WHAT IS WHEY PROTEIN – Whey Protein Powder Supplement Online in India

WHAT IS WHEY PROTEIN AND HOW IS IT MADE?

Whey protein is a high-quality protein naturally found in milk products. It is a “complete” protein containing all of the essential amino acids required of the human body and is easy to digest. Whey protein is also one of the best sources of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) including leucine, which has been shown to stimulate muscle synthesis. Interestingly, even a small amount of whey protein has been shown to be very beneficial, with as little as 10 grams of whey protein (combined with carbohydrates) shown to stimulate the rebuilding of muscle when consumed immediately after exercise.

All whey protein originates at dairy farms, as it’s naturally present in cow’s milk. Two or three times per day, cows are brought into a specialized area called a milking parlor, where the milk is collected from them. The milk collected from the cows is usually transported from the dairy farm to a manufacturing and processing center. Large liquid tankers that store up to 50,000 gallons of milk are generally employed for this purpose. Upon arrival at the manufacturing and processing center, the milk is tested to ensure it is safe. Whey protein is one of two major proteins found in cow’s milk, with about 20 percent of the protein found in raw milk being whey protein. Raw milk itself is made up of hundreds of constituent parts. Some of these parts exist in suspension and some in solution. Whey protein is produced during the process of making cheese, which starts when certain enzymes are added to milk, causing it to separate out into these constituent parts. One of the parts is called curds. The curds are used to make cheese, leaving behind whey protein in the liquid portion. This liquid whey is then pasteurized and dried into a powder for various uses. Some examples of processing methods you may have heard about include microfiltration and ion exchange.

MICROFILTRATION

This method uses fine specialty filters to strain the protein. The filters are called micro-filters or ultra-filters because the size of the holes/pores of the filters is microscopic. This is a physical means of removing the contents from the protein.

ION EXCHANGE

This is another method utilized to concentrate and purify whey protein. The protein is placed into an ion exchange tower and undergoes a chemical purification process. Typically, two chemicals are used in this process: hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide. Ion exchange is usually less expensive than microfiltration, but it also denatures—in other words, causes damage to—some of the amino acids. Some of the affected molecules can include immunoglobulins and glycomacropeptides (which may improve calcium absorption and boost immune function). However, most of the contents are left intact, and I would speculate that this process will not affect most people who consume products containing whey protein one way or another. Once the protein has been concentrated, it is then placed into a drying tower to remove the remaining water. The final step is to package the protein powder into various-sized containers (e.g., 25, 50, or even up to 1000 kilograms) and ship them to distribution centers.

There are essentially three types of whey protein; whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and hydrolyzed whey protein are the highest quality sources.

WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE

Many whey protein powder supplements that you find for sale often list whey protein concentrate on the label as the first ingredient, so let’s start with this one. The amount of protein in whey protein concentrate can vary from a low of 25 percent to a high of 89 percent. In sports nutrition, the most common type of whey protein is 80 percent protein (abbreviated WPC or WPC80). The rest of the product consists of lactose (4 to 8 percent), fat, minerals, and moisture.

WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE

Whey protein isolate (most typically abbreviated WPI or WPI90) is the “purest” form of whey protein used for commercial applications, containing 90 to 95 percent protein. It is an excellent source of protein for people who are lactose intolerant, as it contains little or no lactose. WPI is also very low in fat. The price of WPI products is usually significantly higher than WPC due to the purity and higher protein content of the product.

WHEY PROTEIN HYDROLYSATE

Often abbreviated as WPH, this product is made when the relatively large protein polypeptides in the whey protein have been broken down into much shorter chains. This allows the whey protein to be digested and absorbed much faster in the intestines and may reduce the potential for allergic reactions. Hydrolyzed whey protein is very expensive, has a bitter or acidic taste, and must be specially treated to allow it to be soluble/mixable in water and other beverages. This type of protein is most often found in baby formulas and specialized medical nutrition products.

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