Whey Protein and No Whey It can harm you
Whey, Excitotoxins and Toxins
I remember the day oh so well: I was looking at a container of Body Fortress Whey Protein Powder. Like so many others that had gone before me, I was attempting to put on muscle using whey protein. It was working too I'm sure some of the credit has to go to this inexpensive whey powder I'd purchased at WalMart. I had put on a good amount of muscle and whey is one of the best proteins for that purpose.
However, I was in for the shock of my life when I began to research the amino acid profile on the label. I was shocked to see glutamic acid and aspartic acid! In fact, the label almost proudly displayed to four significant digits the glutamic acid as 3,146 mg and aspartic acid as 1,961 mg per serving.
Are all of those mg excitotoxins? No. But a significant percentage were, because almost all modern whey are processed at high temperatures that leads to high levels of free glutamine. And it is the free glutamine which is the true excitotoxin. (Natural glutamates are actually good for you and can lower blood pressure.)
So with each and every scoop I was inadvertenly flooding my system with excitotoxins. That's right - glutamic acid and aspartic acid are just the downstream versions of monosodium glutamate and aspartame. If you don't know what these bad boys do to your neurons, read more here about Excitotoxins, Testosterone and Your Brain.
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Of course, the irony is that I had preached and converted my family on the evils of excitotoxins and yet found that I had consumed more in a day than they probably did in several months! Every scoop - and I was having about 3 scoops per day - probably had free glutamine and apartic acid in the 15% range, i.e. I was probably having around over a gram of excitotoxins. Little did I know that, in an attempt to put on some middle aged mass, I was likely assaulting my precious hypothalamus and grey matter. Oy vay!
Of course, I called Body Fortress and asked their nutritional representative essentially, "How could you poison my neurons with megadoses of excitotoxins?" His answer? "What's an excitotoxin?" I quickly realized this conversation was going nowhere, so I did a little research and found that the excitotoxins glutamic acid and aspartic acid are created in the hydrolyzation process that creates whey protein isolates and concentrates. And virtually all bodybuilding whey powders are composed of these isolates and concentrates.
Once again, it just goes to show that you do not want to touch processed foods, because corporations, for the most part, have little to no regard for your health. These whey powders are created and manufactured by supplement companies that should know better and, in many cases, probably do know better but still put out a dangerous product to squeeze out extra profits.
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SOLUTION: Should you give up on whey altogether? Absolutely not! There are a number of great whey products that have very little free glutamine due to their gentle processing techniques. You can read more about these in my link on Undenatured Whey Proteins. But watch out: if it say isolate or concentrate, you need to read carefully as it very likely is loaded with excitotoxins.
YET ANOTHER CAUTION: The above whey powder also had L-Taurine of energy drink fame, L-glutamine and creatine added. I asked the rep how much of the first two were added and he said that it was "proprietary". Translated that means, "We are going to throw a bunch of chemicals in your whey and you just have to trust us". They also put in sucralose, an Artificial Sweetener that likely attacks intestinal flora.
Lee Myer is a health and fitness writer who was blogging before “blogging was cool.” He has now authored four books, all of which are now selling well in the Amazon Kindle store. In the meantime, Peak Testosterone has grown to become the Top Natural Men's Health Web Site on the web and has the best compilation of articles and references for guys on sexual and hormonal health if we don’t say so ourselves. His material is quoted by numerous article writers, including those at eHow, Organized Wisdom, TrueKnowledge, InfoHealthDb, LiveStrong and many more.
Lee's passion is summarizing the exciting health and medical research pouring out of labs all over the globe and showing how it can transform men of every age. His emphasis is on improving general, hormonal and sexual health for middle-aged and beyond men in the hope of getting them to look, feel and act about half their age.
He practices what he preaches and is almost entirely plant-based in how eats. He likes to call himself a choco-ovo-vegetarian consuming predominantly low fat foods that follows closely what is in his Peak Erectile Strength Diet. He strongly believes in black tea and coffee since these taste good - er, um - are so healthy. His weight lifting philosophy is “old school”, i.e. whole body workouts three days per week, along with daily cardio.
Residing in the sunny southwest of the U.S., he enjoys his three kids and beautiful wife.
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