The Benefits of Grass-Fed Whey Protein
The concept of grass-fed has gained quite the popularity in the health world, while whey protein is continuously advertised as a holy grail for muscle growth in avid exercisers. So when the two join forces, what benefits does grass-fed whey protein have?
What Is Grass-Fed Whey Protein?
Grass-fed is a term to describe the diet of ruminants, including cattle, bison, goats as sheep, particularly grazing off of the natural pasture in this sense. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) classification further denotes after weaning, ruminants must solely graze on grass, forage, and cereal grains in their vegetative, pre-grain state. They must also have continuous access to pastures during the growing season and the addition of “USDA Organic” further signifies and validates the absence of GMOs, growth hormones, and antibiotics. The practice dismisses the concept of commodity agriculture, switching the focus of mass quantity towards more the product’s quality.
To obtain grass-fed whey protein, milk from grass-fed ruminants are divided into two proteins – casein protein (makes up 80 percent of milk) and whey protein (comprises the remaining 20 percent). The whey is separated from casein and further divided into whey concentrate or isolate, with concentrate containing smaller volumes of protein, though isolate may lose valuable nutrients during processing. Whey is considered a complete protein and contains all essential amino acids, amino acids that must be obtained through the diet, and aids in protein synthesis and promotes muscle growth.
Switching to grass-fed supplies the same well-recognized protein and nutrients, but towards a larger extent. Compared to grain-fed, grass-fed animals provide larger volumes of polyunsaturated fat (PUFAs), conjugate linoleic acid (CLA), and omega-3 fatty acids. It also is suggested to offer a richer amino acid profile, including the three branched-chain amino acids, for substantial use by the muscles. Higher concentrations of various nutrients have also shown to be ampler in grass-fed whey, including B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
Is Whey Protein Good for You?
Whey protein benefits the body in numerous ways, as it is a pure supplier of rich nutrients. Grass-fed whey protein has been touted to…
…facilitate weight loss.
Protein is a key player when it comes to weight loss, and grass-fed protein powder may just be locking in such notion. Not only does grass-fed whey protein supply ample nutrients in a natural form, whey also acts as an appetite stimulant and may suppress the urge to overeat. Additionally, CLA is showing to be a promising approach of facilitating weight loss.
…stimulate muscle growth and repair.
One of the most touted and sought out benefits of whey protein is its rich protein content, offering muscle growth and repair throughout varying lifespans. In fact, health experts consider whey to be an excellent protein source and studies further suggests its beneficial use in muscle maintenance in older individuals and women following a workout. Its valuable CLA and BCAA content further provide further significance in muscle repair and helps combat against breakdown.
…lessen chronic disease risk.
Especially when omega-3 fatty acids overpower the availability of omega-6s, anti-inflammatory responses are suggested to occur. In fact, the powerful properties of omega-3s are implied to lessen the risk of numerous chronic diseases, including heart disease and dementia. Additional nutrients, including CLA and vitamins A and E, may also protect and fight against cancer.
…assist in diabetes management.
While weight loss and maintaining a lean body mass lessens diabetes risk and potentially even reverses it, rich protein sources have also shown to have a positive impact on blood sugars and insulin concentrations. Additionally, in both healthy individuals and those managing type 2 diabetes, blood sugar reductions have been documented with the use of whey protein.
…boost the immune system.
Whey concentrate has been touted to boost immune levels related to its glutathione content, with low glutathione levels considered to have negative impact on the immune system. Grass-fed whey protein is suggested to contain higher concentrations of vitamins A and E, two vitamins showing promise in immune health.