Does the protein harm the health?
FitSeven already wrote that most claims about the dangers of a sports protein are just myths - scientific studies confirm the safety and harmlessness of whey protein for health. However, this only applies to "pure" protein, not mixtures sold in stores.
The problem begins when manufacturers of sports nutrition begin to add to the protein very strange ingredients - and not so much to reduce the cost of the product, but to create a more "pleasant" taste and color, as well as a dense texture and to ensure easy mixing with water.
How much protein is in a protein?
The first thing you need to start choosing a sports protein is from studying the protein content in 100g of the product. Very often, manufacturers deliberately mislead the buyer, indicating on the packaging the numbers "30 grams of protein per serving", meaning a 30 g portion of the protein is not a portion, but 40 or even 50.
A good protein contains about 22-25 grams of protein per 30 grams- or 73-83 g of protein per 100 g of product. The amount of carbohydrates and fats in this case should not exceed 1-5 g per serving( or 4-15 g per 100 g).If the protein in the product is less, and carbohydrates and fats are more, then it is not worth buying.
Learning to read the composition of the protein
The second step in choosing a quality protein is careful study of its composition. Recall that the ingredients are listed in descending order, from the prevailing to the lowest. If on the package there is no product composition at all, this definitely does not say anything good.
The main rule should be that the more ingredients in the protein, the worse its quality. This is especially evident in the case of a vegetarian protein made from soy or peas - technology requires complex processes and many additives, which is not always good.
Protein composition: typical ingredients
The key ingredient in whey protein is whey protein concentrate( Whey Protein Concentrate) or whey protein isolate( Whey Protein Isolate).In this case, it is important how the feedstock has been cleaned - by mechanical filtration or chemical reactions.
Expensive protein brands usually unequivocally indicate that the isolate has been purified precisely mechanically, without the use of hydrolysis or other processes. In simple words, this is the case with olive oil - cold-pressed oil is fundamentally different from the deeply refined oil.
On the one hand, in the process of hydrolysis( i.e., thermal, mechanical and chemical treatments), the milk protein is broken down into amino acids, which, in theory, provides better purity of raw materials and a higher level of assimilation. Such a protein is referred to as Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate.
On the other hand, this process is a complex technological chain, fundamentally changing the composition of milk protein. It is impossible to guarantee that in 10 years scientists will not open any "trans-proteins" that are formed in the process of such processing and are harmful to health.
Hazardous Ingredients in Protein
Unfortunately, pure whey has a peculiar unpleasant taste and mixes badly with water - to eliminate this "defect", manufacturers have to add to the composition of the sports protein as sweeteners, as well as flavors and various thickeners.
Note that some scientists believe that the use of aspartame with low blood glucose( that is, after strength training) harms the brain and provokes the development of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. That's why try to buy protein without aspartame.
Thickeners and disintegrators
The principal difference between low-quality protein is the use of cheap thickeners and disintegrants, which make the texture of the product more dense. The problem is that similar thickeners literally fill the stomach and worsen the absorption of protein.
Carrageenan and xanthan gum( Xanthan gum), widely used in the food industry for sausage and sausage production, and for the creation of a dense structure of milkshakes from McDonald's and other fast foods, can be conventionally considered as safe thickeners.
It must be understood that sports protein is a product that is quite complex from the point of view of manufacturing. To reduce the cost of price, manufacturers can use extremely strange ingredients - and no one can prohibit them, as regulations for such products simply do not exist.