Holy Grail Body Transformation Review

Holy Grail Body Transformation by Tom Venuto as Reviewed by Marc David

When I first grabbed my copy of The Holy Grail Body Transformation Program by Tom Venuto, I DID expect the best.  I have known Tom since I started by online fitness business several years ago.  With his original Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle, my nutrition knowledge was already top-notch.  The real reason I wanted to test out this body transformation program was simple.

I’m tired of the typical bulk and cut cycles that are preached on the Internet.  I’m tired of gaining fat in the off-season and having to work hard to burn it off and just hold pace during the rest of the year.  I also am a glutton for new challenges as I get bored easily. The ideas proposed by the Holy Grail Body Transformation Plan intrigued me on many levels.

Here’s your chance to read this Holy Grail Body Transformation Review and figure out if Tom Venuto’s Holy Grail Body Transformation System is something for you.

Holy Grail Body Transformation:  What You Can Expect

Part one starts out with the theory and science covering the Holy Grail Body Transformation program concepts.  While many people may want to breeze over this section, I guarantee you it is not overly scientific or boring.  You need to understand the physiological process of  a body transformation and how you gain muscle and burn fat.  The whole nutritional program is based upon your ability to manipulate your nutrition to achieve the results you desire.

“Should you decide to pursue the Holy Grail, you are about to embark on a challenging journey. ~ Tom Venuto

Part two gives you the Holy Grail Body Transformation nutritional techniques to make this into reality.  Nutrient timing and nutritional periodization are discussed.  Your choices for the cyclical nutrition plan is the absolute core of the Holy Grail Body Transformation Program.  If you don’t get this right, it’s the difference between making a little progress and significant.  Sounds complicated but it is not.

Part three covers the Holy Grail Body Transformation weight training aspect.  There’s a program called “The New Bodybuilding” or T.N.B. workout.  In a nutshell, it’s an upper and lower body routine, twice a week, with different rep ranges, sets and rest periods.  You will be focusing on strength training and muscle hypertrophy, twice a week.  I found this to be very unique for my style of training.  Being a typical bodybuilder, I focused on split routines and a single goal.  While I’ve mixed and matched rest periods, sets and weights, this upper and lower body concept was a breath of fresh air.  Granted, it’s not a new concept by any means and for many people, they have done this style but if you have never tried it before, it’s interesting.

  • Upper and Lower body workouts; twice a week
  • Focused strength and muscle growth priorities

While the Holy Grail workout is great, it’s limited.  You will find that after 3 cycles of this program, roughly 12 weeks, you want to change it up.  Maybe do something entirely different.  The exercises listed are top-notch but for those who workout at home or the gym does not have the correct setup, you will be forced to mix and match your own program.  That is not a problem for most but could be a limiting factor.

You can use the nutritional outline in this Holy Grail Body Transformation Guide with any workout program.  While it appears to be optimized for the T.N.B. workout, there is no barriers to using this concept with any other weight training program.  Which is the ultimate in mix and match in my opinion.

The Holy Grail Body Transformation report would benefit from a plug and go type exercise chart showing sample exercises, reps, sets and rest periods.  For example, list several exercises for each body part and the user can pick and choose what to do.  This still allows the concept of the T.N.B. program to be completed but it would give much needed options for those who may not be able to do or have access to that piece of equipment.  It’s the only flaw I see in the Holy Grail Body Transformation workout section.

Part four talks about Holy Grail Body Transformation lifestyle factors that will and can effect your progress.

  • Sleep
  • Alcohol
  • Stress

Part five is a question and answer section specific to the Holy Grail Body Transformation report.  After the first version of the Holy Grail Body Transformation manual which was done and completed during a Burn the Fat Inner Circle challenge, Tom Venuto took the hundreds of e-mails and put them into a Q&A format.  The latest version really drills down into things that are covered but maybe overlooked the first go around.  This turns out to be an immensely helpful chapter of the Holy Grail Body Transformation e-book.

