Whey Protein Isolate – 25 g
Whey protein is the supplement industry’s protein of choice, thanks to its exceptionally high bioavailability. Whey is also fast-acting, reaching peak concentration in the blood a mere hour after taking it, whereas peak protein concentrations can take three hours with mixed-macro meals. These two facts make whey an excellent recovery protein, taken inside the so-called anabolic window immediately after a workout.
Not only is whey significantly more bioavailable than, for example, plant-based protein sources, it also contains a much higher proportion of the essential amino acids, which are key to the anabolic response. There are plenty of studies demonstrating that supplemental whey protein, in the context of a nutrient-dense, whole-foods-based diet, can help improve body composition and strength.[4-7]
GNC’s use of ioWhey – superior protein bioavailability
One really awesome thing to note about GNC’s Dynamic Whey is the use of ioWhey, a form of whey that’s significantly more bioavailable than ordinary whey. The appearance of ioWhey is a big reason why we think GNC’s description of this product as “High-Tech” is absolutely warranted.
Studies on ioWhey have consistently found it’s better at increasing serum amino acid concentrations than standard whey protein isolate.[8,9] Unsurprisingly, it’s also better at promoting strength and muscle gains![8,9]
You can learn more about it in our article titled “Supercharged Protein: How Ingredient Optimized (io) Improves Protein Powder“. We also wrote an announcement stating that ioWhey was used in another Beyond Raw product (Dynamic Gainer), recapping the ioWhey data.
Whey isolate vs. whey concentrate
You’ve probably seen that a lot of protein supplements use whey concentrate instead of the whey isolate in Dynamic Whey High-Tech Protein. The difference between them is simply that whey isolate goes through a much stricter filtration process, which is optimized to remove as much of the naturally-occurring carbs and fats from the whey protein fraction as possible.
For that reason, we like whey isolate better. It just makes hitting your macro targets that much easier, which is the whole point of taking a protein supplement.
There’s more information on protein discussed below, but let’s get into what you’re really excited for here — a full research-supported 2.4 gram dose of PeptiStrong:
Fava Bean (Vicia faba) Hydrolysate Peptide Complex (as PeptiStrong) – 2,400 mg
Now that we’ve covered the importance of protein – a mechanistic factor in muscle growth and fat loss – we need to get into something a little more novel. First, understand that food has biological effects beyond the pure nutritional. What that means is certain compounds in food can change genetic expression, having non-linear effects on human physiology.[10-12]
We can actually increase the amount of muscle we gain and fat we lose by manipulating bio-informational mechanisms like genes, hormones, and metabolic switches.
That’s where PeptiStrong, a natural network of peptides sourced from fava beans, comes in. Fava beans are known to have over 400 peptides, and the ones extracted in PeptiStrong act to selectively signal mTOR, which regulates protein synthesis, leading to favorable training and recovery outcomes.
First, let’s cover the human clinical data, and then you can read into the mechanism behind it if you want more.
Human Study 1: PeptiStrong and recovery and strength gain from muscle damage
In 2023, researchers set out to understand how PeptiStrong could improve recovery – especially when a human is exposed to muscle damage from an extreme workout. They designed a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial and recruited 30 healthy recreational males from 30-45 years old. On the first day, a baseline strength test was given. The participants were then given either placebo or 2.4 grams of PeptiStrong that day and each subsequent day for 14 days.
The 15th day was test day, where no PeptiStrong nor placebo were given. The men were put into an extreme knee flexion and extension test after a 5 minute cycling warm up, providing a precise and intense level of effort. A warm-up set of 5 reps (building from 60-100% maximum effort) was given, and then the subjects performed two 5-repetition sets at max effort.
To put it simply, this is a grueling leg exercise that is well-known to induce serious muscle damage.[15,16]
The researchers then analyzed their recovery through various biomarkers at the 48 hour and 72 hour markers after the first test day (this was on the 17th and 18th days), while supplementation continued.
The researchers found something amazing at the 72 hour mark — the PeptiStrong group was stronger than they had started at baseline, having significantly recovered from the muscle damage on their first test day! The placebo group, however, hadn’t even fully recovered back to baseline.
Additionally, the PeptiStrong group had significantly better scores in a fatigue index, which demonstrated that those using PeptiStrong had significantly improved muscular endurance.
Finally, biomarker measurements including some key myokines were significantly improved, demonstrating that PeptiStrong users had greater immediate inflammatory response post-workout, right when it’s optimal.
Even more impressive is PeptiStrong’s effect on myostatin, a protein that is known to inhibit muscle growth:
This is incredibly impressive — myostatin inhibition has long been seen as a major goal for the dietary supplement industry. Previous attempts have fallen flat, but Nuritas may have opened up a whole new paradigm of dietary supplement ingredient development with PeptiStrong.
Human Study 2: Immobilization – PeptiStrong vs. Milk Protein
Additionally, researchers published another study in 2023 looking at how PeptiStrong could support muscle tissue when faced with atrophy induced by muscle immobilization. In this study, 30 young men were recruited to wear a plaster cast for 7 days. The cast prevented knee flexion, and with this level of immobilization, atrophy is induced.
