Beef Protein vs. Whey Protein – Which is better?
Scientific breakthroughs that took place over the last years in the sports nutrition industry have made consumers more demanding in respect to the supplements they use. Compared against what bodybuilders knew only a few decades ago, like the Arnold Schwarzenegger generation, modern science has given us a far better understanding of the effects supplements like creatine, beta-alanine and arginine have in our body.
To help answer this question, we will discuss the relevant aspects of protein supplements. Later on, we will compare whey against beef protein with these aspects as differentiating criteria.
1 gram of protein always has an energetic value of 4 calories, regardless of the protein source. However, the body can’t always use 100% of its protein intake to build muscle mass.
The biological value is a measurement scale used to determine the percentage of protein the body effectively uses. The protein source with the highest biological value is the egg, since the body is able to use up to 94% of the amino acids that are found in this food source.
The most interesting aspect about beef protein is that, provided that the ideal nutritional conditions are gathered, this protein source’s biological value can be equivalent to the egg’s.
In turn, cow milk protein’s biological value is, on average, 60%.
Protein derived from whey formulas can achieve a biological value of up to 104, depending on their degree of purity. Could beef protein supplements lose to whey in this department?
If we look at ON’s 100% Whey Gold Standard – considered by many to be the best whey in the market – we realise it has almost 5 grams of sugars for each 100 grams of product. In turn, popular beef protein products, like Carnivor and Predators PREY, have absolutely no sugars.
In terms of saturated fat, whey tends to have roughly between 2 to 4 grams of this nutrient, whereas some beef protein products are completely saturated fat-free, or have only traces of saturated fat.
Elaborating on the previous point, sugars and fats slow down the absorption of protein by the body, due to the fact that digestive enzymes have to work twice as hard to break proteins down into their most basic units – the amino acids.
There is also the fact that most sugars found in whey come from lactose, a type of sugar most people can’t fully digest, or can’t digest at all.
Moreover, unlike whey, that is digested in the intestine, beef protein’s digestion takes place in the stomach. This avoids the swelling sensation that is commonly associated to whey consumption.
Adding to the previously mentioned aspects, most beef protein formulas are further enriched with vitamins and minerals, thus improving their nutritional value.
What is the best beef protein?
Upon analysing these facts, it is fair to determine beef protein formulas may, in fact, be more beneficial than whey in terms of promoting gains in muscle mass and muscle recovery.
Currently, there are very interesting beef protein formulas in the market. The next picture compares some of the most popular beef protein supplements available, under the light of the criteria we focused on in this article.
Represented in the image: Predators PREY (Xcore Savage), Carnivor (Musclemeds) and Beef Protein (Crossgen)