Protein is the fundamental building block for muscle strength, stamina, and recovery and for your bones, enzymes and cells. Whey protein floods your body with the master antioxidant glutathione, which keeps all your other antioxidants ship-shape.
Which Dr. Mercola Whey product?
|Miracle Whey™: Your choice for an immune supporting protein powder.|
|Mercola Pure Power Protein: is a premium product designed to boost your overall health and fitness levels.* It contains a unique blend of high-quality whey protein, chia seeds, and probiotics to give you an edge over the competition or if you're more demanding about enhancing your overall health.*|
|Pro-Optimal Whey: If you're looking for a multipurpose protein powder -- one that has additional vitamins and minerals, plus a full spectrum enzyme, then Pro-Optimal Whey is your choice.*|
9 Basic Essentials Every Whey Protein Powder Should Have
To me, any whey protein powder is simply missing the mark unless it’s made from and follows these ‘9 Essentials’ at a minimum…
1. All-natural,pasture-fed cows' whey, NOT pesticide-treated, grain-fed cows' whey – Compared to grain-fed cows, pasture-fed cows produce whey that
contains an impressive amino acid and immuno-supportive nutrient profile and is rich in healthy fats – lipolic acid and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid).
3.Cold processed to protect the nutrients in their natural state, NOT heat processed – The majority of whey is heat processed which makes the whey acidic and nutritionally deficient
and damages the immuno-supportive micronutrients and amino acids. It makes whey inadequate for consumption.
4.Acid-free processing, NOT Acid / Ion Exchange Processing - The bottom line is that Acid/Ion Exchange processing is a less healthful, cheaper process than acid-free processing. It denatures amino acid profiles by using acids and chemicals to separate the whey from the fats.
5.Whey protein concentrate, NOT protein isolates – Protein isolates are proteins stripped away from their nutritional cofactors. I have issues with isolates because most isolates are exposed to acid processing. Your body cannot assimilate proteins in isolated form. Due to over-processing, isolates are deficient in key amino acids and nutritional cofactors.
6.Sweetened naturally, NOT artificially, and low carb – Many whey powders are artificially sweetened making them undesirable if you have sugar sensitivities, or you want to avoid putting synthetic sweeteners or flavors in your body.
7.Maximum biological value, NOT compromised or damaged – Most whey proteins provide some benefit. But, due to the ingredients, the source of the whey, the concentration of beneficial nutrients, or the type of processing, many whey products simply don't deliver what they promise.
You want whey that retains its maximum biological value, contains all the key amino acids, cofactors, and beneficial micronutrients present and intact rather than compromised or damaged.
8.Easy to Digest, NOT Causing Digestive Stress – Many whey products contain long-chain fatty acids which are hard to digest and require bile acids to absorb.
You want a whey protein powder that contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) is easily absorbed, digested quickly, and is utilized as energy without causing digestive stress.
9.Free from Toxic Heavy Metals or at Such Low Levels NOT to be a Health Risk – You want to avoid protein powders, both whey and non-whey, that contain dangerous levels of heavy metals like mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic. Any high concentration of heavy metals consumed over time could lead to serious health consequences.
In fact, a Consumer Reports' evaluation showed how some leading brands of protein powders exceeded United States Pharmacopoeia's (USP) recommended safety limits for certain heavy metals.
Most people aren’t aware there are two different types of maltodextrin. If you don’t know the difference you could be in for a very unpleasant surprise -- so let me help explain the difference. The naturally-occurring digestive resistant maltodextrin used to enhance flavor and provide other health benefits is a far-cry from the more commonly used synthetic varieties. The critical distinction here is “naturally-occurring.” Synthetic variants of maltodextrin do exist and are often used as cheap sweeteners in protein powders. I purposely avoid synthetic maltodextrin because it is artificially created when acid/enzymes are applied to starch can potentially raise insulin levels, may cause depletion of your body’s vitamins and minerals, typically is GMO (genetically modified), is not digestive resistant.
Instead, the naturally-occurring digestive resistant maltodextrin is classified as water soluble fiber, resistant to digestion, low glycemic, GMO-free, rich in pre-biotic food to support healthy gut bacteria.
So, you can see the significant differences between synthetic maltodextrin and the naturally-occurring maltodextrin. Not only does naturally occurring digestive resistant maltodextrin enhance the taste, it also provides other health benefits as well.
There’s another sweetener I highly recommend… and that’s Luo Han. This all-natural sweetener is a cousin of the cucumber and a member of the gourd family. And from a health and wellness standpoint, it’s been shown to not affect your blood sugar levels. Luo Han extract has been used traditionally in China for centuries. But what brought it to the attention of American food manufacturers was the discovery of a secret locked in the fruit extract – called mogrosides. Mogrosides are 300 times sweeter than sucrose… but contain hardly any calories and don’t spike your blood sugar. These mogrosides are part of a group of compounds called triterpene glycosides. They taste sweet, but your body treats them differently than carbohydrates. Insulin levels don’t rise… they aren’t broken apart to produce energy… and you don’t put on the pounds when consuming them.
Whey Concentrate or Whey Isolate?
Here are some of the reasons I’m NOT in favor of using isolates in any protein powder… because whey isolate…
Is from pasteurized dairy and processed with heat and acid.
