Whey Protein Vs Plant Based Protein

Whey Protein Vs Plant Based Protein

The history of whey protein

Before the boom in bodybuilding and the creation of mainstream gymnasiums, whey protein was a ‘throw away’ by product of cheese making. It was most commonly sold as a product to feed pigs, dumped into drains or spread onto crop fields. Whey protein is no more than a glorified animal feed that has become a billion pound commodity.  Outside of being a source of protein, it has very little nutritional value for human consumption and can have detrimental effects on long-term health.

In 2010 a panel of the European food safety authority concluded that proposed health claims made on whey protein did not support scientific literature.


Does Whey Cause Water retention?

Have you ever looked around the gym and noticed that people don’t look in great shape, despite putting the effort in. It is impossible to out train poor dietary choices. Selecting whey protein as a recovery shake may have the opposite effect of what the product is supposed to achieve.  If your goal is to have a defined, lean physique, and then whey protein may not be the option to achieve your goals.  Consuming whey protein causes the body to retain water. It causes the muscles to look bloated, as 75% of muscle is water.  Whey protein contains hormones and foreign chemicals that disrupt fluid regulation within the body. 

Can whey protein cause Inflammation?

Many people are intolerant to milk and milk by products such as whey protein. For people that are intolerant to milk, whey protein can have a pro inflammatory activity within the body. Many people do not know they have intolerance and suffer with on going inflammatory reactions. In severe cases, people can have an allergy to milk, that causes adverse symptoms such as hives, rashes, swelling or skin outbreaks.

The toxins and artificial additives found in whey may create unnecessary inflammation. The diets cattle are fed on also impacts the inflammatory response of the milk within the body. Cows are supposed to eat grass. Despite this, 90% of cattle are fed on cheap cereal grains that are high in omega 6 fatty acids, which find there way into the milk and cause pro inflammatory cytokines when ingested. 

How does whey impact the hormonal system?

In short, not very well.  Poor quality Whey protein may be potentially laced with pesticides and chemicals that are classified as xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens are substances that have a molecular structure identical to the hormone oestrogen. Xenoestrogens bind to oestrogen receptor sites and create high levels of oestrogen within the body. When any single hormone is unbalanced, the whole body experience’s problems. For women it may disrupt the menstrual cycle, causing bloating, mood swings, fatigue, weight gain, and headaches. For men, excess oestrogen is a huge problem. It knocks out testosterone production and reduces muscle mass. Oestrogen dominance in men is behind the man boob phenomenon! 

The nature of the dairy farming industry has a negative impact on whey quality and potential hormones present within the whey. Most milk is produced from cows that are pregnant. Cows are pregnant for 7 out of ten months lactation and the hormone levels are very high towards the end of pregnancy. The cow’s ovaries secrete high levels of progesterone; her placenta secretes high levels of oestrogen plus others hormones, including corticosteroids, growth hormones and prolactin that are present in the milk and best suited for baby calves, not humans.

There are also high levels of a hormone called IGF-1 factor in whey protein. A Cows IGF-1 is identical to human IGF-1 and scientific studies have linked dairy intake with increased blood levels of IGF-1 and Acne, breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Why is whey protein difficult to digest and cause symptoms?

Up to 75% of the worlds population are lactose intolerant. Lactose is the main carbohydrate in whey protein.  People that are lactose intolerant don’t produce enough of the enzyme lactase, which the body needs to digest lactose. In this case the immune system will see the proteins as a foreign invader and cause symptoms of bloating, gas, stomach cramps and diarrhoea.

Whey isolate is a better option to use for digestion, but isn’t a great product for health. Protein isolates lack the nutritional co factors needed to be fully assimilated and are very acidic. They create acidity if taken in excessive amounts because amino acids are converted into carbon dioxide, water and then ammonia. Ammonia is converted into urea that in turn, places stress on the kidneys to remove from the system.

Whey and artificial sweeteners

All whey protein companies use sucralose as a sweetener. There is comprehensive evidence that sucralose is a not a good product for health. Over consumption of sucralose, like sugar can contribute to weight gain. Studies found that sucralose, like sugar spikes blood sugar and insulin secretion. Increased insulin secretion and plasma glucose can lead to weight gain and type two diabetes. It has been shown to alter the gut micro microbiota. Artificial sweeteners decrease the beneficial bacteria in the gut and feed the bacteria that harvest glucose, creating an environment that will increase weight gain. Inflammation is one of the most common effects associated with gut micro biome dysbiosis. Studies found that regular consumption of sucralose altered the gut microbiome and increased the risk of tissue inflammation.

The dairy industry is just an unethical industry

The dairy industry in the UK is fast becoming brutal.  A number of battery dairy farms now exist.  Cows are cramped into tiny spaces to live. The females are artificially inseminated in a narrow trap, known as a ‘cattle crush’ to be impregnated. The calf is typically removed within 36 hrs and the female’s milk is extracted to sell to the public. The cows are typically confined to dark spaces and have very little if no grazing time. This factor is very important to the quality of the milk that is produced. The Dairy industry is big business and profits are often more of a priority than animal feeds. 

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