Another recipe that people have been asking me for is the Prolon L-Drink that’s in the Fasting Mimicking Diet kit. Well, I am not sure you will like what I have to say today: I can’t help you make it at home! Let’s talk about what purpose the Prolon L-Drink serves and what else you can do to gain the same benefits.
What’s In the Prolon L-Drink?
As usual, when I want to recreate something from the Prolon kit, I start by looking at the ingredients. Here’s what you will find in the Prolon L-Drink:
- Vegetable glycerin
- Natural flavors
- Citric acid
- Potassium sorbate
What Does the Prolon L-Drink Do?
Looking at the list of ingredients, I started wondering: “What is the purpose of this drink?” I did some digging and here’s what I found:
It looks like the Prolon L-Drink from the FMD diet serves two main functions:
- Protect your amino acids
- Provide hydration
It’s fairly easy to find another way to stay hydrated, right? Drink water! What about protecting your amino acids? What does that even mean?
Fasting and Lean Body Mass
Your lean body mass is the difference between your total body weight and your body fat weight. Basically, Lean mass is everything besides fat, including muscle. Weight loss will always come from both fat and lean body mass. That’s why it’s important to exercise. Some evidence seems to show that less lean mass loss occurs when weight loss is achieved through intermittent fasting than calorie restriction. Either way, during the modified fast (or the Fasting Mimicking Diet if you purchase the Prolon Kit), you are severely restricting calories. I guess the idea is to minimize muscle loss.
This study states: “It is challenging to consume a significant caloric deficit while maintaining lean body mass regardless of macronutrient distribution.” Makes sense!
Amino Acids and Lean Body Mass
Amino acids, the components of proteins are the building blocks of your body. The potential of higher protein diets to increase muscle mass is increasingly clear. Consequently, it looks like the L-Drink in the Prolon drink protects your amino acids without increasing your protein intake. But does it truly do that? Let’s look at each of the ingredients and how they work.
Prolon Drink Ingredients
I am curious to learn whether the claims of what the Prolon L-Drink does can be verified. How do the ingredients cooperate to protect your amino acids and increase hydration?
First, we have vegetable glycerin. Glycerin has been used as an additive in some nutritive bars because it offers the following benefits:
- Hydration potential
- Slower degradation to blood glucose compared to carbohydrates.
As I was researching vegetable glycerin, I learned that it is also commonly used as a pre-workout supplement because it helps your body retain hydration and provides a quick source of energy that will not spike your blood sugar.
Glycerin and Body Protein
Glycerin is helpful to hydrate your body, but I also found some information about how it protects your amino acids. I learned that since it offers a usable source of energy, it helps preserve body protein.
I am not going to bother with natural flavors because it’s obvious that their main purpose is to add flavor. What about citric acid? Citric acid is mostly used as a preservative in foods, but it does have some health benefits. It may have a protective effect on the body. It can serve as an antioxidant.
The Benefits of the L-Drink Without the L-Drink
First, I want to say you don’t really need to make an effort to preserve your amino acids during a 5-day fast: a 5-day fast is not considerable enough to worry about muscle loss. Moreover, in the next section, I will explain how intermittent fasting can help mitigate the mass loss that is inevitable with weight loss. I did want to write this post about the L-Drink because some of you were asking me about it.
How to Pick Your Gycerin
Vegetable glycerin, also known as glycerol, is chemically classified as a sugar alcohol, but it is more similar to sugars: it is readily absorbed and is probably converted into glucose in the human body.
Make sure you get vegetable-grade glycerin that is USP grade. USP is a chemical grade of sufficient purity to meet or exceed requirements of the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP); acceptable for food, drug, or medicinal use.
For example, this De La Cruz Glycerin is USP grade.
How Much Glycerin Should You Take
From what I could find, it looks like the L-Drink is taken daily when your purchase the Prolon kit. If I were to take vegetable glycerin as a substitute, how much would I need to consume? It was challenging to find what constitutes one dose, but I discovered some information about a study in which the participants who consumed glycerin experienced an increased athletic performance. In the context of the study, they consumed 2.4 grams of glycerin per pound of body weight.
