We make no secret, here at Olympus Health, that we use soy protein isolate as just one source of amino acids in our best-selling, hugely popular and cheapest-in-the-UK budget protein powder, PRO-XL.
It's just one of the ways we've managed to be able to offer 5kgs of effective protein-shake powder for under £30 – and who else in the UK bodybuilding/fitness industry can say that?
Understandably – especially in bodybuilding circles – there's still some stigma attached to using soy as an ingredient, as early studies done with male rodents, fed on nothing but whole soybeans, seemed to show lowered levels of testosterone, compared to a control group fed on a diet of grains.
For the most part, the online bodybuilding and strength communities are full of smart, committed individuals – who take a genuine interest in studies like this. So, it wasn't long before supplement brands that used soy in their formulas began feeling the effect, as lifters around the world started to talk, and ultimately, to vote with their wallets.
Although these studies certainly raised a few eyebrows, more recent – and importantly, human (not rodent) – research detailed in this brilliant article shows that these fears are largely unsubstantiated.
We've seen both sides of the discussion for ourselves, just read the comments on this Facebook ad we've been running – some of them are quite entertaining!
So, what makes the inclusion of soy protein isolate in a few of our formulas anything other than (A) a sleazy rip-off attempt, or (B) reckless brand suicide?
Well, in answer:
(A) Our prices – especially for PRO-XL – are anything but a rip-off! At just 18p per-serving, PRO-XL is the cheapest way to get 24grams of protein in one hit that we know of. Lets say that again: it's 18p for 24 grams of protein!
(B) Thanks entirely to our amazing customers we not only have plenty of living proof that our PRO-XL protein is an effective way to add protein to your diet and muscle to your body, but plenty of repeat purchasers... something that doesn't tend to happen
when your product isn't up to scratch!
We're actually pretty damned proud of what can be done with a blended combination of soy isolate, whey and micellar casein!
This (right) is one of our customers, Ryan, who's been using PRO-XL for several years now.
Unlike many other manufacturers – and just like our peers (our autodidactic brothers and sisters out there in the online training communities) – we've tuned in to the very latest research.
For one thing, although we use soy protein isolate to keep costs down – and pass the savings on to you – we don't use the cheapest form of soy available.
Far from it, in fact. Our soy protein isolate is a high-quality product in its own right.
Even before they have everything but the protein and a small amount of fibre removed (the protein isolate creation process), leaving a 90%-plus protein powder, the beans we select are certified as coming from non-GMO identity preserved crops.
This means that they haven't been genetically tampered-with to make them resistant to pesticides and weedkillers, or to pump them full of oleic and stearic acids (for a larger food-oil yield and thus more value per-acre of crops).
We reject GMO soybeans outright. For a start, when you begin with a plant that has been made resistant to weedkillers, it's highly likely that those same weedkillers have been used on the fields it was grown in.
In the case of soybeans, the weedkiller of choice is glyphosate – a plant-poison that inhibits the plant's ability to synthesise three crucially important amino acids, namely tryptophan, phenylalanine and tyrosine.
We want to use soy isolate for its high levels of naturally occurring essential amino acids, and we want them to be produced by the plant in the way that nature intended – not messed with so that they express a gene from the bastard lab-child of a 'cauliflower mosaic virus' and a bacteria called Agrobacterium tumefaciens, instead.
There's also less impact on the surrounding environment when growing and cultivating non-GMO soybeans, and we feel a whole lot better about using protein isolate made from them as a result.
So there you have it, in answer to the many questions (and frankly, uninformed criticisms) we receive, we are delighted to announce that there are NO GMO ingredients in the UK's cheapest and best-value protein powder, Olympus Health PRO-XL!
Yours in Sport,
Rick, Olympus Health