Whey Protein and Other Protein Powders Q&A by Nathan Chan
Here is our ever growing number of questions and answers relating to not just whey protein but other protein powders and anything related to them.
Aaron Howlett asked “How much protein is TOO much?”
As a general rule of thumb the maximum most people will need if they are training hard in the gym to gain muscle is approximately 2 grams of protein for every kg of bodyweight. This is really as much as you’ll ever need. Much more than this does not necessarily mean more muscle.
Darren Hodgkiss said “I’ve heard different reports regarding how much protein is needed. How much can the body digest in one go? For example if I consume a meal and drink that has 100 grams of protein, will the full 100 grams go into my system?”
If you ingest 100 grams of protein from a protein powder it is likely that your body will absorb a very high percentage of it. However, a very significant percentage of it will be converted to glucose and stored as glycogen. This does have its advantages if you are on a very low carbohydrate diet, but for the majority it is better to consume a meal or protein shake with between 25-50 grams depending on your weight and goals.
Steve Davies asked “Why is it more rewarding to use Reflex Nutrition than the rest?”
At Reflex Nutrition we have been committed to manufacturing the worlds best whey protein formulas for 20 years. During that time we have continually pushed for higher quality whey, better manufacturing facilities and better quality controls. When you combine all of these factors we are able to FULLY GUARANTEE every single protein powder we make both in terms of composition and performance. So yes, Reflex Nutrition products are more rewarding because they deliver more than the competition.
Ian Tominski said “I am confused on protein content: 100% Native Whey – the purest and most natural form of whey protein. But it contains 80% protein content. I am not sure if I am comparing apples with apples here but a competitor claims 97.6g per 100g. This sounds more pure but then I have heard of Protein Spiking. So the question is how the hell can you ever tell? Sip it and see?”
Yes, some other companies will claim inaccurate claims for protein such as 97.6. The product in question is almost certainly made by Danisco under the tradename of BiPro. Looking at the spec sheet it is actually 90-92% on an “as is basis” which what the protein will contain if tested. The figure of 97% is “dry basis”, which is misleading and illegal because it does not reflect the actual content. Unfortunately for consumers unless you happen to be in the whey protein industry you have to be careful because so many companies are more interested in selling rather than focusing on delivering the goods so to speak. Native Whey is derived from fresh skim milk, from grass fed cattle in France, at low temperature using gentle filtration to produce the purest form of whey protein. You can find out more about Native Whey right here.
Luke Gilham asked, “Is there any major significance to the additives in some companies whey products? Or could the product be sold in its purest form? Is the additives to lower the cost of production? Thanks!”
Lots of companies use lots of different types of additives to make them taste better, to spike protein content and to lower the costs.
Andy Wolta asks, “Does whey contain vitamin b-12? What whey source contains the most?”
Yes whey protein does contain Vitamin B12, although we do not list it because it varies from batch to batch. 50 grams of whey protein can contain up to 1ug of Vitamin B12 as an example, but sometimes much less and is largely dependent on the quality of the milk and the time of the year the milk is collected.
Ashley Street asked “What is the process of inferior protein supplements/blends and protein spiking?”
Numerous supplement companies today spike protein powders with Glycine which is a cheap amino acid with a protein content, if measured using Nitrogen analysis, comes at over 100% protein. As a result it is often added by supplement companies to boost protein content very cheaply. We don’t add it to Reflex protein powder because we cannot see any benefit to the consumer. You can read more about it here.
Andy Waring asks, "How come whey is less expensive in comparison to casein protein?"
In short Whey Protein is usually cheaper than Micellar Casein because whey protein is a by product of cheese production and there is more readily available. Making Micellar Casein is simply more expensive for the dairies to manufacture because they are in effect producing one product and therefore have to reflect this in their pricing.
Chris Slight says “So… Other than drinking as a shake, can I use my protein in any other way such as baking? If so what’s the best one of your range to use and how can I cook with it?”
You can use any of our protein powders in your cooking, they are usually best used to make low sugar desserts. Depending on the type of dessert it may be best to use something like Instant Whey or Micellar Casein.
Geraint Williams asks, “How long should you wait until having whey after a workout to minimize any adverse effects on your insulin/ gH levels in regards to fat burning and also how can you tell which product is decent quality like reflex and which isn’t?”
If you want to keep insulin levels low and gH levels high for fat burning science indicates that slow release proteins like Micellar Casein are best, and that’s what we would recommend. When looking for quality proteins always try and find a company that will categorically guarantee the protein content, if they don’t ask why?
