Whey protein: the whole truth about it

I hope that this article will help most people to finally understand the confusion that is associated with the whey protein. It is a very good protein in many ways, but you need to remain realistic – you do not build muscle mountains in a short time, simply by including this product in your diet.

Author: Will Brink

I do not cease to be surprised at how whey protein can be such a popular kind of sports nutrition, but at the same time cause such confusion and inconsistency of information.

What is the reason? I will argue that this is due, first of all, to the unfair advertising of some manufacturers of sports nutrition, as well as the appearance of low-quality publications or "studies" with "authoritative" opinions of all kinds of specialists in the field of dietology. And, finally, we must agree with the fact that whey protein is really a "complex" product.

In this article, I'll risk once and for all to find out, remove, so to speak, the veil of secrecy and dispel the myths surrounding this popular kind of sports nutrition.

After reading my article, you will understand the difference between different forms of whey protein: the difference between the concentrate from the isolate, or the protein obtained by microfiltration, from the protein used in the production of ion exchange technology. You will also receive answers to many other difficult questions that have caused you doubts and uncertainties.

Speaking of whey protein, we mean a complex product or a mixture consisting of several protein sub-fractions: beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, immunoglobulins (IgGs), glycomacropeptides, bovine serum albumin (BSA) and lower peptides (enzymes): lactoperoxidase, lysozyme muramidase) and lactoferrin. Each subfraction isolated from serum has unique biological properties.

Until recently, it was possible to obtain such sub-fractions only in the quantities necessary for carrying out laboratory investigations. Production on an industrial scale was an extremely expensive and unprofitable enterprise. Modern filtration technologies have significantly improved over the past decade, allowing the extraction of serum sub-fractions with very high biological activity (for example, lactoferrin and lactoperoxidase).

Cow's milk contains a very small amount of these subfractions (usually less than 1%). For example, of the total whey protein contained in cow's milk, lactoferrin is about 0,5% or less. This is one of the promising sub-fractions that can be used to prevent many diseases, and help improve overall health. Breast milk contains up to 15% lactoferrin.

In recent decades, we have observed the qualitative and quantitative growth of dry whey proteins (the appearance of concentrates and isolates).

Whey protein is really a wonderful product, otherwise it would not become one of the basic elements of a diet for most bodybuilders and other athletes. Recently, this product is also becoming popular with people seeking to lead a healthy lifestyle, which is known for its immuno-fortifying properties.

The results of recent studies confirm that whey protein helps in the fight against cancer, HIV, increases immunity, reduces stress and cortisol levels, increases serotonin levels in the brain, improves liver function in patients suffering from some forms of hepatitis, lowers blood pressure, improves overall feeling, not to mention the growth of athletic performance in athletes representing different sports.

Whey protein has an exceptionally high biological nutritional value (although sports nutrition manufacturers significantly exceed the importance of this fact). Moreover, it contains many amino acids with branched chains (BCAA).

One of the main properties of whey protein is its ability to increase the level of glutathione (GSH), an important tripeptide regulating the work of the human immune system, which is also an antioxidant.

The concentration of glutathione inside the cell is directly related to the ability of lymphocytes (an important component of the immune system) to respond to a threat to human health. Consequently, a change in the content of intracellular glutathione can be considered as one of the methods of immune modulation.

Glutathione is a tripeptide consisting of L-cysteine, L-glutamine, and glycine. Cysteine ​​contains the free sulfhydryl group GSH and is a limiting factor in the synthesis of glutathione (although the effect of serum on glutathione is more complex than just its component in the form of cysteine).

For whey protein, there is a place in the diet of each person, since glutathione is considered an important factor for maintaining immunity (oxidative stress, general health, and low glutathione levels associated with a long list of diseases). Reducing the level of glutathione is also associated with a syndrome of overtraining in athletes, so whey protein is as good as possible to prevent, or at least mitigate the state of overtraining.

Speaking exclusively about sports, some of the latest studies show that whey protein can directly affect the overall performance and growth of muscle mass in athletes, but these studies are generally considered at best only preliminary. The research also revealed that, since oxidative stress contributes to the development of muscle fatigue, a high level of glutathione in the blood will allow you to exercise longer and harder.

