Armour Blue Whey Protein
Ads for Inner Armour Blue Whey Protein say cutting-edge technology makes this whey supplement quick dissolving and fast absorbing.
Inner Armour claims Blue Whey Protein builds lean muscle mass, reduces food cravings, and increases energy.
Is the whey protein in this product as advanced as it is purported to be?
Let’s take a look at the formula to decide.
Inside Inner Armour Blue Whey Protein
As with most protein supplements, Inner Armour Blue Whey Protein features whey as its key ingredient. More specifically, it contains ”low temperature, micro-filtered” Whey Protein Isolate and Hydrolysate, which are said to be the most digestible and bioavailable protein forms.
In an article published by the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, researchers found this filtration process, also known as hydrolysis, makes protein easier to absorb.
In a random, double-blind study, 21-year-old males consumed a whey protein supplement of 10 g whey and 21 g carbohydrates or a placebo with only carbohydrates. According to Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, the men that drank 10 grams whey and 21 grams carbohydrates had more muscle protein synthesis, confirming whey protein’s ability to stimulate muscle growth. Inner Armour Blue Whey Protein has 24 g protein and 14 g carbs. Those doses alter the whey to carb ratio used in the study but should still provide similar benefits.
Inner Armour Blue Whey Protein has 24 g protein and 14 g carbs, not quite a 1 to 1 ratio but enough to provide similar benefits.
In the same study, the results of whey protein versus casein protein were also examined. Thirteen men took hydrolyzed whey isolate (similar to Inner Armour Blue Whey Protein) or casein protein. Results indicated those on hydrolyzed whey isolate made more strength gains and had more muscle protein synthesis.
Inner Armour Blue Whey Protein has some micellar casein protein, but most of its protein comes from whey. Consequently, this protein powder should increase muscle strength and size.
When to Take It
Inner Armour Blue Whey Protein is good for enhancing protein synthesis during and after weightlifting workouts or for short-term appetite suppression. For either use, mix 1 scoop powder with 6 to 8 ounces liquid and drink.
I suggest using milk rather than water when drinking Inner Armour Blue Whey Protein as a meal replacement because it will be more filling. Those using this protein powder as a pre- or post-workout protein supplement may prefer milk as well to avoid a grainy texture.
However, the protein used in this product is said to be “100% instantized” to dissolve quickly in any liquid. I couldn’t find any reviews confirming Blue Whey Protein’s mixability, though.
Are There Negative Side Effects?
Whey protein is generally considered safe, and most users experience no side effects.
However, Mayo Clinic warns whey protein may cause low blood sugar, low blood pressure, reduced appetite, increased risk of bleeding, prescription drug interference, risk of bone loss, or damage to kidneys. If you’re concerned about these potential but rare risks, consult with your doctor before trying Inner Armour Blue Whey.
Is It Expensive?
The retail price for this product is listed at about $73 for a 5 pound jug. But, Inner Armour Blue Whey Protein sells for $35 to $50 at most supplement websites. It comes in 3 flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry Banana.
Compared to other whey proteins, Inner Armour Blue Whey Protein’s sale price is reasonable. The retail price is a little steep but may be worth it if you prefer a highly filtered, quality product.
The Bottom Line on Inner Armour Blue Whey Protein
The studies behind whey protein (and specifically hydrolyzed whey protein) are sound. Inner Armour Blue Whey Protein is certainly a good pick for people looking to increase strength and lean body composition. However, deciding to pay a little bit more will be up to you.
Inner Armour Blue Super Quad Protein
Super Quad Protein is part of Inner Armour’s new Blue product line.
Super Quad Protein is formulated with a protein blend and other ingredients to enhance protein absorption by providing a “multi-staged extended release matrix.”
To find out if Super Quad Protein competes with other protein powders, I took a closer look at the ingredients.
What’s Inside Super Quad Protein
Inner Armour Blue Super Quad Protein features several ingredients with unlisted ingredient amounts, as well as one proprietary protein blend.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids
L-leucine, L-isoleucine, and L-valine are branched-chain amino acids found in Super Quad Protein. These branched-chain amino acids are oxidized directly in the skeletal muscle, unlike amino acids that are metabolized mainly in the liver. These branched-chain amino acids reduce muscle fatigue and alleviate delayed-onset muscle soreness. 
