Today I wanted to write about a protein powder that I feel is worthy of writing about. It is different enough and good enough that I would like to share my thoughts on it.
It is “HumaPro” and is put out by ALRI Industries.
Before I write about the specifics of the product and my review, I will briefly touch on the idea of utilizing nutritional supplementation in your diet at all. I know there are those say (I’m not sure what percentage of athletes they are.. but since most that I know use some form of supplementation I would say that they are the minority) “Why should I use any supplements or vitamins? Why can’t I get everything I need from my food?” And to a point, I get this sentiment. Food should be our main source of nutrition (most of the time) and athletes thrived before any supplements were available, but I very much believe in the judicious use of them. It simply comes down to the fact that it is quite challenging from so many aspects (time, cost, effort, the leeching of nutrition from our food from modern farming and preparation techniques etc.) to get all of your nutritional needs as an athlete from food that some amount of supplementation is usually of significant benefit. Remember that a multivitamin (or even just taking a calcium chew or Vitamin D) is supplementation and many consume at least these. That is really all I will write about the “to supplement or not to”. It is certainly a personal decision based on many factors and I am not going to try to sway anyone one way or the other (as I can see some logic in both sides) but for me the judicious use of certain supplementation has had (20 years ago and also currently) a profound effect on my ability to recover, get stronger/faster and allow me to get more nutrients in than I would otherwise because of my lifestyle.
Protein powder has been one mainstay of my diet since I started training seriously (at the time bodybuilding/powerlifting and Strongman) 25 years ago and it continues to be today. I won’t work here to document the benefits of protein in general for the hard working athlete because honestly it should be obvious. There are probably 1000’s of papers on the need for protein for recovery and strength for the hard working athlete. I agree that the total amount that one should take in (especially when considering different sports) is definitely debatable and I think one has to find the right balance for them. There are many factors that help to determine ones optimal amount of daily protein (body weight, intensity/duration of exercise, what types of exercise, gender etc.) but I am willing to say that most athletes (especially runners) don’t get in enough. I believe there should be more of a priority put on protein for certain athletes (like runners) than there is.
I am both training hard in the gym 3 days a week and running 3-4 days a week and my current protein intake is between 230 – 300 grams (mostly depending on if I have time to get it all in and also what type of effort I put in that day). To some that sounds like a lot… and it is a pretty good amount I will agree but it is actually only between 920 – 1200 calories from protein. I work to get a lot (on most days I would definitely say “most”) of those grams from whole food (lean chicken, turkey, tuna, salmon, some lean beef but not much, eggs, soymilk and from some plant sources like nuts and beans). But I also supplement my protein intake with protein powders for a few reasons:
1) They tend to be easier to digest than whole food and that means I can get to the next meal easier because I am not so full from the last meal. This is especially important before and after a workout. Before a workout I want to have a protein stream in my body to feed off of while I damage my muscles, but I don’t want to feel full and bloated. That is never a good thing!
2) They are easier to prepare than whole food so it takes less time to make them. It takes enough time cooking the whole food that I do eat (I don’t get my animal and plant based proteins from a microwavable box). They are convenient.
3) They have a very specific amino acid complex that ensures that I am getting the ratios and broad spectrum every time that I take them in. This can sometimes be challenging when eating only whole foods because of the need to food combine and also because of not knowing what might have been lost in the food during any processing.
4) I don’t like to eat whole food all day long and to get the amount of protein that I have learned I need I would have to do that without the use of protein powder.
So if all of these reasons are true.. than why not just drink protein powder for your protein exclusively? Wouldn’t it be easier and more time efficient? Yes it would be both of those things, but there are many macronutrients in whole food that you won’t get in a protein powder and are very valuable. There are too many to list here and it varies by food.. but suffice it to say that whole food has many intrinsic benefits for the athlete (exclusive of the fact that it tastes really good and I love to eat!). Plus there are times when you want the slower digestion of whole food to help keep a more constant amino stream into your system. Protein powders tend to digest more quickly. Protein powders should be a supplement to your whole food diet not the majority of your diet (unless perhaps you are in the later stages of dieting down for a contest.. but that is another discussion altogether).
So there are all sorts of varieties of protein powders… milk, soy, hemp, whey and on and on.. and there are all sorts of ways that the protein powder is manufactured (ionized, fractionated, hydrolysed etc.) The variety in any store or online can be overwhelming.