Different types of whey protein

Most of the confusion around whey protein occurs when it comes to its forms: concentrates, isolates, protein obtained by ion-purification, etc. Next, I will try to explain the difference to you.

In dry whey protein of the first generation, the content of pure protein did not exceed 30-40%. In addition, the mixture contained lactose, fats and undenatured proteins. This protein was considered a "concentrate" and was used in the food industry for baking and some other products.

Modern concentrates contain up to 70-80% protein, a limited amount of lactose and fats. Many people think that dry quality is worse than an isolate, but it is not true.

Although the concentrate actually contains less protein per gram of the mixture, when compared with the isolate, they contain a mass of nutrients that are absent in protein isolates.

So, for example, good concentrates contain incomparably more growth factors of IGF-1, TGF-2 and TGF-2. They also contain much more phospholipids and bioactive lipids, such as linoleic acid (CLA), as well as immunoglobulins and lactoferrin.

We do not have enough reliable information to judge the influence that these compounds exert on the growth of muscle mass and physical fitness of athletes, but we can assume, again on the basis of the results obtained, that they can promote immunity, improve the state of the gastrointestinal tract and have a number of other positive effects not only among athletes, but also among "ordinary" people.

The disadvantages of dry concentrated whey proteins include a lower protein content per gram of product weight in comparison with isolates, more fat (although this is a controversial issue, and there may be useful fats), as well as an increased lactose content.

You should not consider quality whey concentrate to be worse than any isolate. In fact, concentrate can be even the best choice depending on your goals.

For example, some people do not tolerate lactose and consider every gram of fat in their diet, while others do not experience such difficulties and may want to use the additional properties of concentrates, thanks to their more complex composition.

Whey protein isolates generally contain up to 90-96% protein. Studies show that whey proteins retain biological activity only in their natural undenatured state (ie, the natural conformational state).

The manufacturer should try hard to ensure that when removing protein from lactose, fats and other components, its high bioavailability is preserved. Preservation of the natural undenatured form of proteins is very important for their anti-cancer and immunomodulating activity.

To preserve the natural state, the protein must be treated at a low temperature and / or in a medium with a low acidity. This is a very important stage in the whole technology of obtaining an isolate, which is not present in the production of concentrates.

The isolates contain not less than 90% of protein with minimal inclusion of lactose and almost complete absence of fats. In this respect, and in terms of protein content per gram of weight, the isolate exceeds the concentrated protein.

However, the reader already knows that whey protein is a complex mixture of many components, and it will not be entirely correct to judge the superiority of a given product, based only on the quantitative protein content.

Using ion exchange technology, for example, isolates with the highest protein content are obtained. Does this mean that such a protein is the best of all isolates? Not at all, but many companies still consider this their "cherished goal", trying to create a superb quality whey protein.

Whey isolate, obtained by ion exchange, is produced by passing a protein concentrate through a special column. It sounds strange and incomprehensible, does not it? Moreover, ion exchange has one significant drawback.

As I said above, whey protein is a complex protein product, consisting of many peptide subfractions, each of which has its own unique properties. Some subfractions are present in the serum in a very limited amount. In fact, sub-fractions eventually make whey protein the unique product that it is from nature.

In ion exchange, many of these subtle and vital sub-fractions are destroyed or depleted, although the content of the protein in the final product is increased.

Here, in fact, is the main drawback of the ion exchange method, which can not be considered the optimal way of obtaining quality third-generation whey protein. Although many manufacturers continue to use this technology to achieve maximum protein concentrations in their products.

In the protein obtained by the ion exchange method, it remains from 70% and higher beta-lactoglobulin (ironically the most uninteresting sub-fraction, which at the same time has high allergenic properties), but many other biologically active and interesting components are lost.

So, we can advise this type of whey protein to those people for whom it is important to have a high percentage of protein, but they are willing to sacrifice the lack of a number of important biologically active components destroyed during processing.

In my opinion, this can not be called the optimal solution, given the minimal difference between the products obtained by ion exchange and the microfiltration method, which is discussed below.

