What is Whey?

Unprocessed whey is a by-product of cheese production. After curdling and sieving the milk for cheese production, the watery part of the milk separates from the fatty parts and that is where the whey is found. JOURNAL REFERENCEDOI: 10.1016/S0924-2244(02)00111-5 Whey is also one of the most commonly used protein types used in protein powders. Whey helps promote muscle growth, reduce exercise-related injuries and improve athletic performance. JOURNAL REFERENCE PMID: 28824296, PMID: 25757896Cheese Production Cheese production image by dyhuettner from Pixabay

Is whey gluten free?

Because whey is extracted from milk, it is naturally 100% gluten-free.

What is Whey Protein Powder?

The whey protein powder commonly sold as a dietary supplement is a mixture of proteins isolated from the whey. The 2 main types of protein found in milk are whey and casein, both of which must be processed before being sold as dietary supplements. Whey protein contains a complete range of easily absorbable essential amino acids. JOURNAL REFERENCEDOI: 10.1016/S0955-2863(03)00030-5

Do whey proteins contain gluten?

While pure whey protein powder is gluten-free, many commercially available whey protein supplements usually contain other ingredients besides whey and may contain gluten. Unflavored whey protein doesn’t taste too good, so it’s usually flavored and quite often contains sugar or artificial sweeteners. It is important to ensure that the product you purchase does not contain gluten ingredients such as starch, caramel coloring, maltose, maltodextrin and dextrin. Some whey protein powders contain the amino acid glutamine, which is not derived from gluten-containing foods and should not be avoided.

Which whey protein powders are gluten-free?

  • Amazon Elements Grass-Fed 100% Whey Protein Isolate Powder (Grass-Fed, Non gmono artificial sweeteners, stevia sweetened)
  • Orga Grass Fed Clean Whey Protein Powder (New Zealand grass-fed, non GMO, no artificial sweeteners, stevia sweetened, soy free, carrageenan free)
  • Bodylogix Natural Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder (Grass-Fed, no artificial sweeteners, non-GMO, NSF certified)
  • Garden of Life Sport Certified Grass Fed Clean Whey Protein Isolate (Grass Fed, nnon-GMO, no artificial sweeteners, sweetened with stevia, soy-free, NSF certified)
  • Nutricost Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate (Grass-Fed, Non-GMO)
  • Revly 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate Powder (Grass-Fed, nnon-GMO, no artificial sweeteners, sweetened with stevia)
  • ArcFire Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate (Grass-fed, from cold-processed milk, NSF certified)

Types of whey proteins

Whey powder is available as whey concentrate, whey isolate, or whey hydrolysate, all of which are gluten-free in a pure form and safe for people with celiac disease. Whey concentrate is less processed than whey isolate or whey hydrolysate, consists of approximately 70-80% protein and contains some lactose and fat. Whey isolate is more processed and is at least 90% protein, but lacks other beneficial nutrients found in whey concentrate, and contains less lactose and fat. Even more, whey hydrolyzate is processed with heat that separates amino acid bonds, allowing the protein powder to be digested and absorbed more quickly.

Certified gluten-free protein powder

While there are manufacturers of whey protein products that make gluten-free whey powder, they may also produce other products made with gluten, and their gluten-free whey products may have been contaminated by equipment that has been in contact with gluten. To avoid cross-contamination, make sure the whey protein product you purchase is certified gluten-free protein powder.

Benefits of Whey Protein

Whey protein for muscle growth

Whey protein supplements are most commonly used by bodybuilders and athletes for increasing muscle mass and strength. Whey protein provides essential amino acids, the building blocks necessary for muscle growth. Whey protein is high in leucine, an amino acid that stimulates muscle protein synthesis at the molecular level. Whey protein helps stimulate muscle growth by increasing the release of anabolic hormones such as insulin.

Whey protein for weight loss

Protein is the macronutrient with the highest level of satiety (most filling) and can help increase energy expenditure. Whey protein supplements can help maintain adequate protein intake on a calorie-restricted diet and help prevent muscle loss.

Whey protein for diabetes

Whey protein can help moderate blood sugar and increase both insulin levels and insulin sensitivity. A study has shown that adding whey protein supplements to a carbohydrate-rich meal helps moderate blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Whey protein for blood pressure

Dairy consumption has been associated with a reduction in blood pressure, which has been attributed to angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory peptides, which are found in milk proteins. These peptides are present in whey protein and several studies have shown people that these peptides can significantly lower blood pressure.

Guide to Whey Protein

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