Goes through a process that removes the fat which in turn removes important components of whey’s immunological properties… healthful properties such as phospholipids, phosphatidylserine, and cortisol.
Cheats you out of IgG immunoglobulins, which are excellent sources of glutamine and cysteine bound to fat globules.
Hinders your body from effectively assimilating proteins in this isolated form.
Is deficient in key amino acids nutritional cofactors.
Why You Should Avoid Soy Like the Plague
Many whey protein powders are not GMO-free. And often at the heart of this matter is a cheap soy-based compound called soy lecithin. If you look closely at a protein powder label and see soy lecithin listed in any form, this is something I strongly suggest you avoid. Sunflower lecithin is much preferred over soy lecithin. But if you can confirm that the soy lecithin used in the product is organic and non-GMO, it is ok, but not nearly as healthful as your whey protein should be.
How Maintaining a Healthy Gut Can Enhance Your Protein Benefits
One challenge when optimizing protein intake from whey is protein gets digested in your stomach. This means that a large percentage of amino acids may not be fully utilized and may not reach your lower intestine. Keeping your gut as healthy as possible is essential in maximizing your benefits from natural protein. And that’s where high-quality probiotics come in.
By introducing billions of tiny microflora (‘good’ bacteria) into your digestive system in the form of probiotics, you can help…
Maintain your ideal ‘good’ to ‘other’ bacteria ratio*
Support your production of B vitamins and vitamin K*
Promote mineral absorption*
Support carbohydrate digestion via probiotic enzymes*
Aid your metabolism and the breakdown of toxins*
Maintain appropriate bowel transit time*
Support your immune system function by helping remove toxins*
Produce lactic acid to support a healthy colon pH balance*
But, there’s even more probiotics can do for you when it comes to protein.
Probiotics can also help your body synthesize leucine, which you need for muscle building. So, not only can high-quality probiotics keep your gut healthy, when combined with natural whey protein, probiotics can enhance muscle development.
My Five Additional ‘Essentials’ Take Protein Powder to a Whole New Performance Level*
At this point, to achieve a more optimal level of whey protein powder geared more for athletes, I really feel that the ‘9 Essentials’ can be used as the baseline and tweaked with additional nutrients and ingredients (as well as making sure certain risky ingredients are not included).
Based on what I introduced above, here are five additional criteria I believe are necessary to give the ‘9 Essentials’ an added boost…
Put even more emphasis on good taste – Natural sweeteners like digestive resistant maltodextrin and Luo Han fit the bill.
Look for more fiber – Keeping yourself ‘regular’ can be key to maintaining top performance levels.*
Include probiotics in the formula – Helps to synthesize leucine to enhance building muscle and helps you maintain a healthy gut.*
Focus on mineral content – In this case, calcium, which plays a key role in muscle contraction and is necessary for exercise recovery.*
Avoid soy lecithin – This is a waste product laden with solvents and pesticides and should be shunned at all costs.
When these five are added to the ‘9 Essentials,’ we now have a minimum of 14 selection requirements I believe are needed for the optimal whey protein powder.
And once again, I’ve taken most of your guesswork out of finding such a difficult-to-find protein powder. That’s why I helped formulate a unique whey protein to meet and exceed the additional 5 requirements. I’ve yet to see another powder as good as Mercola Pure Power Protein that satisfies and exceeds my challenging criteria.
To show you the extraordinary nutrients incorporated into Mercola Pure Power Protein, let’s take a deeper dive into a sample of the natural ingredients and their potential benefits….
Immuno Whey™ – Non-denatured, cold pressed pasture-fed cows’ whey protein… needed to support athletic performance, muscle recovery and buildup.*
This is the first time we have been able to introduce this higher quality whey protein. It is a very serious upgrade with immune supporting components.*
Organic Sweet Whey – Non-denatured natural whey… helps replenish essential elements, electrolytes, and trace minerals lost during exercise.*
Natural sweeteners – Both digestive resistant maltodextrin and Luo Han used to enhance the overall taste and provide other natural benefits.*
Omega 3 EFA (N-3) – Plant bases ALA will help complement any animal-based sources of omega-3, like krill you may be taking. These essential fatty acids which can play an important role in muscle recuperation and buildup.*
Chia Seeds – Regarded by botanical experts as a super food, chia seeds are high in protein, fiber, and essential oils. Due to its high fiber content, chia helps support weight management, blood sugar levels, detoxification, and regularity.*
Coconut MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) – Medium-chain fatty acids have been shown to be an ideal muscle fuel. MCT can replenish muscle energy without raising insulin, support weight management, and promote lean muscle gain.*
Sunflower Seed Lecithin – Unlike soy lecithin which is typically GMO, sunflower lecithin is 100% chemical-free and non-GMO… provides phospholipds and nutrients to support muscle performance and increase resiliency to stress.*
Probiotics – 15 billion count per serving of blended ‘good’ bacteria… helps keep your gut healthy and helps synthesize leucine to support muscle development.*
If you’re a demanding athlete and serious about the healthiest whey protein powder I’ve help develop to date, you must be impressed by the ingredients that make up Mercola Pure Power Protein.
2 pounds Aprox 22 servings
Contains dairy and lecithin derived from GM free sunflower seeds. Manufactured in the same facility as peanut containing products.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.