In the Holy Grail Body Transformation appendix sections, you will find things like:

  • Sample Holy Grail Body Transformation meal plans
  • Calorie calculators
  • Burn the Fat 2.0 food database
  • The T.N.B. workout program to be used with the Holy Grail Body Transformation

Please understand that if you aren’t versed in nutrition or just a beginner, this program may be a little too complex.  The Holy Grail Body Transformation does have sample meal plans but you don’t find an in depth coverage of nutrition for a lifestyle and the workouts assume you can handle yourself in the gym as far as knowing when and how to push yourself past limitations.  A person without 6 months of solid weight lifting experience would be best to stick with a more generalized program and not worry about body composition changes as described in the Holy Grail Body Transformation that are left to a more advanced athlete.  That being said, if you are dedicated and one of the exceptions to the rule, as a beginner you could make some significant progress on such a plan.

The Holy Grail Body Transformation Bottom Line

In summary, the Holy Grail Body Transformation program is one of the most fun and nutritionally challenging programs I’ve tried in a decade.  I’ve seen my own body fat go from the lower end of average (14%) for a bodybuilder to a lean, 7.47% with a small amount of muscle gain, significant fat loss and gains in overall strength.  The Holy Grail Body Transformation Program bills itself as a body composition changer and if followed to the letter, it will do just that without making you feel starving for food or in such a low carbohydrate deficit you are walking around like a zombie with a constant low sugar, low carb headache.

Over the course of 8 weeks using the Holy Grail Body Transformation, I personally have received many questions about this program myself.  So I’ve developed my own question and answer section that pertains to the Holy Grail Body Transformation program.

Holy Grail Body Transformation:  Question and Answer

QUESTION:

What kind of diet do you go on, in terms of calories, protein, fat, and carb ratios when doing the Holy Grail Body Transformation program?

ANSWER:

Your calorie calculation requires you to figure out how many calories a day you will need for weight gain, maintenance and weight loss.  You will use either the Harris-Benedict Formula or the Katch-Mcardle Formula.  Nothing out of the ordinary here.  The reason you will want to know all three is that depending on the cylindrical diet plan you choose, you will have different calorie targets.

This Holy Grail Body Transformation plan revolves around the concept of Zig-Zag nutrition.  That’s where you have a few days below maintenance, then you follow it up with a maintenance or above maintenance calorie day.  You might choose the plan called the 3:1 Cycle.

That’s 3 days of 15%-20% below maintenance and 1 day in a surplus or 15% above.  Or you might choose a 3 day of surplus and 3 days of a calorie deficit.  There’s a few options depending on what your primary goal is for your macrocycle.  Meaning…

Are you trying to primary build muscle and burn some fat, or burn fat as a priority but keep muscle or maybe.. do the unthinkable and get leaner while gaining muscle which is the crux of the Holy Grail Body Transformation.  The nutrition portion of the Holy Grail Body Transformation plan will guide you through all 3 options very nicely.

Proteins, Fats and Carbs will be in the standard.. 45%, 35%, 20% .  Focus for the Holy Grail Body Transformation is on higher protein for muscle retention and satiety.  The lower carbs is very comfortable with emphasis on carb tappering and burning fat without sending you into low or zero carb mode where you feel like a zombie.  The fats are there to keep your intake in-line with recommendations.

Where it gets REAL INTERESTING specific to the Holy Grail Body Transformation system is the carbohydrate tappering plans (carbs specifically around workouts) and post-workout nutrition that makes the Holy Grail Body Transformation program stand out a bit from others.  Rather than just having a standard set meal plan, the focus is on lowered carbs overall (200g per day) with a focus on most of those carbs coming into play before and after the workout.  This allows you to have plenty of energy for that specific time when you need  it most.  Most plans don’t take this into account.  It makes it a bit more specific to your goals.

Being on a continued lower calorie plan is a good way to lose muscle.  Being in a surplus too long and you gain fat.  This Holy Grail Body Transformation 3:1 style along with the others is just easy enough to follow without making every single day a “new” meal plan and overly complicated.

Nutrition in the Holy Grail Body Transformation Program is a top priority.  Get this right and you are almost guaranteed some significant results.

QUESTION:

What does the T.N.B. workout consist of?  Heavyweights 8-10 reps, light weight 12-15 reps?

