An Overview of Whey Protein Powder
Many of my clients ask me what the best protein powders are. Well, it’s not as easy as, “This is good for you and this is bad for you”. It depends on your unique biochemistry, goals, and the quality of the protein source. I would like to explain the differences in whey protein powder and provide my favorite brands based on research.
Whey Protein describes a group of milk proteins that are isolated from whey, which is the left over product of milk after it is coagulated during the cheese making process. You can read more about the process of making whey here. Whey protein is a dairy source that is usually derived from cows. If you are lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy your choice for protein powder should not be whey. Common symptoms of a food sensitivity are bloating, cramping, gas, loose stools, aches, and headaches. If you are experiencing these symptoms I invite you to consider testing for food sensitivities.
*If you do have a reaction to dairy, then please stay tuned in for my next blog post, which will discuss plant based protein powders. Now, if you are okay with whey, it can be a great way to go (pun intended) particularly for body builders and athletes.
- It contains immunoglobulins, which help to support your immune system.
- Delivers bioavailable amino acids and cysteine, which assist in preserving lean body tissue.
- Contains Leucine (a BCAA ), which is a powerful muscle builder.
- Is a precursor for the powerful antioxidant Glutathione. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals.
- Contains Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), an omega-6 fatty acid that increases fat burning.
Possible Adverse Effects
Evidence prepared by The Natural Standard Research Collaboration indicate that whey protein may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Whey protein may also interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver’s “cytochrome P450” enzyme system. Whey protein may cause low blood pressure.
Types of Whey Protein
- Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) – Usually 80% protein, and the rest is lactose, fat, minerals, and moisture.
- Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) – Contains between 90-95% protein, and the rest is primarly lactose and fat.
- Hydrolyzed Whey Protein – The long protein chains in the whey protein have been broken down into shorter peptides chains.
- Undenatured – This protein has the same structure and proportion as in the original substance with full biological activity.
Quality Of Protein
For an accelerated metabolism you want to consume nutrients that quickly breakdown in your body, so that they can be utilized for energy and enhanced metabolism. The quality of the protein powder is of utmost importance. A poor quality protein protein will not breakdown easily and tax your liver and metabolism. A high quality pure protein powder will fuel your body and assist in building muscle.
I recommend choosing a natural high quality undenatured from pasture-raised grass-fed cows (an excellent source of omega-3’s), that is rBGH-free (hormone free). Below are some of my hand picked selections.