It is well understood that physical exercise and athletic performance require specific macronutrients, especially protein and carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores and to provide enough protein to build and repair muscle (1). The ideal source of such proteins is through whole foods such as meats, eggs, seafood and other high protein foods. But however, since the bodies requirements for protein can often be quite high it can be difficult to ensure enough high protein food is consumed to allow the body to meet its protein needs. This is where the need for a high-quality whey protein comes in, but there are so many different brands, sourcing their whey from all over the world it can become confusing knowing which whey protein will be most beneficial for your athletic needs. This article will help you understand all you will need to know to have a full understanding of whey protein and allow you to make an informed purchasing decision next time you are in the market for a protein powder.
Many people do not understand where whey protein comes from, or even what whey is. Well, whey is a by-product of cheese manufacturing, it is the liquid that is left over after the milk has been processed. Although there are many used for whey, it is now most popular within sports supplementation because of its high protein content and fast digestion speed.
There are three types of whey protein:
3. Whey protein hydrolysate or WPH. WPH is the least popular of the three whey proteins due to its bitter taste a higher price. Although it is the fastest digesting of the three, it is only fractionally faster than the WPI, making the WPI and WPC the commonly used protein supplements for physical exercise.
The Benefits of Whey Protein?
Although whey protein is most well-known for its high protein content and easy absorption, whey protein does serve a number of benefits for physical exercise and overall health. Whey protein has the following health benefits:
What is the Best Whey Protein?
Now, this can be a tough question to answer because there are three variables that need to be considered when deciding what is the best Whey Protein for you.
It is a well-established fact that Australian and New Zealand Whey and Dairy are the best in the world, and this means that every country wants to get their hands on it. With the growing demand from the Chinese, American and European markets for high-quality whey from Australia and New Zealand, many supplement companies have been forced to use lower quality American whey protein. You are probably asking why is American Whey Protein lower quality, well it has to do with their farming practices. American has some of the lowest dairy standards in the world. For example, rBST, a genetically engineered growth hormone used to stimulate the overproduction of milk in cows has been banned all around the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Israel and even the European Union. rBST has been banned in these countries for almost 20 years now because of the known negative health consequences associated with its use including multiple forms of cancer and diabetes. Another side effect of using rBGH to force cows to produce more milk is that they are much more likely to develop mastitis, an inflammation and infection in their tissue leading to bacteria and pus in their milk. To combat this, dairy farmers are forced to feed their cows high levels of antibiotics, which results in high level of antibiotics in their milk production.
Choose WPC if you’re after a cheaper, slower-digesting protein that contains lots of macronutrients and bioactive compounds. WPC is a great option to consume throughout the day. Choose WPI if you’re after protein with lower levels of fat, carbohydrate, and lactose that contains fewer calories than WPC. WPI is ideal for people who want to get fast digesting protein into their body after a workout or want to restrict the number of calories they consume. Additionally, those sensitive to dairy or lactose may benefit from choosing WPI over WPC due to the increased protein weight percentage over other compounds.
For a more detailed breakdown of the differences between WPI and WPC read this article:
Because the supplement industry is unregulated it can be hard to put your trust and hard earned money into the hands of a company that claims to offer the highest quality whey protein. So to ensure that you are receiving exactly what you are paying for, look to see if the company publishes their whey protein 3rd party lab tests on their website, if they don’t then I strongly recommend you do not buy their product, if they do then you are in safe hands. To see our 3rd party lab results for our whey protein find the “Lab Testing” tab on our WPI and WPC product pages here:
So, there you have it, you are now a highly educated individual on everything to do with whey protein. So now you can feel empowered to make the best decision when shopping for your next protein powder.