Is Whey Protein Dead?
Whey Protein has been a cornerstone of sports nutrition for decades. Long before sports supplements were on the shelf of every health food store, body builders were churning it down. But today, whey isn’t always a hot topic for health-focused athletes and weekend-warriors.
Why has Whey Protein got such a bad rap?
Here are 3 common misconceptions about Whey Protein.
Whey is for Body Builders
Let’s start with the background: body builders aren’t exactly associated with the idea of ultimate health. And the simple fact that there is a need for such a thing as a Drug Free Body Building Federation
is probably enough justification for that. But drugs aside, supplementation has come a long way since Arnie’s heyday, and there are now options for real health enthusiasts. And yes, that includes (some) Whey Proteins.
Dairy is Bad for You
This is a tricky subject which boils down to your own digestive system and finding out what works best for you. But what we’d like to highlight here are two general trends on dairy that completely oppose each other:
- Generally speaking, dairy milk is currently suffering a terrible reputation. For example, year on year sales of UHT milk have dropped 9% in 2016, whereas the sales of non-dairy milks (including almond milk and coconut milk) have increased by 25%.
- Conversely, yoghurt is generally speaking considered a superfood. Probiotics are seen as a vital health essential and dairy yoghurt is presented as a friendly and tasty way to up your intake of probiotics. Quite naturally, sales of yoghurt have increased by 12% over the last 5 years.
With such contradicting messages, is dairy good or bad for you? Which trend should you follow? Well that's precisely the point: when it comes to nutrition, Don’t Follow Trends. It’s a very personal thing, your digestive system. What works for you may not suit your neighbour.
One important point to note about Whey Protein is that it tends to be easier to digest than milk. This is thanks to its low levels of lactose (the milk sugar which some individuals struggle to digest).
Vegan is Healthier
In equal measure to the backlash against dairy, vegan diets are a trendy topic. Step one foot into any health food store and you will see the word printed on every wall. The truth is: a strict vegan diet is an extreme and very challenging act to balance. It can easily result in deficiencies if professional guidance has not been sought. CLA, for example, is just one of the nutrients a vegan dieter may lack
. Again, it really is a question of personalised nutrition. Choosing a unilateral approach as strict as a vegan diet because hashtags told you so can be a very dangerous game to play. (There are 32 million occurrences of #vegan on Instagram!)
When it comes to protein powders, one major benefit that vegan powders have over conventional whey is (for the most part) the absence of artificial ingredients. Beyond this, however, creating a vegan protein powder which rivals Whey Protein in its amino acid profile is challenging. Manufacturing a vegan product which tastes nice is another (very) tricky point. You’ll often find high levels of carbs in tasty vegan protein powders.
In contrast, an Organic Whey Protein
made from grass fed cows, with low levels of lactose, which gives a creamy and delicious shake with very little carb and a complete amino-acid profile… doesn’t sound so bad after all.