Understanding Whey Protein

Whey protein is the biggest and most advertised supplement in the supplement world. They make so much money off of these supplements that many think its an absolute necessity to consume after working out. Understanding what the body needs and how whey affects the body is essential in doing your body more good than harm through protein supplementation.

Whey is derived from milk. This means that you have to consider the cow it comes from, just like protein. Corn-fed milk isn’t as good a grass-fed. In milk, 87% of the content is water, and 13% is milk solids. Out of the 13% milk solids, 27% protein, the rest being fat, lactose and minerals. This protein is then divided into two main types of protein, Casein and Whey. 80% of milk protein is Casein and 20% is Whey.

The above diagram explains the mumbo jumbo of percentages in an easier format. This can again be broken down into different types of casein and why protein, but let’s just forget about that since they are considered to all be beneficial after intense exercise. Whey protein is then derived through a bunch of chemical processes as the leftover product of cheese. The interesting thing about this is depending on how the company takes out the protein; there can be a profound effect on how useful the protein is to the body. For instance, when companies use the cheaper method of extraction they denature the protein, which can make it much less useful for the body. Compare that to low temperature micro filtration techniques which are known to keep protein natured and effective.

Avoiding Bad Whey Supplements

The problem is that these supplement companies are very secretive and don’t tell you much about these problems. There is a Consumer Reports that showed a lot of the major brands like Muscle Milk showed signs of heavy metals within the protein at levels higher than allowed.

This is simply dangerous and should be avoided. To find a good source of whey protein, you need to look for low temperature protein concentrates and isolates can cause denaturing. Isolates are usually higher in protein content, but concentrates have a higher % of EAA and leucine. Every 10 grams of high quality protein should contain about 2 grams of leucine and 50% EAA’s. Since optimal levels are around 10 grams before and 20 grams after workouts, you don’t need as much protein as supplement companies suggest. Also consider that protein supplementation gets absorbed by the body better when used in tangent with carbohydrates at a 1:3 ration.

Suggested Pre Workout Mixture

My suggestion for a great pre-workout meal on the cheap would be 3 eggs with 2 slices of toast. This would get you the fat and carbs needed for optimal protein synthesis. I would suggest buying a high quality protein that has no heavy metals and low temp filtration for optimal results. Although the powders are more expensive, you wouldn’t have to use as much of it and consequently much better for your health.Thanks for reading Understanding Whey Protein.

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