What is Whey protein and what does Isolate, Denatured, Natural, Grass Fed mean?
Whey Protein Health Benefits
If you work out regularly or just want to supplement your diet with a protein shake, whey protein is the most popular choice for good reason. Consuming whey raises levels of the antioxidant glutathione and studies done by Precision Nutrition has demonstrated Whey protein isolate has a positive effect on body composition, whereas soy protein has the opposite effect (ie those who took whey protein increased their lean muscle mass and decreased their body fat).
Before you buy Whey Protein know what you’re looking for. Quick reference of terms for different types of natural whey and what they mean.
Grass-fed, hormone free. The cows that produced the milk that was boiled down to leave the whey protein, were fed grass and no hormones that would cause them to grow larger or produce more milk. The nutrient profile for this type of whey protein superior to conventionally grown.
Sweetened and Unsweetened. There are many different sweeteners that can be added to whey protein. Some are natural such as fructose, stevia or cane sugar while there are many artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose. Unsweetened doesn’t contain any of the natural or artificial sweeteners,
Flavored whey protein cannot be undenatured (bioactive) because it has been hydrolyzed so it’s easier to mix. So if it’s vanilla, chocolate, or chai latte flavoured it’s not undenatured.
Natural whey protein usually means that it is straight whey protein without any flavouring, sweeteners, coloring etc. It means the ingredients are started out in nature. This does not mean is organic.
Undenatured. The whey protein is treated at lower temperatures so the harmful organisms are destroyed without damaging the amino acids.
Bioactive. This is another term for undenatured.
Denatured whey is whey protein that has been treated at high heats.
Whey Protein Isolate. Cow’s milk contains two types of proteins: casein and whey. Whey protein isolate is the whey protein of the milk without the casein, fat and without lactose. Casein protein is more difficult for the body to digest and takes longer to digest than whey protein which is rapidly utilized. Thus whey protein is especially beneficial as a post-workout drink. Whey protein isolate is usually hypo-allergenic, meaning it rarely causes allergic reactions or digestive distress since it contains very little lactose, carbs or fat (it may still contain trace amounts of casein). It helps support the body’s lean muscle tissue and workout recovery.
Here are some of the top rated brands of whey protein (not organic)
- Optimized Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein, Double Rich Chocolate
- Now Sports Nutrition, Whey Protein Isolate Powder, Unflavored