IS GRASS FED BETTER?
If you’ve been on this planet for more than a few years and you have some interest in healthy eating and exercise, then you’ve probably heard of grass fed protein.
A few times per year, someone will ask us, with a puzzled look on their face; “What is grass fed whey?” We can see the wheels spinning as they’re trying to picture a tub of whey protein powder eating grass.
Here’s the explanation we give them to pull them out of their state of confusion.Whey protein is a byproduct of cheese making. When you make any kind of cheese, the first thing you do is separate the curds from the whey (think Little Miss Muffet).
To be a little more scientific, this is done by heating the milk and then adding some type of acid (lemon juice, vinegar) or renet. This causes the curds to separate and rise to the top of the liquid. These curds are used to make cheese. It's actually quite easy. We do this at home to make ricotta cheese, mmmmm yummy!
After the curds are removed, the whey remains, which is a very watery, cloudy liquid. Historically, cheese makers around the world would use this whey to feed their livestock, as it was a good source of protein. Around 460 BC, Hippocrates, understanding the healthy benefits of whey, began prescribing whey to people to help boost their immune systems. The ancient Greeks and then the Romans would even bathe in whey, and in 17th century England, whey became a very popular drink!
It wasn’t until the early 1900’s, that scientists began exploring ways to remove the water from the whey liquid in an attempt to concentrate the protein through various drying methods. Today, many of the world’s largest cheese makers sell their whey to protein companies. We know of one Italian cheese maker that has developed their own line of protein powders.
The short answer to the question, “What is grass fed whey?”, is grass fed whey comes from the milk of grass fed cows!
Is grass fed whey better for you than non grass fed whey? If you are one who prefers grass fed beef, free range chicken, and cage free eggs over the “regular” mass produced varieties, then you already know the answer, YES!
If you are what you eat, it stands to reason that you are what they ate as well! If the cow that made your steak was fed a bulk factory manufactured grain feed made with who knows what, then that’s exactly what you’re eating. If your cow was grass fed, then the cow was eating grass as nature intended. Additionally, grass fed cows are not pumped up with growth hormones or steroids. Grass fed cows are therefore naturally more organic.
A little more science, milk from grass fed cows has up to 4 times more important omega-3 fatty acids when compared to milk from grain fed cattle. Grass fed whey is also a rich source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a powerful nutrient clinically shown to increase fat metabolism within your body. Milk from cows grazing on grass will usually contain 3 to 5 times the amount of CLA compared to milk from cows fed grain. Recent research has shown CLA increases basal metabolic rates, allowing your body to convert the food you eat more efficiently into energy, rather than store it as fat. CLA has also been demonstrated in studies to improve muscle strength and endurance during exercise. It has even been praised for lowering the risk of diseases like breast cancer and heart disease while enhancing your body’s immune function. Grass fed whey also contains higher levels of Immunoglobulins, Lactoferrin, and Cysteine for Glutathione Production. Grass fed whey protein is one of the best sources of undenatured protein and essential amino acids.
All things considered, if you are looking for the best ingredients to fuel your body and your workouts and to maximize your recovery and ultimate performance, stick with grass fed proteins.
Unfortunately, there are very few grass fed protein options in the protein bar world, primarily because grass fed is more expensive! Here at Muscle Up, we never skimp on ingredients. We always use grass fed protein and the highest quality ingredients we can find. We never set out to be the cheapest protein bar, just the best!