Protein Blend (24 g)
Researchers say strength and endurance athletes should consume anywhere from 1.2 – 1.8 g/kg protein daily to experience enhanced performance. 
Additionally, an online compendium of scientific references mentions several benefits of different protein forms are due to them “inherently being protein.” 
Protein forms in this blend include:
Ultra-Filtered Whey Protein Concentrate
Whey concentrate is fast absorbing and contains anywhere from 35-80% protein by weight. However, supplemental whey protein is generally formulated to 80%. Ultra-filtered whey protein contains higher vitamins per gram of protein than regular whey concentrate. 
Micro-Filtered Whey Protein Isolate
Whey protein isolate is low in lactose, fat, and cholesterol and is 90% protein content by weight. 
A blend of whey isolate combined with creatine (1.5 g/kg) promotes greater strength gains and improves muscle morphology during resistance training. 
Micellar casein is a slow absorbing protein. As it is consumed, micellar casein forms a “bolus” (a large curd) in the stomach. This bolus takes on a unique structure and requires specific digestive enzymes to act on it, which in turn produce bioactive peptides. Some bioactive peptides have immunomodulatory and antibacterial properties. 
Milk Protein Isolate
Milk protein is said to be at least 90% protein content by weight. Milk protein is composed of both slow absorbing (casein) and fast absorbing (whey) protein. 
What Are the Side Effects?
The manufacturer does not provide much information about Super Quad Protein on its official website. Consequently, there is no mention of side effects.
Side effects associated with protein include: 
• Muscle cramping
However, these side effects are usually more common among users who are unaccustomed to taking protein supplements. It is unlikely they affect seasoned users.
Pricing and Flavor Availability
Super Quad Protein may be purchased through several third party retailers. One container (4 lbs.) contains 50 servings and sells for around $45. It is available for purchase at third party retailers.
Super Quad Protein comes in Milk Chocolate, Strawberry, and Vanilla.
More About Inner Armour
Inner Armour is a supplement manufacturer located in Connecticut. The company has an exclusive partnership with Parisi Speed Schools. Parisi Speed Schools are athletic performance enhancement organizations for youth athletics.
All Inner Armour products are free of banned substances and are sent to a substance control facility for testing before they are sold.
Inner Armour Blue Super Quad is powerful and designed with various proteins to allow for extended periods of protein absorption.
The proprietary blends put users at a disadvantage because they do not know how much of each ingredient they consume.
However, Super Quad Protein’s price is affordable for the amount of servings one container provides.
If you are interested, check out Super Quad Protein and let us know about your experience by commenting below.
 Yoshiharu Shimomura et al. “Nutraceutical Effect of Branched-Chain Amino Acids on Skeletal Muscle.” The Journal of Nutrition. American Society for Nutrition. 2006. Available from: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/136/2/529S.full.pdf
 Lemon PW. “Is increased dietary protein necessary or beneficial for individuals with a physically active lifestyle?” Nutr Rev. 1996 Apr;54(4 Pt 2):S136-75. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8700446
 “Whey Protein.” Available from: http://examine.com/supplements/Whey+Protein/
 Cribb PJ et al. “Effects of whey isolate, creatine, and resistance training on muscle hypertrophy.” Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 Feb;39(2):298-307. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17277594
 “Why is Micellar Casein important?” Idaho Milk Products. Available from: http://idahomilkproducts.com/content/why-micellar-casein-important
 Jay R. Hoffman and Michael J. Falvo (2004). “Protein-Which is Best?” Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (3):118-130. Available from: http://www.jssm.org/vol3/n3/2/v3n3-2pdf.pdf
 “Whey Protein.” WebMD. Available from: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-833-WHEY%20PROTEIN.aspx?activeIngredientId=833&activeIngredientName=WHEY%20PROTEIN
Inner Armour Blue 100% Isolate Zero
Athletes looking for a supplement to aid recovery may be interested in 100% Isolate Zero.
