Best Whey Protein
Struggling to get enough protein into your day? Then try whey.
How do you choose the best whey protein to include in a healthy, balanced diet? Find out on this page!
The processing of milk yields two proteins; casein (semi-solid curds) and whey (liquid).
The whey portion contains many minerals and health-promoting enzymes and compounds.
Some cultures historically used fermented whey to treat a range of health conditions from digestive problems to joint and ligament pains (1).
Modern society processes whey by filtration, ion exchange or other methods, to create several different types of whey.
The final processed whey protein liquid is then warmed and spray dried to form whey powder.
Additional processing of the dry powder affects the nutritional value of whey; it removes fat and lactose, some processing splits large proteins to reduce the potential for whey protein allergy (1).
Generally speaking, higher protein whey powders have less
, lactose and mineral content.
• Whey protein isolate : 90 – 95% protein, very little fat, lactose or minerals
• Whey protein concentrate : 25 – 89% protein, lower protein versions have more fat, lactose and minerals
• Hydrolyzed whey protein : variable protein content, large protein structures are split to form smaller proteins which reduces the allergic potential
• Undenatured whey concentrate : 25 – 89% protein, processed to preserve natural protein structures and have typically higher amounts of immunoglobulins and lactoferrin which have various health benefits
The best whey protein products have three features:
1. They are processed under low heat instead of high heat
2. They are processed at a steady pH (a measure of acidity)
3. They use high quality milk from organic, pasture-fed cows.
The first two factors preserve the biological activity, original structure of the protein and the fats that are bound to the protein (1).
Non-denatured organic whey protein made from organic grass pasture-fed cows, is thought to provide higher immune-enhancing activity of whey products (1).
The best whey protein manufacturers will be happy to tell you how they make their products and have nothing to hide.
Use the three features above to help you research the best whey protein products.
Like other protein supplements, the best whey protein supplements are portable, store well and are easy to use.
whey protein shake is delicious, portable muscle-fuel.
You can use whey protein for weight loss or to enhance hypertrophy (building muscle).
Natural whey protein powder:
• Is rich in immune-enhancing properties
• Can act as an antioxidant, antiviral and antibacterial agent because of its ability to covert the amino acid cysteine into glutathione, a potent antioxidant in our cells (1)
• Is a complete
• Is a more bioavailable protein (more efficiently absorbed and used by the body) compared to vegetable protein sources
• Has more branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s) than other protein foods; BCAA’s are important for tissue growth and repair
• Is a good post-workout supplement to help build muscle and burn fat
How does your best whey protein stack up against soy protein?
There are clear differences in the way our bodies use, store and excrete these proteins because of their different structures and different modes of digestion (3).
• soy proteins are more easily digested and readily broken down than whey protein
• whey protein seems to promote more protein synthesis reactions in the body than soy
• a high protein diet (at least 2g of protein per kg body weight per day) reduces the efficiency of the body’s utilization of protein, especially when the protein source is soy
Overall, in terms of resistance training to burn fat and build muscle, milk or whey proteins taken after a workout are better than soy proteins for enhancing lean muscle gain (2).
Comparing whey and casein, commercial whey protein has higher biological value than casein. A study of rats showed that whey protein had more positive effects on the rats’:
• blood sugar regulation
• fatty acid profile
• HDL (good) cholesterol levels
• paraoxonase enzymes, which lower the risk of
coronary artery disease (2).
To date, no serious side effects have been reported from the use of whey protein and whey protein allergy is considered very uncommon (1).
However, people with milk allergies or lactose intolerance may have some minor gastrointestinal problems from using whey protein (1).
A review of several studies (meta-analysis) indicated that atopic dermatitis in babies was reduced when 100% whey protein partially hydrolyzed formula was given instead of cow’s milk formula (4).
However, about 3% of infants have a reaction (IgE-mediated) to cow’s milk protein. These infants may react to whey. Hydrolyzed rice protein is a good alternative and may also be more palatable than hydrolyzed whey.
Soy is not suitable for infants of less than 6 months old, with food allergies (5).
If you’re considering supplementing with whey protein and suffer from a
milk or lactose allergy or intolerance
, it would be safest to use an alternative protein supplement.
2 Haraguchi, F.K., Pedrosa, M.L., de Paula, H, dos Santos, R.C. and Silva, M.E. 2010. Evaluation of biological and biochemical quality of whey protein. Journal of Medicinal Food 13 (6), 1505-1509.
3 Phillips, S.M., Hartman, J.W. and Wilkinson, S.B. 2005. Review: Dietary protein to support anabolism with resistance exercise in young men. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 24 (2), 134S-139S.
4 Alexander, D.D. and Cabana, M.D. 2010. Partially hydrolyzed 100% whey protein infant formula and reduced risk of atopic dermatitis: a meta-analysis. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 50 (4), 422-430.
5 Reche, M., Pascual, C., Fiandor, A., Polanco, I., Rivero-Urgell, M., Chifre, R., Johnson, S and Martin-Esteban, M. 2010. The effect of a partially hydrolyzed formula based on rice protein in the treatment of infants with cow’s milk protein allergy. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology 21, 577-585.