During the trial, half of the participants were given 20 grams of PeptiStrong daily, while the other half were given 20 grams of milk protein.
The researchers then compared muscular atrophy between the groups. What they saw was that the PeptiStrong group had far greater recovery from the atrophy, as measured by a muscle protein synthesis rate that was roughly 4 times greater than the milk protein group.
While both groups had roughly the same amount of atrophy, once the participants were able to move their legs, those with PeptiStrong recovered far greater.
This study — and its doses used — demonstrates that PeptiStrong isn’t really a nutritional protein as much as a signaling network of peptides.
So how does it work?
The Mechanism: PeptiStrong and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)
One of the most important metabolic switches is the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), a protein kinase enzyme (cluster of enzymes) that can change proteins by transferring phosphate groups, along with the potential energy stored in their shared chemical bonds, between them. This mechanism is called phosphorylation.
mTOR-induced phosphorylation is a complicated subject, but, in a nutshell, it’s how your body regulates protein metabolism. Since protein is the building block for all cells and tissues in, mTOR indirectly controls cellular proliferation and differentiation, including that of muscle cells.
Given how fundamental this is for physiological functioning, it may not come as a surprise to learn that mTOR is one of the oldest evolutionarily conserved metabolic pathways. It was first discovered in yeast and exists in all eukaryotic (multicellular) organisms.
The mTOR paradox
Uncontrolled cellular proliferation isn’t always a good thing, and that’s part of the reason why organisms inhibit mTOR at times, especially as we age. However, we do need major cellular proliferation to build significant amounts of muscle! That’s why we generally want mTOR activation following a workout. Other research has shown that inhibiting mTOR in mammals can cause muscle wasting, and that activating mTOR can prevent muscle loss in mammals that are forcibly immobilized.
So whether mTOR activation is good or bad depends on how and for how long it’s activated. But needless to say, in a post-workout situation, we want it triggered.
PeptiStrong activates mTOR when and how we need it
So our goal is for targeted mTOR activation. We want to turn it on when trying to grow muscle tissue, and generally keep it off when the anabolic response is not underway.
The other factor in mTOR’s impact is the specific expression it takes. mTOR can combine with other regulatory proteins to form different mTOR complexes, which have separate physiological effects.
PeptiStrong gives us targeted mTOR activation, by combining with the proteins raptor and mLST8 to form mTORC1, the mTOR complex most directly involved in causing muscle growth.[23,24] Animal studies demonstrate that downregulating mTORC1 through mTOR gene knockout causes muscle wasting and impaired muscle growth following exercise.[24,25]
So, to maximize gains, we want to make sure that mTORC1 is upregulated as soon after our workout as possible.
mTORC1 drives ribosomal biogenesis
When MTORC12 is activated, it phosphorylates a protein called S6 ribosomal protein, which creates new ribosomes by a mechanism called ribosomal biogenesis. This is a big deal because ribosomes are the cellular organelles responsible for building complex proteins out of simpler ones.Your cells use ribosomes to assemble the raw materials for new cells, including muscle cells. That’s why triggering ribosomal biogenesis through mTORC1 activation is so important for muscle growth.
In fact, ribosomal biogenesis is necessary for muscle growth!
PeptiStrong increases S6 ribosomal protein expression
That’s a cool theoretical link, but as always, we want to see concrete evidence that a supplement does what we expect it to. And in fact, one of the very first studies of PeptiStrong found that animals who were treated with the peptide had much greater expression of S6K1-phosphorylated S6 ribosomal protein – exactly what we expect to see following mTORC1 upregulation.
Anti-inflammatory effects of PeptiStrong
Inflammation can be a huge problem for one’s health. Chronic inflammation is linked to type 2 diabetes,[28,29] cardiovascular dysfunction, and a myriad of other illnesses.
Inflammation can interfere with your body’s ability to grow new muscle tissue, and can even damage existing muscle tissue.[33,34] Thus, for optimal body composition, we want to keep inflammatory processes from getting out of control.
PeptiStrong can help us maintain a healthy inflammation level, too. In one study, researchers found that the peptide can decrease the body’s production of an inflammatory cytokine called tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). Like other inflammatory cytokines, TNF-α overproduction is linked to muscle loss, including age-related muscle loss.
PeptiStrong can favorably affect gene activity in mice
Finally, in a study on mice, PeptiStrong has been shown to decrease the expression of certain genes that can interfere with muscle building:
- Fbxo32 – a gene whose expression is necessary for muscle loss.[37,38] – Mice with Fbxo32 knocked out are resistant to muscular atrophy. So, downregulating this gene may be helpful for humans who want to be strong and lean.
- Trim63 – a gene responsible for driving muscle catabolism during starvation.
- Atrogin1 – a gene fragment that’s expressed in certain severe cases of muscle atrophy (disease, fasting, statins, muscle disuse, etc.).[40,41] Interestingly, Fbxo32 is the gene responsible for encoding Atrogin1.