Protein and probiotics have become two of the biggest buzz words in nutrition and health these days – and for good reason. Both are essential for a strong, healthy body.
Found in every cell, protein is a key body-building nutrient that plays a critical role in building muscle, bone, cartilage, skin, blood, hair, nails and much more.
In addition to providing the building blocks for a healthy body, the protein reserves you build by eating high-quality protein helps promote immune system health.
While most of your protein is stored in your muscle, you need an adequate daily supply to replace the amino acids you lose each day.
Probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, on the other hand, play an important role in your gut, or gastrointestinal tract. And because about 80% of your immune cells are located in your gut, probiotics are key for supporting your immune health.
Yet, the potential benefits of probiotics don’t stop there… There’s a deep connection between your gut and your brain – the two are linked through biochemical signaling through your vagus nerve, or the longest nerve in your body.
So, anything that affects (good or bad) your gut influences your brain. Probiotics positively support both your brain and neurological health.
Here’s where it gets interesting… What happens when you combine protein and probiotics? Could the combination possibly have an exponential effect – and even increase each other’s benefits?
Boost Your Benefits with Protein and Probiotics
At the proper levels, probiotics can help keep your digestive system in balance. Certain strains can aid in the digestion of protein and carbohydrates as well as help your body absorb protein, vitamins and nutrients.
Probiotics do this by stimulating the release of digestive enzymes, such as protease and peptidase.
They improve your body’s absorption of small protein peptides and amino acids by supporting the absorption ability of your gut’s epithelial lining and by enhancing transport.
When you take probiotics with a source of high-quality protein, such as whey protein, the components in the protein act as a prebiotic to assist your gut.
The combination of probiotics and whey protein increases the absorption of the essential amino acids needed for muscle building during exercise. Plus, probiotics may aid in muscle recovery through its effects on your gut.
Combining probiotics with whey protein can also support metabolic health and may be a valuable tool for weight management and muscle building.
In a study with mice, Lactobacillus rhamnosus and two other probiotic strains were added to whey protein to prepare a fermented milk. A group of mice were fed a high-sucrose and high-fat diet for six weeks. These mice were then fed this prepared milk for six weeks.
At the end of the study, the mice fed the special milk with whey protein and probiotics showed significantly reduced body weight and fat accumulation, along with an up-regulation of skeletal muscle gene expression and a reduction in the activation of fat oxidation in skeletal muscle.
Another benefit seen with the combination of whey protein and probiotics is improved regularity, especially in older individuals.
Why Whey Protein?
Today, whey is referred to as the gold standard of protein, but it hasn’t always been that way…
Whey, the clear liquid that separates from the milk curd during the cheese-making process, is one of the primary proteins found in dairy products.
Many years ago, whey was held in esteem as a health elixir, but in later years became known as more of a waste product. However, farmers who knew it offered benefits for young farm animals continued to use it in feed.
It wasn’t until the 1980s that researchers began exploring the potential of whey as a high-quality source of protein.
Whey protein stands apart from other proteins in that it provides substantial amounts of the essential amino acids that are needed to carry out important functions in your body.
In fact, whey protein is a near-perfectly balanced and biologically active food that contains all the essential amino acids your body needs for energy production, immune function, muscle retention and growth, and much more.
A full array of amino acids isn’t the only thing that sets whey protein apart from other protein sources. Whey protein also contains beta-glucans and immunoglobulins to support your body’s immune function as well as its normal detoxification processes.
Because most people associate whey protein with muscle building, let’s take a look at how it exceeds just about every other protein source…
Build and Maintain Muscle, No Matter Your Age
As you age, you tend to lose muscle mass. Once you reach your 40s, you can begin losing about 1% of your muscle mass each year. In terms of strength, that’s a 1% to 3% drop.
Maintaining your muscle mass as you grow older is key to staying healthy and independent.
Loss of muscle mass, especially as you grow older, is linked to a downward decline in health, including an increased risk of premature death. When you have very little muscle, it becomes more difficult to endure and survive serious challenges to your health.
Muscle loss not only puts you at greater risk for health challenges, but it can also lead to fat gain.
For all these reasons, muscle-strengthening exercises are so important, especially for older individuals.
What you eat especially influences your muscle mass. Failing to consume enough high-quality protein can impact your body’s ability to maintain the muscle mass you have now.
High-quality protein is protein that contains all of the important amino acids. Amino acids from protein act as the raw material or “building blocks” of your muscle and play a role in the growth of new muscle.
As people get older, they tend to eat smaller quantities of high-quality protein – less than what’s needed to support optimal muscle mass.
Strength training and proper diet, including the right kind and amount of protein can help slow or prevent muscle loss.
Whey protein is particularly effective at helping to preserve – and build – muscle mass. In fact, studies show whey protein outperforms both casein and soy protein for fueling muscle growth.
