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100% Whey Protein
(Optimum Nutrition)

Protein Powders

by Gary F. Zeolla

A discussion of whey protein in general is found at American Whey Protein. That product is by Jarrow Formulas and is a very good whey protein powder. I used it in my post-workout drink for some time. But I then I switched to Optimum Nutrition's 100% Whey for a while for several reasons.

First, Jarrow's American Whey is solely whey protein concentrate, while Optimum's 100% whey is composed of four different kinds of whey: microfiltered whey protein isolates, ion-exchange whey protein isolates, ultrafiltered whey protein concentrate, and hydrolyzed whey peptides.

The importance of these four different kinds of whey is that each is digested at a different rate. The hydrolyzed whey is digested the fastest, within 10-30 minutes. The isolates are then digested within about 30-50 minutes, and the concentrate in about 50-80 minutes. Thus when using this product in my post-workout drink, the hydrolyzed peptides get into my system very quickly to begin recovery. The slower isolates then kick in a little later, and then the whey concentrate hold me over until I'm able to eat a regular meal, usually about 1-1/2 hours post-workout. But now I use it in my pre-workout snack, but the differing digestion rates of teh amino acids are still helpful. They provide protein during the workout to prevent muscle breakdown, then afterwards to begin recovery.

The second thing I like about Optimum's whey is that it contains digestive enzymes to help digest the protein and small amount of lactose in the whey. And I have found that it does seem to digest much easier than plain whey, so I have no bloated or full feeling while I'm working out. [Update: It is highly unlikely digestive enzymes taken by mouth do any good, as they are destroyed by the stomach acid, while digestive enzymes are needed in the small intestines.]

Third, 100% whey mixes very easily. So it works well for my post-workout drink.

And finally, it comes in many different flavors, and all taste great. I'm not too concerned about taste before or after working out, but still, variety and good taste is a plus.

There are thus several reasons why this is a good product. But there are a couple of possible drawbacks. First, it uses acesulfame potassium (pronounced "ace-SUL-fame" and abbreviated Ace K) as its sweetener. This is a somewhat new sweetener that safety questions have been raised about. Second and more problematic is the use of artificial flavorings and colorings. Personally, I try to avoid such artificial ingredients as much as possible.

That said, per one scoop (28.4 gram) serving, this protein powder provides:

120 calories
1.5g fat
3g carb (1 g sugar),
24g protein

Therefore, this product is almost pure protein. That is probably why Optimum's Whey consistently wins Bodybuilding.com's yearly award for best protein powder, determined by the votes of customers. Thus despite these minor drawbacks, I used Optimum's 100% Whey for my post-workout drink for a while. But I'm only giving it 3-1/2 stars because of the two drawbacks. I just cannot fully recommend a product with such artificial ingredients, and they are why I eventually switched to something else. See Protein Powders for details.

100% Whey Protein - Protein Powders. Copyright 2004, 2014, 2017 by Gary F. Zeolla.

The above protein powder is available at Amazon and iHerb.
For iHerb, use coupon code HOP815 to get $5.00 off your first order.

The above article was posted on this site June 10, 2004.
It was updated June 21, 2017.

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