Isolates obtained by microfiltration

So, it's time to talk about whey isolates obtained by microfiltration. Progress does not stand still, and now manufacturers have learned how to obtain unique whey protein isolates using cross-microfiltration (CFM®), ultrafiltration (UF), microfiltration (MF), reverse osmosis (RO), dynamic membrane filtration (DMF), ion exchange chromatography (IEC), electrical ultrafiltration (EU), radial flow chromatography (RFC) and nanofiltration (NF). Perhaps the most common way that most of us have heard is microfiltration (CFM®).

"Cross-microfiltration" is used to refer to several treatment options for the protein, which uses fine cleaning of the concentrate in a low-temperature environment. At the output, a product with a protein content of at least 90%, preserved useful subfractions, very low levels of fats and lactose, and a virtually complete absence of undenatured proteins is obtained.

Cross-cut microfiltration (CFM®) is a natural non-chemical process in which high-tech ceramic filters are used, in contrast to ion exchange, in which catalysts of chemical reactions such as hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide are used. The serum isolate obtained by cross-microfiltration (CFM®) also contains a lot of calcium and little sodium.

There are several promising directions for creating the next generation of whey proteins.

An increase in the percentage of useful protein sub-fractions

Very promising is the development of technologies associated with the isolation of individual bioactive subfractions from serum (for example, lactoferrin or glycomacropeptides) on an industrial scale, using existing methods of processing raw materials.

This could only be dreamed a few years ago, but now some manufacturers of whey protein already use the most advanced filtration technologies.

Thus, it would be possible to create products with specially selected properties: to isolate subfractions and then return them to refined products in order to restore their natural chemical and biological properties (for example, lactoferrin, which is simply removed from the serum with the existing methods of purification).

The most high-quality products today contain only 0,5-1,0% of this rare, but important microfraction. A number of manufacturers today could artificially raise its content, creating in truth "designer" proteins with unique properties.

It became known that one company is actively exploring the possibility of creating isolates with a high content of alpha-lactalbumin, another useful subfraction of whey, and an almost complete absence of beta-lactalbumin, which often causes an allergic reaction. Such isolates potentially outperform the quality and useful properties of all other whey proteins available on the market.

Do not forget about the concentrates. Producers could increase their growth factors (IGF-1, TGF-1 and TGF-2) and other bioactive components in the form of phospholipids conjugated with linoleic acid (CLA), immunoglobulins and lactoferrin. In these products, too, there will be more fats (from 5-10% to approximately 15%), but only due to the increased content of disease subfractions.

Many of us remember the boom associated with hydrolyzed proteins. These products were very popular a few years ago, they appeared, made a lot of noise and then also quickly disappeared from the shelves of stores. By "hydrolysis" we mean the partial splitting of proteins into peptide chains of different lengths.

Since the protein enters the body in a split form, it should be absorbed much faster, which may be important in some circumstances (for example, for people with severe burns, patients with digestive system diseases or when feeding preterm infants).

How useful are hydrolyzed forms of protein for athletes – a topic for hotel conversation. The fuss over the hydrolyzed protein was associated with the publication of lab results, when mice fed on a hydrolyzed form of protein showed increased nitrogen retention (positive nitrogen balance), unlike another group of rodents who received a normal protein.

It's unfortunate, but nobody decided to conduct such experiments on sportsmen. Whatever it was, but this type of protein did not linger on the market. Consumers did not like his disgusting taste, the cost and lack of reliably confirmed facts of his "miraculous" influence.

At that time, during hydrolysis, the protein practically turned into denatured alcohol. One of the companies developed its own splitting technology. At the output, a completely natural product with normal taste qualities is obtained.

The cost price of production of hydrolyzed protein also decreased. There is not enough only extensive research of similar products on people. However, this form of protein may be of interest to bodybuilders and other athletes.

Milk can be a source of useful minerals for bodybuilders and other athletes.

Milk contains a biologically active form of calcium, which can be extracted without the lactose contained in fermented milk products. There is also magnesium, phosphorus and zinc, which is necessary for normal osteogenesis and metabolism. Recent studies have shown that additional calcium intake, for example, helps to reduce pressure.

Bodybuilders and other athletes will be interested in the fact that more and more studies confirm the relationship between high calcium content in the body and the shift in metabolism towards active lipolysis (fat splitting) and suppression of lipogenesis (fat formation).