While whey protein may be my top choice for fueling muscle growth – and supporting muscle function – that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to whey’s potential benefits for health…
7 Additional Health Benefits of Whey Protein
Because whey is one of the best dietary sources of high-quality protein and other nutritional components, its potential benefits don’t stop with muscle health.
Whey protein contains components like immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, lactoferricin, sphingolipids, lactoperoxidase and glycomacropeptides, which have been shown in studies to benefit your…
Immune Health – Whey protein contains an immune-supporting protein called Immunoglobulin G (IgG). Made by your immune system, IgG is typically found in all your bodily fluids and plays an important front-line role against threats to your health.
Metabolic health – Compared to other protein sources, whey protein promotes healthy blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, especially when taken before or with high carb meals. Whey protein’s branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) promote metabolic health by enhancing muscle protein synthesis, lean body mass and skeletal muscle metabolic function.
Weight management – Through the effective release of the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK), the glycomacropeptides in whey protein help you feel full, which may help reduce hunger pangs, food cravings and overeating, making it a useful tool for reducing your total food intake. Studies show whey protein may also have a more positive effect on fat burning than other types of protein.
Cardiovascular health and blood lipids – Whey protein may help support healthy cholesterol (especially LDL cholesterol) levels that are already in the normal range. Plus, the lactoferrin in whey protein binds with iron and helps transport it out of your body.
Gut and bowel health – The glycine and growth factors IGF-1 and 2 have a beneficial effect on the lining of your digestive tract, aid digestion and support your body’s normal detoxification processes.
Stress reduction, cognition and mood – The alpha-lactalbumin in whey protein has been shown to positively influence the brain to support mood and enable individuals to better handle everyday stress. The glycine component supports cognitive function and brain health.
Bone health – Whey protein contains minerals required for bone growth, and its lactoferrin supports the production of new bone and helps protect against bone breakdown.
There’s one more potential benefit that whey protein offers – and it’s important enough to discuss in some detail…
Give Your Immune System Extra, Added Protection
Antioxidants are substances that help protect your body against the damaging effects of oxidation.
Whey protein can actually help reduce your body’s need for antioxidants. The enzymes, immunoglobulins and other factors in whey help reduce the oxidative burden when your body feels threatened.
This added protection helps your immune system maintain higher “reserves” that can be called upon when needed.
In fact, research shows that lowering the oxidative burden in your body may be one of the primary keys to remaining healthy and slowing the normal aging process.
Most antioxidants come from the food you eat, but there’s one in particular that your body must make on its own.
And that’s glutathione – your body’s most powerful antioxidant. Known as the “master antioxidant,” it is found inside every cell.
Glutathione not only helps protect your cells and mitochondria by reducing free radicals and harmful waste products, but this powerful antioxidant can also help promote immune function.
Whey protein is one of the best glutathione-promoting food sources out there.
Keep in mind, this doesn’t apply to all whey proteins… Glutathione production is dependent on high-quality, cold-processed whey from pasture-raised cows.
Why Pasture-Raised Is Key to Building Muscle
We’ve seen how whey protein from pastured cows is unique for its ability to support your body’s optimal production of glutathione, thanks to its plentiful cysteine, glycine and glutamate.
That’s not all… Whey protein, but only whey protein from grass-fed cows, is also rich in the amino acid leucine. In fact, whey protein from pastured cows is the richest source of leucine.
Leucine is the most potent of the three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) that switches on the process of new muscle production, helping to regulate the turnover of protein in your muscles.
Here’s the interesting thing about leucine…
Researchers are finding that older individuals not only have greater muscle loss but also need more leucine (especially) and other branched-chain amino acids to trigger the protein synthesis process compared to younger people.
For example, when healthy young adults consume 20 grams of protein, their muscle protein synthesis increases by about 75%. Older adults require significantly more protein – about 40 grams – to increase their production of muscle protein by 75%.
Because diet alone may not be able to supply all the leucine you may need to maintain your body muscle mass, combining whey protein with exercise may be the winning combination for preventing age-related muscle loss, as well as improving muscle strength.
Improve Your Body Composition and Boost Muscle Mass With CLA
Not to be confused with Linoleic Acid, or LA, which is an extremely unhealthy fat found in seed oils, Conjugated Linoleic Acid, or CLA, is a healthy type of omega-6 fatty acid found primarily in pasture-raised beef and dairy products.
Many people believe LA and CLA are interchangeable, but they are not. CLA does not cause the health issues attributed to LA.
CLA is just one more valuable bonus you get when you choose whey protein from pasture-raised cows.
Why does pasture-raised matter?
When cows predominantly eat grass, the CLA levels in their meat and milk are typically 300% to 500% higher than in those fed an unnatural grain-based diet.
Animal studies suggest CLA may benefit metabolic health and even help reduce body fat by…
- Reducing food intake.