100% Isolate Zero by Inner Armour is the newest supplement to complement the Blue Product line. It is gluten free and contains no carbohydrates; perhaps that’s where the “Zero” in the name comes into play.
Let’s take a look at the ingredients in 100% Isolate Zero to see if it’s worth adding to your exercise routine.
A Look Inside A Tub Of 100% Isolate Zero
100% Isolate Zero contains two types of protein isolate: whey protein isolate and milk protein isolate.
While both proteins come from milk, one is derived from whole milk while the other is derived from whey. Protein isolate is less fatty and contains fewer calories than most other protein forms. This makes it a great protein to use during a cutting phase.
Whey protein isolate comes from whey. It contains around 90% protein by weight. It provides a sustained release of energy during exercise. 
Milk protein isolate comes from whole milk. It also contains about 90% protein. The protein is isolated by removing lactose and minerals. 
Is It A Good Price?
This 4-pound container of Inner Armour Blue 100% Isolate Zero comes in Vanilla and Chocolate. Each container provides 68 servings.
The lowest price I found was $53 per tub, but it is also available for the full price of $100 per tub.
More About Inner Armour
Inner Armour offers premium products formulated for athletes. The official website claims, “they are the most powerful supplements in the world.”
All Inner Armour products are “Banned Substance Free.” For quality assurance, the company ships its products to a substance control group facility before release.
Should You Buy 100% Isolate Zero?
So far, all I know about 100% Isolate Zero is ingredients, price, and company information. They are all encouraging.
However, I usually hold off on recommending a product without consumer feedback. Consumers can tell us if the product works well with workouts, if it tastes and mixes well, or if the price is a good fit.
Until I have more information, I can’t heartily recommend 100% Isolate Zero.
 Pasin G, Miller SL. “U.S. Whey Procutrs and Sports Nutrition.” National Dairy Council. Available from: http://www.nationaldairycouncil.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/education_materials/whey_protein/WheySports.pdf
 “Milk Protein Isolate.” American Dairy Products Institute. Available from: http://www.adpi.org/DairyProducts/DryMilks/MilkProteinIsolate/tabid/358/Default.aspx
Inner Armour Blue Hard Mass Gainer
Hard Mass Gainer is a new muscle and mass gainer by Inner Armour said to be a revolutionary muscle food for athletes and trainers.
Inner Armour Blue Hard Mass Gainer purportedly increases energy, promotes lean muscle mass development, accelerates recovery, reduces muscle soreness, and enhances immune system function.
It is designed to maintain an anabolic state. It prevents the body from breaking down proteins for energy by supplying sufficient amounts of protein and carbohydrates to replenish muscle stores.
I decided to see what the supplement community had to say about it.
Reviewers have mixed feelings about Hard Mass Gainer. Some people achieved gains and were satisfied, and others said they didn’t finish the bag. Here is what some users are saying:
BryceBrah on SupplementReviews.co.nz says, “Gained like a beast when I was on this and unlike other mass gainers, it mixed well and the consistence was great. Pretty much impossible not to put on weight with this at 1277 calories per serve, I’d recommend it to anyone who considers themselves a hard gainer and doesn’t mind putting on a bit of fat.”
“The Double Chocolate flavor was crazy delicious,” says KiwiDan. “Light and fluffy consistency, really smooth to drink too. 50 g of protein per serving plus added creatine. I think this brand is relatively well priced too.”
“Tried one of these 15 lb bags of double chocolate,” says BIgPoppaham. “To be honest, I couldn’t wait to finish it.” He explains that it didn’t taste good and says all he noticed was excessive bloating. However, he does mention he put on some weight.
However, some users complain about the consistence being too thick. Two people review their experience with Hard Mass Gainer on YouTube under the handle MyGymProgression. “It is hard, hard to drink that is,” says one of the YouTube reviewers. “It has a lot of amino acids, so that’s good, a lot of thickness.” The other reviewer in the video says the company wasted its time with the thickness. “Inner Armour is a no go.”
