Whey protein is one of the most common powders to add to protein shakes because it’s high in protein and quickly digested by our bodies. Whey protein shakes are most commonly ingested before or after a workout to provide energy and help speed up the body’s natural process of rebuilding muscles. But, when purchasing a protein powder, it can get confusing because there are many different types—some labeled as natural whey while others are mixed with different supplements and ingredients.
What Is Whey Protein?
Whey protein is derived from dairy products, meaning that anyone who is vegan or lactose-intolerant will want to avoid this type of protein and opt for a different powder like pea or hemp protein. After milk is extracted from a cow, it is sent to a processing plant, where two types of protein—whey and casein—are separated to create different types of protein powder. Casein is not as commonly used as whey because it is digested more slowly, so it does not provide the same quick-acting results as whey. Many people will drink casein before bed to help with muscle recovery during the night.
How Do You Know if It’s Natural?
The best way to identify whether or not you’re purchasing natural whey is by looking at the ingredients. Although many protein powders will label the container with 100 percent whey, supplements are not regulated by the FDA so there are often additional ingredients added to these powders. Because whey is acquired from cow’s milk, it’s always natural, but the added ingredients may not be natural.
The definition of a “natural” product differs from person to person, particularly because the government does not have a specific outline for what “natural” means on food labels. Currently, the only guidelines for natural products state that they may not contain any artificial ingredients. But again, because the FDA does not regulate protein powders, some companies may try to make the product sound all-natural when in fact there are synthetic supplements included in the powder. If you’re determined to find completely natural whey protein, check labels carefully and educate yourself on the most common protein powder additives to avoid.
5PRO Nutrition Natural Whey Protein
One of our favorite natural whey protein supplements that is guaranteed to include only the best, natural ingredients is from 5PRO Nutrition. These powders are available in both chocolate and vanilla to give your shakes an extra tasty flavor. 5PRO Nutrition takes special care to create a product with only the best nutrients for your body.
You’ll never find artificial or filler ingredients on the label. Because whey is derived from cow’s milk, some people are concerned about the use of a growth hormone called rBGH, which is used to speed up a cow’s natural development. The entire product line by 5PRO Nutrition is free of rBGH and gluten-free.
Why Drink Whey Protein?
Whey protein is the perfect main ingredient for a protein shake and is thought to have many health benefits. Your body runs on protein and virtually every part of your body is composed of this vital nutrient, so it’s essential that you consume the proper amount each day to keep your body running at peak performance. Drinking whey protein prior to a workout may boost your stamina and increase energy, while a post-workout shake helps speed up the process of muscle recovery.
Many people also opt to drink protein shakes for or with their breakfast because a protein-heavy meal first thing in the morning kickstarts your metabolism, helping you burn fat more quickly throughout the day. Protein also helps to reduce hunger and fight off cravings during the day, so other protein shake enthusiasts like to drink several small shakes throughout the day instead of snacks.
The Perfect Protein Shaker Bottle
If you’re planning to integrate more natural whey protein into your diet, you should consider investing in a high-quality protein shaker bottle to make it easy to mix up a shake any time of the day. The Ice Shaker is available in 16 oz. and 25 oz. sizes and features measurements inside the tumbler for your reference. With vacuum-sealed, double-walled insulation, the Ice Shaker product line can keep your drinks cold for more than 30 hours. Plus, the agitator, which works to perfectly blend protein powder with liquid, screws into the lid, making it easy to detach and clean.