Adrian Willings asks “Does whey protein give you kidney stones?”
The short answer is for healthy people, no.
James Belbin asks “Why is whey any better than a single cooked-in-advance chicken breast? Same protein but one is real food the other is processed, surely?”
Convenience is one factor with any high quality protein powder. But perhaps more relevant is the fact that Whey Protein has the highest biological value of any protein source at 104 B.V, Chicken is 79 B.V. Biological value is measure used to show how much of the protein your body can use. In addition to whey having a higher B.V it also has the highest % of Branch Chain Amino acids and Essential Amino acids, all vital for building muscle.
Chris Summers asks,"Is whey isolate the best version of whey?"
A Whey Protein Isolate has virtually all excess fat and lactose removed leaving only protein and milk minerals. It is indeed the best in terms of not having any fat or lactose, but you a pay a premium for this. Normal whey proteins as long as they have been made using high quality milk will deliver the same results. The only different type of whey is Native Whey, see the blog here.
Winnie Tang asks, “How different do we digest and process whey protein compared to a nice juicy fillet steak (or any other steaks)?”
Whey protein is digested easily taking around 2 hours. Part of the reason for this is because it is in a soluble powder format and secondly whey protein is small in structure and easily broken down. By contrast a nice juicy piece of steak will take your body up to 6 hours to digest, this because the meat itself needs to broken down and in addition the physical structure of beef protein is larger and therefore takes more time to digest.
Garrick Murdie asks “By using whey for cooking, does it damage the whey in any way?”
Yes it will denature it and will reduce the bioactive properties (potential health benefits), but NOT the actual protein content in terms of essential amino acids and branch chain amino acids.
Mike Silver asks “Is there any evidence that organic grass fed whey has any more nutrients or less chemicals in than standard whey?”
First its important to understand that all milk in the EU has to meet extremely strict criteria with regard to impurities, so ANY milk/whey product in the EU from any of the top dairies will be pure. Second nearly all milk whether it be organic or standard is nearly always from grass fed cattle because it’s the most economical way for farmers to rear and maintain dairy cattle. As a result, the differences are minimal, in fact in some cases they are often the same. The only occasion where there are differences are during the year when weather effects the growth of grass, during the spring it is normally best and the milk will have slightly higher levels of protein and fat, but this applies to both standard and organic milk. But again it is very weather dependent. The best organic fresh milk does sometimes contain lower levels of saturated fat and slightly higher levels of certain vitamins. However during processing and filtration most of the fat is removed in the first place when making whey protein.
Marcus Rees asks “Is it true/false that too much protein is bad for your kidneys?”
If you are healthy and do not have any kidney related disease then high protein diets are completely safe as demonstrated in numerous scientific studies.
Carl Saunders asks “What is required in the product to ensure it is easily digested into the body? And how does the amino acid profile benefit the rate at which you absorb protein? And last question does the carb profile in One Stop spike your insulin, and if so is this a good thing, dependant on whether you are taking straight after training or just supplementing a meal during the day?”
First additional enzymes like Digezyme and friendly strains of bacteria play their part in helping your body fully digest the protein and carbohydrates found in Reflex protein powders. In addition, in a product like One Stop you will see the addition of a patented nutrient called Bioperine® which improves the absorption of micro nutrients. The amino acid profile has no bearing on the rate at which a protein is absorbed, the size of the protein molecules makes the difference. Whey being smaller means faster and Micellar Casein molecules being larger means longer. The carb content in both versions of One Stop will spike insulin, One Stop Xtreme more than standard One Stop. It is best to take One Stop Xtreme after a workout for maximum benefit, if you take it before a workout it should be at least an hour before.
Andrew Robinson asks “What do you recommend is the ideal amount of protein to take regarding body weight?”
As a general rule of thumb around 2 grams of protein for every kg of bodyweight.
Hamzah Muhammad asks “Normal or hydrolysed whey?”
If you are training for maximum size and training on a regular basis, then hydrolysed whey with plenty of carbohydrate as found in Growth Matrix. If you are a recreational athlete, then normal whey.
Ronnie Raido Riley asks “Should I only consume a whey protein shake after intense exercise to aid with weight loss and lean muscle or can it be used throughout the day too?”
It depends on your diet. Aim to take around 2 grams of protein for every kg of bodyweight and adjust your diet accordingly, use whey protein shakes to supplement where necessary. So yes you might want one extra shake between meals as a snack.
