Statistics show nearly $6 billion worth of protein supplements are sold in the U.S. on a yearly basis. While protein supplements come in bar and ready-to-drink form, it is protein powders that dominate the category, capturing 63% of the market’s share.
But is all protein powder the same? Not at all. One of the most important factors to review when differentiating between protein powders is whether a powder is denatured during the manufacturing process. It can make the difference between a protein powder that is effective and one that is not.
Which “whey” to go?
Of the varieties of protein powder sources, which include egg, soy, and hemp protein, it is whey protein powder that is the most popular and best for daily use. That is because it contains all the essential amino acids and is easily digested. It also helps to boost energy and can reduce stress levels.
The nature of “denaturing”
Denatured protein powder is protein that has lost some of its structure. Unfortunately, this is a common byproduct of the manufacturing process for supplements. “Denatured whey” is an amino acid that has had its structure broken down by factors that include:
- Oxidation during the manufacturing process
- Spinning during filtration and packaging
- Exposure to high heat, chemicals, or acids during processing
Amino acids make whey protein beneficial. When they are denatured, the body cannot absorb them as efficiently as it could if they were in a non-denatured state. That is because denaturation of proteins involves breaking down their structure and breaking peptide bonds, which reduces the effectiveness of the protein.
The benefits of non-denatured whey protein powder are numerous. Whey protein powder:
- Contains essential amino acids needed for muscle growth
- Increases energy and health level
- Helps in weight management by promoting healthy metabolism
- Increases satiety, or the feeling of being full, resulting in less calorie intake
The power of cysteine
Whey protein powder that has not been denatured also contains high levels of cysteine. Because the cellular structures of amino acids haven’t been altered during manufacturing, cysteines that strengthen the body’s immune system are still present. Cysteines boost the immune system by producing glutathione, a powerful antioxidant, anti-aging compound. Glutathione aids in fighting off infections and disease.
Other compounds that are present
Whey protein is also loaded with immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, alpha-lactalbumin, and beta-lactoglobulin – all of which are stripped of their effectiveness when protein is denatured. These substances have numerous benefits including improving cardiovascular health, aiding in how effectively the body responds to exercise, and boosting immune function.
Beware of toxicity
Consumer Reports conducted an analysis that found some brands of protein powder had high levels of contaminants including lead, mercury, cadmium, and even arsenic. They found brands sold at major natural food chains tend to be purer than brands sold in sports nutrition stores, for example. This may be due to higher quality control protocols.
Quality Protein Powders – and Much More – in Providence, RI
The Elements Store at the BioMed Center New England only sells holistic and healthy products that help you achieve optimized health. Our products never include artificial ingredients or fillers like supplements purchased at some big-box retailers can. Our products contain only the necessary ingredients for proper delivery and shelf life.
Call (401) 443-4007 or schedule a consultation through our website today to see the difference quality, natural ingredients can make to your overall well being.