Grass Fed Whey Protein Isolate: A better Choice for Your Protein Needs?

Grass Fed Whey Protein Isolate: A better Choice for Your Protein Needs?

Nutrition is key to performance and power. This is especially true when it comes to protein intake. Learn how grass-fed whey protein isolate may be a better supplement for your protein needs.

What is Whey Protein Isolate

Whey is a type of protein found in milk that contains vitamins and minerals. It also supplies all of the essential and branched-chain amino acids needed for muscle growth. 


There are three main types of whey protein [R]: 


  • Whey protein powder
  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Whey protein isolate or whey isolate

Whey protein isolate is the purest protein source. It has up to 90 percent or more protein. The other 10 percent is made up of fat and sugar (lactose) [R].  


Whey protein powders and whey protein concentrate tend to be higher in fat and lactose. Fat can be anywhere from 1 to 10 percent while lactose runs as high as 75 percent [R]. 

Whey Protein Isolate for Building More Protein

Lack of quality protein in the diet can lead to poor muscle growth and fatigue [R]. 


Whey protein isolate is a readily absorbed energy source. It also synthesizes lean muscle 68% faster than other milk proteins. This makes it a great weight gainer [R]. 

Whey Protein Isolate vs. Grass Fed Whey Protein Isolate

Milk and dairy products from pasture-raised grass-fed cows can have a better nutrient profile than conventionally-fed cows.


Organic dairy is higher in antioxidants. The milk contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). This omega 3 fatty acid is necessary for health. CLA may also reduce body fat and improve muscle mass [R, R, R]. 


Grass-fed dairy products also have more iron, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is the precursor for vitamin A [R, R]. This antioxidant fights inflammation that may arise from intense training. Iron is also needed for performance and muscle growth [R]. 


An adequate intake of amino acids is needed for performance and muscle growth. Grass-fed dairy contains more of these nutrients and offers a better rate of protein production [R]. 

Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate Dosing Recommendations

When choosing a grass-fed whey protein isolate look for a product that is 100% non-GMO verified, GMP certified, and free of rBST/hormones and antibiotics.


Dosage recommendations for whey protein vary by brand. Usually, one scoop is about 25 grams of protein per serving. It is best to follow the directions on the label. 


You can also calculate your protein needs to know exactly how much you should take.

Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate Side Effects & Contraindications

Side effects have been found among people who consume high doses of protein. These include increased diarrhea, nausea, thirst, bloating, cramps, reduced appetite, fatigue, and headache [R]. 


Whey protein was found to have negative interactions with certain medications including levodopa, alendronate, and antibiotics [R]. Those with kidney, issues, other health conditions, and/or those on medications should talk with their doctor before using grass-fed whey isolate.

Final Thoughts on Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

Protein is essential for energy and exercise performance. Not getting enough can result in fatigue and poor muscle growth. Grass-fed whey protein isolate has a better nutrient profile when compared to conventional protein. The vitamins and minerals found in these products help fight inflammation while also providing the nutrition needed for better performance outcomes. Be sure to use a certified protein powder in limited doses to avoid potential side effects. Those with any health conditions and/or on medications should talk to their health care provider before starting any protein supplements.

Resources

  1. Hoffman, Jay R., and Michael J. Falvo. 2004. “Protein - Which Is Best?” Journal of Sports Science & Medicine 3 (3): 118–30. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3905294/
  2. Azzolino, Domenico, Beatrice Arosio, Emanuele Marzetti, Riccardo Calvani, and Matteo Cesari. 2020. “Nutritional Status as a Mediator of Fatigue and Its Underlying Mechanisms in Older People.” Nutrients 12 (2). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7071235/
  3. Daley, Cynthia A., Amber Abbott, Patrick S. Doyle, Glenn A. Nader, and Stephanie Larson. 2010. “A Review of Fatty Acid Profiles and Antioxidant Content in Grass-Fed and Grain-Fed Beef.” Nutrition Journal 9 (March): 10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2846864/
  4. O’Callaghan, Tom F., Hope Faulkner, Stephen McAuliffe, Maurice G. O’Sullivan, Deirdre Hennessy, Pat Dillon, Kieran N. Kilcawley, Catherine Stanton, and R. Paul Ross. 2016. “Quality Characteristics, Chemical Composition, and Sensory Properties of Butter from Cows on Pasture versus Indoor Feeding Systems.” Journal of Dairy Science 99 (12): 9441–60. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022030216307135
  5. Benjamin, Sailas, Priji Prakasan, Sajith Sreedharan, Andre-Denis G. Wright, and Friedrich Spener. 2015. “Pros and Cons of CLA Consumption: An Insight from Clinical Evidences.” Nutrition & Metabolism 12 (February): 4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4429457/
  6. Średnicka-Tober, Dominika, Marcin Barański, Chris J. Seal, Roy Sanderson, Charles Benbrook, Håvard Steinshamn, Joanna Gromadzka-Ostrowska, et al. 2016. “Higher PUFA and N-3 PUFA, Conjugated Linoleic Acid, α-Tocopherol and Iron, but Lower Iodine and Selenium Concentrations in Organic Milk: A Systematic Literature Review and Meta- and Redundancy Analyses.” The British Journal of Nutrition 115 (6): 1043–60.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26878105
  7. Stugiewicz, Magdalena, Michał Tkaczyszyn, Monika Kasztura, Waldemar Banasiak, Piotr Ponikowski, and Ewa A. Jankowska. 2016. “The Influence of Iron Deficiency on the Functioning of Skeletal Muscles: Experimental Evidence and Clinical Implications.” European Journal of Heart Failure 18 (7): 762–73. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ejhf.467
  8. Alothman, Mohammad, Sean A. Hogan, Deirdre Hennessy, Pat Dillon, Kieran N. Kilcawley, Michael O’Donovan, John Tobin, Mark A. Fenelon, and Tom F. O’Callaghan. 2019. “The ‘Grass-Fed’ Milk Story: Understanding the Impact of Pasture Feeding on the Composition and Quality of Bovine Milk.” Foods (Basel, Switzerland) 8 (8).https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6723057/
“WHEY PROTEIN.” n.d. WebMD https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-833/whey-protein

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