H2N Nutrition are back under the microscope in this brand new supplement review.
The popular North-East based manufacturer have released a string of solid muscle building products in the last decade, and have built a strong reputation as a brand who can be trusted for high quality (and great tasting) supplements.
Now they’ve returned with Diet Protein Ultra, a whey protein powder aimed at the fat loss market.
Let’s see how it copes with my deliberately harsh supplement rating system. Remember, no product has EVER received a 5 star review from me…
… can it be the first?
H2N Nutrition Diet Protein Ultra: The Good
BOOM! That’s a lot of green!
And that’s because there are lots of good points here. Long-time readers will recognize that this is an updated version of H2N Nutrition Diet Whey, which I once described as:
“The best tasting whey protein around!”
I’m pleased to say the new product passes the taste test, but that’s just one piece of the jigsaw in making a great whey protein supplement.
The formula is a blend of:
- Whey protein concentrate
- Milk protein concentrate
- Soya protein isolate.
This is a smart move.
A 2013 study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that protein blends appear to stimulate greater muscle protein synthesis versus a sole source of protein. This is because a combination of different protein sources gives you a prolonged release of amino acids for your muscles to gobble up. (1)
To gain maximum points here I’d prefer a blend consisting of whey isolate (fast release), egg (medium), and casein (slow), but I certainly can’t criticise H2N Nutrition for their chosen ingredients, because they’ll do the job.
We also have 1.2 grams of taurine.
This is an unusual ingredient to find in a whey protein supplement, but it’s certainly a good thing!
Usually taurine is stuffed into pre-workouts, where it “clashes” with caffeine and is rendered absolutely useless. By adding it to their protein blend H2N Nutrition have been able to let their customers reap the full benefits it offers without any negative side effects (better mental focus, increased energy, superior blood flow to working muscles). (2, 3, 4, 5)
A clinical daily dose of taurine is about 2 grams, and with each shake providing a generous 1.2 grams you’ll hit your daily target very easily.
Each scoop of Diet Protein Ultra (39 grams) contains:
- 144 calories
- 31g protein
- 2.5g carbohydrates
- 1g fat
That’s a tremendous nutrition breakdown!
In fact, it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen in this price range. With 31 grams of protein per 39 gram scoop, that gives Diet Protein Ultra a huge 80% protein per serving, which is significantly higher than most of the leading supplement industry brands.
Also by providing us with a whopping 31 grams of protein per serving they’ve done enough to maximize muscle protein synthesis – and then some!
A 2009 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that optimal muscle protein synthesis requires a dose of 20-40 grams of protein. Interestingly, while 40 grams did yield a higher anabolic response, there was a noticeable drop-off point once the dose climbed above 20g. (6)
H2N Nutrition have left NOTHING to chance, going right in the middle!
H2N Nutrition Diet Protein Ultra: The Bad
Here’s the thing…
I’ve never seen a PERFECT supplement. It’s my job to identify problems no matter how big or small, and I can definitely do that here.
The inclusion of a so-called “fat burning blend” lets down Diet Protein Ultra:
- 585mg conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
- 546mg acai berry extract
- 195mg acetyl l-carnitine
- 156mg green tea extract
I do not want to be too harsh on H2N Nutrition for this, because these ingredients are commonplace in “diet whey” products, but the fact is we need to stop doing s**t like this if we want better supplements. The dose of each ingredient is too small to make a noticeable difference to results and, to be honest, research does not even support the “fat burner” tag on any of them!
- Studies on using CLA for fat loss are mixed (to say the least)…
- Acai berry is often said to “speed up the metabolism” although no study has ever shown this to be the case…
- Acetyl l-carnitine (ALCAR) was once considered “the next big thing” for weight loss but studies in the early 90s killed that notion after revealing it was about as useful as the 2016 Ghostbusters remake…
- Likewise, green tea extract is thoroughly undeserving of its strange reputation as a “fat burner”, with several clinical trials showing it is completely ineffective! (7, 8, 9, 10)
Finally, we gotta go back to that protein blend. Have you ever had digestion issues from a protein shake?
That’s because most supplement manufacturers (this one included) opt for whey protein concentrate as their fast release source of protein. If I want to nit-pick (and you know I do), I say this is a mistake.
Studies suggest that about 68% of the world’s population has lactose intolerance (or at least a mild form of it), so if protein shakes usually leave you feeling fuller than a Tokyo subway train it may be worth avoiding this ingredient. You could erase the problem by switching to a high grade whey protein (such as WPC80) or using a whey protein isolate. (11)
H2N Nutrition Diet Protein Ultra Review: Russ’ Final Verdict
This is a good whey protein supplement from a solid brand, and I’m giving it a very respectable 3 1/2 stars today.
Their original diet whey formula (released way back in 2013) was already decent, but they’ve found numerous ways to improve it and in doing so have cemented their place as a supplement company to keep your eye on in the next few years. Diet Protein Ultra is capable of challenging any of the so-called bigger brands in terms of quality, effectiveness and price.
Now it sits among the highest rated whey protein supplements on my website.
- Reidy P. T., et al. Protein blend ingestion following resistance exercise promotes human muscle protein synthesis. J Nutr (2013).
- Kim, S., et al. Taurine Induces Anti-Anxiety by Activating Strychnine-Sensitive Glycine Receptor in Vivo. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism (2009).
- Moloney M. A., et al. Two weeks taurine supplementation reverses endothelial dysfunction in young male type 1 diabetics. Diab Vasc Dis Res (2010).
- Gaullier J. M., et al. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation for 1 y reduces body fat mass in healthy overweight humans. Am J Clin Nutr (2004).
- Giles G. E., et al. Differential cognitive effects of energy drink ingredients: caffeine, taurine, and glucose. Pharmacol Biochem Behav (2012).
- Moore, D. R., et al. Ingested protein dose response of muscle and albumin protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men. Am J Clin Nutr (2009).
- Whigham L. D., et al. Efficacy of conjugated linoleic acid for reducing fat mass: a meta-analysis in humans. Am J Clin Nutr (2007).
- Decombaz J., et al. Effect of L-carnitine on submaximal exercise metabolism after depletion of muscle glycogen. Med Sci Sports Exerc (1993).
- Hursel R., et al. The effects of green tea on weight loss and weight maintenance: a meta-analysis. Int J Obes (Lond) (2009).
- Belza A., et al. The effect of caffeine, green tea and tyrosine on thermogenesis and energy intake. Eur J Clin Nutr (2009).
- Storhaug C. L., et al. Country, regional, and global estimates for lactose malabsorption in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol (2017).