ANSWER:

Called the T.N.B. (the new bodybuilding) workout is an upper body, lower body workout, done twice a week and is included in the Holy Grail Body Transformation program.  The focus is on strength and muscle growth and that is accomplished by variable sets, rep ranges and rest periods.  Loading periods are cycled so that each week, you aim to be personal bests.  Your ranges for strength will be in the 5-6 rep range and muscle growth in the typical 8-12 range.  Strength phases will use a 5×5 method which is quite good for raw strength gains. Lower volume will be used for higher rep ranges.  While you can use any program with the Holy Grail Body Transformation system, I’d recommend at least trying the included T.N.B. workouts to the letter before making any switches or determinations.

Week 1: Introductory loading

Week 2:  Base loading

Week 3: Overloading

Week 4: Shock loading

Week 5: Begin a new cycle of the Holy Grail Body Transformation

After 3 cycles of this Holy Grail Body Transformation, you’ll need to switch up the exercises.  It’s a very detailed program that covers what most bodybuilders want. Strength with significant muscle growth.  And while it may not be new to some (upper and lower body routines) it creates a nice foundation in which you can build upon to further create your own workouts.  The only thing I’d wish for is some easier method to create these sticking to the principles outlined. It’s far too easy to start adding new exercises to the original Holy Grail Body Transformation program and you’ll end up in the gym for 2 hours.

In the current form, you can do this Holy Grail Body Transformation routine in about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

After the third (3rd) round of the Holy Grail Body Transformation workout, Tom recommends switching to a new program or continue to use the weekly workout schedule, set/rep parameters while changing some or all of the exercises.

QUESTION:

I work out at 3:45am everyday Monday thru Friday and it drives me insane when everyone’s diet never takes into account for people like me that workout first thing when they get up because tons of bodybuilders and trainers do that.  All the diets start out about eating breakfast, then a snack, etc then talk about working out at night. Some of us get up early and workout.

ANSWER:

Even if you do your weight workouts when you get up.. it’s IMPERATIVE to eat.  While cardio can be done on an empty stomach (but there’s really no added fat burning benefit), weight training should not.  You need fuel for those workouts.  If you get up early, you should have some type of high protein, high carbohydrate breakfast and give yourself 30 minutes to digest the food.  You may need more time, maybe less.  Personally, I can eat a full meal and be ready to go in about 30 minutes.  But you need to be fueled for those workouts.

Many bodybuilders do workout early.  But if  you want to build muscle, you’ve got to fuel yourself.  Even the individuals I know who hit the gym at 5:00am still make time for a quick breakfast at 4:30am.  This breakfast can be as simple as raw uncooked oats, protein powder and an orange.  Plenty of carbs and protein for a weight training workout.

There are less benefits to weight training without adequate nutrition.  After being asleep and potentially catabolic with lower nitrogen levels, the last thing you want to do is induce more stress via weight training without proper pre-workout nutritional support.  Take the time for a short, quick breakfast to get some fuel into your system so you can attack the weights.  After that, support yourself with proper post-workout nutrition.

QUESTION:

Can you give like maybe a 2 day complete sample diet of what you eat on the Holy Grail Body Transformation quest to give some new ideas of what to eat.   Right now I’m stuck on protein drinks, grilled chicken breast, green beans, and egg whites for pretty much my entire day.

ANSWER:

Oddly enough, the meal plans that come with the program are nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, they actually matched my target calorie goals for both a deficit and surplus.  While it’s hard to believe, I have stuck with the defaults for two reasons:

  1. It makes life simple
  2. It makes life really simple

All joking aside, the one thing that had me pulling my hair out was the constant switching of high and low calorie days too often or different meals for every day.  While the variety was welcomed, it made it frustrating to grocery shop quickly and it made bulk cooking and planning an event not worth pursuing anymore after a couple of weeks.  This Holy Grail Body Transformation plan is not much more than eggs, chicken, fish, occasional beef, and vegetables.  It makes shopping a breeze.  It makes eating dull.

