Prototype Nutrition Ketoforce



Where’s The Beef?

By Patrick Arnold

Lately I have noticed a lot of talk about Beef Protein Isolate. Several companies are promoting products that supposedly contain protein extracted from beef in the form of powders and in one case a liquid. Having been in the industry for quite some time this is not something new – products purported to contain beef protein amino acids, or beef protein extract / isolates – have made it to the market here and there over the years and have enjoyed varying degrees of sales success.

But what do these beef protein products really contain? Do they contain actual beef (bovine muscle tissue) that has had the protein isolated out from the fat and water content? Well let’s think about that for a moment. I don’t need to do the math but the price of beef is obviously extraordinarily high per gram of protein compared to other sources that we drink as powdered isolates / concentrates such as soy, milk (including whey and casein), and egg. Is it even economically feasible to take that sirloin or rib eye and extract out the protein? It simply is not. Even with the cheapest cuts it just is not I am afraid.

So is this all a big lie? Well, I don’t think it’s necessarily a blatant lie because I truly believe these protein products are derived from cattle……..just not the part of the cattle you think. It is my conviction that these beef protein isolates are made from cattle bones, ligaments, hides, ears, and other miscellaneous throw away parts of the carcass. All of these pieces of cattle are treated with a series of hot water and dilute acid treatments and filtration steps to yield a thick viscous liquid that is usually then dried. You may be familiar with the end product. It’s called gelatin.

Yes gelatin is a protein and yes it can be derived from cattle (and also from pigs and chickens). The unfortunate thing about gelatin however is its amino acid profile. It’s pretty terrible. It consists mostly of three unessential amino acids – glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. It is deficient in the essential amino acids isoleucine, threonine, and methionine and contains no tryptophan whatsoever. So it’s a really poor protein source. Of course, combined with other protein sources that complement the amino acids that are lacking, gelatin can be a helpful contribution to one’s daily protein intake. But by itself it’s a far cry from whey, egg, or even soy for that matter.

What makes me so sure these products simply contain gelatin? Well besides the obvious economic factors (steak is expensive, gelatin is dirt cheap), all one has to do is look at the amino acid profile of the products. Lately people selling these products are apparently being cleverly deceitful and not putting on their label the full amino acid profile, but fortunately one very well-known company has

If you look at the amino acid profile in that link and compare it to that of gelatin below

you will notice the match is a dead give away. The only slight discrepancies are probably due to the fact that the product contains small amounts of beef albumin and beef liver too.

Now I won’t go so far as to say that all of these products that contain beef protein isolate (errr…I mean gelatin) are poor. I have noticed that some of them have beefed up (pun intended) their formulas with the addition of tryptophan, BCAA’s, and other amino acids. This would provide a product with a more complete amino acid profile which would make the overall nutritional value decent. But the bottom line is it doesn’t appear you are getting what you think you are getting, and depending on the price, getting what your dollar is worth.

I am going to stick with my egg and casein.

9 Responses so far

I am going to stick with my steak, chicken, pork, etc.
If you can simly sway every meal toward increased protein vs. starch and fat, you actually can do pretty well with whole food sources only, I believe.

Its very hard to get the 1-2 grams per KG of body weight I require from whole food sources, at least economically or without feeling over stuffed all the time. I use protein supplements as just that supplements to my whole food protein intake

protein shakes allow you to conveniently get that extra 50-100 grams a day of protein above and beyond what you get in your meals. i can drink 60 grams of protein in 5 seconds with little or no fullness.

Hey Pat, off topic but thought this was best way to get your thoughts directly – I recently picked up 3 bottles of Ursobolic and was trying to figure out what the best dosing scheme would be. Seems like people are all over the place, some taking tons of pills per day while some sticking to the 6-9 per day. Hard to get a gauge on where to start.

In case it matters I’m 5’11” and 185 and experienced with quite a lot of supps/PHs, etc, but getting back on top of my training after a couple months off.

oh i do use the protein supps off and on, not knocking it altogether. comes in handy for carb cycilng to keep the bodyfat down. as far as dosing the urso, buddy take as much as you can afford to for as long as you can and only take it with food if it’s the only thing you are “on”. if it’s an adjunct of part of a list of supps you are using i’ve found it to be helpful at the lower end dosage, which is 8 caps per meal (i think that’s 400mg), so i guess it’s never actually cheap.

and i am not totally convinced on the rx protein intake figures (so much per pound of bodyweight)
seems like those rx amounts might not apply to folks that are not using anabolic steroids. i could be wrong, maybe it’s exactly the opposite, but as a former chronically overtrained lifter (thanks to the BB industry maintaining their blatant lies for so long) i’ve found that as long as I wait long enough between tng sessions, try to emphasize the protein every meal, the ‘synthesis’ will have arrived in time to show some improvement at the next workout. quadrupling your protein intake does not mean you will be ready for your next tng session any faster if you have not rested adequately

i find that making an effort at having my meals be almost all protein, and trying to get as much protein a day as is tolerable, works great. i am not hungry. i dont have blood sugar spikes. i am thermogenic. i like eating but i dont crave crap. i just crave more protein! protein protein protein. thats all i can say

yeah protein that’s the bottom line. i recall that muscle media contest where the only identified common denominator for the winners was eating about 5- 6 times a day– now there’s a case for dosing protein at 30g every 3 hrs if ever there was one! and I know i can’t eat a real meal every 3 hrs — not enough time, appetite, etc.

It’s funny your all stressing that protein is the most important because I’ve always believed this and people always tell me that carbs are more important and I was recently reading and article someone wrote about Vince Gironda and they said about how much he stressed the importance of protein, here’s the article (link removed by administrator) and it also that Hippocrates created the word protein and it means most important.

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