What’s Inside Hard Mass Gainer?
There are numerous ingredients in Hard Mass Gainer, including two proprietary blends and several amino acids. Unfortunately, proprietary blends make it impossible for users to find out individual ingredients and doses. Here are some of the ingredients:
Protein (50 g). Protein is listed as a main ingredient, although which types of proteins in this complex remains a mystery. Without this information, it is difficult to tell if this blend is effective.
Protein is important for repairing damaged muscles and reducing muscle soreness. 
In general, a recommended protein amount for healthy individuals is around .75 g/kg. However, athletes tend to require more protein to supplement their activities, so recommended amounts range from 1 – 2 g/kg. 
Considering some users take Hard Mass Gainer between meals and after work outs, there is enough to offer muscle-recovery benefits.
L-Glutamine (1000 mg). Glutamine strengthens the immune system and combats infections. Glutamine also protects gastrointestinal tract lining. 
L-glutamine is dose-dependent, but general doses range from 500 -1,500 mg daily. 
There is enough L-glutamine in Hard Mass Gainer to offer immune-boosting benefits.
However, some studies failed to find any evidence glutamine enhyances muscle performance, body composition, or muscle protein degradation in healthy athletes.  
Carbohydrates (267 g). This blend contains Glycogain long and short chain complex carbohydrates. I was unable to find any clinical studies surrounding Glycogain. But, carbohydrates are important compounds for energy. 
One study indicates 112 g carbohydrate mixed with 40.7 g protein before and after a workout enhanced muscle glycogen-storage in 9 male cyclists. 
Carbohydrate content in Hard Mass Gainer should positively affect glycogen storage.
Branched-Chain Amino Acid Content
Hard Mass Gainer contains BCAAs like L-leucine (5.29 g), L-valine (1.51 g), and L-isoleucine (3 g). These amino acids in a 5 g BCAA mixture (Ile:Leu:Val 5 1:2.3:1.2) were shown to decrease muscle fatigue and reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness when mixed in a green tea powder. 
BCAA content in Hard Mass Gainer should offer similar recuperative benefits.
Creatine Monohydrate (4000 mg)
Creatine enhances energy by providing an extra phosphate. One website indicates a typical creatine dose is 20 g for 5 days followed by a maintenance dose of 2 g per day. 
There isn’t enough creatine for a loading phase, but it may enhance energy with continual use.
Where to Purchase Hard Mass Gainer?
Hard Mass Gainer is not available for purchase through the official website. Users can purchase a 15 lb. bag from MuscleAndStrength.com for $49.88 or a 5 lb. bag for $19.99.
Hard Mass Gainer is available in Cookies & Cream, Double Chocolate, Fresh Strawberry, and Vanilla Cream.
How to Use
One serving consists of 4 heaping scoops. The manufacturer recommends mixing 1 serving with 27 oz. of a preferred beverage between meals and immediately after intense exercise.
However, users have said they generally mix smaller amounts because of its thickness. Several third party retailers say the formula is highly concentrated and suggest taking half servings 2 or 3 times a day.
Is Hard Mass Gainer a Good Product?
Inner Armour Blue Hard Mass Gainer definitely covers its bases with its ingredient-rich formula. The ingredients are clinically proven to enhance protein synthesis and energy and reduce muscle fatigue. Although user reviews are mixed, even negative reviewers mention gainied a couple pounds while taking Hard Mass Gainer.
It is a little pricy, considering one bag contains 20 servings. But if you already spend money on supplements and are having a hard time making gains, I suggest trying it out.
