Can Whey Protein be Beneficial for Women?

November 21st, 2011 No comments

Whey protein has been a supplement choice for bodybuilders and those in strength training for some time. Through many years of careful study, scientists and doctors have found that whey protein can be just as beneficial for women as well. For many, consuming the necessary four to five eggs per day to reach the doctor recommended 25 grams of protein a day just doesn’t sound all that appealing. Of course, there are other sources of protein such as chicken or certain meats. Yet in the busy schedule of most women today, there just isn’t enough time to prepare all those protein rich foods. Additionally, most of these foods are not only rich in protein, but they can also be packed with unwanted cholesterol and fat.

Enter the magic of whey protein. Women have discovered that not only can whey help with muscle building and repair, but whey can also boost the immune system, aid in weight loss, provide the much coveted antioxidants for cancer fighting, aid in the healing of wounds, and cut down on some effects of aging. To top it off, if the right form of whey is chosen, the fat and cholesterol are only a memory. For those too busy to whip up a three-egg omelet every morning, whey is much easier to consume as well. Available first as a powder, whey can be consumed in easy to make shakes, nutrition bars and cereals. As an added benefit, all of these products are easy to transport as they require no refrigeration.

If whey protein sounds like a possibility, it might be helpful to know a little about what it is and how it is prepared. Whey is a byproduct remaining after milk has been curdled in the production of cheese. It contains many valuable vitamins and nutrients including amino acids and antioxidants. Initially, whey is a liquid by-product. Drying it into a powder makes it much easier to distribute and to use. Whey is most usually available in three different forms: concentrate, isolate, and hydroslate.

Whey concentrate is the most commonly available, and also tends to be the most economical. However, whey concentrate does contain small amounts of fat, lactose and carbohydrates and less protein than its counterpart, whey isolates. The main reason for choosing whey concentrates over whey isolates is cost. Whey in isolate form is much more suitable for those who are lactose intolerant or who are concerned about the fat and carbohydrates in whey concentrate. Whey isolates undergo an additional process in which the fat and lactose are filtered out of the whey leaving them higher in protein. Whey hydroslates are the least recommended of the three forms as they contain the least amount of protein and have an undesirable taste. As with any supplemental program or diet plan, it is best to consult a physician before beginning to add whey protein to a diet, especially for those who are lactose intolerant or have milk allergies.

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Optimum 100% Whey Protein

February 13th, 2009 1 comment

Optimum 100% Whey Protein (Vanilla Ice Cream Flavor)Buy Now

Optimum 100% Whey Protein


Protein Highlights

  • 24g protein per scoop, 30 scoops per jar (2lb product)
  • 4 whey protein formulas
  • low fat
  • added digestive enzymes

The Most Popular Protein

Despite me using the ON whey for a few years now, this is actually a strange review to write. It’s become such a staple for me I don’t even think about it! My brother recommended it to me after seeing me go through several protein brands when I started lifting.

The Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Protein is one of the most popular supplements out there. It won the Supplement Of The Year and Protein Powder Of The Year awards for all of 2005 to 2008. Every gym I’ve been to has it in stock, and it’s never let me down. Why is this?

Good Protein

To start, ON sells this as a blend of various whey proteins – 2 kinds of Whey Protein Isolates, Whey Protein Concentrate, and Whey Peptides.

The Whey isolates come in 2 forms: Ion-Exchanged and Microfiltered. The ion-exchanged whey, while providing a high bulk of protein, does leave behind some fat. Unfortunately the process also denatures some of the amino acids resulting in a less than perfect blend. Luckily, the microfiltered portion provides a good boost of essential whey fractions (the good, health promoting molecules that make whey so beneficial) without any lactose or fat left behind. ON has blended the two types of whey isolates together into a very effective mixture.

The other two portions of the blend – the concentrate and the peptides – are spot on. Even with including a whey concentrate the fat content per serving does not top 1.5 grams. While whey concentrates can vary widely in quality and protein percentage, ON’s concentrate is about as high as you go for protein makeup – there’s just such little fat and cholesterol!

The whey peptide portion is a super fast acting protein source. It’s been hydrolyzed to split it apart into easy to digest molecules. When you go to drink this postworkout, the peptides are going to hit your muscles first.

Digestibility

While most protein isolates contain very little lactose, this can be a big deal for some people. ON gets around this problem very nicely. They’ve blended in lactase and Aminogen digestive enzymes into the mix to basically cancel out any digestion problems the lactose might cause.

Does it help? Yes! Some wheys leave me feeling bloated for an hour or two after drinking. I’m quite happy to say the Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey has never given me digestion problems.

Other Goodies

ON also includes 4 grams of glutamine and glutamine precursors in each serving. This won’t replace a glutamine supplement, but it’s a welcome addition if you care about repairing muscle tissue post-workout. As for amino acids, this whey has 5 grams of the branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) valine, leucine, and isoleucine in each scoop. BCAAs are essential amino acids your body needs to build muscle tissue.

The Bottom Line

Does Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Whey deserve to be the most popular whey protein powder? Yes! ★★★★★

Allmax Isoflex Review

April 15th, 2009 No comments
Allmax IsoflexBuy Now

Allmax Isoflex

Highlights

  • Lots of whey protein fractions
  • non-gmo
  • 4 way recovery blend

High Quality Protein

Since the protein makes up the bulk of isoflex, let’s start there. Allmax’s protein comes from a cold processed, cross flow micro filtered whey protein isolate. This means the muscle building portions have been extracted away from the lactose, fat, and milk.

