What boosts your immunity, helps you recover and speeds up metabolism? Whey Protein! Sounds great, but there are a lot of good ones and a lot of garbage.
Most athletes need more protein in their diets. If you lift weights, run, do Crossfit, or generally have an active lifestyle, protein is an important recovery tool. Very often people grab a protein bar, or a sports shake at the gas station, juice bar and think they are doing themselves a favor.
Their is HUGE difference in protein powders. Hopefully by now you know there is a difference in a burger. A grass fed burger is great for you. A processed grain fed burger is not. The grass fed beef has as much omega 3 as salmon and is anti-inflammatory. The grain fed burger will create inflammation. How it's created and treated is very important.
The same goes for your protein powder. There are the powders you can buy for 40 bucks at GNC that comes in a 5lb tub. It probably has a load of sugary carbs added in as well. There is Muscle Milk, that adds in MCT fats to make it taste good, but comes loaded with chemicals. Then there are the higher quality protein powders.
Cold processed, grass fed, undenatured, purified protein powders. What exactly do all these labels mean.
Cold processed: It means heat wasn't used to treat the whey. Most proteins are heat processed. This actually kills most of the immune boosting properties and some amino acids. This is vital. One of the greatest things about supplementing with Whey Protein is that research has proven that it boosts your immunity!
Grass fed: There is some debate whether this is important. I think it is. Start with something healthy and you end up with something healthier. Plus, we know a grass fed cow is treated much more humanely. It doesn't need antibiotics to stay healthy. Environmentally this is a win. I think this makes a healthier protein powder. Again, this is under debate.
Undenatured: All protein powders get denatured. So there is no such thing as undenatured. When a company says this, they are saying because of how they process, it's less denatured then when it's used with heat or harsh chemicals.
Purified: Basically, this is more about the company then the actual protein. What is in the protein is in the protein, but just as important, what isn't listed isn't in the protein. A few years ago a bobsledder I know tested positive for a chemical and was banned from the Olympics. Can you imagine losing your dream and 8 years of hard work, because you bought junk from GNC.
It's honestly scary, what can be legally sold. Saw dust as packing ingredients anyone?
Whey Protein Concentrate vs Isolate: Isolates are more isolated...get it. More of the pure protein. This must undergo more processing to become isolate, so some people think the concentrate is a better "purer" whey. If the process to get to isolate follows the above process though, I think isolate is best. This again is debatable.
There a definitely a few products now that meet the above demands. You get what you pay for, just like a grass fed burger is more expensive then a grain fed burger. Quality comes with a price. But one can help boost your immunity, one can't. I choose the PURE brand because it's met all the requirements. 21 grams of quality protein per bottle. 18 servings a bottle.
But don't get the impression this is the only company out there doing this. Google search and you will find a few. Mark Sisson I know right off the top of my head has a solid product. Now you know what to look for and more importantly, the why.