Whey is not a discovery of late, not even its usefulness in building muscles. It is not clear when Whey was first used, but it is well documented that Hippocrates (4th century B.C) used Whey liberally for its natural healing qualities particularly in the treatment of liver disease and gout. In the Roman, Empire Whey was used after sumptuous feasting to alleviate resulting indigestions. Roman women used this natural product as an internal and external treatment for a “milk and honey-like skin”.
In the early 16th century, the Alchemist Paracelsus was a fervent devotee of Whey and suggested its multiple uses for treatment as often as possible. Since then, Whey was widely used by Aristocracies in Europe and it was a popular means to prevent gout, treat digestive problems and as natural Cosmetics for skin treatment. But it was not until after WW2 that science started to take an interest in researching the nutritional properties of Whey protein that has now become the favorite Fastfood for Body Builders.
As we live in an “Instant Gratification” society where the mantra “I want it Now” and “I want it Bigger” rules, the Nutrition Industry has been quick to exploit this trend. A huge selection of Whey products in Mega-size Containers beckon from every Gym and Dietary Supplement store shelf and reading and understanding the labels poses an enormous challenge to the non-artisan.
Without a doubt, we can believe that neither Hippocrates nor Paracelsus would recognize, let alone recommend or use any of today’s Body Builder’s Whey. Natural, unprocessed and unadulterated Whey is hard to come by in America but is quite common in Europe. It has naturally about 11% protein and 75% carbohydrates, abundant minerals (rich in highly absorbable calcium) and Amino acids.
But for the highly sought “Instant Muscles”, athletes asked for higher protein content and the industry was pleased to deliver. The protein content of Whey can be increased ad libitum by a relatively simple molecular filtration process; but, of course, there is a price for concentrated protein, as a higher protein percentage reduces the percentages of the other nutrients.
So it is that the Whey in High Power Body Building Formulas boasts enormous protein concentrations up to 95%! However, the products show a lower percentage because of added Flavors, Sweeteners and other Ingredients added to differentiate the product for competitive reasons. And herein lays the problem, to lure the consumer into gulping down Mega-doses of their product, the manufacturers adulterate a basically healthy source into a highly processed and outright unwholesome concoction.
That product contains 45% protein, but according to Consumer Report, it also contains heavy metal contaminants like cadmium, arsenic, lead, and mercury. That aside, is this label indicative of a healthy product or a health threat when used in high doses for a long time? We could just as well ask: is Fastfood healthy? Sadly, the difference is that these unassuming Muscle-craving consumers honestly believe they build great health for themselves with a natural product; this is clear from the many user comments on Body Builder’s web sites.
The above ingredients are common, with some variations in all the major brands. It should be clear that “Canola and Safflower Oil” are GM (genetically modified) -products, like in all processed foods they are used because they are cheap, no other reason.
“Fructose” (most labels list HFCS for High Fructose Corn Syrup) is about the worst choice of sugar for an athlete, and its presence antagonizes the reason for taking the product in the first place, by jeopardizing fat burning. It is further suspected to cause obesity and diabetes.
“Natural and Artificial Flavors” is a common deceptive term for Nasties like MSG (Monosodium Glutamate), and many other undesirable substances are hidden in this euphemism. What’s the problem with MSG? Dr. Russell Blaylock, a board-certified neurosurgeon states in his book “Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills”: MSG is an excitotoxin, which means it overexcites your cells to the point of damage or death, causing brain damage to varying degrees — and potentially even triggering or worsening learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease and more. Why has MSG been added? To make you addicted to the product so you use more of it. Why is not on the label? Because the industry knows you don’t want it, so they have to hide it behind euphemisms, and – yes it is legal. But it is getting worse, because the other Ingredients: “Sodium Caseinate”, “Protein Isolates and Concentrates” are, together with MSG adding up to potentially excessive consumption of excitotoxins, the glutamate receptors within your heart’s muscle and conduction system are over-stimulated, producing cardiac arrhythmias.