Walking into a grocery store in 2019, you see much more varieties of familiar food than in 2009. Organic milk, no gluten bread, vegan sausages, no GMO vegs, antibiotic-free meat… All of them challenge conventional products, claiming to be a healthier option for our bodies.
This trend has been spread on dietary supplements and sports nutrition as well. Plant-derived nutrients go mainstream, while supplements of animal origin tend to be extracted from organic raw materials (e.g. milk is given by grass-fed cows required to produce a grass-fed whey protein powder).
But what benefits are hiding behind a “grass-fed” label? Is it just a marketing hook or a real superiority? Let’s explore this issue together and define the benefits of grass-fed whey protein for health, muscle building, and weight loss.
What is Grass-Fed Whey Protein?
Actually, there are many types of protein supplements meant for muscle building. The most common among them are whey protein and casein protein, both derived from cow milk. Whey is a liquid part of milk that can be separated from milk during a cheese-making process along with casein.
However, whey absorbs much faster than casein and kick-starts protein synthesis in your muscles. Therefore, it’s your best friend when it comes to achieving your fitness goals as soon as possible.
Grass-fed whey protein powder is produced differently than conventional one. Regular whey protein often comes from cows raised in adverse conditions, where they are fed with GMO grains and treated with antibiotics.
Grass-fed cows, by contrast, are raised in a natural environment and receive a plant-powered diet, producing milk with a richer nutritional profile. Protein derived from grass-fed milk will likewise have a higher biological value.
But you still don’t see much difference, don’t you? Keep reading and find out 10 reasons that might make you abandon regular whey in favor of grass-fed protein powder.
1. You Lose Weight Faster While Drinking Grass-Fed Whey Protein
Even regular whey protein assists you in weight loss and muscle gain at the same time, as it reduces appetite and boosts metabolism.
But there is better news: grass-fed whey protein makes you even leaner due to its higher content of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). One study published on PLOS One magazine confirms: organic milk has 18% more CLA than non-organic dairy.
According to WebMD, you can lose up to 9% of body fat within a year by taking a CLA pill alone without changing your diet or lifestyle.
No muscle growth, though. That’s why it’s better to support your slimming with grass-fed whey protein instead of just taking CLA.
2. Grass-Fed Whey Boosts Your Immunity
Grass-fed milk contains higher levels of beta-lactoglobulin, lactoferrin, and lysozyme, so you have all chances to boost your immunity in a bit.
Beta-lactoglobulin is the major compound of whey (comprises more than 50% of its structure), which has a number of advantages including anti-inflammatory, blood pressure reduction, and cholesterol-lowering effects.
Lactoferrin stimulates your immune cells to fight off bacteria and viruses in your body, while lysozyme is a natural killer itself.
Boosted immunity means better fitness results in the long run. Just imagine: you will stop getting sick and will have more time for workouts instead of staying in bed for a couple of weeks every year.
3. Organic Whey Protein Possibly Speeds Up Your Recovery
Grass-fed milk is rich in antioxidants like beta-lactoglobulin and vitamins A & E. This study confirms that beef retrieved from grass-fed cattle demonstrates a sevenfold and a twofold increase in A and E vitamins respectively. Protein sourced from these cows will provide you with more antioxidants as well.
High doses of antioxidants were claimed to reduce muscle soreness after exercise. However, the recent research revealed no connection between antioxidant supplementation and your subjective post-workout feelings. Other studies suggest that antioxidants are helpful in the long-term, assisting your body in handling oxidative stress.
So what’s the conclusion? Specific antioxidant supplements are definitely the waste of money in terms of fitness. Grass-fed whey protein, on the contrary, will only help to balance your diet in a delicate way.
4. It Has Anti-Cancer Effect
Cancer is one of the leading cause of death worldwide. Even though it can be treated in its early stages, prevention is always better than cure.
Beta-lactoglobulin and lysozyme are both known for their anti-cancer properties. And as you have already learned before, grass-fed milk provides more of them than conventional dairy products.