- Increasing fat burning.
- Stimulating fat breakdown.
- Inhibiting fat production.
While the results from human studies have shown mixed results, some researchers believe that CLA may help improve body composition by reducing body fat and increasing muscle mass.
Overall, studies do show that people who consume the most CLA have optimal metabolic and heart health.
Before you run out and buy a separate CLA supplement, take my advice and please don’t. CLA dietary supplements don’t provide the same health benefits as the naturally occurring CLA in foods, like whey protein from pastured cows.
What’s more, the CLA you find in supplements is simply chemically-altered linoleic acid from seed oils, something you want to avoid at all costs.
Why Whey Protein May Not Be for Everyone, Especially Whey Isolates
While I’m a huge fan of quality raw milk whey protein, I realize it’s not for everyone.
As with any animal protein, when consumed day in and day out, certain individuals may develop an allergy to whey. For that reason, I recommend mixing protein sources so you’re not consuming the same one on a regular basis.
Others may already have a dairy protein allergy – and not even realize it. And for those with a dairy sensitivity, or if you’re a vegetarian who wants to avoid dairy products, whey may not be a suitable choice.
That said, there’s a major difference between whey protein isolates and whey protein concentrate.
With heavily processed whey protein isolate, you miss out on many of the natural benefits of whey protein, including IgG immunoglobulin.
Unlike cold-processed whey protein concentrate from raw milk, whey isolate comes from pasteurized dairy and is processed with both heat and acid. This process can produce putrid proteins, which are even more damaging to your health than trans fats.
Also, when whey protein isolate goes through processing to remove its fat content, it’s stripped of important components, like phospholipids and phosphatidylserine.
Finally, whey protein isolate is harder for your body to utilize because it lacks key amino acids and nutritional cofactors that your body needs for its assimilation.
Are Heavy Metals Hiding in Your Protein Powder?
Many people are surprised to learn that it is up to manufacturers to determine if their products are safe and labeled properly.
The FDA or any other regulating body does not evaluate the safety or wholesomeness of products. As a result, there’s really no way to know for sure what’s in a protein powder or if what’s printed on the label is actually true.
Ever since Consumer Reports detected the presence of heavy metals in all of the 15 protein powders they tested in their groundbreaking 2010 study, many continue to question the safety of protein powders.
A much more recent follow-up study by the Clean Label Project found that all of the 133 protein powder supplements they tested contained “detectable concentrations” of at least one heavy metal, including arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury.
“Measurable levels” of lead were found in 70% of the products and 74% contained cadmium.
Here are just some of the ways these four toxic heavy metals can affect health:
- Lead and cadmium are both associated with adverse human health effects, including cancer and toxic effects to the nerves, brain, kidneys and reproductive organs.
- Chronic exposure to cadmium can disrupt your thyroid function, weaken your bones and lead to kidney disease.
- Mercury can cause neurological, motor, kidney, cardiovascular, immune and reproductive dysfunction.
- Arsenic exposure is linked to cancer and skin lesions.
A recent study found that as many as 400,000 deaths each year in the U.S. are attributed to lead exposure, and low levels of exposure can lead to premature death.
As a result, testing protein products for heavy metals is a must to minimize exposure and potential health risks.
Protein Reimagined: Pure Power Whey Protein + Probiotics
Our Pure Power Whey Protein + Probiotics is exclusively sourced from New Zealand pasture-raised cows.
Strong proponents of responsible farming practices and environmental stewardship, our dairy farmers ensure the cows have regular access to green pastures for grazing in addition to a combination of rye-grass, clover and other grasses in the form of silage or haylage.
Because the protein content of the milk is of prime importance, the farmers feed the cows minimal amounts of grains – as little as possible. Natural grazing and pasture feeding enhance the nutritional quality of the milk and cheese and especially of the whey protein.
Providing 20 grams of protein per serving, here are all the bonus components you receive with Pure Power Whey Protein + Probiotics:
- Probiotic Blend of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacteriu longum, Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus plantarum provide you with an extra boost of gut- and immune-support probiotics (15 billion CFU).
- Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) from coconut are easily absorbed and rapidly converted into energy by your liver for a quick source of fuel for your muscles, contributing to enhanced exercise endurance.
- Arabinogalactan, from larch trees, support your body’s defensives against seasonal threats through its effects on your immune system via the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT).
- Chia Seed Powder offers a source of dietary fiber and supports healthy skeletal muscle metabolism, weight management and metabolic health.
- Organic Sunflower Lecithin helps the whey protein blend smoothly with liquids and supports muscle performance and cell membranes with its phospholipids and other nutrients.
- Natural Flavoring provides four delicious flavors: Vanilla, Strawberry, Chocolate and Banana
- Monk Fruit Extract is used for just the right touch of sweetness.
Equally important, Pure Power Whey Protein + Probiotics doesn’t contain any added unhealthy sugars or artificial sweeteners.
