Beef Protein Powders

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Beef Protein Powders

Bodybuilding Benefits of Red Meat

Bodybuilding Benefits of Red Meat

It has long been known that bodybuilders and strength athletes consume high amounts of beef to help build muscle and increase strength. The muscle building power of beef cannot be disputed. But what about beef protein powders? We have seen whey, casein, soy, egg, milk and even rice and pea protein powders, but beef protein isolate powder is also becoming more popular. Beef protein powder is the latest addition to a wide range of protein supplements in the market. In this post we will do a quick review on beef protein isolate powders. Find out if beef protein powders are a smart supplement choice.

Lean Beef – High-Quality Animal-Source Protein

For decades beef has remained at the top of the list of best muscles building foods for good reason. Beef is packed with valuable muscle building nutrients coming from high quality protein, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), creatine, B vitamins and zinc.

Beef also contains a mixture of saturated fat, which can support healthy testosterone levels, and monounsaturated fat, for heart health.

Furthermore, research shows high-quality protein, such as lean beef, plays an increasingly important role in maintaining muscle, fueling activity, managing your weight and even disease prevention (cardiovascular disease risk, Type 2 diabetes, anxiety and stress etc.).

Table 1: Comparison of some high-quality animal protein sources

Protein SourceProtein in 100gServingProtein to Calorie Ratio
Lean Beef and Veal (Low Fat)36.0 g31.0 g (3 oz Slice; 85 g)1g protein per 5.3 calories
Lean Chicken (Chicken Breast)18.3 g16.0 g (3 oz serving; 85g)1 g protein per 4.6 calories
Fish (Tuna, Salmon, Halibut)26.0 g22.0 g (3 oz Fillet; 85g)1 g protein per 4.5 calories
Pork Loin (Chops)30.0 g41.0 g (1 Chop 137g,~5oz)1 g protein per 5.4 calories
Lean Beef - High-Quality Animal-Source Protein

Lean Beef – High-Quality Animal-Source Protein

Beef Protein Supplements (Beef Protein Powders)

The Main Idea Behind Beef Protein Powders

In recent years, supplement companies have developed and released “beef protein powder” designed to give you all the benefits of regular beef, but in a convenient powdered form, just like whey or casein. Most of the supplement companies are now offering beef protein isolate in powder form. This has sparked a new and passionate debate: is beef protein actually better than whey?

Essentially, supplement manufacturers claim that beef protein powders are steak with the fat and cholesterol removed. What remains are the amino acids that make up the muscle protein, the creatine that was stored in those muscles and a slew of vitamins, including A, D and the Bs. Because steak contains no carbs and the fat has all been removed, beef protein powder contains 99 percent protein. And because beef protein powder has no fat or sugar content, the body can absorb the nutrients fast. If this is really true, then we can rightfully say that beef protein powder is ideal for all of us and especially for those who must avoid lactose (present in small amounts in all milk proteins) because of allergies or intolerance.

Beef Protein Powders

Beef Protein Powders

Table 2: Processed Proteins: This chart illustrates the difference in the amount of protein between the concentrate and isolate form of some of the more popular types of protein.

ProteinConcentrateIsolate
Whey protein70 to 80 percent protein90 percent protein
Milk protein80 percent protein85 percent protein
Beef protein99 percent protein
Soy protein70 percent protein90 percent protein
Goat-milk protein65 percent protein
Pea protein85 to 90 percent protein
Hemp protein50 percent protein

The protein in beef is highly bioavailable meaning it is easily digested and absorbed easily, driving the key nutrients to the working muscles quickly. Beef protein is naturally gluten free, lactose free and soy free making it one of the best protein sources for those who are intolerant or allergic to many of the ingredients in cow’s milk based proteins such as whey and casein.

The Main Problem Behind Beef Protein Powders

From a practical standpoint, the financial cost of dehydrating large amounts of meat into powders is exorbitant, and it is highly plausible that purchased beef protein is not beef protein in the sense of buying beef (red meat) and processing it into a powder.
If beef protein isolate was actually lean meat in powdered form, then we would say go for it. Unfortunately, most people using these beef protein powders have no idea what they’re actually made from.

Isolated amino acids can be put in a certain ratio to mimic complete protein sources, but this would exclude any particular meat-derived bioactive peptides. Essentially, there is a high chance your ‘beef protein’ is just glorified gelatin. To put in other words, it’s highly possible that these powders are made from the throw away parts of the cow (joints, ligaments, connective tissue, hide, ears, et cetera). All of these parts are combined to form a substance called gelatin, which is actually the primary ingredient often found in many of the popular beef protein powders on the market. They can simply fortify that powder (gelatin) with added creatine and branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) to make it seem like you’re getting the real thing. If beef protein isolate really were derived from muscle meat, there would be no reason to add separate BCAAs, as muscle meat is especially rich in them. Gelatin, however, contains none, and so they must make up for that. The result is a protein powder that’s probably quite effective at supporting hypertrophy, but not because it contains beef protein isolate.

Conclusion

A growing number of supplement companies are accused of selling workout supplements spiked with cheap fillers that they’re passing off as protein. Most proprietors of beef protein isolate would have you believe that they are turning muscle meat into protein powder. That fillets, porterhouses, and other prime lean cuts are being broken down into a fine mixable powder. While it’s a nice story, it simply isn’t financially feasible to turn what we think of when we hear the word “beef” – muscle meat – into protein powder.
So It is very likely that the overall protein quality is nowhere near that of what you get from a piece of sirloin steak. If consumed in limited amounts, gelatin is not going to negatively affect your results. But why bother? For around the same price, you can buy a pure whey protein isolate, which is the highest quality source of protein you can possibly put into your body. Also, whey protein has the highest absorption rate and the best amino acid profile of any protein source out there, and is significantly higher quality than that of gelatin.
Always choose a highly trusted company whose supplements are used extensively by professional athletes from all corners of the globe. If your beef protein powder (typically labeled as Hydrolyzed Beef Protein Isolate) is really made from cow’s flesh only (not from the throwaway parts of a cow), then it is a worthy alternative to whey for the general public, particularly those with dietary requirements meaning that dairy products are best avoided. And always keep in mind that choosing the real high-quality food is always the best choice compared to any protein powder. Our tip: More protein from healthy food, and less protein from supplements!!!
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