TCF Chandler/Gilbert Personal Trainer Explains the Difference Between Cheap & Quality Whey Protein!Posted by Tyrone Cane on Jun 12, 2012 in Personal Training Blog | 0 comments
TCF would like to clear up the misconception that whey protein is just for body builders and athletes. Whey protein has long been the protein of choice for athletes and body builders because it is the most easily absorbed, purest so
urce of complete protein available. But this is important for everyone, not just athletes and body builders. Plus, it comes in a convenient powder that can be added to a variety of foods making it a great choice for people on the go. Whey protein is also so pure that it is perfect for babies (after being weaned off breast milk), growing children (strengthens bones), teenagers (helps prevent and treat ADD and ADHD), and adults (provides extra energy for busy people and slows aging as the ability to digest protein lessens). Whey protein isolate is very easily absorbed and is extremely anabolic, meaning it helps build muscle mass. It is also a powerful immune booster that helps prevent sickness and disease.
TCF wants you to be aware, however, that there are good and bad qualities of proteins out in the market. First, TCF will provide some facts on low-quality (cheap, inexpensive) protein, and secondly, TCF will provide some information how to find a quality protein.
First, the low-quality protein. The story is they are cheap for a reason. Generally, most people understand that whey protein is the most efficient protein for muscle growth, but what has been muddied over the last few years (for sake of profit) is the fact that whey protein quality is the determining factor for how effective whey protein is at supplying nitrogen for muscle repair and growth. It goes way beyond just gulping down glass after glass of whey protein powder. In fact, doing this with the cheap whey protein can actually set back your progress. The money you think you save will actually end up costing you much more in the long run.
literally hundreds of processes that go into producing a high quality whey protein. There are probably about 5 processes that go into producing cheap whey protein. And the difference between cheap whey and high quality whey is night and day.
TCF will touch on one very bad trait that all cheap whey proteins have in common. Now you certainly will not read this on the label and the manufactures of this feed-grade whey will not own up to it, but here’s the deal:
Commercially purchased whey protein comes in basically 3 concentration formats: 34% concentrate, 75-80% concentrate, and 90 plus percent isolate. What the manufacturers of the cheap whey protein supplements do is blend 34% concentrate, which costs less than 40 cents a pound (see how they sell it so cheap), with the 75% concentrate to achieve a protein concentration of about 50% to 60%. Forget about finding any isolate in there. Not a chance. Most of them also fudge on the label so the actual protein percentage is probably lower, but they know they are allowed a margin of error on the label so they take full advantage of it and claim the protein percentage to be higher than it really is. So what’s the other 50%? Lactose – milk sugar.
Getting half lactose and half protein is bad enough, but here’s the real bad side to the actual protein portion that even the companies selling this stuff are most likely not even aware of. The whey is delivered to the processing plants as a liquid. It then goes through a filtering process to remove a percentage of the lactose. The higher the percentage of protein concentration yield the more extensive filtering process it must go through. This is an expensive process and goes up exponentially to the percent of protein yielded.
When the filtering is complete you’re left with viscous liquid whey. The higher the percentage of protein the thicker the liquid. The 75-80% is like a gel, you can hold it in your hand. The 34% is a much thinner liquid. Because the 34% is very much a liquid it cannot be cool dried like the higher protein concentration whey can. You guessed it, it must be heated to be dried. It’s literally boiled to burn off the excess liquid. Do you know what happens when you heat whey protein? The delicate protein fractions become cross-linked and this cross-linking damages the unique functional properties of the native whey. This cross-linking is exactly what happens when you char meat on a grill.
Now this protein cross-linking is perfectly fine for what 34% whey is intended to be used for and that’s in food processing for things such as potato chips, Cake mixes, crackers, processed meats etc. The functional properties of whey with regards to nitrogen delivery, cysteine modulation, antioxidant support, etc. do not matter when whey is used in things such as these. And that’s fine because the 34% whey (the kind that makes up a very large portion of the protein in the cheap whey protein powders) does not contain the unique techno-functional properties that high concentration whey proteins and whey isolates contain.
When you buy this cheap whey protein you’re getting “whey” protein, but you’re getting a very low percentage protein content and
the percentage that is protein consists largely of cross-linked fractions that will have little effect on muscle growth. You cannot compensate for this cross-linked handicap that the cheap whey’s impart by just consuming more. And, the high percentage of lactose will inevitably cause you to put on body fat.
So when you think you are getting a good deal buying the $30.00 – 5 pound buckets of “whey protein” think again. The entire purpose of supplementing with whey protein is to feed your muscles a very efficient and effective nitrogen source to help repair and build muscle and to benefit from whey’s many unique physiological effects not found in other protein sources. You don’t get this with the low dollar, cross-linked; half lactose/half protein whey’s no matter how hard the “gurus” selling it try to convince you.
Secondly, TCF will provide some information on what to look for in a high-quality protein supplement.
There are various factors to consider when looking for a high-quality protein:
A high-quality supplement should first and foremost have generous amounts of all eight essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of all proteins, and proteins are the building blocks of muscle. “Essential” means that your body needs it but cannot manufacture it so you must eat it. The eight essential amino acids are tryptophan, lysine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine, valine, threonine, and isoleucine. Leucine, valine and isoleucine are branched chain amino acids (BCAA) which make up one-third of all muscle protein and are absolutely essential components of a protein supplement.
Research has proven that whey protein isolate produced using the cross-flow micro-filtration processing method is best for maximum nitrogen retention and optimum anabolic response (muscle building/repair). This processing technique keeps 98-99% (or more) of the proteins in their natural form. This means that it does not denature the proteins. Keeping proteins in their natural form is essential to the whey’s anti-cancer and immune-boosting activity. Next best are whey concentrates that are usually about 80-90% undenatured.
Next, a protein supplement should be very low in sugar. Look at the carbohydrate content on the nutritional facts label. If there are more than a couple of grams of sugar per serving, it is not high quality. Total carbohydrates should be no more than 3-4 grams per serving. 100% whey protein isolate is the only type of whey that is lactose-free, fat-free, and cholesterol-free.
Whey protein should be naturally sweetened. Avoid any product that contains artificial sweeteners because they are known to accelerate brain aging and have a host of other detrimental side effects. Stevia leaf extract is the best sugar-free natural sweetener.
Protein supplements should also be fat-free and should be cholesterol-free.
Finally, there are many soy and vegetable protein supplements, particularly popular with vegetarians. But soy is not a complete protein, meaning it does not contain all the essential amino acids. Also, soy proteins are not as biologically available as animal sources and whey protein, meaning they are not as readily usable by your body. This makes them an inferior protein supplement.
So, how much protein does your body need for optimal health and energy?
Protein is the raw building material for muscle tissue and other body proteins. 60-70% of the body’s protein is found in muscle tissue. In order for muscle growth to occur (which is key for getting lean), you must consume more protein than you utilize. The amount of protein you need ranges anywhere from .8 grams per pound of body weight to 1.5 grams or more, depending on your activity level and training goals. The bigger you are, the more active you are. And the more under stress you are, the more lean protein you need. Pregnant and lactating women, children, and carbohydrate-sensitive people need 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day.
CONTACT TCF CHANDLER/GILBERT PERSONAL TRAINING FOR TRAINING AND NUTRITION GUIDANCE!!