The Truth About Fat and Whey Protein for Muscle Building

by Lee Cork

Milk Facts and Whey Protein For Building Muscle and Bodybuilding

More money is spent on protein powder and whey than any other supplement.  
If you do not understand exactly what you’re buying, you’re going to fall for the marketing hype and waste all kinds of money.whey protein for muscle mass

If you use protein powder, you need to understand exactly what it is and how it’s made or you are going to waste money.  

Let’s start with this, protein powder does not have magical muscle building properties; it’s just convenient.  It’s no better than chicken, pork, fish, eggs; it’s just protein.

Now, granted, milk does have very high protein quality, the only thing that comes close is eggs.

So, if milk is so great why don’t bodybuilders just drink fresh milk out of the cow?

Good question.  Its’ calories.  Fresh milk is only about 20% protein by calories.  

The other 80% is fat and carbohydrates.

If you were to use fresh milk as your sole source of protein, you would end up gaining body fat at an alarming rate.  You say, if that’s a problem, what about nonfat milk?

Much better.

Nonfat milk is about 40% protein by calories, the other 60% is carbohydrates.  

If you’re a teen who is very active and going through puberty, you could probably use that as your primary source of protein without gaining body fat.

But anyone who is mature, that’s too many carbohydrate calories in conjunction with the milk.  You would gain body fat.  

So, we’re not getting anywhere with the fresh milk thing.

Let’s take a new tact, the ancient art of cheese making.

You take that fresh cow’s milk, you ferment it with bacteria and then you throw in the stuff called Reddit which curdles it.

Then, you take out the curds to make the cheese and you’re left with whey.

So are we there yet?

Well whey does have very high protein quality but it only has 13% protein by calories.  

That’s even worse than fresh whole milk. We’ve backtracked there.

When you made the cheese, it pulled out most of the fat but it also pulled out a lot of protein.  You can buy the whey in this form.

In fact, a lot of the organic whey’s only come in this form, you can’t get them in concentrated or isolated form.

As I said, with only 13% protein, they’re really not much use to bodybuilders.

You might as well have my favorite food of all time which is black beans.

So what are we going to do now?  We have this great whey protein but it’s only 13% protein which is kind of useless.

How do we isolate the protein from all his carbs and fats?

In other words, how do we concentrate the protein to get whey protein concentrate?

I’m glad you asked….

Turns out that the molecules of fat, carbohydrate and protein are different sizes.  

So, if you’re clever about choosing the mesh size and a filter, you can squish that stuff through and end with the protein on one side of the filter and the carbs and fat on the other.

Now, filtering techniques have gotten really advanced in the last 50 years so much so that they can filter it and end up with protein density’s above 90%.

That’s 90% or more of the calories from protein, that’s just trace amounts of carbohydrates and fat. Now, a lot of different filtering techniques are used.

As far as I know, they’re all done at cool temperatures and without the use of acid.  That’s important because those are two things that could destroy the quality of the protein: high temperatures and acid.

So, as far as I know, all these filtering techniques are equivalent and you should not be thrown by marketing claims otherwise.

Let me list some of the filtering techniques here.

  • There’s cross-filtered.
  • There’s ultra-filtered.
  • There’s nano-filtered.
  • There’s filtered-filtered.

Now, there is one method of concentrating protein that I do not like;

  • it’s the ion exchange method.

In my view, that process damages the quality of the protein.  

If you want to use it, go on ahead.

I personally prefer all the filtered products than to buy an exchange product.

You’re going to have to decide for yourself.

If you want to gauge the quality of the protein, it’s actually pretty easy.

They don’t list percent of protein on the label but it’s very easy to calculate.

What you do is look at the nutritional label –I’ll show you how. You look at the number of grams, protein in a serving.

On mine here on my desk, it’s 27.  You multiply that by four because we have four calories per gram of protein and then you divide that by the number of calories in a serving, which here is 140.  

You divide that out and for this case it’s 77% protein.  

So, let’s summarize because I’m an engineer and that’s what engineers do.

Milk is a great source of protein the problem is there’s too many calories in it.

You can use nonfat like nonfat milk and nonfat cottage cheese but even then they’re only 40% protein.

If you’re a growing teen or someone who’s very, very active, it’s possible you can use those as a primary protein source without gaining body fat.

If so, it’s a very economical way to get your protein.  Whey is what’s left over after you make cheese.

It’s only 13% protein so to make it useful for fitness and bodybuilding, you have to concentrate the protein or isolate the protein from the carbs.  

That’s actually easy to do through filtration and then it ends up an awesome, high quality protein that’s low in calories.

It’s perfect for vegetarians who don’t have other options but please remember this, protein powder is not magical.

It is no better than real food, it’s just more convenient and it’s a heck of a lot more expensive in most cases.

For most of you, buying chicken, fish, eggs, things like that, are much less expensive and locally available.  You might even be able to get organic versions and those will still be far less expensive than the protein powder.

So, unless for some reason you cannot eat meat – like you’re a vegetarian – the meats are a much more economical source of protein so give that some thought.

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