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February 11, 2008

Testing Finds Cholesterol Content Of Some Nutrition Drinks MUCH Higher Than Label Claims

ProteinscoopIn our previous Blog post, we taught you how to construct a simple, yet powerful workout drink by combining Integrated Supplements CFM® Whey Protein Isolate with a sports drink (or other source of easily-digested carbohydrate like diluted fruit juice).  We also cited research which showed that consuming such a mixture before exercise may be able to greatly enhance the rate of protein synthesis, and recovery as compared to consuming the same mixture after exercise.

And as the power of pre-workout carbohydrate and protein mixtures becomes more well-known, we've seen that the makers of a few powdered sports drinks are already starting to jump on the protein bandwagon. But, as you could probably guess, the types of protein which are often added to these formulations can't even begin to offer the benefits of quality whey isolate.

When you think about it, the large companies selling sports drinks have made huge profits on their glorified sugar-water for decades, so when consumer demand forces these companies to include protein in these drinks (even the cheapest protein is far more expensive than sugar), you can bet that they'll usually cut every corner imaginable to maintain their high profit margins.

This is why many of the protein-containing sports drinks currently on the market include whey protein concentrate as the source of protein.  As we've mentioned elsewhere, whey protein concentrate is much less expensive than the highest-quality whey isolate, but will also contain higher levels of cholesterol, lactose and denatured protein.

And to make matters worse, some companies may use even more of this cheaper ingredient than their labels indicate.  For example, a very popular protein-containing sports drink powder was recently independently tested and found to contain over three times more cholesterol than was listed on the label

We've told our customers to always look at the cholesterol content on the labels of their protein supplements to get a feel for how much cheaper whey concentrate is being used in the product.  In general, the higher the cholesterol content, the higher the level of whey concentrate is being used.  But now it turns out that even this tactic may not be enough to protect you if the product does not meet its label's claims.  Obviously, if you can't trust the nutritional information on the label, you'll have no idea what you're really putting in your body.

Here is a recent press release from ConsumerLab.com:

Excess Cholesterol Found in Some Nutrition Drinks

Posted on Sep 14, 2007
Nutrition drinks are one of the fastest growing segments of the nutrition market. What distinguishes these products from other beverages is their high protein content. Today ConsumerLab.com released the latest tests of these shakes, powders and drinks. Several were found to contain significantly more cholesterol than claimed.

WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK - AUGUST 20, 2007 - A new report from ConsumerLab.com finds most nutrition powders, shakes and drinks meet their nutrient claims, but three products - two sports drinks and a meal supplement - contained more cholesterol than claimed. The report provides test results for twenty-two products including those for meal-replacement, sports endurance/recovery, body building and dieting. Drinks are the largest and fastest growing segment of the nutrition market. Sales of sports and energy nutrition drinks alone grew 42% to $7.1 billion in 2005, far exceeding sales of nutrition bars and other sports supplements according to Nutrition Business Journal.

It's sad to say, but with these sorts of practices common within the nutritional supplement industry, we have to almost always assume that companies are using the cheapest raw materials they can find unless they can prove otherwise.

With the worldwide prices of whey protein skyrocketing at the moment, it's hardly surprising to see some companies scrambling to source the cheapest raw materials they can find.  It's also not surprising to find that these cheaper raw materials may have somewhat of a different nutritional profile than what's on the product label - including significantly higher levels of cholesterol.

What To Look For

Cfmlogo_3This is why we go out of our way at Integrated Supplements to use only 100% CFM® Whey Protein Isolate in our whey protein product.  CFM® is produced by a patented ceramic filtration process, and is even trademarked by Glanbia Nutritionals - one of the world's largest and most respected dairy protein producers.  You'll notice the CFM® logo on our bottles, which is your assurance that you're getting the same high-quality protein each and every time (along with the lowest levels of lactose, cholesterol, and denatured proteins).  We know that if you value your health and performance, that you won't settle for anything less.

We'll have much more to say on the recovery-enhancing benefits of CFM® soon - stay tuned.

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