Category Archives: Food Education

Weighing in on Whey Protein

I have had a lot of experience with protein powders, whey in particular, but spurred on by my ‘Nine’ who wanted more information, I dove in to my research today. I have to say I was greatly disappointed at the information out there. There was a lot of information, but mostly from websites trying to get you to buy from them. Not a reliable source of information in my book. What they say may be true, but it was invalidated in my eyes because they were directing you to specific brands and were apt to gain something by swaying my decision.

So I went back to the drawing board and looked up information on some of the websites that I feel have some credibility when it comes to supplements, and mostly because they have no financial gain from telling you the truth. My first stop; I often refer to this website because most of the information published on it has been reviewed by Doctors. I’ve also found to be a helpful source of information as well, so let’s look a little closer at Whey.

Whey, or milk, protein is often recommended to those who need a protein supplement but are also looking to slim down. So since it is a milk protein, my first concern would be the affects on someone who is lactose intolerant and this is what I found: 

Whey protein powder contains less than 0.1 g of lactose per tablespoon, according to the Whey Protein Institute. This is less lactose than what is found in a cup of yogurt and should not affect someone who is lactose intolerant. Whey protein concentrate might cause adverse effects in someone who is lactose intolerant.

Is Whey protein good for weight loss though? Well a documented study over on WebMD showed 3 control groups each eating a different kind of powder supplement and consuming the same amount of calories per day, the Whey protein group lost weight while the Soy protein group stayed the same and the 3rd group consuming a carb supplement actually gained. You can read the entire story here.

Best time to have it?  After a workout. It’s a true fact that whey protein is the fastest form of protein absorbed within the body. Normally this wouldn’t make much of a difference until the discovery of the “recovery window” and understanding how crucial it is for when you work out.

The recovery window is the period of time just after a training session where your muscles are depleted of nutrients it needs and would go to great lengths to replenish them. It’s during that period of time that the body is primed for growth and repair. The need for a rapidly absorbed form of protein couldn’t be any more crucial making whey protein the ideal source of a post-workout protein. Adding to that the high concentration of BCAA’s, which provide the muscle with the basic building blocks it needs to grow and repair, as well as strengthening functional muscles, makes whey protein the perfect post-workout shake. The beauty is you can mix it with Milk, Soy Milk, or Almond Milk and it’s a fast fix with most of what your body needs to stabilize blood sugar after a workout especially if your workout has made you hungry. Make sure you figure out the actual amount of what you add to it works within your Nutrient Ratios.

So what are the best one’s out there?

Well you guys know me by now and if it doesn’t taste good, I’m not eating, or in this case, drinking it. I’ve tried several out there, driven by a budget and the cheaper ones found at Trader Joes don’t taste good, at all. Some left a weird powdery feeling in your mouth like you had just eaten drywall mud. I went for the less expensive ones for a bit and found that most of them had a weird taste or texture. I finally found EAS Advantage and this one tasted great. However, it does not have any added vitamins or minerals:

Serving Size: 1 scoop Calories: 120 Total Fat: 2g Carbs: 2g Protein: 23g and only 3g Sugars

My next recomendation came from Alice over at the Vitamin Shoppe. Since EAS is a pretty popular brand, they are often out of the large container. Alice recommended the Pro Complex to me. She was right. It’s really good.

Serving size: 2 Scoops Calories: 280 Total Fat: .5 Carbs: 9g Protein: 60g sugars: 1g

As you can see, 2 scoops is whey too much. I use one scoop and overall it’s much better balanced. In addition, the sugars are lower and it’s packed full of vitamins and minerals so remember that multi-vitamin you should take as a insurance policy? You’re getting it in with the Pro-Complex. Sweet! Plus they have several different flavors such as Strawberry swirl and banana creme.

Organic vs. non-Organic. More and more we are leaning towards organic foods and it is my opinion that you are doing better for yourself when you choose organic. Organic Whey protein is derived from grass fed cows (as opposed to grain fed), and free of hormones and pesticides. The trouble with Organics is there is no agency that oversees and ensures true organics. So you will have to do some research on your own to make sure that the product you choose is truly organic.

I recommend that once you decide on a product that you enter it into your custom foods so that you can balance your smoothie or drink based on your Body composition and nutrient ratios. Look for mixtures that have most of the protein you need with very little carbs and sugars. If you’re adding juice or fruits, your going to have a sweet drink with plenty of healthy carbs. The vitamins and minerals are an added bonus and could raise the cost but like I said, a shake a day and you won’t have to remember the multivitamin. You may have to add some fat – the coconut oil is a tasty option.

I hope this helps and I welcome any additional comments! 

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