Written by Chris Oldland
Organic Whey Protein
Organic products are becoming ever more popular in the health and fitness industry. The biggest selling health and fitness supplement is whey protein powder, so to meet the demand of the consumer Organic Whey Protein is more easily available here in Britain. So, what are the differences and should you be looking to include Organic protein into your supplement stack?
So, how does protein get marked as organic? This process starts on farms. Organic farms are kept to very high standards and must produce their products under strict rules. Some of these rules involve animal welfare, the cattle that produce Organic milk must be allowed to roam freely between outdoors and well maintained shelters with adequate bedding. The cattle are free to graze on pastures of grass and other natural growing plants. They are only given antibiotics if they become ill and they are forbidden to be given any form of growth hormones. Conventional cattle on the other hand, are not raised to these same standards. They are routinely over dosed with antibiotics are given growth hormones and can fed on grain and soy based feed containing genetically modified ingredients. The milk from these cattle can contain traces of the antibiotics, growth hormones as well as GMO’s and soy from their grain feed. Meaning that whey protein produced from this milk may also be tainted.
Organic protein must also be produced without any additives or chemicals; it must be made using 100% natural ingredients. This means you are getting the purest, healthiest form of whey powder you can buy. Many conventional whey protein powders are bulked out with cheaper ingredient’s such as soy usually in the form of soy lecithin. Some studies suggest that consuming large amounts of soy could decrease testosterone and increase oestrogen in your body, the opposite of what you want to be doing if you are looking to build muscle or burn fat.
Some whey products contain maltodextrin, which is a highly processed starch with a very high glycaemic load which can spike insulin levels. Other bulking ingredients could be artificial chemical sweeteners such as sucralose or aspartame or even added sugar. Some are bulked out with thickeners like cellulose gum. Any of these could have a negative effect on your results and when you are buying whey protein you want to be getting as much protein as you can for your money not whey powder bulked out with cheaper ingredients. These ingredients are widely used and are safe to consume, but if you are looking to eat a natural diet free from manmade additives or over processed ingredients then Organic whey protein is probably the best choice of whey powder for you.
There are currently no studies on athletes looking at the nutritional effects from the differences between organic whey protein and conventionally produced protein powder. There have been several studies on the meat and milk that grass fed organic animals produce compared to grain fed non-organic cattle. These studies show that that the meat and milk from grass fed cattle contains more Omega 3, more CLA and more Vitamin E among other nutrients. This is the milk that is used to make organic whey protein powder, so it makes sense that these nutritional differences would be carried over to organic whey powder from the organic milk used to produce it.
While the switch to organic whey protein may not be for everyone, often organic whey powder is unflavoured as a lot of flavourings come from manmade chemicals, this can sometimes put people off as they are used to having a huge choice of flavours for their protein powders. Also, the cost alone can be up to twice as much as conventionally produced whey protein. This is mostly due to the added costs of producing milk from grass fed organic cattle and the fact that no chemicals or bulking agents can be used in the finished product. However, if you are looking for the healthiest, most natural whey protein powder you can buy, you cannot do much better than getting an organic whey powder. By getting organic whey you guarantee that your protein shake is free from hormones, GMO’s, chemical additives or sweeteners, while at the same time giving a better deal to farmers their cattle and the environment. If these values are important to you then the extra cost of going organic for your protein shakes is surely worth it.