OnUp Water

Why 22g?

Why 22g?

Many whey protein supplements offer 20 grams of protein. Some only have 7g or 15g. So, have you been wondering why OnUp Protein Water has 22 grams? This was not by accident! We very deliberately chose our protein level to ensure you get the most out of OnUp and the most out of every single workout. 

In previous posts, Why Protein? and Why Whey?, we discussed why our bodies need the essential amino acids offered in protein to keep it healthy and strong and how whey is the most efficient source of protein. Let’s dig even deeper on this topic.

You may have heard the term “BCAAs”, which stands for branch chain amino acids. The three BCAAs are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are special essential amino acids that help power our muscles during and after exercise. This is because they are metabolised in the muscles as opposed to the liver, where other amino acids are broken down.

Leucine is the critical BCAA because it is responsible for repairing our muscles. Initiating muscle repair, through a process called muscle protein synthesis (MPS) is much like flipping a light switch. According to Donald Layman, PhD, Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois, a leucine threshold of 2.5 grams must be hit to trigger the process of muscle repair. 

So because we want to make sure OnUp Protein Water really does its job as a recovery product to help you get stronger, we designed it with an eye on that 2.5g leucine level. You guessed it, this means that we needed 22 grams of whey protein! So that is exactly what we chose to do. 

In our post on Why Whey?, we explained that Whey is the highest quality protein supplement. This ties in with two implications here that we just love.

  1. Repair muscles with less! After working out we don’t want to put a giant or super thick drink in our stomach. Whey protein isolate gets us to that muscle repair trigger using 30-50% less protein than if we used soy or other plant-based protein supplements!Chart of EAA and Leucine content in different protein sources
  2. Consume fewer calories! We LOVE that we can repair our muscles effectively at such a low caloric intake! We get to reserve those calories for other things we love.
Chart of calories to achieve 2.5g leucine
    Not all whey protein is processed the same, which can impact how much is required to hit the leucine threshold. OnUp's whey protein has a higher percentage of leucine than some other whey protein isolates and actually only requires 22 grams and 90 calories to hit the leucine threshold. Another reason to love it!

    In summary, if you’re looking for the post-workout recovery benefits of protein to maintain or build muscle, it’s essential to hit the 2.5g leucine threshold to initiate muscle repair. Anything less and you won’t hit that trigger point. At OnUp, our goal is to provide you with a recovery beverage that has everything you need so you can be at your best for the rest of your day. That’s why we created OnUp with 22g of protein. As we like to say, 22 g is key!



    1. Leucine Content in Common Foods, Whey Protein Institute 
    2. What is the best protein source for building muscle?
    3. Researchers Point to the Optimal Protein Dose, Timing & Distribution to Maximize Muscle
    4. Profile: Dr. Donald Layman, PhD, Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois
    5. What is the best protein source for building muscle?