Now there’s options as the Holy Grail Body Transformation program comes with the standard Burn the Fat 2.0 food database.  Meaning, you have a list of foods in which you can substitute for any of the items.  Tired of Salmon?  Switch it for Tilapia.  Tired of turkey?  Switch it for Venison.

Bottom line, the Holy Grail Body Transformation program comes with several sample meal plans for men and women, based upon some basic calorie goals.  There is a nice one that shows you the carb tappering method of nutrition that is discussed in detail.  Meaning, a fair amount of carbs before and after your training.  But not too much before and after. Thus, you can keep a reasonably low carb plan but have plenty of energy specific for the workouts.  This is something missing in most meal plans today.  They hit macro-nutrient ratios and calories with a wide variety of foods but they don’t necessarily target those calories specific to a workout.  Just seeing the concept is enough for you to adjust any of the sample plans to whatever you might need.

Got a question about the Holy Grail Body Transformation program general or specific? Feel free to ask.  Tried this program?  Let others know your experience in the comment section if you have used the Holy Grail Body Transformation program by Tom Venuto.

Update:  I’ve gone back to using the nutrition concepts outlined in the Holy Grail Body Transformation system but switched my weight workouts to 2 days a week full body heavy lifts and 2 day a week using TRX.  I’m pleased the results.

- marc david

P.S. - Not sure?  Here’s your chance to get the Holy Grail Body Transformation Free Download PDF reports that cover these details and more.

Here’s How Consumer Reports Screws You Blind

Is Your Protein Shake Poison?!

In the July 2010 issue of Consumer Reports, there’s a 4 page spread and chart showing that those favorite protein drinks of yours can contain potentially unsafe levels of heavy metals.  Things like Arsenic, Lead and Cadmium!  With such a report, it’s almost a guarantee to rock the supplement world.  Or is it?

Maybe the better question:  Should it?

The full report will be in the July issue of Consumer Reports.  Or you can read the Consumer Report on Protein Drinks (opens in a new window)

QUESTION: I just read the Consumer Reports article about potentially unsafe levels of heavy metals.  Some of those protein drinks I consume.  I’m currently drinking Muscle Milk chocolate.  Not three times a day but I use it frequently.  Do you think I should stop drinking protein shakes entirely?  What is your thought on this report?

ANSWER: Could this be true?  The same magazine I used to buy my last washer and dryer is now the expert on supplement research?   Can the same evaluation methods to test how dry my socks are be used to tell me if I’m in-taking too much dangerous levels of heavy metals?  Or even better, how much protein I need a day?

In a nutshell, Consumer Reports used USP (U.S. Pharmacopeia) an independent research facility to test 15 protein drinks which included ready to drinks, meal replacement power and just whey powders.

Consumer Reports testing was based on consumption of three shakes per day and the testing applied proposed U.S. Pharmacopeia standards - not current, accepted or approved standards or guidelines.  It’s important to note this was not published in a peer reviewed scientific journal.

They tested for:

  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Mercury

USP found most of the products to be in the low or moderate range for the 3 servings except for the following three products.

What Consumer Reports Found:

  • EAS Myoplex Original Rich Dark Chocolate Shake has an average of 16.9 micrograms of arsenic in three servings — more than the 15 micrograms a day that is the proposed USP limit. It has an average of 5.1 micrograms of cadmium for three servings — above the USP limit of 5 micrograms a day.
  • Muscle Milk chocolate powder, at three servings, contained all four of the metals, and three metals were found at a level that was among the highest of all 15 products tested. Cadmium levels were 5.6 micrograms — above the 5-microgram limit. Lead was 13.5 micrograms — above the USP limit of 10 micrograms. The arsenic averaged 12.2 micrograms — near the 15-microgram daily USP limit.
  • Muscle Milk vanilla crème had 12.2 micrograms of lead per three servings — above the 10-microgram daily limit. It has 11.2 micrograms of arsenic — close to the 15-microgram daily limit.

Here’s What They Aren’t Telling You … They Didn’t Compare Apples to Apples!

