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Choosing top-quality protein power

Three-quarters of the world’s population is taking some form of vitamin or supplement. Whether it is a simple vitamin C, meal replacement protein or some sort of advanced workout formula, people are looking more and more to supplement their meals to improve their health.

January 6, 2009  By Aaron Brouwer

Three-quarters of the world’s population is taking some form of vitamin or supplement. Whether it is a simple vitamin C, meal replacement protein or some sort of advanced workout formula, people are looking more and more to supplement their meals to improve their health. You need to ask yourself whether you really know what you are putting in your mouth? 


There are three different grades for raw materials used in products: feed grade (meets the standard for animal consumption); food grade (meets the standard for human consumption); and pharmaceutical grade (meets pharmaceutical standards). It is extremely important to make sure any vitamin or supplement you take is up to pharmaceutical grade. If you owned a Ferrari, would you buy parts for it at Wal-Mart? No, you are going to buy top-of-the-line parts from a Ferrari dealer. It should be the same with your body. Your body is far more sophisticated than any Ferrari so why settle for no-name/store brand supplements? 

What does pharmaceutical grade mean?
•    Adheres to good manufacturing practices – GMPs define a quality system that manufacturers use as they build quality into their products.
•    Licensed by FDA and State of California – FDA puts the supplement through several tests on animals and humans to determine the effects of the supplement. If the health benefits outweigh the known risks then the supplements is approved. 
•    Holds an exclusive “A” rating from the National Nutritional Foods Association. An “A” rating means the supplier has excellent compliance with the Natural Products Associations GMPs, with few deficiencies noted.
•    Rigorous formula review process.
•    Ingredients meet ALL criteria for safety and purity.
•    Ingredients selected for potency and efficacy.
•    Quarantining of raw materials (when the supplier gets ingredients from other companies they are quarantined until they have been tested to prove they are the quality and purity required).
•    Heavy metal testing.
•    Batch control testing (to ensure that each batch has exactly what the label says it has).
•    Microbiological testing.
•    Cold-processed and solvent free to preserve nutritional value of ingredients.
•    Exclusive aqueous coating technology (there is no shellac on our vitamins. They break down in your system within 30 minutes).

Where do protein powders come from? Some protein powders use hydrolyzed chicken feathers or dried fluid that remained from milk after cheese making, while others use a more scientific approach that selects a variety of proteins designed to immediately deliver all 22 amino acids that people will use throughout their bodies. The bottom line is that you should do some research about the protein products you purchase and make sure you get a product that gives you the highest quality and level of protein. Depending on the product, you could get anywhere from 30 per cent to 90 per cent protein. Find a product that will give the purest protein. A lot of supplement companies use food-grade proteins; don’t settle for this. Find a company that uses pharmaceutical grade proteins to receive the purest and highest quality.


Protein helps to increase muscle tissue, give you a faster recovery after your workout and strengthen your immune system. Since protein shakes are digested a lot faster than solid foods (usually 30 minutes) the protein we receive from shakes will act a lot faster to help our bodies. Remember that when you work out you are essentially tearing your muscles, then the muscles heal the small tears, which makes the muscles bigger and stronger. So, the best time to take a protein shake is immediately after a workout so you are delivering protein to the muscles while they are healing.
Don’t be fooled by the large container either. Most of the time the big tubs are only half filled and are usually a low quality of protein. Some products tell you to take a 40-gram serving to get 20 grams of protein – what else are you digesting in there? The closer the serving size to the actual amount of product you want the higher the quality of protein being delivered. On a personal note, I have been using protein powders for the last six years. I used to pick up my protein at a local drugstore or Wal-Mart. I never did any research and never saw the results I wanted. I worked out regularly and had a healthy diet. Being six feet, three inches tall and only 160 pounds, my goal was to add 25 to 30 pounds. At the time, I was a volunteer firefighter pursuing a career as a full-time firefighter. I knew I needed to increase my upper body strength and was looking to add muscle mass. 

After I got hired on with Prince George Fire Rescue in B.C., I started doing some research and stumbled upon Body Wise ( Body Wise products are all pharmaceutical grade A and deliver the highest quality protein I had found up to that date. After three months of taking Body Wise, I’m finally starting to see the results that I was after. I am now at 185 to 190 pounds and I feel stronger and healthier.

I share my story not to sell you on Body Wise but to encourage you not to give up. If the products you are using are not working for you, do the research and find one that will give you the results you are after. Take the time and effort to make sure you are giving your body the highest quality of nutrition that you can. Treat your body like a Ferrari.

Aaron Brouwer is a firefighter with Prince George Fire Rescue in B.C. and in an hand-on training instructor with Canwest Fire. Contact him at

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