HOW TO DETERMINE IF YOUR WHEY PROTEIN IS ADEQUATE OR NOT... (see below)
As someone conscious about your body and health, you likely enjoy a protein shake from time to time, and perhaps even daily like I do. But did you know there are TWO harmful processing methods used in many protein powders that may render your favorite brand of protein completely USELESS?
Let me explain...
The truth is, even if you're an avid label reader who's meticulous about the quality of your protein, labels don't always tell the whole story. You see, depending on the type of processing involved, you may find that your favorite protein supplement is not only a complete waste of your money, but even worse, it may be actually HARMING your health.
WARNING: Processing methods can either make or BREAK your protein powder
You're probably well aware that one of the problems with packaged foods is the fact that they're heavily processed, a practice that often destroys many of the fragile nutrients, enzymes and other valuable components in your food.
This is one of the reasons I've always recommended that you regularly choose foods that are minimally processed, as doing so is critically important to both your health and fat loss results.
The same goes for protein powders.
And while all protein powders by their very nature must be processed, the method of processing used can either:
a) preserve and enhance its biological function... or
b) completely DESTROY it.
Let's take a look:
1. Cold-Processing - The Gold Standard
Did you know that many of the health and body composition benefits of protein supplements completely DISAPPEAR if processed using high heat?
Cold processing on the other hand protects each nutrient in its natural state, ensuring you actually receive the fat loss, muscle preservation, and body composition benefits of the protein you consume.
2. High Heat Processing - Vastly Inferior
High heat processing is by far the quickest, CHEAPEST way to produce protein powder, so it's no wonder that so many manufacturers use it.
In fact, this process is actually known as "denaturing"...sounds exactly like what you want to put in your body, right?
Simply put, high heat denaturing is bad news for your body in every possible way as scientific studies confirm that such processing chemically alters the original amino acid structure of protein, making ingestion and absorption difficult and forcing the enzymes in your intestines to work over time in order to break it down.
Want further proof? Look no further than two of the most respected scientific food journals.
a) As noted in the Journal of Dairy Science, "Heat treatment significantly decreased solubility [of whey proteins]..."1
b) In the Journal of Food Science, it was revealed that the whey protein content of milk was reduced when high-temperature heat treatment was applied to the milk during processing.2
c) And here's another study that REALLY tells the story:
We all know that milk "does a body good" and has a positive effect on bone density, but when researchers used a heat-processed skim milk powder to supplement rats' diets, it had no positive effects on bone density at all. Why? The researchers noted:3
"...probably because the heat treatment used during [skim milk powder]
processing caused a loss of biological activity in the protein."
A loss of biological value = damaged protein!
The end result is a protein powder that's a complete WASTE of your time and money as a protein's biological value and activity is the sole reason you're using a protein powder in the first place!
3. Ion Exchange (i.e Acid-Processing) - Don't Be Fooled
Another money-saving technique that many manufacturers use to process whey is a technique called "ion exchange", which is only about one fifth the cost of natural filtration methods. You may even hear some manufacturer's boast that their whey protein is "ion exchange" as if it's something desirable.
Although it "sounds" sciencey, this process separates whey from milk fat using acids and chemicals, damaging the protein and diminishing its beneficial properties, such as immunoglobulin content crucial to the immune system, essential amino acid content, and its ability to improve the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the digestive process.
And if that wasn't bad enough, acid processing can even leave dangerous chemical residues behind in your protein!
What to Look for on the LABEL of Your Protein Powder...
It's not likely that you'll see "acid" or heat processing listed on your protein powder label as these aren't exactly the types of selling points the manufacturers want to call your attention to...go figure.
But you will see cold-processed mentioned on labels, as these manufacturers want you to know that your protein powder is protected and intact, and capable of giving you all of the wonderful benefits you're expecting it to.
The truth is, if you DON'T see "cold processed" on the label, be wary...it's almost certain that it's not.
COMMITTED TO YOUR SUCCESS,
OWNER/INSTRUCTOR OF SUPREME ASSAILANT
(Athletic Conditioning Specialist, Body-weight Training Specialist, Nutrition Specialist, Muay Thai Instructor, Health & Fitness Article Contributor for MMARECRUITER.COM (Mike Zuccerello), Health & Fitness Correspondent for FUERTEMEN.COM (Sidney Alvarez) AND Fitness Article Contributor for FEVER MAGAZINE (Fabian Prieto)