Whey Protein: the choice is yours
If we were to pick one supplement that has maintained its position as a staple of sports nutrition for decades, it would be whey protein. Long before it was available in supermarkets, bodybuilders were churning down shake after shake of the smooth stuff. Since then, training methods have evolved (What’s a treadmill? Hello, CrossFit!), dietary recommendations have shifted (fats aren’t so bad anymore but say bye bye to refined sugars) and we have a better understanding than ever before about how to get fit and how to stay fit. Yet despite all the progress, how many of us have actually asked ourselves whether our trusty protein shake was genuinely good for us?
Whey protein is considered one of the most bio available sources of protein: great amino acid profile, and it’s easy for the body to absorb the protein. Any fitness website will tell you this. What they may not consider, however, are things like:
- Provenance: where the whey comes from, how the cows were treated, how the whey was processed and,
- Additives: what added ingredients are included in your protein shake and how these can interact with your body’s digestive system.
Do you eat beef? If you do, you will probably know that grass fed beef tastes better. The cattle is allowed to graze outdoors at its leisure, resulting in meat which is higher in good things like Omega 3s, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) or vitamin E when compared to conventional grain-fed cattle. The same applies to milk from grass-fed cows, and this results in a higher quality whey protein, which will cause less inflammation (easier to digest), and will be more beneficial to your health and fitness results.
A word of warning: the term ‘grass fed’ can be misleading and is NOT defined by law. DEFRA guidelines loosely state that ‘a term such as ‘grass-fed’ must mean as a minimum, that the animal concerned was fed primarily on grass in the field.’ How can this be enforced in practice? By contrast, our Organic Certificate provided to us by the Soil Association, requires by law that the cattle providing the milk for our whey is fed a minimum of 60% foliage year round, and every organic dairy farm is regularly visited to ensure this is the case (contrary to the American organic authority USDA, which only requires a minimum of 30% grass feed during grazing season).
With that in mind, remember that organic dairy farms are free from artificial fertilisers, pesticides, GM feed, growth hormones and routine antibiotics use. Add a gentle, cold-process milk filtration method and you obtain the highest quality unadulterated whey protein available, which is full of nutrients and extremely low in lactose: as we do at Motion Nutrition.
With the baseline for Motion Nutrition whey established, let’s now consider what’s added to our shakes.
At Motion Nutrition, we are often asked what makes our products so different from other seemingly clean brands of sports supplements. Our answer is simple. They use ingredients that we are not even allowed to use under our organic certification (not that we’d want to use them in the first place). Artificial sweeteners, ‘natural’ flavours, even stevia are not allowed in organic products in any percentage whatsoever – generally because these ingredients are either considered detrimental to our health, or because of the lack of information about their impact on human health (stevia, for example, is considered a ‘novel food’ in the EU, due to the lack of understanding of its impact in human consumption). We also stay 100% clear from soy, due to the effect this could have on regular hormonal function. And of course, you will never find any cheap bulking agent such as maltodextrin in a Motion Nutrition shake.
So what do we use to flavour our shakes if not these potentially harmful additives? Organic Superfoods. Why choose synthetic ingredients when we can use health boosting natural flavours like raw cacao or coconut, and unrefined coconut sugar as a natural, low GI sweetener? The result is a shake that smells, tastes, and feels oh-so-healthy.
Over the years, our training methods have developed, we’ve improved our diets, and today, Motion Nutrition offers a real solution to cleaning up our sports supplements.