I read another study about The Effect of Glycerol Supplements on Aerobic and Anaerobic Performance. The safe dose of 2.4 grams per pound of body weight was confirmed there. It also talked about how glycerol is actually produced in your body from glucose, proteins, and more. However, under normal health conditions, it accounts for a fraction of glucose production (5%). During prolonged fasting, glycerol is the only source for gluconeogenesis, since glycogen reserves are depleted within two fasting days.
How Much Glycerin in the Prolon Kit
In the context of the studies, if you weigh 150 pounds, you would consume 360 grams of glycerin daily. One ounce of glycerin weighs 37.3 grams. That means 9.67 ounces (or 285 ml), which you would drink throughout the day. Keep in mind that one ounce of glycerin has 22 calories, 0 g of protein, 0 g of fat, and 28 g of carbs.
However, one serving of L-Drink bottle has 25 calories, 0 g of protein, 0 g of fat, and only 5 g of carbs. I am assuming that the difference in carbs is due to the other components in the L-Drink. There must be less than a quarter of an ounce of glycerin in one bottle of the L-Drink.
How Much Glycerin to DIY the FMD
If you are sticking to the fasting-mimicking guideline, you cannot consume 269 grams of carbs in the form of glycerin. You would need to adjust the quantity to fit your macros.
For example, on a typical day in my Fasting Mimicking Diet Meal Plan, you consume around 100 grams of carbs. It puts it into perspective to even consume only once ounce of glycerin (which provides 28 grams of carbs).
My advice would be to skip the glycerin completely if you are following a DIY FMD meal plan.
The macros for Day 2 of one of my meal plans
Some Other Options for When You Are Finished With Your Modified Fast
Vegetable glycerin helps you stay hydrated and contributes to preserving your amino acids during your modified fast without increasing your protein consumption. The low protein aspect of the modified fast contributes to autophagy (cellular repair). You want to make sure your protein intake accounts for only 9% of your overall macros during a modified fast.
After your modified fast, you can take some amino acids to preserve your lean body mass while losing weight.
Super Amino 23 is my favorite pre-workout supplement. I notice a big difference in my level of endurance when I take it. Second, it provides a source of rapidly absorbing vegan protein, which helps preserve lean body mass. I don’t know, it may be easier to stomach than a glass of vegetable glycerin. It’s up to you!
The Power Shake in itself is an excellent source of antioxidants. It’s filled with super greens and healthy fats. However, it does only have 2 mg of vitamin C. That’s why I like C from Nature to give me an added boost of vitamin C. It’s a powerful combination of Indian Amalaki, Acerola, Camu Camu, Rosehips, and citrus bioflavonoids that is unsurpassed by any synthetic or manufactured vitamin C product.
Intermittent Fasting and Muscle Loss
As I mentioned, we are now going to quickly go over how intermittent fasting in itself helps protect your lean body mass. Also, as I mentioned, any weight loss will result in lean mass loss. However, some researchers believe that intermittent fasting may help protect lean mass during weight loss. It’s not a consensus and more research needs to be done.
Intermittent Fasting and Protein Intake
I did enjoy reading about a study that compared two groups of men that completed an 8-week training program. None of the men had previously completed a weight training program. One group followed a normal diet, the other group consumed all their calories within a 4-hour window four days a week. By the end of the study, the time-restricted eating group had increased their strength and preserved their lean body mass. On the other hand, the other group had increased their strength AND increased their lean body mass. The researchers concluded that perhaps intermittent fasting didn’t allow them to consume enough protein.
It’s simple! To gain muscle, you need to consume more calories than you burn. While losing weight, it makes sense that you are not going to increase muscle mass. Intermittent fasting may help, but a protein supplement like the Super Amino 23 or vegetable glycerin are smart additions to your regimen.
DIY Prolon L-Drink Video
I hope you are not too disappointed that I didn’t tell you could recreate the Prolon L-Drink at home! At least, now you understand why it’s part of the Prolon kit and you have some alternatives. Before I did the research for this post, I didn’t even know why the Super Aminos were part of the 10-Day Transformation. I love how I get to learn with you all sometimes.