That is, by adding calcium and other minerals from dairy raw materials to sports nutrition, we get the optimal product that promotes metabolism acceleration, a set of dry muscle mass and bone tissue strengthening.

That's it. I hope that my article helped you to finally understand the questions that you had when mentioning whey proteins. Now you are an experienced consumer who understands the nature of the problem, and by making the next purchase at a sports nutrition store, you will now know what you need. Do not be fooled!

This is a very good protein in many ways, but you need to remain realistic – you do not build muscle mountains in a short time, simply by including this product in your diet. I also advise you to keep your finger on the pulse and constantly be interested in new developments in the field of sports nutrition products.

Is it possible to take sivvotochniy protein with myopathy?

How would you open your production? Where can I find out the details? What kind of oboing is needed and how much does it cost?

Good afternoon. So for the most effective set of muscle mass with enhanced training is better suited isolate?

And why did not they mention about the important condition that calcium absorbs in the body? It is necessary in fact to eat nuts or seeds, without nx collagen in the splitting of calcium does not go to bone tissue and ligaments, and so the stones in the kidneys ((((

Thank you for the article! I lost one moment, I probably can not find a reason to convince a nursing mother to add isolates to her diet, or am I mistaken?

What time of day is better to use whey protein, as an additional source of protein, without much training? Thank you.

In the morning after awakening before breakfast (the body needs amino acids after sleep)

And what kinds of protein contain 70% protein, and then I took the shit full SYNTHA-6 and there's only 50 percent protein, but the dirt is filthy enough, very harmful for digestion

american protein weider. the most effective

Weider German they bought it long ago, Haleko they are the same multipower!

and if you take regular whey in the market, add skimmed cheese and cheese (for casein) to it – will a useful cocktail be equivalent to commercial?

The equivalent of a commercial product from such a mixture does not work. But sports supplements are not in vain called "additives". They only supplement the diet and are necessary only when it is not possible to get the necessary amount of protein from the food. Indeed, to get 200 g protein per day, you have to eat a lot. If you fully satisfy your protein needs, then protein shakes do not suit you. Just eat a lot of useful high-protein food and you do not have to look for a replacement for cocktails.

Thank you very much for the article, learned a lot of new things)

Many thanks for the article. Very clear and useful. For me, this is a completely new topic. Tell me, please, is it possible to consume whey protein for those who do not practice sports, just as an additional source of protein? In protein nutrition is clearly not enough, mainly vegetables and cereals. If yes, in what quantities?

Can. For those who do not exercise, you need 0,8-1 g protein per day for 1 kg of body weight. Based on this, you can find out if there is a lack of protein, and how to compensate for it.

and it will be possible to find out what it is better to drink for weight reduction . (casein not to offer) I now can not choose between simply whey protein and complex . in complex more grams of protein and vsa . .no on the other hand I'm already drinking vsaa and I'm afraid that together with the complex a day there will be a dose of about 17-20gp and this is a bust . and not to drink vsa separately I also can not for the best time of admission to time for exercise . that's what I think can just take whey protein . it's the same protein but less vasa . .and drink it 🙂

Well done! Very competently approached the presentation of the material.

very useful article!

I will be grateful if you answer one question: one familiar bodybuilder told me that in order to lose weight (fat), you need to abandon milk and other dairy products, since lactose is deposited in fat.

Thank you in advance for your reply!

Lactose is milk sugar. The lactose molecule consists of the residues of a molecule of glucose and galactose. Glucose is deposited in fat like all other sugars, for example sucrose, fructose, about 30-40%. Galactose goes to the formation of mucin (mucus), from the mouth to the exit from the digestive tract, as well as in the lungs. So do not listen to bikes about super lactic acid deposition in fat. Another thing is milk fat, here it is, like all other animal fats are delayed, depending on the conditions of life of a particular person. But there is not enough milk in his milk to be afraid of him.

True. Lactose blocks the breakdown of fat. In addition, milk contains a lot of fat.

Interestingly, can you tell more about lactose or a link to throw off?

entertaining! something I did not know. will help revise its elections protov . ))


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