Beef Protein Powders
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 Source||Protein in 100g||Serving||Protein to Calorie Ratio|
|Lean Beef and Veal (Low Fat)||36.0 g||31.0 g (3 oz Slice; 85 g)||1g protein per 5.3 calories|
|Lean Chicken (Chicken Breast)||18.3 g||16.0 g (3 oz serving; 85g)||1 g protein per 4.6 calories|
|Fish (Tuna, Salmon, Halibut)||26.0 g||22.0 g (3 oz Fillet; 85g)||1 g protein per 4.5 calories|
|Pork Loin (Chops)||30.0 g||41.0 g (1 Chop 137g,~5oz)||1 g protein per 5.4 calories|
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.
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.
|Whey protein||70 to 80 percent protein||90 percent protein|
|Milk protein||80 percent protein||85 percent protein|
|Beef protein||—||99 percent protein|
|Soy protein||70 percent protein||90 percent protein|
|Goat-milk protein||65 percent protein||—|
|Pea protein||85 to 90 percent protein||—|
|Hemp protein||50 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
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.