 “Protein Shakes.” WebMD. Available from: http://www.webmd.com/diet/protein-shakes
 “Glutamine.” University of Maryland Medical Center. Available from: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/glutamine
 Candow DG et al. “Effect of glutamine supplementation combined with resistance training in young adults.” Eur J Appl Physiol. 2001 Dec; 82(2):142-9. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11822473
 Antonio J et al. “The effects of high-dose glutamine ingestion on weightlifting performance.” J Strength Cond Res. 2002 Feb; 16(1):157-60. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11834123
 Burke LM, Loucks AB, Broad N. “Energy and carbohydrate for training and recovery.” J Sports Sci. 2006 Jul; 24(7):675-85. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16766497
 Zawadzki KM, Yaspelkis BB 3rd., Ivy JL. “Carbohydrate-protein complex increases the rate of muscle glycogen storage after exercise.” J Appl Physiol. 1992 May; 72(5):1854-9. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1601794
 Yoshiharu Shimomura et al. “Nutraceutical Effect of Branched-Chain Amino Acids on Skeletal Muscle.” The Journal of Nutrition. American Society for Nutrition. 2006. Available from: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/136/2/529S.full.pdf
 “Creatine.” MedlinePlus. Available from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/873.html
With images of people doing yoga, mountain biking, and other physical activities on its website, Only Protein advertises its products as part of a healthy, active lifestyle.
Focusing natural whey protein-based products, Only Protein is quickly making a name for itself.
I looked into Only Protein to find out more about the company and its products.
Who Is Only Protein?
Founded in 2010, Only Protein is a Draper, Utah-based health supplement company that develops whey protein-based products.
The company currently has six employees and manufacturers its products in Portland, Oregon with packaging done in Utah.
The company is not listed with the Better Business Bureau. And, I wasn’t able to find any consumer complaints about Only Protein.
Only Protein currently develops and sells two lines of product; a simple protein powder and a meal replacement. Both products come in stick packs and tubs. They also come in chocolate or vanilla flavors.
Regardless of which size and flavor you purchase, Only Protein claims the products provide the following health benefits:
• Support muscle feed
• Curb appetite
• No soy, gluten, or pesticides
• No sugar or chemical additives
• Hormone and antibiotic free
To achieve these results, Only Protein packed its products with multiple vitamins, nutrients, and amino acids. In addition to a proprietary whey protein blend, both product lines provide the enzymes protease and lactase to optimize protein breakdown and milk-sugar (lactose) digestion, respectively.
Are These Products Safe?
Only Protein’s products are all-natural and should be safe for most people. If you have concerns, talk with your physician before trying Only Protein.
How to Use
For both products, Only Protein advises mixing one serving with 4-6 ounces of water.
Also, for best results, the company advises using Meal Replacement for breakfast as it provides energy and boosts metabolism for the rest of the day.
Where to Buy and Pricing
Only Protein’s products can be found in approximately 350 brick & mortar GNC stores across North America.
You can also purchase products directly from Only Protein at OnlyProtein.com or from various online vendors.
Protein Powder comes in single serving packs (15 sticks) or 1.25 lb. tubs that generally sell for approximately $35 to $40.
Meal Replacements products also come in 15-stick packs or 1.25 lb. tubs and sell for $35 to $40.
Is There A Guarantee?
Only Protein does offer a guarantee on its products but it’s limited to unopened products and includes a 15% restocking fee.
Should You Try Only Protein
Only Protein appears to be a well-run company with solid products. However, there are some issues I have with the company and product line that stops me from recommending its products.
For example, it’s difficult to determine just how effective the products are. Also, objective user reviews for Only Protein’s products are lacking.
For these reasons, I personally would wait on trying Only Protein’s products until there are more reviews available. That being said, Only Protein’s products look good and may work for you.
 Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code. “Business Search – Only Protein, LLC.” Accessed 7.09.2013. https://secure.utah.gov/bes/action/details?entity=7919429-0160
 Radio business show. “Zions Bank speaking on business – Only Protein.” Accessed 7.09.2013. http://www.zionsbancorporation.com/zionsbank/fb/fb20130625.html
 Better Business Bureau. “Search for: Only Protein.” Accessed 7.09.2013. http://www.bbb.org/us/Find-Business-Reviews/name/only+protein/Draper-UT/l
 Britannica.com. “Proteolytic Enzyme.” Accessed 7.09.2013. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/479818/proteolytic-enzyme
 U.S. National Library of Medicine – Genetics Home Reference. “LCT.” Accessed 7.09.2013. http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/gene/LCT
 WebMD.com. “Lactase Oral Uses.” Accessed 7.09.2013. Information on lactase
 Only Protein. “Return Policy.” Accessed 7.09.2013. https://onlyprotein.com/store/index.php/returns/
Only Protein Protein Powder
Only Protein promises its Protein Powder fuels the body with 18 grams of clean protein per serving. On top of that, the company claims to use no harmful ingredients!
