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How do I Choose the Best Liquid Whey Protein?

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  • Written By: Jennifer Voight
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 08 May 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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Whey protein is popular as a supplement because it is an easily digested, complete source of protein that contains all the essential amino acids the body needs. Traditionally, whey protein has been available in powder form and mixed with a liquid, usually water or milk, prior to consumption. The introduction of liquid whey protein drinks has made it easier and more convenient to supplement with whey protein by eliminating the need to mix. With many new liquid whey protein drinks being introduced, consumers have a lot of options, but can have difficulty choosing the best whey protein. Identifying individual goals, like athletic performance or weight loss, and personal preferences, like taste, can help consumers choose the best whey protein drink.

Liquid whey protein is used as a supplement for a variety of reasons. Athletes use it to improve performance and help build muscle. Medical professionals have used whey protein for many years to supplement the diets of medical patients such as bariatric surgery patients, cancer patients, and diabetics. Whey protein is the primary ingredient on many baby formulas because it is an easily digested complete protein.

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Many liquid whey protein drinks contain additional nutrients and can be desirable for medical patients like bariatric patients or cancer patients who have difficulty eating enough food to adequately fuel the body. Sometimes these added nutrients can be harmful if a consumer who is otherwise healthy is already eating fortified foods, fortified protein bars, and taking multivitamins. Too many of some nutrients can have a deleterious effect on health. In these cases, added nutrients need to either be avoided or factored into daily nutrient intake and cut back in other foods and supplements.

Some liquid whey protein drinks have added ingredients similar to what is found in energy drinks, like caffeine for energy, and taurine, an amino acid which is believed by some to improve athletic performance. While this may be desirable for athletes, it can be a reason to avoid a particular whey protein product in caffeine-sensitive individuals. Whey protein also increases levels of glutathione, an antioxidant that may boost immunity in immunosuppressed individuals like those undergoing chemotherapy treatments. Since athletes sometimes experience depressed immunity after exertion glutathione can be a desirable ingredient.

Weight-conscious individuals may want to consider total calorie content of liquid whey protein drinks. Some have added calories in the form of added sugars or fats, while others are relatively free of added empty calories. Yet, added fats can be beneficial to cancer patients who need to increase their caloric intake. Many athletes prefer to added sugar with their protein supplement because it increases energy available for athletic performance and quickly replenishes energy stores.

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