What is Protein Powder:
Essentially, protein powders are a highly processed and dehydrated form of protein
that can be reconstituted (mixed) with water and other beverages such as milk to form
something you can drink. They’re used for various purposes outside of bodybuilding,
but within the sport, protein drinks are used primarily to help build muscle mass
and to increase overall caloric intake.
Generally speaking, the shake is supposed to give you all the benefits of a protein-rich
food source with added convenience and portability.
In addition to milk, Whey, and caseinates, you may see some protein powders that contain non-dairy
forms of protein such as egg, and rice proteins. These proteins have their places as dietary
supplements and as foodstuffs, but generally speaking, Whey, and casein as sources for
use in bodybuilding, fitness, athletics, etc.
Unless you have a reason for not wanting to use a milk-, Whey-, or casein-based product,
its better to avoid any and all products that contain egg-, or wheat-based proteins
as they tend to be less “complete” in their amino acid profiles than dairy-derived
What is Whey Protien and how it is made:
Whey protein is a high-quality protein naturally found in milk products. It is a “complete”
protein containing all of the essential amino acids required by the human body and is easy
to digest. Whey protein is also one of the best sources of branched-chain amino acids
(BCAAs) including leucine, which has been shown to stimulate muscle synthesis.
Interestingly, even a small amount of Whey protein has been shown to be very beneficial,
with as little as 10 grams of Whey protein (combined with carbohydrates) shown to stimulate
the rebuilding of muscle when consumed immediately after exercise.
All Whey protein originates at dairy farms, as it’s naturally present in cow’s milk.
Upon arrival at the manufacturing and processing center, the milk is tested to ensure
it is safe.
Whey protein is one of two major proteins found in cow’s milk, with about 20 percent of
the protein found in raw milk being Whey protein. Raw milk itself is made up of hundreds
of constituent parts. Some of these parts exist in suspension and some in solution.
Whey protein is produced during the process of making cheese, which starts when certain
enzymes are added to milk, causing it to separate out into these constituent parts.
One of the parts is called curds. The curds are used to make cheese, leaving behind
Whey protein in the liquid portion. This liquid Whey is then pasteurized and dried
into a powder for various uses.
Examples of processing methods you may have heard about include microfiltration and ion
This method uses fine specialty filters to strain the protein. The filters are called
micro-filters or ultra-filters because the size of the holes/pores of the filters is
microscopic. This is a physical means of removing the contents from the protein.
This is another method utilized to concentrate and purify Whey protein.
The protein is placed into an ion exchange tower and undergoes a chemical purification
process. Once the protein has been concentrated, it is then placed into a drying tower
to remove the remaining water.
The final step is to package the protein powder into various-sized containers
(e.g., 25, 50, or even up to 1000 kilograms) and ship them to distribution centers.
There are essentially three types of Whey proteins:
Whey protein concentrate,
Whey protein isolate and
Hydrolyzed Whey protein.
Whey PROTEIN CONCENTRATE:
The amount of protein in Whey protein concentrate can vary from a low of 25 percent
to a high of 89 percent. In sports nutrition, the most common type of Whey protein
is 80 percent protein (abbreviated WPC or WPC80). The rest of the product consists
of lactose (4 to 8 percent), fat, minerals, and moisture.
Whey PROTEIN ISOLATE:
Whey protein isolate (most typically abbreviated WPI or WPI90) is the “purest” form of
Whey protein used for commercial applications, containing 90 to 95 percent protein.
It is an excellent source of protein for people who are lactose intolerant, as it
contains little or no lactose. WPI is also very low in fat. The price of WPI products
is usually significantly higher than WPC due to the purity and higher protein
content of the product.
Whey PROTEIN HYDROLYSATE:
Often abbreviated as WPH, this product is made when the relatively large protein
polypeptides in the Whey protein have been broken down into much shorter chains
(e.g., di- and tripeptides). This allows the Whey protein to be digested and absorbed
much faster in the intestines and may reduce the potential for allergic reactions.
Expensive: Hydrolyzed Whey protein is very expensive,
has a bitter or acidic taste, and must be specially treated to allow it to be soluble,
mixable in water and other beverages. This type of protein is most often found in baby
formulas and specialized medical nutrition products.
Wishing you all the best,