All of the products listed in the Consumer Reports article are not the same.  Muscle Milk and Myoplex ranked the highest partly because they are Meal Replacement Powders or MRPs.  MRP’s will have naturally higher trace amounts of these elements because they include a blend of all macronutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates), plus micronutrients in vitamins & minerals.  Whey protein powders OR low carb protein powders will contain lower levels of these elements because they provide mostly protein and not the full blend of macronutrients plus vitamins & minerals that MRP’s do.

In other words, the more nutrient sources (macronutrients & micronutrients) one consumes, the more trace amounts of these metal elements they are ingesting.  The report would have been more accurate if all like products were compared (MRP’s). Pure Whey protein powders will have lower amounts of these elements for the reasons just mentioned.

Do You Know What’s In Your Food?

Don’t forget the substances tested by Consumer Reports are naturally occurring in the environment, and it would be uncommon, if not impossible, not to detect the trace amounts reportedly found in any agricultural product, such as dairy products, fruits and vegetables.

FDA’s publication Total Diet Study Statistics on Element Results (December 11, 2007), which analyzes 200 foods found in grocery stores four times per year, showed the following:

Lead Contamination in Everyday Foods

BUT KEEP READING…

First off … let me start by saying I’m not a scientist by nature.  But that doesn’t disqualify me from making comments on how a proper study should be conducted.  In fact, I wondered myself after reading this article.. how would one conduct such a study?

My guess is, at the very least they need to include the methods used in testing so that anybody else qualified could reproduce the results. Even friendly hackers do this.  They report their findings and methods used to reproduce the error in an effort to get the company in question to fix their product.

However, what’s the #1 thing missing from this Consumer Reports article Heavy Metals Found in Protein Shakes?  Care to take a guess?

The methods used!  For all I know, they took various expired supplements from a location in Area 51 and used a metal testing kit from ACE Hardware.  They don’t specifically say how it was conducted and the onus is on them.

Here’s How another 3rd Party, Independent Agency Responded to the  Consumer Reports Article on Protein Drinks

“NSF International cannot comment on the test results reported in the July 2010, Consumer Reports article on protein drinks. It omits critical information about the laboratory that performed the test and its accreditation qualifications. ISO 17025 accreditation is critical for any laboratory testing for heavy metals in dietary supplements and nutritional products.

The article also omits the test methods used, analytical preparation, sample size, the basis of their risk assessment, detection limits, quality control data and instrumentation used for this report.”

FACT: In order to report your finding you MUST report methods used so that results can be reproduced by others.  Sorry Consumer Reports but your study is invalid without such.  Not to mention your testing apples to oranges.

But don’t take my word for it… I asked Daniel Whittaker, a personal trainer for decades, a Wellness Consultant, an Expert Moderator on DiscussBodybuilding.com and researcher.  He’s currently attending California State University, Los Angeles, where he is studying Exercise Science and Bioscience and assisting with research in the University Human Performance Laboratory.

He is the recipient one of two Certificates of Honor awarded by his College in recognition of exceptional academic achievements, and he has been inducted into both Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Golden Key International Honor Society.

“Marc, your comments about the validity of the research methods are spot on.  Without a methods section, the report is really of no value if I can not repeat it consistently in a proper lab with the same methods…” -Daniel Whittaker

What’s even more shocking is that nobody including the fitness expert you probably follow seems to pay attention to the 4 pages that precede the pretty colored chart.  Things I’ve tried in my newsletter, program, blog, podcasts and forum to battle.  What things?

MYTH:

“The body can only break down 5 to 9 grams of protein per hour” -Kathleen Laquale, licensed nutritionist and certified athletic trainer

FACT:

“Regarding the quote from Kathleen Laquale about the body only being able to break down 5 to 9 grams of protein an hour. I defy her to find research to support this. I cringed when I saw the original quote in Consumer Reports, and I’m cringing again to see that the NPR site has adopted it as fact. - TCLoma (of T-Nation?)

“There is no such thing as consuming too much protein.as long you’re getting other nutrients in your diet as well.”Dr. Andrew Shao, Ph.D, in Nutritional Biochemistry from Tufts University in Boston, M.S. in Human Nutrition Science.  His B.A. in Biology is from Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass.

A reoccurring theme throughout the entire article is:

Too Much Protein Can Cause Health Problems!