That’s definitely not the major benefit of organic whey protein powder but serves as one more little argument for winning this “grass-fed vs. regular protein” battle.
5. Whey Concentrate Contains More Healthy Fats
According to the same study from PLOS One magazine, grass-fed whey protein concentrate contains 10-25% lower levels of omega-6 fatty acids and 20-60% higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-6 fatty acids are essential for our health in the right amount, but their abundance in your diet leads to increased risk of heart diseases. In contrast to this, Omega-3 fatty acids maintain heart health, reduce weight, and are very crucial for brain functioning.
The “overdose” of omega-3 fatty acids is almost impossible: most Americans suffer from this micronutrient deficiency. The optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is 4:1 or less, but the typical American diet features the ratio of somewhere in-between 10:1 and 50:1.
Consuming organic whey protein concentrate, you align the fatty acid ratio of your diet with exemplary figures.
6. And Makes Nutrients More Bioavailable
If you want to benefit from drinking grass-fed whey protein at the fullest extent, you need to choose concentrate over isolate.
Let us explain the difference between them. Whey protein isolate has a higher percentage of protein and less fat, carbs, and other “unwanted” substances than concentrate.
On the other hand, protein isolate undergoes denaturation to separate protein from other compounds. This makes it highly concentrated yet deficient in healthy nutrients we mentioned above.
If you want to boost your body health and improve muscle growth simultaneously, grass-fed whey concentrate is your choice. It’s already low on carbs and fat, although they are not eliminated completely.
And vice versa, if you want to focus solely on muscle growth, it’s worth to go with grain-fed isolate, sacrificing some advantages of grass-fed protein.
7. Grass-Fed Whey Protein is GMO & Antibiotics-Free
Grass-fed protein is synonymous to organic protein, that’s why it doesn’t contain any genetically modified organisms, pesticides, or antibiotics.
The problem lies in the following facts. Conventional farmers feed their cows with genetically modified insecticide-treated grains. Pesticides in their food are being transmitted to whey protein while being extracted from the non-organic milk. Those chemicals are intended for killing weeds and insects, so pesticide damage on the human body is undeniable if consumed.
The same applies to antibiotics, hormones, and other substances which are used to increase milk and beef yield. Grass-fed whey protein brands can’t be labeled as organic if they don’t comply with the ban on chemicals.
This way, you prevent yourself from consuming harmful substances choosing eco-friendly proteins!
8. Organic Protein Supplements Come Without Artificial Sweeteners and Preservatives
Another threat to your health is an abundance of artificial sweeteners and preservatives, present in regular whey protein supplements sold by some brands. They nullify the value brought by protein and turn it into a regular “milkshake cocktail” with all its “side effects” such as tooth decay and weight gain (especially unwanted when you strive to lose it).
Grass-fed whey protein powder doesn’t contain any artificial chemicals. Still, grass-fed flavored versions exist and are based on natural flavors. For instance, Pure Label Nutrition offers natural chocolate and vanilla-flavored proteins.
9. Choosing Grass-Fed Whey, You Support Eco-Friendly Farming
Did you know that 80% of agricultural land is used to raise cattle? More than half of grains in the United States is fed to livestock. And the most surprising fact: ⅓ of greenhouse gas emissions come from the agriculture industry. The last quite distressing thing is that cows on these farms are often treated in cruel ways that we would like to avoid in the 21st century.
Even though this is not a forthright benefit for your body, organic farming is moving towards the least intrusive practices of crop cultivation and livestock, which imply the less negative impact on the environment. And the healthier the environment in which we live is, the healthier we become.
10. For Some, It Simply Tastes Better!
This one is quite subjective, but some of our clients prefer grass-fed whey protein powder because of its taste. “It apparently tastes like a cleaner, more natural product” — they say.
Believe it or not, but you’ll never know for sure until you try it yourself. That’s the final reason for you to taste a grass-fed whey, but we bet that you were already convinced by the previous nine.