Whey Protein: Your frequently asked questions, answered!

Posted by Alric Wu on

 Whey protein elixir, far east alchemy

At Far East Alchemy, we get a lot of questions about our Whey Protein Elixir. Here, we answer a few of the most frequently asked questions about whey protein. We're dedicated to quality and transparency, so here you can find these answers backed completely by science and research!

What is whey protein used for and why do you need it?

Let’s be real and 100% transparent here. Whey protein is considered supplement you don’t need supplements by their very definition. However, let’s get down to why whey protein is used and why you might need to use it.

Whey protein is often used as a protein supplement for those looking to achieve fitness and health goals, such as losing weight, or gaining muscle. This is because increased physical activity will require you to consume more protein as a daily requirement than the regular sedentary person, because more is required to maintain or build the muscle you have on your body (1).

Kaiya Nemish - How much Protein do you need?

So how much protein do you need? The daily intake for protein is 0.8g of protein per kg of body weight. If you’re building muscle, or attempting to lose fat, this increases to about 1.8g/kg of body weight (2). This is because muscle protein synthesis is maximised within this range (3). Let’s take a 50kg training female. This means you would need 90 grams of protein (macronutrient) per day to achieve this goal.

Now let’s take a look at what it would take if you were to consume your protein from only chicken breast, considered to be the best natural source in terms of protein yield. To achieve 90 grams of protein, you would need to consume 290 grams of chicken breast in a day. Let’s take a male at 70kg requiring 126g of protein per day. That’s 400g of chicken breast in a day.

That’s a lot of chicken breast to be eating every day. Now let’s say you’re consuming chickpeas, egg or beef as an example. You can see from the table below just how much you can jeopardise your other macronutrients for the day by consuming such a large quantity of that protein in the day.

Photo of bbq chicken breast

 

Serve Size

Protein

Fat

Carb

Whey protein elixir

30g

24.2g

0.2g

2g

Chicken Breast

76g

24.1g

2.7g

0g

Chicken Thigh

94g

24.2g

10.1g

0g

90/10 lean beef mince 

130g

24g

13g

0g

Egg

4 eggs

25.1g

19g

1.4g

Chobani yoghurt

240g

24g

0g

11.2g

Chickpeas

350g

24.5g

7.3g

66.5g

Source: MyFitnessPal

In contrast, a single whey protein elixir shake nets you 26% (female) or 19% (male) of your daily protein requirement based on the above, making it significantly easier and tastier to hit your goals when used to supplement your diet.

Whey protein isolate is by no means inferior to any of these sources of protein. Whey protein isolate is widely regarded as the best form of protein you can consume (4). It is also a complete protein (it contains all the major essential and non-essential amino acids) and is in fact also the most bioavailable source of protein available (a bioavailability rating of 159 compared to 79 for chicken breast!)(5). This means it is the most ideal protein source for repairing your body and priming it for optimal performance in muscle maintenance and muscle gain. Therefore, it’s the best source of protein for any fitness related goals or activities.

Why choose Whey Protein Isolate over Whey Protein Concentrate? Is it safe for lactose sensitive people?

Our #1 reason for choosing whey protein isolate in our formulation instead of whey protein concentrate is because its generally considered a friendly option for those with lactose sensitivity. Did you know over 75% of Asia is considered to be lactose sensitive or intolerant? This is huge number compared to 5% of Western culture! (6)

Lactose Intolerance by global map

Source: https://www.foodbeast.com/news/map-of-milk-consumption-lactose-intolerance-around-the-world/

This is because whey protein isolate goes through two filtration processes, removing most of the lactose and fats in the process. (7). As a result, whey protein isolate will generally contain less than 2% lactose per serve (8). This means that unless you are highly, highly sensitive to lactose, this is a great option for you! If you're unsure, pick up one of our sample packs to make sure this is right for you!

With whey protein isolate you also get better control over what you put in your body, as it’s lower in fat and carbohydrate, and higher in protein. Not only that, by definition a whey protein isolate contains typically at least 90% protein and less than 2% lactose, compared to whey protein concentrate which can range from 34% up to 82% protein content, with lactose content ranging from 48% to 4-8% at the top end of quality whey protein concentrates (9).

With such a huge range of difference in whey protein concentrate quality, many supplement companies don’t even disclose the nature of the whey protein concentrate you’re getting, so you may very well be paying more for something of a much inferior quality.

Here at Far East Alchemy, we always disclose what protein we are using. This is why our Whey Protein Elixir contains 33 serves per pack, thereby giving you a high total yield of protein content and bang for buck. You’ll often find that others will give 20-30 serves for the same cost, usually through the use of filler ingredients (such as a cheap corn maize fibre) or the use of a low-quality whey protein concentrate.

Will whey protein make me fat? Will whey protein make me gain weight?

Again, let’s be clear and transparent!

Whether you gain weight/fat or lose weight/fat is a mixture of nutrition AND exercise. Boulder shoulders and chiselled abs weren’t built overnight! To get to the level of physique fitness athletes have often takes YEARS of consistency and discipline when it comes to both food AND exercise.

That said, whey protein will NOT make you fat, or gain weight. Studies have shown that it actually improves satiety and can actually promote weight loss (10).

This is because protein is the most satiating macronutrient (11) out of protein, carbohydrates and fats. Whey protein increases the release of leptin, the hormone that sates your appetite, thereby telling your brain that you’re full and to stop eating! (12)

Not only that, it can actually BOOST your energy expenditure in a day (13)  Studies have shown eating 25% of your daily calories in protein cuts your cravings by 60%, thereby reducing the desire for snacking throughout the day by half! (14).

In fact, it’s even been shown that having a higher protein consumption of around 1.8g – 2g per kg of body fat a day, depending on the caloric deficit may even be more advantageous and beneficial in preventing lean mass loss during periods of energy restriction (15). High protein diets have been studied extensively and shown to be beneficial for maintaining lean mass and satiety (16).

Weight loss from protein shakes

What is meant by "100% Whey Protein Isolate"?

In protein supplementation, you often see '100% whey protein isolate' on the product. This refers to the fact that 100% of the protein source in the product comes from whey protein isolate. Whey protein isolate is well regarded as the highest of quality for fitness and daily use which is why we use it as the only source of protein in our Whey Protein Elixir

It is important that whey protein is distinguished this way because many products that do not specify what source of whey protein is contained can often contain a blend inclusive of whey protein concentrates that are low quality. Doing so allows those companies to market low quality ingredients at a higher cost.  

Protein blends themselves are not a bad thing! In fact a quality mix of high and slow digesting protein (such as a whey and casein blend) can be beneficial for you. However, you should look for quality through a brand that discloses the type and yield of protein in the product.

Will protein make me gain weight? 

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