Historically I have used whey based protein powders (many times they had other types of protein in them also) as they have been espoused to be the “best” for a few good decades. The science behind why it was supposed to be a superior protein (and also good for your immune system) can be found easily with a quick search. There has been a lot of research into why whey is good. But is it that good? And is it that good for me specifically? I have tried many different brands (MetRx, Pure Protein, EAS, Twinlab… the last whey that I used was MuscleMilk) over the years and one thing that I always stood out for me was….
Bloat! The whey protein bloat…. It can be subtle or it can be quite significant. Just this bloated full feeling after drinking a shake with whey protein in it. I never liked it but to be honest.. just thought that it was something you had to deal with if you wanted a real high quality protein. Now there are some proteins that didn’t make me bloated (like soy) but they don’t tend to be really great protein powders. I have heard that Hemp protein is good and I wouldn’t think I would get bloated from it (and I may try it soon) but I am here to write about my “leaving the bloat behind and finding an awesome product!”.
I heard about HumaPro and ALRI from a good friend of mine who is a champion bodybuilder. He said he had tried everything over the years and 3 years was introduced to HumaPro himself and it is the only protein powder he has used since. I didn’t think much of it at first and continued to use my whey protein that I got from Sams (I thought it was relatively cheap and I looked ok so why change) but there just came this point about 2 months ago when I decided (after researching it) why not?
One thing I will say is that the retail price is reasonably high at $110 for a bottle, but there is no reason at all to pay full retail. You can’t find ALRI supplements at most any retail store, but there are many online supplement sites that carry it for much less and you can even get it through Amazon. The prices vary but you should never pay close to retail (and that goes just about for any supplement really). My friend’s friend owns a distributorship for ALRI, so he ordered a couple of cases at a great price and I bought one from him.
So what is so different and good about HumaPro? Well I will say this.. if you read 10 different message boards about it, you will get all sorts of responses (both positive and negative). Most of the negative responses seem to be from those that haven’t tried it and they are basing their opinions off of the marketing hype (very few products have greater marketing hyperbole than the supplement industry! There is no doubt on that) and HumaPro does present itself pretty dramatically:
In a Medically Reviewed Independent Clinical Study HumaPro® Provided the Following Results:
- 501% greater lean mass gain than whey protein†
- 250% greater bogy fat loss than whey protein†
- Over 300% more efficient than whey, fish, steak or other meats†
- Validated positive nutrient repartitioning†
- 100% pre-digested, no gastrointestinal discomfort or bloating†
- An average of 83 times less toxic waste than whey protein†
The Ultimate Protein Matrix… Formulated For Humans!
What if you found out that you were wasting 84% of the money you were spending every month and only seeing return on 16%? That is exactly what you are doing when you spend money on Whey protein. Scientific studies have shown that when you drink whey protein, your body expels 84% of it as waste by-product or converts it to blood sugar. Fortunately there is a better option, the revolutionary protein HumaPro® by ALR. In a medically reviewed clinical study, HumaPro® outperformed whey protein by 501% with 83% less toxic waste.
The Best Protein Source for the Human Body IS HumaPro®.
At ALR Industries we have raised the bar by creating superior health and results formulations for the absolute best results. Today we have built a reputation for producing an entire arsenal of game-changing nutritional supplements, yet nothing we have done has hit the mark with more accuracy than HumaPro®. In fact, we have introduced a whole new product category in the protein supplement market, as no others can even compare.
These are some pretty serious statements! And I don’t know how much I believe them completely or not like this guy I found who had posted this on a message board
I agree with him.. on some of the claims that HumaPro makes.. I don’t know for sure. What I do know is it is the best protein supplement I have ever used and following is my experience. It is also very popular among those in the “know” in the bodybuilding community and I hope it spreads among runners as well.
Here is what HumaPro looks like when mixed with water (the only thing to mix it with.. you don’t mix it with milk)
It is basically colored water with a little foam at the top. It isn’t a thick gooey paste like most protein powders. It is really easy and quick to drink. This is really nice. It mixes with a spoon (or a shaker bottle). You don’t have to use a blender to get it to be easy to drink. This is really nice. Many times I don’t have a blender and I like how quickly it mixes together. I also like how quickly I can drink it. Boom.. the equivalent of 50 grams of protein in a few seconds!
Which leads me to the “equivalent” idea. 5 grams of HumaPro is supposed to be equivalent to 25 grams of any other protein (whole food or powder) because your body is able to utilize 100% of it. As opposed to 25 – 35% that your body is able to utilize of other proteins. This protein is already broken down into the amino acids that your body will utilize so nothing is lost in the digestion and utilization process. This is what they are espousing but I have no way to independently verify that. Part of it is supposed to do with the fact that the aminos are manufactured particle size and can therefore pass completely through when digested.