They list the whey fraction breakdown as:

* beta lactalbumin 49%
* alpha lactalbumin 21%
* glycomacropeptides 16%
* immunoglobulin 9%
* bsa 1%
* egf 2%
* IGF 1 1%
* lactoferrin 1%

I’m impressed by this. It’s hard to find companies releasing the actual fraction breakdown of their product.

Regarding the IFG-1 in this protein – some people avoid IGF-1 like the plague. Others would gladly say “more, please!” Because of it’s anabolic activities. At 1% of the total the effects are going to be small (in my opinion), but at least be aware it’s there as a listed ingredient.

NOS + glutamine + IS = supplement buffet

Alright here’s where isoflex makes a play and start to differentiate itself. The most interesting part of this powder lies in the three other complexes Allmax included.

First off, you’ve got a little over 4 g of glutamine peptides. Your body drains its glutamine stores by as much as 50% during a good workout. Boosting these low glutamine levels is definitely a good idea to keep your muscles growing, because without it some studies say your immune system has to work harder and you run the risk of muscle breakdown. Not cool. A glutamine supplement can help prevent this.

Next up, you’ve got the is complex of alpha lipoic acid (ala), d-pinitol and 4-hydroxylsoleucine. These chemicals have been shown to increase insulin receptor sensitivity. What does this mean to you? It mean to the carbohydrate stores in your muscles can be replenished faster (getting you to the gym again sooner!)

Lastly, Allmax has thier special NOS complex. While not a full blown nitric oxide supplement in itself, these additives are designed to increase your blood flow. This can help her body digest the whey.

The bottom line

An intriguing protein mix. Get this if you’re looking for a whey protein isolate that will also help your glutamine, insulin, and NOS levels.★★★★½

Cytosport Muscle Milk

February 16th, 2009 2 comments

Cytosport Muscle Milk ready to drinkBuy Now

Cytosport Muscle Milk ready to drink


Highlights

  • 34g protein (17 oz bottle)
  • zero trans-fat
  • low carbs

The Claim

“Muscle Milk is an “evolutionary” muscle formula promoting efficient fat burning, lean muscle growth and fast recovery from exercise.” –CytoSport

Evolutionary?

Cytosport’s protein blend is called EvoPro – short for evolutionary based protein. They don’t use use just whey protein isolate, instead preferring a mixture of various proteins including casein and whey isolate.

Why?

The various proteins will absorb at different rates and give your muscles more protein than just a quick shot of whey isolate would. If taken before bed, the casein will digest as you sleep, actually making you grow healthier muscles overnight.

The real kicker is the ratios used in Muscle Milk. They’ve formulated this stuff to have the same nitrogen and protein ratios as found in human mother’s milk! Think about the last time you were undergoing explosive growth (hint: you couldn’t talk, had to be fed every few hours, and ended up tripling in size in a few years). What were you eating then? A mixture high in certain fats and proteins.

In that regard Cytosport’s hit a grand slam. This is a great nutritional blend of the right fats and proteins to build muscle.

Drinkability and Fat

Muscle Milk is yummy. It smells and looks good, just make sure to shake it up very well.

Look at the label – the fat levels in the ready to drink mix are high. 17 grams of fat per serving. This goes a long way to improving the taste of this drink, but thankfully without causing problems.

The fats are actually medium chain triglycerides. These types of fat have a low calorie count and and burned as energy much more easily than normal fats. This means they give a nice rich flavor to this shake, but won’t pack on the fatty tissue.

The Bottom Line

A good protein drink for nighttime or as a meal replacement. Will help you gain muscle without putting on more fat. ★★★★★

AllMax Nutrition IsoNatural Whey Protein

March 14th, 2009 3 comments
AllMax Nutrition IsoNatural Whey ProteinBuy Now

AllMax Nutrition IsoNatural Whey Protein

Highlights

  • 28 grams of just protein
  • ultra-low fat, low carb

A True Natural Protein Powder

The ingredients of AllMax Nutrition IsoNatural: whey protein isolate.

That’s it. No colors, no sweetners, no flavorants or anything else added. Just whey isolate. I love it! When I use this in a protein shake, I can balance my intake perfectly.

Is It Good Protein?

When you’re product only has one ingredient it had better deliver, and AllMax does.

This is just a whey protein isolate – the fastest acting, purest form of whey protein you can get. It’s been stripped of most of it’s fat and lactose. What’s left if a hard hitting protein that your body will quickly digest and turn into new muscle fiber.

AllMax uses a cold filtration to prevent the proteins from becoming denatured. This means the protein has been separated out with as much care as possible, while leaving behind much of the whey fractions. These are the active parts of the whey that your body needs.

Taste

Well, it’s about as you’d expect – this is just whey. If you just throw this in some water the final product will be gritty. If you’re hardcore just down this protein and be done.

If you’re more like me, throw in some fruit or milk and drink up. IsoNatural has an enlarged protein size to make it mix easier, and it does mix nicely.

The Bottom Line

You want a natural whey protein? It doesn’t get more natural than IsoNatural! ★★★★★