Only Protein says its products are organic, gluten-free, and all natural. It also comes in three flavors Only Protein promises taste great!
Does Only Protein Protein Powder deliver a good amount of protein? I decided to find out.
Inside the Powder
Only Protein Protein Powder contains a protein blend, protease, lactase, and many amino acids.
The 27 g protein blend contains three milk by-products that all come from grass-fed cows: whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and calcium caseinate. These ingredients all contain more than 90% protein.
In animal studies, whey protein concentrate enhances the immune system by increasing NK cell proportion in both epithelia and lamina propria compartments. 
In humans, whey protein isolate builds and preserves muscles, especially alongside amino acids like leucine. In one study, 15 subjects were given 15 g whey protein and 7.57 g essential amino acids. Results showed increases in skeletal muscle build and preservation. 
Calcium caseinate is valuable because it breaks down slower than whey protein, providing a sustained amino acid release. Calcium caseinate also prevents catabolism and preserves muscle. Because it is slow to digest, it creates a feeling of fullness. 
Out of the three protein forms, whey protein isolate has the most muscle-building potential. However, since the blend doesn’t list exact ingredient amounts, I’m not sure there is enough to be effective. Experts agree further research is needed on calcium caseinate and whey protein concentrate.
Only Protein Protein Powder contains 200 mg protease.
Protease is essential in breaking down and absorbing protein. It also relieves muscle soreness and strength. In one study, scientists gave 20 men protease and tested their strength in various areas. Strength increased by 7.6 % and recovery time was improved. 
Only Protein Protein Powder contains 200 mg lactase.
Lactase breaks down the sugar in milk, making Only Protein Protein Powder more digestible for lactose intolerant users. 
Essential Amino Acids
The essential amino acids in Only Protein Protein Powder:
• Isoleucine (1200 mg)
• Leucine (1980 mg)
• Lysine (1760 mg)
• Methionine (400 mg)
• Phenylalanine (640 mg)
• Threonine (1250 mg)
• Tryptophan (395 mg)
• Valine (1060 mg)
Essential amino acids are necessary for health, but they must come from diet because they aren’t produced naturally. Amino acids are building blocks for protein and are beneficial for building muscle.
In one study, six subjects randomly consumed either a drink containing 6 g essential amino acids or a placebo. After consumption, subjects experienced an increase in muscle protein anabolism and protein synthesis. 
A leucine-rich diet improves muscle protein synthesis and actually promotes fat burn while increasing lean muscle mass.  
Doses of 1,000 to 2,000 mg lysine taken prior to bedtime increase lean muscle mass and promote anti-aging. 
Tryptophan increases serotonin levels, which enhances pain tolerance during exercise. In one study, tryptophan supplementation increased time to exhaustion by 80%. Amounts used in this study were not mentioned, and there are other studies that did not find the same results. 
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) enhance exercise performance in some people. In one study, BCAAs (amount unknown) were given to participants in a marathon. Slower runners saw an improved time after taking BCAAs. However, faster runners saw no improvement. 
Nonessential Amino Acids
Below I will list all the nonessential amino acids and then go over the ones with the strongest links to exercise.
• Histidine (309 mg)
• Alanine (978 mg)
• Arginine (543 mg)
• Aspartic Acid (2020 mg)
• Cysteine/Cystine (478 mg)
• Glutamic Acid (3170 mg)
• Glycine (369 mg)
• Proline (1100 mg)
• Serine (884 mg)
• Tyrosine (614 mg)
Studies show nonessential amino acids are necessary nutritional supplements that encourage cell growth and overcome nutritional deficiencies. 
