It’s no secret that whey protein is derived
from cows’ milk (or if you didn’t know, now you do!) but do you know what
affects the quality of the milk and by extension, the quality of the protein?
The battle of grass-fed vs. grain-fed meat has been ongoing for some time now. Butchers will rave about the quality of their grass-fed cows, but supermarkets hit back with cheaper prices and grain-fed livestock. However, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the grass-fed cattle are of a higher quality and tastes better too.
But what about the milk? Dairy companies don’t rant and rave about how their cows like their food, so does it matter? Is grass-fed better? How does this affect the whey protein we make shakes and snacks with?
Let’s find out.
What exactly is whey protein?
I suppose the first question we need to ask ourselves is ‘what exactly is whey protein?’.
Well, whey protein is a product derived from cows’ milk that comes as a by-product from the production of cheese and/or yogurt. It’s a high protein liquid that can be processed and dried to form the Machine Supplements Protein Powders we all know and love.
The milk produced by the cows is affected by what type of diet the cows live on. That’s why it does matter how the cows like their steaks.
The main nutritional differences
There are a few nutritional differences that we see when it comes to grass-fed vs grain-fed, but maybe the most important is the fatty acid composition.
As grass-fed contains more Omega-3 fatty acids, the milk produced (and the protein it makes) is recognised to have anti-inflammatory ingredients. Contrast this to grain-fed and you’ll see high Omega-6 fatty acids, which aren’t so great with links to chronic and degenerative diseases. So that’s a pretty noteworthy reason, don’t you think?
There’s another benefit of grass-fed too with higher concentrations of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) known to help reduce body fat. So, it’s not just muscle building that we’re seeing from the dairy, but fat stripping too.
The performance advantages
As far as noticeable performance is concerned, both grass-fed and grain-fed whey protein powders will do exactly the same thing for your body.
Both form a great supplement if you’re looking to increase your protein intake in your diet and both will help with the recovery and repair of muscles after exercise. But if you’re looking for the highest quality, it’s the grass-fed that you’re going to want to adopt.
Long story short
To cut a long, very scientific, story short – it’s the grass-fed that you’re going to want to go for.
With anti-inflammatory and fat stripping properties found in grass-fed contrasted with the high Omega-6 fatty acids and links to diseases found in grain-fed, it’s a no brainer really. It might be a little more expensive, but it’s worth it’s weight in gold.