Of course, there’s no links to current studies just “experts” who drop the statement like a hot stock tip at a bus station.

Let’s see what a few of the real experts in the field of bodybuilding have to say about the never ending myth that a high protein diet is deadly ….

“If you tell them you are on a high protein diet because you are an athlete they will tell you, “oh you don’t want to do that, you don’t need it and it will lead to kidney disease” without a single decent study to back up their claim!” - Will Brink, columnist, contributing consultant, and writer for various health/fitness, medical, and bodybuilding publications article,  author of the “Nutritional Myths that Just Won’t Die: Protein.”

“A number of health risks have been attributed to the consumption of high protein intakes, this includes potential problems with the kidneys, bone health, metabolic acidosis and certain types of cancers. For the most part, these risks tend to be extremely overstated.” -Lyle McDonald, “Protein Controversies.” Chapter 8 from The Protein Book: A Complete Guide for the Coach and Athlete.

Moving on …

So I asked my friend and mentor, Tom Venuto, a lifetime natural bodybuilder, an NSCA-certified personal trainer, certified strength & conditioning specialist (CSCS) and author of the #1 best selling diet e-book,  “Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle” about this “High Protein” is bad for you that Consumer Reports wants you to believe.

Marc: Tom, can you explain why some licensed professional STILL tell their clients that a diet high in protein leads to health problems?  Including kidney failure, dehydration and osteoporosis?

Tom Venuto: I knew this question would pop up. This “high protein is bad for you” myth never seems to go away, so let me squash this ugly bug right now once and for all.

At one time or another, you’ve probably heard the myth that high protein diets are:

  • bad for your kidneys,
  • they dehydrate you
  • and give you osteoporosis.

Well, here’s the truth: It’s a medical and scientific fact that except in the case of pre-existing kidney disease, there is no documented evidence that a high protein intake will cause kidney damage in a healthy kidney. In fact, there is not a single study that has been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal using adult human subjects with healthy kidneys that has shown any kidney dysfunction whatsoever as a result of consuming a high protein diet.

In the textbook, “Total Nutrition: the Only Guide You’ll Ever Need,” from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, the authors, Victor Herbert and Genell Shubak-Sharpe, had this to say about protein and kidney disease:

“High-protein diets have never proven to be a serious hazard for healthy people, although processing excess protein can overburden a liver or kidney’s that are damaged by disease. That’s why individuals with kidney or liver disease are often put on protein-restricted diets. Likewise, very high protein formulas can also be detrimental to very young or premature infants whose kidney function is not fully developed. Some nephrologists have also speculated the eating a high-protein diet throughout life may be the reason for the ‘slight’ decline in kidney function that usually occurs with age, but this connection is still under investigation.”

What about the claim that high protein diets cause osteoporosis? In inactive people, some studies have shown that increased protein intakes lead to elevated calcium excretion. This is because high protein intakes increase the acidity of the blood, and the body must “leach” calcium from the bones to buffer the acidity. The researchers theorized that this calcium loss could lead to accelerated osteoporosis, especially in women.

While this phenomenon has been observed in sedentary individuals, there is no clearly established link between high protein intake and osteoporosis. Women with risk factors for osteoporosis should be more cautious, but if you are athletically inclined and participate in aerobic and resistance exercise, you will probably have few risk factors. Here’s what Herbert and Shubak-Sharpe had to say on the subject:

“Our typical high-protein, high-meat diets have also been implicated as a factor in the development of osteoporosis, but these claims may be the results of misinterpreting scientific research. Studies have shown that adding purified protein supplements and amino-acid mixtures that have had their phosphate removed do increase excretion of calcium by the kidney in both animals and humans. However, several long-term controlled human studies carried out by Herta Spencer, M.D., at the Hines VA Medical Center in Illinois have shown that high intakes of protein from natural protein sources such as meat, which have their phosphate intact, do not significantly increase calcium loss.”

A post-menopausal sedentary woman would not be well advised to go on a high protein diet, but if you’re a bodybuilder, or even if you just train with weights recreationally, then you will have denser bones than someone who doesn’t work out. Therefore, extra protein should not be a cause for concern.