In one study, 13 males supplemented with an unknown amount of alanine for 10 weeks. During that time, subjects underwent a cycle capacity test to determine total work done. Alanine supplementation resulted in a 16.2% increase in total work done. 
Animal studies demonstrate arginine enhances growth and reduces fat content.   In humans, 30 g arginine improves wound healing and enhances the immune system.  However, since Only Protein Protein Powder contains a fraction of the studied amount, this is not a likely effect.
In animal studies, 1 mg cysteine per kg body weight reduced insulin resistance, glycemia, oxidative stress, and markers of vascular inflammation.  Not enough human research has been done to determine cysteine’s benefits on exercise.
In humans, tyrosine improves cognitive performance. In one study, volunteers immersed themselves in cold water and consumed 150 mg tyrosine per kg. Tyrosine significantly improved cognitive performance after cold water induced stress. 
How to Use Only Protein Protein Powder
Only Protein Protein Powder comes in two forms: a 1.25 lb. tub and on-the-go sticks. For the tub, 1 scoop is 1 serving. For the sticks, 1 stick is 1 serving.
Mix 1 scoop or 1 on-the-go stick with 4-6 oz. of water and mix well. The on-the-go stick can easily be poured into a water bottle.
Customers on GNC.com gave Only Protein Protein Powder an average 4.3/5-star rating. Customers on BodyBuilding.com gave it 9.2/10. I wasn’t able to find any negative comments about this product. Here are some of the reviews:
“I use this product after my workouts and I take it on the go for a quick meal. I love how it taste but I am more impressed with how it is natural and sweetened with Stevia not an artificial sweetener. I also felt as though my recovery was faster after my workouts from using this brand versus other brands. Vanilla and chocolate are the only flavors I’ve tried. They taste great!” – jrpowell10
“Tastes pretty good and mixed well. The individual packs are a useful idea. Protein powder seemed to be on par with every other one I have tried. Overall a good purchase.” –cannonball123
“I have just started taking Only Protein and so far I LOVE it. I am all ways on the run and going from meeting to meeting and never get time to eat lunch on most days. Now that only protein has on the GO protein I dont ever miss a meal. I pack a water bottle with me and a bunch of Powder sticks in my brief case and all ways feel full. I don’t run out of energy through out the day. I feel better in the gym and love being able to maintain my body by taking multiple shakes a day. I use to take protein bars with me but they would all ways melt in my car and would end up being a waste of money.. Now I am becoming a health freak and this one the cleanest protein I have found and now its my favorite. Most clean proteins taste bad, But only protein taste great…. I recommend this to everyone I know…” –rippedupboys133
Possible Side Effects
Most of the ingredients in Only Protein Protein Powder are considered safe. Whey Protein is the only one that has side effects. These include:
• Reduced appetite
• Headaches 
The best deals I found on Only Protein Protein Powder include:
• Only Protein: $39.99 per tub, $34.99 per stick package; order by calling 1.800.215.4324
• GNC.com: $39.99 per tub
• BodyBuilding.com: $32.99 per tub, $28.99 per stick package
• Sears.com: $27.99 per stick package
• Amazon.com: $39.49 per stick package
GNC is the only Only Protein retailer with a money-back guarantee. Any product from GNC.com can be returned within 30 days for a full refund.
About Only Protein
Headquartered in Draper, Utah, Only Protein was started by Mike Rino, Jesse Raddon, and Michelle (her last name wasn’t provided). These three founders were looking for a portable meal replacement that delivered a lot of protein. Together, they developed Only Protein.
No other information on Only Protein is available.
Only Protein Protein Powder is full of ingredients that support a healthy lifestyle. The protein blend contains a high amount of protein, as promised.
Customers seem happy with the product and especially appreciate the convenience of the on-the-go sticks. However, lack of information on the company makes me wonder if it is reliable. This looks like Only Protein’s first product, so I’m uncertain if the formula works.
If you are looking for a muscle-building, workout-enhancing protein powder, this product is probably not for you. This is more of a convenient way to get more protein in your diet. If you’re thinking about trying Only Protein Protein Powder, take advantage of GNC’s guarantee.
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