When pursuing your health and fitness goals, the kind of nutrition that you consume can be a make or break decision. Whey protein powder is an especially important addition to anyone looking to build muscle, for its proven ability to boost growth by increasing amino acid content in the body.*
The unfortunate truth is that ever since the effectiveness of whey protein came to light, its popularity skyrocketed and many variations of it begun to flood the market. The influx of so many forms of whey protein also came with its fair share of subpar products. Today, most people have a hard time identifying a high quality whey protein.
This is why in this article we will demonstrate to you the two key secrets in whey protein powder selection that will help you determine the best of the best in quality. To find the best whey protein, there are two important aspects that determine the true quality of the product; sourcing and processing.
Grass-Fed Whey vs Regular Whey
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 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.
As research continues to suggest, rGBH-free milk appears 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 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.
Cold Processed Whey vs Regular Whey
Once you have the sourcing of your whey protein down, it is important to look at how it is processed. The steps taken during processing could also affect the nature of the end product, and knowing how the whey protein that you enjoy came to be could mean a lot to your fitness goals and your health.
- Cold Filtered vs. Heat/Acid Processing
There are two different ways to make whey protein, and that is by either cold filtering or filtering using heat and solvents.
As its name suggests, cold filtering does not include the use of heat at all in the production. Cold filtering is the best form of processing because it produces un-denatured whey protein. The term “un-denatured” simply means that the curd has been drained from the milk, impurities have been filtered out, and the resulting whey has been dried in cold temperatures, preserving all of the active compounds in powder form.
You do not get un-denatured whey protein from acid filtered processing. It often involves the introduction of heat through hot ceramic filtering and acid washing by adding solvents which interferes with the balance of the natural whey ph. The entire process actively denatures the whey, and can introduce toxins which the body certainly does not need.
The important point here is to make sure that the whey protein you get was processed by cold filtering, which is the best possible means of production.
- Flash Pasteurization vs. Regular Pasteurization
The milk that eventually produces your whey protein always needs to be pasteurized, as a standard procedure that sterilizes and makes it safe for consumption. The method of pasteurization can affect the quality of the milk however, and by extension the quality of the whey protein produced.
Flash pasteurization is also known as the High Temperature, Short Time (HTST) method. Now as you can imagine, it involves subjecting the milk to high temperatures over a short period of time (About 15 seconds). It not only sterilizes the milk, but also improves its natural shelf life by killing microorganisms that can cause the milk to spoil. The shorter the amount of time the milk is exposed to heat during pasteurization the better. This is required by law in the United States but HTST is the better option for preventing denaturing of the protein in the dairy.
In contrast, regular pasteurization exposes milk to such high temperatures for a much longer period of time (minutes).
It follows that whey protein produced from milk that has undergone flash pasteurization is of better quality than whey produced from regualar pasteurized milk. This should guide your decisions when choosing not only whey protein, but also your milk in general.
Making the decision to find the best whey protein possible can be a difficult task, but hopefully this guide provides a great start. Now you know precisely what to look for, and what good it can do for you. Here at Nutrology, we pride ourselves in producing grass-fed whey protein that is un-denatured and processed from regularly pasteurized milk. You can be sure that with our products, there is no risk of exposure to potentially harmful compounds such as glyphosate and rGBH. We value naturally grown products that are invaluable to your health.