Probably the only legitimate problem created by a high protein intake is dehydration. Metabolizing protein requires more water than fats or carbohydrates, so it is very important to consume extra water if you increase your protein intake. The standard recommendation is 8-10 8 oz glasses per day (64 – 80 oz). However, the higher your protein intake, the more water you should drink beyond the standard guideline. For bodybuilders on high protein diets, a gallon a day (124 oz) is more like it.

The one gram per pound of bodyweight guideline is good as a general rule of thumb for bodybuilders.  The amount of protein you need depends on how hard you are training and on whether you want to gain, maintain, or lose bodyweight.

Marc: Thanks once again Tom.

I can appreciate the overall good intentions of Consumer Reports to bring public awareness to the foods were consuming.  However, it does not negate the fact that the study itself was flawed and that most of the article seemed to have a bodybuilding type bashing theme to it.

In my 6 years online and 2 decades of bodybuilding, I’ve run across these myths countless times.   I can understand how the average consumer might not know protein intake requirements or how to conduct a proper research study, I fail to understand how a company as large as and well funded as Consumer Reports can write such a loosely documented and misleading prose on the world of fitness.

Even IF the report were true, they give NO information to the companies listed on how to reproduce the results to correct their products.

When David Barr wrote on the potential ill effects of Glycocyamine in some products, specifically Muscle Milk, I recall passing that report off to Cytosport.

Guess what they did?

They took the research, they looked over the facts and the consumer concerns and Cytosport REMOVED it from the product.

See folks.. that’s how it works.

Step 1:  You Find Something Questionable

Step 2:  You Document Your Research and Share with Company

Step 3:  You See if Company Responds

What we have here is a clear case of myth perpetuation and classic biased reporting.

Here’s What They Should Do Next:

Instead of freaking out of high protein diets, or all protein powder, the products that have been named should get tested by a research group that will publish the findings in a peer reviewed journal, where we know the methods of testing meet certain scientific standards or at least can be scrutinized by the rest of the scientific community to be sure that they do.

If the results come up positive for heavy metals, these supplement companies have some explaining to do and some actions to take for damage control.

The Bottom Line: Overall, the Consumer Reports article on Heavy Metals Found in Protein Drinks is of no real usable value. I won’t change my habits at this time when it comes to using protein supplements on that list or not.  Regarding Cytosport’s Muscle Milk, which I am a consumer of at times, it has NSF Certification which does not support the findings of Consumer Reports.

In my NoBull Bodybuilding program, I recommend whole foods thru Ph.D. approved meal plans, andd using protein shakes or powders as an supplement getting no more than 20% of your daily protein from such sources.  While I use proteins like this myself, I don’t drink 3 shakes a day.

Disclosure: I have a close family member works for Cytosport.  However, I am a consumer of the product.   You should realize however, that this isn’t an research report; it is a blog, and unbiased blogs are kind of boring.  If you don’t take a position what do you write about, really?

Industry Response:

Cytosport: Testing Confirms Muscle Milk Safety
Optimum Nutrition
NSF Statement on Consumer Reports Findings

For Further Research:

Protein Drinks Are Dangerous??!! Yeah, right.
CBS Morning Show: Could Protein Drinks Be Harmful to Your Health?
Heavy Metals Found In Protein Shakes: Should You Stop Drinking Them?
UltimateFatBurner Blog: Skeptical about Consumer Reports
How to Evalute Any Supplement

Dangerous protein drinks?
Bodybuilders & Protein, Part 1, 2 and 3
How Much Protein Can I Eat at Any One Time?
Consumer Reports Magazine Takes Aim at Protein Drinks

Marc David
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
www.nobullbodybuilding.com

P.S. – My biggest pet peeve is a few fitness experts trying to make money off the report and linking you to a brand of protein thru their affilite link!  Of course they make a commissions off the purchases.  Talk about bias.  If you don’t trust supplement companies WHY on earth would you trust and expert that passed this report to you, offering up no professional insight and then tries to milk you for a few cents off a link to purchase protein.

I believe buyers should be made aware of the incentives individuals may have to give particular advice.  They should be more cynical.