Whey is extracted from the liquid part of milk, that much is true. However, have you ever taken stock of where this milk has come from? This is what it means to properly source your whey protein and there are 3 key considerations to be made in this important regard.
- Does the whey protein come from grass fed cows or grain fed cows?
What a cow feeds on will ultimately determine the nature of the whey that its milk produces. This is why you need to look at whether it was fed with grass or grain. In the past, most cows were fed grass. However as the demand for beef and dairy grew, most farmers switched to grain based diets in a bid to improve production. This is unfortunate because recent research has found that there is a distinct difference in the nutritional value between beef and dairy from grass fed and grain fed cows.
Grass fed whey protein improves your fatty acid profile more than grain fed whey protein does.
It is a proven fact that there are certain fats that are essential to the optimal functioning of the body. Grass fed beef and dairy has been found to contain and promote the production of numerous beneficial fatty acids in comparison to grain fed products.
A good example of this is the review that was published in the BioMed Central journal in 2010. It found decades of research which established the fact that grass fed diets in cattle improved the content of beneficial fatty acids such as omega 3. This is amazing news considering the amazing anti-inflammatory effects that omega 3 has on the body which improves your health in general. CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is also another notable fatty acid that the research found in more amounts in grass fed products. CLA has been found to improve the body’s muscle strength, a welcome advantage to anyone pursuing fitness and in need of more endurance.
Grass fed whey protein contains more micronutrients than grain fed whey protein
Not only is grass fed whey a better source of healthy fats than grain fed whey, it is also a better source of vitamins and minerals as well. Grass fed protein has higher amounts of antioxidants such as glutathione, a well-known reducer of oxidative stress which by extension reduces muscle damage and improves recovery time. It is also rich in precursors for vitamin A and E, which promotes improved growth and reduced inflammation.
It is clear from these advantages that when choosing your whey protein, it is prudent to make sure that it is grass fed if you want the most benefits out of it.
Is the whey protein rGBH free?
The term rGBH is an abbreviation for “Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone”. It is a synthetic type of hormone that dairy farmers have been injecting into their cows for years in order to boost milk production.
The problem with this is that milk from cows that have been treated with rGBH contains higher levels of the hormone insulin-like growth factor or IGF-1. Earlier studies linked increased levels of this hormone in humans and the development of tumors that could ultimately be cancerous.
It does not help that cows that have been treated with rGBH also tend to develop more health complications such as udder infections. They end up needing to be treated with antibiotics, which could possibly influence the quality of the milk produced.
These are all matters of concern and as research continues to be conducted on this type of milk, rGBH-free milk remains to be the safest option for overall health. This automatically translates to the whey protein produced from this milk as well.
Is there glyphosate in the corn?
The nature of the grain that is used to feed cows is an important factor to consider, as is the case with glyphosate in corn.
Developed by Barley’s Monsanto back in 1974, glyphosate is an industrial herbicide that was rose to fame as one of the world’s number one weed killers. Unfortunately, studies found a link between it and the development of cancer. Many more studies and analyses have since emerged to further prove this point, and the herbicide has since been banned in several countries in the world, but not all of them.
The only way to truly be sure that the whey protein you are sourcing is glyphosate free is by only going for its grass fed form. This eliminates any chance of glyphosate exposure, because it can be hard to tell if grain fed whey is glyphosate-free.