Whey Protein Supplements vs Plant-Based Proteins

25 December 2012

Whey protein products are regarded by most fitness enthusiasts as a supplemental staple for athletes and bodybuilders; claiming it’s the ultimate source of protein and they sometimes even go to the extreme of saying it’s the highest quality protein available.

On the other hand there are multiple studies which show that most athletes can easily meet their daily protein requirements from a plant-based diet alone. And for many people whey protein can cause bloating and stomach upset actually bogging them down.

It is unfortunate that most trainers, athletes and bodybuilders are persuaded by what they read in exercise and bodybuilding magazines. And, more times than not, this is worse than getting nutritional information from a comic book.

Americans, in general, are on a protein binge; brainwashed with misinformation that has been drilled into them since childhood. Ironically, most of the educational materials used in public schools have been provided (for free) by the meat, dairy, and egg industries, and this has been the case for more than seventy years. These industrial giants have successfully lobbied the government, resulting in favorable laws, subsidies, and advertising propaganda that generates huge corporate profits at the expense of our national health. As a result, Americans have been, and continue to be, programmed with dangerous information, and protein supplements (especially whey) are recommended for anyone who pursues any sort of athletic endeavor; this in addition to their recommended diet which already contains excessive amounts of meat, dairy, etc. Most of us were raised on tall glasses of milk, grilled chicken salads at restaurants, large omelets filled with cheese, and in some instances, whey protein shakes. (And that’s referring to the most nutritionally-conscious of us. Many folks still think vegetables mean French fries, or perhaps the single leaf of iceberg lettuce on a bacon double cheeseburger.)

One question that might be asked is just how many people don’t get very far in their athletic career because they spend much of their exercise time and energy burning off or eliminating all the toxic sludge they put in their body. Whey, which is the watery byproduct of cheese production used to be discarded and dumped into waterways until environmental concerns caused cheese manufacturers to take a second look at this practice. Once they discovered that they could actually profit by selling whey as a protein source, whey was no longer dumped, but became a food supplement and additive, backed by a massive ad campaign.

Plant-based eating is a relatively new and undiscovered territory for most North Americans. So, when deciding to add more veggies to their diet to be “healthier” or “more environmentally friendly”, that addition might include refined sugars and grains, highly processed soy-based meat substitutes, Twizzlers, pizza, beer and other unhealthy foodstuffs. While this kind of food substituting is beneficial for the animals, and (depending on how these pseudo-foods were produced) better for the planet, it might not be so helpful for our health, body composition and general wellbeing.

Many sincere, informed vegan and/or vegetarian’s diets include juicing and blending, primarily due to the nutritional density and ease of digestion of vegetables and fruits consumed in this way.

Other plant-based foods are also easily digested and absorbed, they consume less energy to produce more energy, and this allows for a healthier, more efficient gastrointestinal tract in the active athlete. Indeed, many athletes who switch to a plant-based diet report feeling an almost immediate surge in energy.

Additionally, many athletes who have used whey protein supplements as a part of bodybuilding or other exercise regime have noted that the muscles they build are not maintained, and disappear quickly when the whey protein is discontinued.  Plant-based proteins are different.

If you feel the need to further supplement your plant-based diet with natural protein, here’s a couple alternatives to whey and/or other concentrated animal–based proteins…

Chlorella, Spirulina and blue-green algae are concentrated forms of plant-based proteins.  They are 100% whole food from the ocean/plant kingdom. This type of complete protein is 100% assimilated by the body, is nutritionally dense, full of minerals and chlorophyll. Additionally, you will gain the extra benefit of it assisting your body in detoxification, including the elimination of heavy metals and radiation. This type of protein will build extremely strong, dense and long lasting muscle tissue.

And another is hemp protein powder.  This concentrated supplement closely resembles the protein of the human body.  It is easy to digest and contains all of the essential amino acids that the body requires, including Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, acids that whey protein is lacking.

Many trainers and other fitness enthusiasts, especially those interested in bodybuilding love to make the claim that a plant-based protein simply cannot promote muscle growth as effectively as animal derived protein (like whey).  However, it’s not difficult to observe how herbivores like cows, horses and even gorillas possess lean, strong muscles.  In fact, many bodybuilders who have changed from whey to a plant-based protein have noted that the muscle tissue built from plant-based protein is more solid, very dense and resists deteriorating over time.

For more on America’s obsession with supplemental proteins please read the following, click on: 3 Myths About Protein and a Plant-Based Diet

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