The Science Behind Whey Protein Made Easy
There is a large disparity between what protein people should use, and when they find the type of protein, which sub fraction of that protein should be used. Whey protein is the most popular protein and has become a staple supplement for most bodybuilders and other athletes because it’s a great protein. Whey protein has an exceptionally high biological value rating and an exceptionally high BCAA content. One of its major effects is the ability of Whey to raise GSH (Glutathione), possibly the most important antioxidant found in the body, helping to regulate proper function of the immune system. Pertaining directly to athletes, whey protein has direct effects on performance and muscle mass.
Over the past few decades, whey protein powders have evolved several generations from low-grade concentrates to very high-grade concentrates and isolates. When we talk about whey we are actually referring to a complex protein made up of many smaller protein subfractions such as beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, immunoglobulins (IgGs), glycomacropeptides, bovine serum albumin (BSA) and minor peptides such as lactoperoxidases, lysozyme and lactoferrin. Each of the sub fractions found in whey has its own unique biological properties. Modern filtering technology has improved dramatically in the past decade allowing companies to separate some of the highly bioactive peptides from whey.
A growing number of studies has found whey may potentially reduce cancer rates, combat HIV, improve immunity, reduce stress and lower cortisol, increase brain serotonin levels, improve liver function in those suffering from certain forms of hepatitis, reduce blood pressure, and improve performance, to name a few of its potential medical and sports related applications.
First generation whey protein powders contained as low as 30-40% protein and contained high amounts of lactose, fat, and undenatured proteins. Modern concentrates now contain as high as 80% plus protein with reduced amounts of lactose and fat. Many people are under the impression that a WPC is inherently inferior to an isolate, and this is simply untrue.
Though WPCs will contain less protein on a gram for gram basis than an isolate, a high quality WPC contains all sorts of interesting compounds not found in the isolates. Good concentrates contain far higher levels of growth factors, such as IGF-1, TGF-1, and TGF-2. They contain much higher levels of various phospholipids, and various bioactive lipids, such as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and they often contain higher levels of immunoglobulins and lactoferrin. People should not be under the impression that a well-made WPC is inherently inferior to a whey protein isolate (WPI) and may in fact be a superior choice, depending on the goals of the person.
Whey Protein Isolate
WPIs generally contain as much as 90-96% protein. Research has found that only whey proteins in their natural undenatured state (i.e. native conformational state) have biological activity. Processing whey protein to remove the lactose, fats, etc. without losing its biological activity takes special care by the manufacturer. WPIs contain >90% protein contents with minimal lactose and virtually no fat. The advantage of a good WPI is that it contains more protein and less fat, lactose, and ash then concentrates on a gram for gram basis.
It should be clear to the reader by now that whey is far more complicated than simple protein content, and protein content per se is far from the most important factor when deciding which whey to use. WPI has a higher gram for gram protein count, but filters out the growth factors, phospholipids, and bioactive lipids that are useful to athletes and are contained in whey concentrate. Mycustomprotein.com uses a perfect blend of whey isolate and whey concentrate to maximize growth factors and bioactive phospholipids and protein ratio. This perfect blend gives you the optimal benefits of whey concentrate and whey isolate in one!