Protein supplements play a big part in any training programme. It’s not just for meathead guys in the gym who stack loads of weights on the bench. Runners, spinners, anyone who does any sort of intense exercise – male or female, needs a good post-workout protein shake to build and repair muscle and help recovery.
I thought i’d do a quick comparison of two shakes that I have used that are fairly similar in their ingredients, but very different in price. The first is Rebuild Strength by Herbalife.
This protein shake is part of Herbalife’s 24 range, which they launched a couple years ago to enter into the high-end sports nutrition industry. Each serving of Rebuild Strength will only give you a modest 25g of protein. The mix also combines a specific blend of carbohydrates that triggers the release of insulin, which in turn increases the uptake of protein by the muscles (I attended a training event by John Heiss, Sports Director at Herbalife). Rebuild Strength mixes really easily and tastes great with water, and even better with milk. The full retail price for a customer is £79 per tub, cost price for a Herbalife Distributor is £54 per tub. So they’re not cheap!
After using Rebuild Strength for around 2 years and almost bankrupting myself in the process, I was keen to try an alternative that I knew had come onto the market. Hydro Builder is Optimum Nutrition’s response to Rebuild Strength. It comes in two flavours – chocolate and vanilla, provides 34.5g of protein per serving, and is around £34. One of the main differences in ingredients is that Hydro Builder also contains creatine, which can give you a bit of a boost in energy and give you a quick pump after a week of use. I would say this is where Hydro Builder’s benefits end for me. I’ve tried both flavours and they were both pretty poor. They both had a funny aftertaste that made drinking your post-workout shake a bit of a chore.
Unless I get to visit one of their manufacturing site i’ll never quite know what Herbalife do that makes Rebuild Strength so damn expensive, so I will just have to assume that the quality and purity of their ingredients is what makes it a premium supplement. It is well worth using Rebuild Strength if you can afford it, however if you can put up with the taste of Hydro Builder then good luck to ya!