You can think of protein supplements as a problem for head muscles, but they are for everyone – provided you choose the right one for you. You need dietary protein for the daily maintenance of your body and to age well. Up to a third of older adults are not getting enough protein for a variety of reasons, such as: B. because of decreased appetite and changing taste. There are many ways to get protein, and here I’m going to go through one of the most convenient and beneficial forms: whey protein.
What is whey protein?
Whey is a protein-rich by-product of cheese making. It is this pseudo-clear liquid that remains after the milk has curdled and sieved. Cheese makers tossed it aside as waste until food scientists began to understand its value.
Today we know that whey protein is not just one protein. Instead, it contains an impressive array of proteins: beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, and serum albumin. These are complete proteins made up of the essential amino acids central to protein synthesis and increased muscle hypertrophy (muscle growth).
Our body cannot produce essential amino acids from fewer amino acids, but we cannot produce the essentials ourselves. We need to eat high quality sources of protein. Whey is a naturally occurring, essential protein that meets the body’s protein needs – hence its popularity.
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Is Whey Protein Dairy?
Whey comes from dairy products, so yes, protein is milk. However, some people who cannot tolerate dairy products can tolerate whey.
It depends on which component of the dairy is causing you problems. Most people are either:
- Lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance is a sensitivity to a form of sugar found in dairy products
- Casein sensitive. Casein sensitivity is an intolerance to one of the proteins in dairy products
Some milk sensitive people react to both lactose and casein.
Whey protein contains trace elements of lactose, so extremely sensitive people may have trouble digesting it properly. Since whey is by definition the material that separates from casein (a milk protein) during curdling, it contains even less casein (apart from trace amounts) – rarely enough to be perceived by others as the most casein-intolerant. But that’s pure whey, straight from the cheese dairy. Whey protein powders have been processed to contain even less of both.
With whey protein supplements, lactose can be a problem, but casein almost certainly not. However, certain forms of protein supplements remove enough casein and lactose to make them comfortable for people with sensitivities.
Whey Protein Isolate vs. Concentrate vs. Hydrolyzate
When choosing a whey protein powder, you have several options:
- Whey protein concentrate
- Whey protein isolate
- Whey protein hydrolyzate
Whey protein concentrate
Whey protein concentrate contains around 70-80% protein plus some fat and lactose. Whey protein concentrate is less processed and whole, but has less protein. Otherwise, it’s probably okay to use concentrate for most uses (or you could just have a steak instead).
Whey protein isolate
Whey protein isolate is roughly 90-94% protein and is made up of fairly pure protein with very little of the other milk elements left. To get there, a more rigorous refinement process is used than with whey protein concentrate and hydrolyzate.
Bodybuilders are drawn to the “purity” of the whey isolate, which is attracted by the moderately higher protein counts. Isolate is also significantly more expensive than concentrate, and its purported beneficial effects on protein synthesis are exaggerated. Drinking whey protein shakes has a positive effect on muscle regeneration and protein synthesis. If cost is not an issue or you are slightly sensitive to dairy products, isolate is your best bet.
This mixture is sweetened with monk fruit extract and coconut milk powder and consists only of the good ingredients. This is how you can shake up your day and help support lean muscle mass without compromise. Get original fuel in vanilla or chocolate
Whey protein hydrolyzate
Whey protein hydrolyzate is “pre-digested” whey or whey that has been partially broken down with enzymes. The process facilitates ingestion and potential allergens are broken down into inactive forms. However, people with milk allergies should consult their doctor before use.
The catch? It is expensive. In general, whey is already highly bioavailable and easily absorbed by our bodies, so whey absorption is rarely a problem. Hydrolyzate is great marketing. That’s all. The elite of the elite – those giant magazines that cover superheroes with tanned, smiling faces on tense, veiny necks – may indeed have reason to maximize protein absorption, but most of us definitely don’t have to worry about this stuff.
The exception would be if you are old enough to have dental problems or digestive problems that make it difficult for you to absorb protein. In this case, it can be a good thing to skip some steps in the failure process.
If you’re keto, keep in mind that whey protein hydrolyzate can make your blood sugar rise.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDI) for protein is 0.8 g protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 g protein / lb.
That’s the official answer in the books, but I have different opinions about real protein needs. I was an elite competitive athlete and I have a lot of friends who have various reasons to optimize their protein intake. The protein requirement is very individual and depends strongly on your goals, your age and your level of activity.
I’ll go into the details in this article.
Is Whey Protein Original?
Whey protein falls into the 80/20 category. It’s not strictly primary (and certainly not paleo) as it wasn’t available to Grok, but it can be an effective, occasional high-protein meal replacement that mitigates or negates most, if not all, of potential allergens. It’s an analog, a bit like dairy. If you can’t deal with any dairy, skip it or see how you deal with whey isolate. If you can easily handle dairy products, a whey protein powder is a great way to transport nutrients into your body, especially if you’ve decided on the post-workout nutritional route – which I usually don’t.
Going primal means recognizing both the limits and the benefits of modern life. I wish I could lounge in the savannah for days after a successful kill. I wish I had ten hours of free time every day. The reality is that we are a lot of people, and if we’re really serious about maximizing our quality of life, a quick protein shake to get us to the office a little earlier could mean we can leave earlier. Also and come home in time to meet your significant other, a hike at dusk or a few extra chapters on this great book we wanted to read. If that’s not a feature of modern life that can help us follow the original paths more easily, I’m not sure what qualifies.
About the author
Mark Sisson is the founder of Marks Daily Apple, godfather of the Primal Food and Lifestyle movement, and the New York Times best-selling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, which describes how he combines the keto diet with an original lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is also the author of numerous other books, including The Primal Blueprint, which is credited with the growth of the Primal / Paleo movement in 2009. After three decades of researching and educating people about why food is the key component to achieving optimal wellbeing, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real food company, the Primal / Paleo, Keto and Whole30 friendly kitchen staples manufactures.
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