Preserving lean muscle mass as I age is important to me so about 8 years ago I started buying whey protein. I like muscles!
According to the experts,
“Compared with other foods, whey protein contains the highest concentration of branched chain amino acids, especially leucine, which preserves fat-burning muscle for a lean metabolism.” Gerard Mullen, M.D., Gut Balance Revolution, p.87.
Dr. Mullen is a Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and Director of Integrative Gastroenterology Nutrition Services at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
DO CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR AND RESEARCH BRANDS BEFORE TRYING WHEY PROTEIN.
My choice is Whey Factors Double Chocolate–it works best for me. Here’s a link to various whey protein brands and their nutritional breakdown.
For about a dollar a serving, mine delivers 16-18 grams of protein, about the same amount of protein as 2 ounces of chicken. It contains 1-2 grams of carbohydrates and has 80 calories. I drink the Double Chocolate or use Unflavored in baking.
Whey protein is now everywhere. I get mine at PCC Natural Markets or order online when PCC’s is not on sale–it comes from grass-fed cows, contains no artificial ingredients, and is minimally processed. Whey Factors was approved by my doctor for me, and is sold at a store I can trust to have the highest standards for the foods they put on their shelves, both in terms of ingredients contained in the products sold, and the processing involved.
Whey protein is generally almost lactose free–the label on my brand states that it is only 1% lactose. According to Dr. Mullen, “It is also free of casein, the other dairy component that many are sensitive to. (Dairy product proteins are typically 80% casein and 20% whey.)” Gut Balance Revolution, p.87
It mixes great with very cold water–I use a fork to stir it around like I used to do with powdered chocolate I put into milk as a child. I know people who do mix it into milk. It makes me feel like I’ve had a small balanced meal after I drink it, and I do love chocolate. Because of my lupus, I try to limit my meat or fish consumption to 4 ounces a day, plus two eggs (animal protein is hard on the kidneys), so I rely on whey protein.
I ALWAYS BRING WHEY PROTEIN WITH ME WHEN I TRAVEL. It’s hard to get the food you like or need during transit (especially on a plane) or early in the morning, if staying at a hotel. Maybe you’re a little hungry when you get back to your room in the evening. That’s when I go get some ice to make the water cold and mix up my whey. I have added it to iced coffee on the road. Whey protein is light, easy-to-pack, and takes up very little space in a ziplock bag tucked into in your suitcase, backpack, or purse.
You may notice that I also use the unflavored whey in baking, but no more than a quarter of a cup per recipe. I’ve also started using pea protein (at times in place of whey), since it has a bit more fiber which adds moisture to baked goods. To maintain a good texture and taste, I also limit the pea protein to 1/4 cup per recipe.
And just yesterday when I discovered some cream that had been purchased for a special dish reaching its expiration date, I tossed in a few scoops of whey and ran it through an ice cream machine with a little whole milk, too. FYI–all ice cream machines do is get the chill started; you could try just mixing up some whey with whole milk and put it in a container in the freezer and see if you like it as a treat.