Review: Vyotech Oryx Goat Whey: “The World’s Perfect Protein™?”

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Note: Oryx Goat Whey is discontinued.

At first glance, Vyotech’s Oryx seems to be a pretty special supplement.

The majority of protein powders used by bodybuilders are based on bovine (cow) milk proteins.

Oryx, on the other hand, is advertised as a “Goat Whey” protein. Vyotech claims that Oryx is “The World’s Perfect Protein™” and the ads “pile it on” to make sure we get the point.

The Protein
Goat milk protein has the highest bioavailability of any protein on the planet, in fact it comes from one of the world’s oldest domesticated animals whose milk is very similar in chemical structure and properties to human milk…

Highest in BCAA’s, BV & 100% Lactose Free
ORYX Goat Whey Protein has the highest concentration of BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids) of any protein…

Highest Absorption
Leading cow based whey proteins have on average a 40-50% absorption rate, where as ORYX Goat Whey has nearly a 94% absorption rate…

The Problem
Goat Milk has an extremely sour and bitter taste…There’s been no way to get over the foul flavor of goats milk…

Vyotech’s Solution: Exclusive Extraction Process
…The whey is extracted and processed promoting a system of enzymes that disunite the glucose molecules during the extraction process…

If all of this is true, then Oryx would be the perfect protein supplement. But is it? Let’s take a closer look…

1. Goat milk protein has the highest bioavailability of any protein on the planet.

It’s true that goat milk has some advantages over cow’s milk: differences in the structures of certain proteins make it somewhat less allergenic and easier to digest. There’s little evidence, however, that the protein is more “bioavailable” or nutritionally superior. It may be better tolerated in individual cases, but that’s as much as can be said.

2. Goat milk is very similar in chemical structure and properties to human milk.

This is simply wrong. As can be seen in the table below, goat milk is much closer to cow’s milk than to human milk.

Constituent Human Cow Goat
Protein 1.2 3.3 3.4
Lactose 7.0 4.8 4.7
Fat 3.8 3.8 4.1
Ash (minerals) 0.21 0.71 0.77
Total solids 12.4 12.8 13.0

This is also true for the overall protein and amino acid composition, as noted by specialists from the University of California.

3. ORYX Goat Whey Protein has the highest concentration of BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids) of any protein.

According to the label, Oryx contains 5900 mg of BCAAs per 33.5 g serving, or 176 mg/g of powder. This is pretty high…but not the highest. It isn’t hard to find other products with more: a good CFM whey isolate, for example, can contain over 240 mg of BCAAs per g of powder.

4. Leading cow based whey proteins have on average a 40-50% absorption rate, where as ORYX Goat Whey has nearly a 94% absorption rate…

I have only two words to say in response to this: prove it. A recent study on infant formula suggests that the quality and digestibility of goat and cow milk proteins are actually about the same. This makes perfect sense, given the similarities between the two milks.

5. Goat Milk has an extremely sour and bitter taste…There’s been no way to get over the foul flavor of goats milk….

Goat milk tastes baa-d? Who knew?

According to myth, the infant Zeus was nourished by the milk of the goat Amalthea. It’s hard to believe that goat milk is really that nasty, if it was once considered good enough for a god. In reality, goat milk tastes much the same as cow’s milk, with only a hint of muskiness (from certain short chain fatty acids) that’s not the least bit “foul.”

5. The whey is extracted and processed promoting a system of enzymes that disunite the glucose molecules…The end product is a protein source that is more easily and rapidly absorbed and does not raise blood sugar levels or spike insulin.  Most importantly the foul, bitter taste is removed…

This is pure gibberish: there are no “glucose molecules” in goat milk to “disunite.” The sugar in goat milk is lactose. Lactose has a very low glycemic index, which means it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels in the first place. Now, some people can’t digest lactose, so breaking it down with the appropriate enzymes can be helpful. This does nothing, however, to improve the digestion or absorption of the protein; nor does it affect the flavor.

It’s also been proven that milk proteins can spike insulin in the absence of carbohydrate or a significant rise in blood sugar. Needless to state, no protein purification process can prevent this, no matter how “exclusive” it is.

If all this isn’t enough, there’s yet another issue to consider. Oryx is defined as “Goat Whey” on the label, and the description on Vyotech’s web site clearly states:

“ORYX Goat Whey Protein is a proprietary blend (patent pending) of goat milk whey protein isolates, concentrates, and peptides obtained from several species of goats.”

The “fine print” on the container, however, tells a different story.

Oryx Goat Proprietary Blend (from milk) 33.5 g
Goat Protein Concentrate, Goat Protein Peptides, Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Miceller [sic] Casein

Other Ingredients: cocoa, natural and artificial flavor, acesulfame potassium, sucralose.

There is no mention of goat whey protein in the list of ingredients. “Goat protein” implies a total milk protein was used (i.e., casein + whey). Furthermore, the sources of the whey protein isolate, concentrate and micellar casein are not specified, which leads me to suspect that these are ordinary proteins from cow’s milk.

In other words, Oryx appears to be a blend of goat AND cow milk proteins. It’s a “goat whey” protein only in the sense that it contains both total goat + whey protein powders.

Needless to state, this does not make Vyotech – or Oryx – look good.

Nonetheless, it’s also important to evaluate a product on its merits, and not just on how well it lives up to the hype. When you do this, it’s possible to view Oryx more favorably. As noted above, while goat milk protein may not be any better than cow’s milk protein, it doesn’t appear to be worse either. It’s a viable source of high-quality protein.

Oryx is also pretty tasty. I purchased the “Swiss Chocolate” flavor. Blended in milk, it made a satisfying, high-protein drink that even my teenaged kids—who are highly suspicious of my various muscle-building concoctions—enjoyed.

All things considered, Oryx appears to be a decent product—in spite of the questionable advertising and labeling. It may not be a true goat whey protein, but there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with it—it’s just a spin on your basic casein-whey blend. It’s also competitively priced, so if you’re looking for a protein powder that’s a little different and tastes good, Oryx may be worth a try.

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