7 Criteria for the Best Quality Whey Protein
There’s no shortage of whey protein products available today, but are they all safe and wholesome for regular use?
Here’s a summary of what we believe belongs – and does not belong – in a high-quality whey protein powder – and what you get with Pure Power Whey Protein + Probiotics:
|High-Quality Whey Criteria
||Pure Power Organic Whey Protein
|1. Sourced from grass-fed and pasture-raised cows
||The whey protein in Pure Power Whey Protein + Probiotics comes from pastured New Zealand dairy cows that have never had any hormones or antibiotics added to their diet.
|2. Doesn’t include any genetically engineered (GE) ingredients, added sugars, thickeners, artificial sweeteners or flavors.
||Pure Power Whey Protein + Probiotics doesn’t contain any GE ingredients or added sugars, thickeners, artificial sweeteners or flavors.
|3. Isn’t contaminated with heavy metals or microorganisms, which are commonly found in protein powders.
||We test Pure Power Whey Protein + Probiotics for the presence of heavy metals, such as mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic, as well as yeast, mold, E. coli, staph and salmonella.
|4. Is cold processed and avoids the use of heat or acids during processing
||Only cold temperature, acid-free processing is used because cheaper acid/ion exchange processing denatures amino acid profiles.
|5. Uses whey protein concentrate, not protein isolates
||We only use whey protein concentrate because its naturally-occurring amino acids are more easily assimilated by your body, unlike with protein isolates.
|6. Avoids soy lecithin
||Pure Power Whey Protein + Probiotics contains non-GE organic lecithin from sunflower instead of soy, which is commonly genetically engineered.
|7. Multiple flavor choices sweetened with naturally derived sweeteners
||Available in your choice of four flavors – Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry and Banana – Pure Power Whey Protein + Probiotics is made only with naturally derived sweeteners, and contains no artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohol, glycerin, fructose, added sugar or gluten.
Which Protein Powder Is Right for You?
We offer multiple options for a high-quality protein powder. Which one is right for you?
Pure Power Organic Whey Protein: This great-tasting and immune-supporting Certified USDA Organic protein powder contains whey protein concentrate sourced exclusively from pasture-raised cows from U.S. dairy farms, along with an Ancient Grain Blend for micronutrients and fiber. It is loaded with the highest quality protein, branched-chain amino acids for muscle building, immune factor IgG and does not contain any added sugars, gluten or artificial sweeteners. It’s available in Original, Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry.
Pure Power Whey Protein + Probiotics: This premium product is designed to improve your overall health and fitness goals with its unique blend of high-quality whey protein, chia seeds and a six-strain probiotic blend, as well as fiber from chia seeds and coconut medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs have been shown to be ideal muscle fuel. The addition of probiotics may provide additional benefits for your digestive and metabolic health. Available in Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry and Banana.
Pure Power Vegan Protein: Perfect for vegans and those with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance, as well as meat eaters, includes a great-tasting blend of five high-quality plant proteins including pea, hemp, and chia, together with the microalgae chlorella. Plus, it contains a five-fiber blend to support your digestion. It’s available in Vanilla, Chocolate and Sweet Cinnamon.
All of our delicious and nutrient-packed protein powders come packaged in environmentally-friendly gusset bags instead of plastic containers. Much less space is used during the shipping process and less fuel is needed overall for transport.
In addition, the gusset bag makes it easy to reach the last couple of delicious servings without making a mess – which can happen with rigid plastic containers.
Become the Strongest – and Healthiest – Version of You with Pure Power Whey Protein + Probiotics
The combination of whey protein and probiotics offers a whole new opportunity to take your health to the next level.
Truly protein reimagined, Pure Power Whey Protein + Probiotics provides you with a delicious and convenient way to become the strongest – and healthiest – version of you.
From immune function to top-tier muscle building, to taking control of your metabolic health, you can’t beat this unique formula.
Sourced from pasture-raised New Zealand cows, our Pure Power Whey Protein + Probiotics is made exclusively from easily-assimilated protein concentrate to provide you with the fuel your body needs, along with its many nutritional components.
In addition to the finest whey concentrate powder, you receive…
- Six strains of probiotics, supplying you with 15 billion CFU of probiotic activity for gut and immune health.
- MCTs from coconut for fueling your muscles for enhanced exercise endurance.
- Arabinogalactan from larch trees for enhanced immune support.
- Chia Seed powder for fiber as well as metabolic and weight management support.
- Organic Sunflower Lecithin for its phospholipids and other nutrients to support your muscle performance and cell membranes.
Available in your choice of four natural flavors, Pure Power Whey Protein + Probiotics’ delicious taste and pleasing texture is sure to make this protein powder supplement your new go-to favorite.
Try Pure Power Whey Protein + Probiotics for yourself, and order today.