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Demystifying Protein Powder

Demystifying Protein Powder (or Whey)

Protein shake, whey, protein powder, isolate… perhaps you’ve heard some of these terms or through your friends, your gym or in the media. The protein powder supplements are increasingly popular and accessible. Furthermore, they are now found on grocery store shelves and stock trades as Maxi, IGA, Wal-Mart, Costco or pharmacy. These specialized products are no longer limited only to stores specialized supplements. Protein powder is not only consumed by athletes: sports Sunday and even people in weight loss process now consumes.

But in fact, what exactly is the protein powder, also known as the whey? What is its composition? Is it a risk to health? That advantage to consume?

Where did this come from ?

In fact, protein powder or whey (also called whey or whey) is nothing other than food. You read correctly. This is actually a by-product of the dairy industry, a “waste” once put to waste because the properties were known. Recovered its raw state (liquid), whey protein will undergo various micro filtrations to be purified and separated into much of its lactose (milk sugar). It will subsequently be flavored and / or processed and marketed as a supplement or food additive.

Scoop of protein powder

Scoop of protein powder

It makes muscles?

A still widespread myth about protein shakes is that eating them would make it more muscular. Unfortunately, this dietary supplement is not a magic powder. You can stuff yourself with protein shakes every day from morning to night, however, if you do not train yourself at least 3 times a week and according to an appropriate strength training program, you will not have biceps worthy of Arnold Schwarzenegger or a prominent six-pack. For you ladies, you do not have to worry: protein powder consumption will not give you big bulky muscles and a male voice.


Protein powder: harmful to the kidneys?

Another popular myth about protein powder consumption is that it could be harmful to the kidneys. Well, this statement is false. If you’re healthy and you are not suffering from a kidney disease, you do not have to worry. Excess protein (either through food or protein powder) will not cause kidney overload unless you have a genetic predisposition. Protein powder and protein foods have a similar impact in the kidneys. As mentioned previously, the whey is food like beef or chicken! Furthermore, several studies have been done on the subject and have shown that this statement regarding the consumption of protein powder and kidney health was indeed false.


Does protein powder for you?

Before you go to buy a gigantic pot protein powder, make sure whether you really need. Do you have specific goals of training or weight loss? Or any other purpose requiring a higher protein intake?

Remember though that diet generally covers the protein requirement for occasional sports (training frequency of less than 3 times per week). Although it may be advantageous to increase his protein intake in some situations it is important to assess its contributions versus his needs before embarking on the consumption of protein supplements. If you have questions and want to have more information about this, contact a medical professional!

The various types of protein powder

Whey protein is by far the most popular and most widespread. Nevertheless, there are also isolated whey protein that turns out to be just the whey which has been completely isolated (removed) lactose (milk sugar). It is therefore more digestible for lactose intolerant people or experiencing discomfort when consuming milk. The protein content is therefore somewhat higher and about 28 to 30 g of protein per serving. However,isolate is more expensive compared with the whey, and this for the same amount. Note that the quality of the protein remains the same in both cases.

On the other hand, there is a growing popularity of vegetable protein supplements. These can be an interesting alternative for vegetarians and vegans who wish to increase their protein intake. However, the quality of the supplement is not always optimal. In this sense, it is better to opt for a mixture of vegetable protein, enabling complete amino acids which, we recall, is incomplete in the plant kingdom. Avoid protein supplements vegetarian / vegan containing only one type of protein, such as rice protein or only hemp.

There are also soy protein, beef … and even cricket! I wonder what kind of protein soon conquer the market.


One last point I want to make in this article is that, too often today, protein supplements are sometimes confused with doping substances, including steroids. It is a myth that must be seriously debunk. As demonstrated in this article, the protein powder is nothing other than food. Of course, some companies add ingredients to their products to make them more “exclusive.” So be vigilant and inform. If contamination with illegal substances or doping concerns you, make sure your supplements are certified NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) and then they have a NPN (Natural Product Number). These acronyms mean that the products are regulated, tested and manufactured in controlled environments. Also Promote Canadian and Quebec brands.