Whey protein is one of the more commonly researched supplements in the worlds of fitness and nutrition. Overall, whey protein is known to help build muscle and repair tissue. Those aren’t the only benefits that whey hold, but we’ll get to that later on.
Though everyone from users to experts believe that whey protein is largely beneficial, one important question remains: Is grassfed whey protein better than conventional whey protein?
If you’re interested in learning the answer to this question, to discover the value of grassfed whey protein, as well as other important facts regarding whey, continue reading!
Perhaps the best way to learn about the values of grassfed whey protein is to not only learn about it on its own, but also to compare it to normal whey.
So what is whey?
Most whey proteins come from cow’s milk, however you can also find it in goat’s milk as well. Overall, milk contains two primary proteins – casein (about 80 percent) and whey (about 20 percent).
When the dairy solids are separate from the liquid, the solid is the casein and the liquid is the whey. The liquid is then spray dried into a powder and filtered to render whey protein isolate or whey concentrate.
Here is the difference between whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate:
- Whey protein isolate (WPI) is the concentrated form of protein. It’s super concentrated whey and does not contain much, if not any, lactose despite the fact that it originally comes from milk.
- Whey protein concentrate is not quite as filtered as WPI and still contains trace amounts of lactose as well as other compounds from the milk source. This options does not contain as much protein as WPI either.
If you couldn’t deduce on your own, you will likely want to go with whey protein isolate if you are looking to get the highest amount of protein from whey or if you deal with lactose intolerance issues.
What is in grassfed whey protein?
Whey protein is made up of amino acids – otherwise known as the building blocks of protein. The different types of protein – cheese, meat, eggs and high-protein vegetables – all hold different types of amino acids.
When it comes to all forms of whey protein, it contains all 9 essential amino acids. This makes it what is known as a “complete protein source”.
Overall, here are the types of amino acids that you will benefit from if you add whey protein to your daily health regimen.
- Essential amino acids: The fact that whey contains all 9 essential amino acids is part of what makes it such a fantastic tool for health and fitness enthusiasts. A healthy and active body will want to regularly consume essential amino acids. The body is not able to produce these on their own so you need to get them from your diet if you are interested in building and maintaining muscle, repairing tissues, or making crucial neurotransmitters and hormones.
- Non-essential amino acids: Non-essential amino acids are the amino acids that the human body is able to generate on its own. While the body does not technically need to get these amino acids from its diet – and while you don’t technically need them at all – they supplementation is very helpful and healthful for many people.
- BCAAs: Whey also offers the branched chain amino acids – otherwise known as BCAAs – which include isoleucine and valine, two things that you will never find in plant protein. These BCAAs are considered highly important for people who are looking to build mass and enjoy major muscle gains and recovery.
- Other proteins: Whey is also highly rich in the proteins lactoferrin, beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin and immunoglobulins. All of these proteins are incredibly healthy for the body thanks to their antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. This can help reduce inflammation and improve the body’s immune system.
The health benefits of grassfed whey
Whey protein is known as the muscle-building supplement, and for good reason. Whey increases muscle protein synthesis, power, tissue recovery and overall strength. Given all that, it should be quite clear why it is such a popular supplement for those who are looking to improve their weightlifting and fitness.
That being said, whey protein is not just good for building muscle, it’s got a lot other health benefits as well.
Whey is highly useful for women who are looking to maintain muscle while still achieving weight loss. Women who are looking to get and stay lean are highly likely to benefit from integrating whey into their diet.
The impact of whey is especially noticeable when paired with a high-fat diet known as a ketogenic diet.
In one recent study, a group of 25 people were split in two – half was given a high-fat diet and the other was given a low-calorie diet. Both groups were given whey to add into their diet.
The results were quite interesting. While both groups experienced weight loss, only the group that paired whey with a high-fat ketogenic diet enjoyed both weight loss and maintained lean muscle mass.
Finally, another fantastic health benefit of grassfed whey is that when it is paired with high-resistance training it can help prevent sarcopenia – or age-related muscle decline. This means that older people can benefit from whey protein in ways that younger people cannot.
The unique benefits of grassfed whey protein
While all whey protein offers the aforementioned benefits, grassfed whey comes with some added benefits that are certainly worth it to consider. Grassfed whey comes – unsurprisingly – from grassfed cows. These animals are raised on organic pastures and eat a plant-based diet that they are meant to eat. Sadly, a huge amount of cattle in the United States and abroad are forced to live on a less-than natural diet based in corn and soy.
Due to this, grassfed whey protein has a much higher levels of immune-boosting and bioactive compounds.
This isn’t just some pseudoscience, either. A 2012 review in the highly regarded Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture took a look at whey protein from both conventional and grassfed farms located in the country of Poland.
What they found was that the organic grassfed whey contained a larger amount of beta-lactoglobulin, lactoferrin and lysozyme than conventional whey.
Grassfed whey protein is better for the planet
Across the world, one of the most damaging things to the health of the planet from a climate change standpoint is widely considered to be cattle farming. When it comes to continuous grazing or feedlotting – both the animals and the surrounding land and ecosystem suffer.
That being said, organic rotational grazing, is far healthier for both land and cattle. What rotational grazing means is that cows are confined to a small parcel of land and eat everything in that area before they are set on the next small plot of land. Not only are they not overgrazing, they are dropping nutrient-rich cattle dung onto the grass to let it grow back richer and stronger for the next time they are on that specific plot.
The reason why this information applies to grassfed whey is because organic farmers tend to use rotational grazing for their animals. This not only leads to healthier animals and more beneficial whey, it also is believed to have long-term environmental benefits when it comes to erosion control, nutrient cycling, hydrological cycling and the stability of animal production.
Grassfed whey vs. conventional whey protein
To finish up, let’s break down precisely what is difference between grassfed whey protein and conventional whey protein.
Typically, grassfed whey protein contains more:
- Beta-lactoglobulin, which is known as a powerful immune booster
- Lactoferrin, which has shown to help with cancer and iron overload
- Lysozyme, which is a natural antibacterial
- Cysteine, which supports your body’s antioxidant response
When it comes to eco health, grassfed whey protein helps:
- Creates rich topsoils and a healthier overall ecosystem thanks to rotational grazing
- Doesn’t force cattle to live in uncomfortable conditions while eating unhealthy and unnatural diets
- Reduces use of antibiotics, which can help battle the origination of antibiotic resistant superbugs
In the end, grassfed is simply better
Both regular and grassfed whey protein have great value for you, but in the end there is no doubt that grassfed whey protein is simply the preferred option if you are looking to get all of it’s benefits.
Grassfed whey not only comes with more nutrition, beta-lactoglobulin, lactoferrin and lysozyme, but it also supports healthier and more sustainable farming practices.
When you are looking for grassfed whey isolate, make sure to keep an eye out for these three factors:
- Free of any artificial sweeteners and fillers
- Has at least 20 grams of protein per service size
- Fantastic customer reviews online
Now that you know all of the great benefits of grassfed whey protein, it’s time to head to your local health and fitness store and purchase your first tub of whey protein. From there, you’ll see your body grow stronger by the day!