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Expensive supplements - is there any point? watch

    • Thread Starter

    Hello one and all...

    As a regular user of cheaper supplement sites such as bulkpowders, myprotein, and theproteinworks, there's something I've always wondered about the more expensive protein brands out there, particularly ON who seem to be the top dog in terms of popularity? I just wanted to know what the appeal is for these brands people swear by, and whether their products are actually any better than these discounters?

    For example, and I've gone with chocolate flavoured since that is what I would buy:

    ON Gold standard chocolate 4.5kg is £77.50 (£17.22/kg) with 80% protein content
    Bulkpowders Pure Whey chocolate 5kg is £57.19 (£11.44/kg) with 75% protein content
    Myprotein Impact Whey chocolate smooth 5kg is £57.19 (11.44kg) with 75% protein

    Unless I'm missing something this seems to be a no brainer, especially considering I've never purchased form MP of BP with anything less than a further 30% discount, bringing their prices to around £8/kg for what is a very similar product.

    If the 5% different in protein bothers people, 5kg of unflavoured 90% isolate costs £79 from myprotein, blowing ON out of the water once more, especially if there's a sale on. (I tried to check BP too, but they were out of stock for 5kg isolate so I couldn't get a price).

    Just so I'm not picking on ON alone, here's another example:

    Musclepharm iron whey chocolate 2.2kg is £35 (£15.42/kg) with 67% protein!

    I'm not creating this thread as a rant against ON, or in favour of any particular brand as I move between many, I'm just curious as to why the more expensive brands remain so popular when put directly alongside cheaper manufacturers.

    Many thanks for any help!
    • PS Reviewer

    PS Reviewer
    no is the answer. It tastes better, but that's really it

    The simple answer is that there is no difference if the ingredient list looks pretty much the same.

    I haven't looked into the particular brands you mention but I will outline some of the difference I have come across that could explain the difference in price.

    Protein is protein but the form it comes in can affect how quickly this is absorbed by the body. For example:

    Hydrolysed Whey Protein - made through hydrolysis, so the protein chains are broken down into peptides which are smaller protein particles. Subsequently, the protein has a quicker rate of digestion and absorption and can arguably improve the recovery process. It also has a higher bio-availability so is best taken post-workout.

    Whey Isolate - a 'purer' form of protein. It undergoes a different manufacturing process which removes the carbohydrates, casein and lactose. These are removed via micro-filtration and ultra-filtration. This type of protein is generally ideal if you are looking for a lower carb / fat content (e.g. your goal is weight loss)

    Additionally some protein powders have additional active ingredients added, for example:

    Enzymes - to help the absorption and uptake of the active ingredients in the powder

    iBCAA - a blend of amino acids that is supposed to aid protein synthesis

    Arginine - increases the delivery of blood and thus oxygen and nutrients to the muscles

    Taurine - energy enhancing amino acid - supposed to aid muscle hydration

    Creatine - increases the body's ability to produce energy rapidly

    Glutamine - amino acid found in muscles that supports during periods of intense training

    And many others.

    Lastly, there could be a difference in how 'good' the protein powder is for you. Many I have come across have a list of about 30 frankly unnecessary ingredients - read fillers and thickeners that are probably not great if your focus is overall health not just aesthetics.

    So, in conclusion, I would make sure the protein powder you are going for matches your goals and then check out different brands with the same active ingredients to pick the one that best suits your budget. Alternatively, just eat more steak & eggs
    • Political Ambassador

    Political Ambassador
    Just buy the cheaper product. Not necessarily saying that cheaper is better and all whey proteins are the same because some are filled with proteins from poor sources like soy protein that are lacking in bioavailability, but brands like MyProtein have been tested over and over and always come back with good results.
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