Is Cross Filtered Whey The Best Type of Protein Powder?


question-icon-newI was wondering how I could find out whether a whey protein has been cross filtered and where I can find a protein that is in its natural and purest form? Is this the best type of protein powder to buy?

answer-icon-newWhen I think of finding protein in its natural, purest form my mind envisions Neanderthals with spears hunting down beasts and the women skinning, gutting and drying the animal flesh and carcass (and perhaps barely dressed babes gathering nuts and eggs). Getting back to natural protein, one wouldn’t have to worry about calorie counting. Imagine the type of energy burned to stay warm, hunt, fish, and gather all day long? Knowing me, I might compete with someone as to who could fill the basket more quickly or tell someone “you’re cracking that nut the wrong way”!

The most rewarding and beneficial way of consuming protein: eat a variety of foods rich in protein. In my early competitive years “dieting”, I ate so many chicken breasts and egg whites that my room smelled like a chicken coop and I started to balk like a crazy hen! Please, I beg you, diversify your food intake and be conscience of what nutritional value each substance contains. Balance your diet and do not rely only on protein for your nutritional needs. If so, you put yourself at risk for future health problems such as kidney failure, heart disease, loss of bone density and dehydration. A balanced diet is required for optimal health.

grilled-chicken-breastThe purest form of protein would be natural foods containing protein: fresh fish, chicken, pork, lean beef, eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, and milk. As well as plant-based proteins such as beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu, tempeh (which contains all amino acids) and spirulina, which surprisingly has the highest protein nutrient density (100 grams equals 57.5 grams of protein). No wonder my sushi wrapped in seaweed is such a craving after training!

I have found eating a variety of protein rich foods has proven beneficial. Oftentimes, in the quest for ultimate fitdom, people do not consider the health benefits of maintaining and using many plant-based proteins, and natural foods, especially when the protein powder industry is simple: put it in a blender and add milk or water, or tear off the wrapper of a protein bar and take a bite. Eating clean, pure protein just like long ago, takes work and energy.

Nonetheless, if you do want to add a protein supplement into your training for muscle recovery or muscle growth, then pay attention to how the protein is made, read labels, research and educate yourself. There is conflicting information: you need more protein, you need less, but ultimately, listen to and love your body. I heeded advice to add more protein in the past, and felt like a walking cement block, heavy, drained and bloated. I wasn’t a 6 foot male trying to add muscle, but an athlete who had decent muscle memory and a short, stocky figure.

Thus, find what you need. While researching 10 protein powders, at least 8 companies disclosed the exact means of filtration used. Most wanted to disclose the filtration method as part of their verification of quality and competitiveness. Do your best to decipher the quality and ultimate benefit of the product. You may have to try a variety to see what works best for you. Some helpful tips to finding the process of filtration is to look for keywords that say:

  • Membrane filtration,micro or ultra filtration, which is the process of capturing proteins through membrane filters. Now, is filtering whey considered negative? We as a society want filtered, pure water in order to omit “impurities”. Filtering is an inexpensive process where pressure and gravity does much of the work. Membrane or micro/ultra filtration leaves about 80% purity and the remaining doesn’t sound half bad, milk, lactose and maybe sugar.
  • Cross-flow filtration is the process where fat and lactose is removed using low heat temperatures avoiding acidic chemical conditions and leaves the protein liquid which is then dried. The whey is not passed into a filter but across the surface. Considering purity, the whey is about 90-94%.
  • Ion-exchange filtration means the process of whey separation occurs through electrical charge to separate the whey protein from the whey liquid. It may be combined with resin in ion exchange vessels leaving a type of “ash” and has about a 97% purity rating. Ion-exchange can have the lowest of impurities but because of this filtration, peptides with health benefits are also absent.
  • Hydrolyzed protein uses a process that is treated with enzymes to break the protein down into smaller peptides and amino acids, leaving Arginine, resulting in a bitter taste and also a more expensive type of protein. It contains little or no macropeptides (less allergens) and is quickly assimilated (this is the protein used in tube feeding).

The protein supplement industry (protein bars, protein shakes, protein powders) is a highly competitive market with many wordy phrases and scientific terms to throw off the consumer. I recommend researching the additives, extra supplements and what they can do for the body. Plus, make sure to consider what the long-term effects might be?

For example, I have to look for foods that do not contain artificial sweeteners because of allergies (trying to decipher labels with auf Deutsch can be tricky). There are websites for supplement reviews, commentary and blogs about protein products. In addition, you can also check to see if the product is NSF approved (an organization which sets standards for human health on a global scale).

In the hunt for fitdom, may you enjoy using modern technology to find your answers, but don’t forget the natural methods of the Neanderthals. Happy hunting!

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About Author

Tiffany Rae

As a wife, mother, teacher, coach, volunteer, writer and fitness competitor, Tiffany feels her success in life and in her career directly relate to her mental discipline and physical work ethic. She believes whole-heartedly in weighing life's opportunities to create balance.

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