Whey Everyday

Given the right product, 100% Whey Protein Shakes are an easy way to add protein and vital amino acids to your diet.  When you make it with full fat milk, you add important Phospholipids that boost cell and Mito membrane health.  To really boost your daily nutrition, combine your Whey Protein Shake with Nucleotide-rich foods such as eggs, or a Nucleotide-rich supplement like Brewer’s Yeast.  As a post-workout recovery shake, drink a Whey Protein Shake as soon after your workout as possible.  You can also use it as a quick and nutritious breakfast-on-the-go.

Whey Protein Shake

HEATHER’S 100% WHEY PROTEIN BREAKFAST (or Post-Workout) SHAKE:

This is the whole kit and caboodle… Get out the blender, then add:
1 heaping spoon of Full Fat Greek Yogurt (brands I’ve found with full-fat option: Cabot’s, Fage)
Whole milk to the 1 cup line
1 scoop CytoSport Muscle Milk 100% Whey powder (vanilla)
2 tsp cocoa (you can buy the chocolate Muscle Milk powder; however, it adds a lot more than just cocoa to make it chocolate)
1 heaping TBSP peanut butter powder (or as natural as possible peanut butter, no high fructose corn syrup)
1 tsp D-Ribose
1 Tbsp Arthred Collagen powder
Medium banana

Directions: Blend it until smooth, throw it in a shaker cup and run out the door.

*Note: The addition of D-Ribose and the Adenine found in bananas allows the building blocks for the formation of new ATP. The addition of Arthred Collagen Powder adds additional protein and amino acids to the shake content.

VARIATIONS:

If you buy the vanilla Muscle Milk powder, this allows more flexibility to switch things up. For a fruit flavored shake, add your favorite fruits and/or berries. Stronger flavored fruits such as peaches and berries have a better chance at flavoring your shake.

In a hurry? Don’t have time to (or don’t want to) get out the blender?

When I’m rushing, I grab my shaker cup which I’ve pre-marked with a permanent marker to where the 1 cup level is, then add:

1 heaping spoon of Cabot 10% milk fat Greek yogurt
Whole milk to my 1-cup line
1 scoop CytoSport Muscle Milk 100% Whey powder (vanilla)
2 tsp cocoa (if the powder is the vanilla flavored)
1 heaping Tbsp peanut butter powder (this is where the powdered peanut butter is real handy)
1 tsp D-Ribose

Directions:  Secure the shaker cup lid. Shake vigorously and drink it while running out the door with a banana in tow.
Recommendation:  Pre-mix your Whey protein powder with the cocoa before adding it to your milk.

PRODUCT SELECTION:

100% Whey Protein Powder:  I personally use CytoSport Muscle Milk and the cheapest I’ve found it is at my local Costco (and when they run sales I stock up). Deciding factors for this product included price (particularly at Costco), protein content in relation to overall product content (subtract grams of protein in a serving from total grams of product in a serving; the difference is MOSTLY filler product), and processing method (see “Whey Protein Basics” info below).

Pre-made Whey Protein Shakes: I do NOT use pre-made shakes unless I am traveling and it is not conducive to make my own. Pre-made shakes are both more expensive and also contain many unnecessary additives including Carrageenan (now found in a LOT of dairy products, so watch your labels).  Carrageenan is a thickener and is now thought to be cancer promoting in large quantities.

D-Ribose:  Please note that if you have a corn allergy, the majority of D-Ribose on the market is sourced from corn.  There are alternatives but they are more expensive and more difficult to find.

Arthred Collagen Powder:  Arthred is a trademarked and patented formula of Collagen that contains 19 of the 20 amino acids required by humans.  This collagen powder dissolves quickly in any liquid and has little to no taste, allowing for ease of use in drinks, shakes and smoothies.  It is sold under several different brands, Nutricology and Source Naturals being two of them.  Source Naturals is generally less expensive.

Greek Yogurt:  The trend for the last generation or so has been that of low or no-fat products.  The yogurt industry has been consumed by this notion of fat being unhealthy.  Contrary to popular belief, eating healthy fats do not contribute to weight gain.  Healthy fats are important to overall health and energy production and milk fat also contains Phospholipids.  Moderate healthy fat intake should be a part of your diet (unless you have a fatty acid oxidation issue unable to be mediated).  It took me a long time to find a brand of yogurt that was not low or no-fat.  Cabot’s and Fage both carry a plain, full-fat Greek yogurt that are available in my area with no sugar added, and it also DOES NOT contain Carrageenan.

Peanut Butter Powder: Please read the ingredients. Several sources contain corn syrup solids. Look for brands that contain as few ingredients as possible.

SOME WHEY PROTEIN BASICS:

Whey protein is a very popular way of delivering both high protein that is easily digestible (absent dairy or protein digestive issues and some products even contain dairy digestive enzymes) and a comprehensive amino acid profile important to cells, tissue, muscle and bone health and energy production.

“Whey concentrate” has undergone less filtration and contains more fat, lactose and other components.

“Whey isolate” has had additional filtration that removes more of these components and you get a more “isolated” form of protein and amino acids.

Tip: If you are looking at the nutritional facts on a particular product, look at the serving size (in grams) and compare that figure with the total grams of protein. There will always be some difference between these two numbers. However, the wider the difference, the more filler ingredients are being used in the product.

The filtration process is also important. Processing should always be under low heat and low acid conditions so the protein is not denatured. This allows the Whey to remain biologically active (a fancy way of saying it will actually have an effect).

Additionally, there are several other filtration methods advocated for by their manufacturer, such as cross-flow micro filtration. Each company seems to boast that their filtration process is the better product. It is hard to find specifics on exactly what these many methods entail. However, there is one process that should be of concern, Ion Exchange. As the name would imply, it has the potential of changing the charges associated with the different nutrients in the Whey and can also work to destroy key components of it, which one could speculate would change the effectiveness or even usefulness of what remains. Ion Exchange also utilizes hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide. So if you are interested in avoiding as many chemicals as possible, you would want to avoid products processed in this way.

There is also the discussion of Whey verses Casein protein. They are both derived from milk. Here is the quick and easy on this:

Whey:  Whey breaks down quicker and is more easily absorbed. If it is processed appropriately, Whey should contain all the major amino acids required by humans, including the “essential” branch-chain amino acids (BCAAs) that can’t be produced by the body and thus must be derived from food sources. Whey stimulates muscle synthesis (growth), which contributes more stem cells that facilitate that growth. Used in conjunction with quick-burst, weight bearing exercise, this muscle gain should increase both the total number of Mito and improve their overall functional capacity, as opposed to simple cell turnover.

Casein:  Casein is higher in overall protein, but unless you are truly body building this could mean too much protein consumption. Casein is slower to digest and includes a slower release of the amino acids it contains. The biggest benefit to Casein would be its ability to inhibit protein breakdown (where as Whey stimulates building muscle). So if muscle wasting (protein cannibalism) is an issue, adding Casein to your Whey protein intake may be of some benefit. But it would likely be more beneficial to add some Casein to your intake verses substituting it in place of Whey because Whey provides more benefits in regards to recovery from physical activity and in feeding energy production through amino acid delivery.

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