Many people are discovering the healthy benefits of whey protein. Whether your goal is to lose weight, build lean muscle or to simply live a healthier lifestyle, whey protein is a smart addition to any health plan. However, whey needs to be concentrated and purified before it can be sold for us to use. This purification process changes the entire structure of the protein, and many vitamins, minerals and important compounds are lost. This is why many are switching to undenatured whey protein supplements, which are proteins that have not been put through this damaging processing.
The two main methods that are used to process whey protein are ion exchange and filtration. During ion exchange, the raw protein is placed into an ion exchange tower and chemically processed using two chemicals: hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide. This process reduces the biological activity of the protein. In some cases, the biological activity is totally eliminated. The protein content is increased, but many of the important aspects of the whey protein are depleted. This process reduces antioxidants, protein digestion, immune support and calcium absorption. Ion exchange may also cause the protein to taste more salty and less dairy.
During some filtration processes, whey protein is often exposed to extreme heat. This extreme heat is what denatures the protein and causes damage to some of the amino acids. There are many filtration methods used today for manufacturing whey protein. Some of these methods use a low temperature so that they can produce high protein content with less nutrient loss. However, the proteins are still damaged and altered.
Proteins are shaped like coils. When they are exposed to extreme heat, salt or chemicals, the coils begin to unwind and clump together. A good example of this is the white of an egg after it is cooked. It changes from a clear liquid to a white solid. When protein is put through the filtering process or the ion exchange process, the entire structure of the protein is altered. Each step in the purification process damages the protein a little more. Therefore, the method with the least amount of steps is going to be the most ideal. Denatured proteins are easier to digest, but vital minerals and vitamins are lost during this process.
Whey protein is an easily digested, fast-absorbing protein that has many healthy benefits. There are so many different kinds that it is sometimes hard to know which one will give the best results. Keep in mind that the difference in the whey protein depends on the filtering process used. Undenatured proteins have been through fewer steps during processing and have not been exposed to high temperatures. Therefore, they will lose fewer vitamins and minerals and will contain more bioactive compounds. If you are interested in adding whey protein to your diet, consider using undenatured whey protein. Do a little research, and find out what kind of filtration method was used during processing. This way you will know exactly what you are getting.
Find good quality whey protein in your local natural foods store, or look online in places like HERE .
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