Here is what the labels shows is in a serving
Besides being very high in the Branch Chained Aminos, one of the things that I really like about this powder is that it also has a good amount of Magnesium, Calcium and Zinc. The exact reasons why they added them I am not sure, but it is hard to get enough Magnesium and Zinc in your diet and they are both very important minerals for recovery.. so I am glad that they are there.
Another thing that is really cool about this protein (like soy and other plant based proteins) is that it is 100% vegan friendly, so it is suitable for all dietary lifestyles (unlike those that contain dairy).
The most noticeable thing about this powder for me from the start is that I felt great after drinking it! No whey bloat and a very comfortable and quick digestion. Wow that is great. Even non dairy based protein powders like soy can tend to make me feel “full”… not bloated but like I just consumed a small meal and there are times when (like before a workout) when I don’t want that feeling.
I have tried both the Orange and Apple Cider flavors (two flavors you won’t find on any whey proteins because they would taste really strange with whey.. whey is almost always some form of vanilla or chocolate) and they are both not bad. I say not bad because I don’t mind them at all. In fact they are kind of refreshing (especially when really cold) but they won’t win any awards for flavor by any means. Not sure how many
But no protein powder tastes like a milkshake.. it is just the nature of the beast. I have gotten used to drinking protein powders taste and of them HumaPro is better than most.
Of note is that you don’t mix it with other foods (like you can with whey). You don’t make a smoothie out of it because it is meant to be drank alone 20 minutes before consuming carbs. I think this mostly has to do with allowing the aminos to travel through more effectively. This is a departure for me (and for most) as I usually mixed my protein powder up with some good juices. Now I just wait 20 minutes and then have my smoothie.
Another important differentiator between HumaPro and whey is that Humapro has virtually no calories where as whey can have 250 – 400 or more for 50 grams of protein. This is a really nice side benefit when you are trying to stay or get lean. Protein without calories…. Nice!
I generally take 2 scoops of HumaPro upon waking (to get the protein flowing after the fasting that is sleep) and then work out (running or the gym… and I don’t think there is any protein powder that I would be able to drink and then workout without feeling sick) and then take 2 scoops after my workout. 2 scoops is said to be equivalent to 50 grams of protein because of the utilization. I also will sometimes use it as a protein replacement for one of my 4-6 meals of the day and then usually try and get 1 or 2 scoops before going to bed (to help keep some protein available for the hyper recovery of sleep and from a source that doesn’t make me feel sick while I am trying to get to sleep.. like a thick chicken breast would).
So the big questions is.. besides it being easy to drink and digest.. what have my results with HumaPro been?
All I can say is it only took 3 days for me to notice a significant difference! I was getting leaner, my muscles were getting fuller and I wasn’t as sore as I used to be from the hard workouts. It was undeniable as it was the only thing that I changed (diet or exercise wise). After 1 week I was noticeably stronger in the gym and faster on the track. I want to emphasize the difference that I have felt in my running as well. This protein powder is marketed to those that workout in the gym, but I have never been faster and my recovery has noticably improved from the hard running workouts I am doing. Running breaks down muscle tissue like other sports so it makes sense that adequately supplying the rebuilding protein would help. Stronger than I had been in a long time. The strength gains felt dramatic and have continued as I have been using it. Plus I was really starting to notice my muscles were appearing harder and more defined.. which is probably a combination of getting leaner and fuller. It has been a while since I have been so lean without working much harder at it.
I have never felt such a difference from a single supplement. And while it wasn’t a scienfitic double blind study.. it was the only change that I made to my diet or workout routine when I used it.
A lot of background on my feelings on protein powders and HumaPro itself… but a pretty quick and to the point review. I like the way it tastes, I digest it easy (which is amazing), I am stronger and leaner from it.
That’s it. I think it is great and literally can’t imagine using another protein powder again.
Let me know what your favorite protein powder is and if you try HumaPro what your thoughts are!
Best of luck in your training!
Please Note: I am not sponsored by ALR industries and received no compensation for this post. This blog may accept free product samples to review a product or host a giveaway. This blog discloses what product samples were received for a product review or giveaway. Opinions expressed on this blog are still that of the blog owner and are not edited, reviewed, or influenced by the sponsor of a product review or giveaway. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owners. Any product claim, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.