Rebecca Murphy-King says, “I am type 1 diabetic. I train 11 times a week and have a full time job on top. Different flavour whey vary in sugar/ carb content so much. Why can’t the sugar that’s added to whey be less complex?”
The trouble with whey and milk proteins is the simple fact that both contain lactose, a sugar. The differences in composition usually come down to chocolate varieties where cocoa powder is used. In Reflex Nutrition products the differences are so minimal between flavours we are able to use one set of nutritionals that applies to most flavours.
Nick Swann asks “How does whey protein stack up against beef protein drinks?”
Whey Protein is superior to beef protein, whey has a higher Biological Value at 104 vs Beef at 74.
Ryan Palmer asks, ”Is it true that if you don’t consume whey immediately after a workout you will become catabolic?”
In theory yes, because you have just trained you will probably already be in a catabolic state. More to the point by not eating a form of protein whether it be chicken, fish or whey you will be losing a window of opportunity to boost protein synthesis.
Tristan Webb says, "I always buy high quality whey with little or no carbs, but I’ve been reading that it’s better used with carbs so I’ve been eating a banana with my post workout shake. Should I just buy a shake with carbs in?"
A banana will be just fine, the idea is to provide the body with a carbohydrate source to raise insulin levels maximising protein and glucose delivery to muscle tissue post workout.
Lewis Briggs asks “As such a big sport supplement company how can you prove to us the consumer that what you display on your products is true, as a few big supplier companies have been in deep water as of late for not displaying the correct nutritional information on their products.”
It is simple from our perspective because we are fanatical about quality since the company was formed in 1996. So much so that we came became the first sports nutrition company in the world to become ISO9001 registered for quality control. We were the first sports nutrition company in the world to have our protein products independently tested. We were the first and only sports nutrition company to test and publish competitor results, and we were the first and one of only a couple of sports nutrition companies to have our own lab with the very same lab equipment used in leading laboratories worldwide to assay protein. We test every batch we make and in addition we also send samples off for full group 2 nutritional analysis to verify our claims. Finally we fully guarantee every single product we make for the life of the product.
Eamon Ferguson asks “Why is there so much influence on protein supplements especially whey protein on its supposed effects on the human body relating specifically to muscle repair and growth when there are no in-dependant scientific studies which prove that such supplements have these affects? It’s all just hypothesis and theory that it 'works'?”
There are numerous peer reviewed scientific studies that clearly demonstrate the superior nature of whey protein and its ability to stimulate protein synthesis.
Here are some:
1. Whey protein intake after resistance exercise activates mTOR signaling in a dose-dependent manner in human skeletal muscle.
2. Myofibrillar muscle protein synthesis rates subsequent to a meal in response to increasing doses of whey protein at rest and after resistance exercise
3. Post-exercise whey protein hydrolysate supplementation induces a greater increase in muscle protein synthesis than its constituent amino acid content
Arif Banduwale askes “Is whey protein different from casein???”
Yes whey protein is different. In milk there are two proteins, one is whey protein and the other is casein. Whey protein is a smaller component and is fast digesting. Casein is the larger component is is slower digesting.
Ewelina Dolata asks “ I would like to know why your Native Whey is the purest and most natural of wheys and why it would be any better for me than any other whey ? x”
To understand why Native Whey is better than normal whey please read our blog here.
Jon Martin asks “Mixing with milk or water, is there any real difference other than taste?”
There is a difference aside from taste. Since milk contains casein it will turn your whey protein into an effective time release blend because casein takes longer to digest.
Connor Mayhew “What is a cold pressed protein?”
There is no such thing. There is cold filtered but not cold pressed, this often arises from supplement companies quite literally inventing descriptions to confuse consumers. Either that or the supplement company in question doesn’t have the extensive knowledge required to formulate products.
Kalie-Dee Jones says, “The amino acids in protein are obviously present in the standard whey protein. But as a vegetarian I have to look for v friendly whey. I know tofu and quorn products have the aminos absorb differently and can leave you deficient in certain aminos. Is this the same with vegetarian whey protein? And if not, how do you make it so all aminos are absorbed adequately? And is this stuff vegetarian?”
Vegetarian whey is made from cheese whey that does not use animal rennet as a starting culture to make cheese. Most cheese these days is made from non animal rennet. In addition whey like Native Whey uses no rennet. It makes absolutely no difference to the amino acid composition. All of our whey protein supplements are suitable for vegetarians.
To buy Reflex Nutrition products, click here: https://chrissports.com/collections/reflex-nutrition-1