Is IN2 whey protein worth taking
Trending proteins - how good are fortified foods?
Those who do sport need a lot of protein - this (apparent) knowledge is burned into many people's memories. And there are many fortified products to absorb these proteins, from protein chocolate to toast to pudding and drinks. But are these foods necessary? In a market check, the Bremen consumer center looked at 19 products online that advertise that they are particularly rich in proteins.
Why does the body need proteins?
Proteins, also known as egg whites, are macronutrients along with carbohydrates and fats. These supply the body with energy and have other important tasks. With proteins, the most well-known task is to build muscle, but the individual building blocks of protein - the amino acids - do important work in many other places in the body. They influence hormones and enzymes, the structure of bones and cells.
The recommended daily intake depends on your body weight. According to the German Nutrition Society (DGE), healthy people between the ages of 19 and 65 should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. Children need a little more because of their growth. Seniors need about 1 g of protein per kg of body weight - with a mostly lower calorie requirement!
Do athletes need more protein?
The idea that athletes need more protein because they need to build and maintain more muscle is in principle correct. However, according to the DGE, only people who are active for more than five hours a week have a higher requirement of 1.2 g to 2 g per kilogram of body weight per day. Since athletes have a higher energy requirement depending on the type of training, they eat more overall and, with a balanced diet, also cover their increased protein requirements. People who do less exercise usually also get enough protein through a balanced diet. On average, the protein intake in Germany is above the recommended values, so it is not necessary to consume fortified products.
The market check
For the market check, we looked at 19 milk and milk substitute products that advertise their protein content. To do this, we have collected the ingredient lists, nutritional tables and the information printed on the packaging online. In order to be able to compare the nutritional values of the products, we calculated the Nutri-Score.
Almost all products have a similar packaging design - black as the basic color with white lettering and individual color highlights. This design should evidently arouse certain stimuli, look high-quality, attract attention, because black is rather rare on the yoghurt shelf. But is the content worth the attention?
The nutritional tables mostly speak for the products. The average sugar content is 5 grams per 100 grams, which is a low sugar content for food, otherwise yoghurt products in particular can contain a lot of sugar. This sugar content is rather mediocre for beverages. The use of sweeteners and lactase saves the amount of sugar. However, sweeteners can lead to habituation to the sweet taste. Lactase is an enzyme that breaks down milk sugar and the breakdown products make it sweeter. As a result, some of the products tested are labeled as "lactose-free".
The fat content of the products was also in the low range below three grams per 100 g in 17 of 19 products. This low fat content was awarded “low fat” in eight products. All solid products with a fat content less than three grams per 100 g are allowed to use this designation. For this designation, liquid products may contain a maximum of 1.5 g fat per 100 g.
Big price, small content
Of the 19 products examined, the price was given for 16 products. The prices of the products were between € 0.29 and € 0.94 per 100 g. In comparison, normal quark in the lean level is 0.18 € for 100 g. The products we tested are on average three times as expensive as quark.
Protein content - what can be called “protein source”?
The protein content of the products is between 5 and 11.4 g per 100 g. All products advertise their protein content. They often have it directly in their name, such as “High Protein Drink”, or the protein content per cup is stated on the packaging. The words “natural source of protein” or “a lot of protein” are also used. In half of the products, the protein content is achieved through the addition of milk protein, in three products through whey protein, whey concentrates and whey products. The other products contain no specially processed ingredients for fortification, but naturally protein-rich foods such as quark or cream cheese. For comparison: Quark in the lean level naturally contains around 12 g of protein per 100 g.
Only products with a protein content of at least 12% of the calorific value may be referred to as “protein sources”. In fact, only products with a protein content of at least 20% of the calorific value may bear the title “high protein content”. A yoghurt with 80 kcal per 100 g should therefore contain 4 g of protein per 100 g.
In order to be able to compare the nutritional value, we have calculated the Nutri-Score for the products. 17 of the 19 products received a dark green A and two products a light green B. However, the high protein drinks are problematic in the calculation. In our opinion, as the name suggests, they belong to the drinks category and the presentation in a bottle also clearly shows this. However, the calculation basis for the Nutri-Score provides for these products to be classified as food due to the milk content. This gives all products a better rating. If the drinks were calculated as drinks, the four products tested would all get a dark orange E instead of an A. So the worst rating instead of a very good one.
The products are drunk and thus provide a relatively high amount of sugar for beverages and - associated with this - contain a high amount of energy.
Nutritional values top, list of ingredients flop?
The nutritional values are good for most products, but many names sound less inviting when you look at the list of ingredients. In particular, thickeners are present in 14 of the 19 products and stabilizers in seven of the 19 products. In order to keep the sugar levels as low as possible, 12 of the 19 products contain sweeteners.
Real fruit flavor is rarely found. 15 of 19 products contain aroma or natural aroma, only 2 products contain “natural fruit aroma” and “natural fruit aroma with other natural aromas” that actually come partly from the fruit that it tastes like. A product also contains added vitamins.
If that is too many additives for you, you prefer to use products such as Skyr or Quark, these naturally contain a lot of protein and in our test do not require any further additives.
Wheat stalk fibers in yogurt? - the reduction strategy
As part of the reduction strategy, many new options are being tried out to reduce the sugar, salt and fat content of foods. This includes, for example, the breakdown of milk sugar by adding the enzyme lactase. Enrichment with dietary fiber such as wheat stalk fibers is also part of it. Due to the good water binding of the fibers, fat can be saved with a comparable "mouthfeel". It was used on a product.
What is BCAA?
One product advertised its content of BCAAs. BCAA stands for branched chain amino acids and means branched chain amino acids. According to manufacturers, muscles are made up of 35% of these specific amino acids, so they are important for people who play sports. However, there is no scientific evidence that ingesting products rich in isolated BCAA's will delay muscle fatigue or breakdown. In addition, all food proteins such as whey protein contain a significant amount of these specific amino acids. However, no health-related statements are permitted for whey proteins.
Risk from greatly increased intake
An average active person who weighs 68 kilograms needs around 54 g of protein per day. If he eats the usual portions of 50 g of oat flakes with milk, 100 g of wholemeal pasta with Bolognese sauce and two slices of sunflower seed wholemeal bread with Emmentaler, then he has already met his protein needs. If he takes in more proteins than he needs, they are stored as energy reserves, just like too many carbohydrates or too much fat. Eating a diet rich in protein while maintaining the same diet and activity does not therefore lead to increased muscle growth.
In extreme cases, kidney problems can occur in the event of a severe overdose, which can be achieved primarily with supplements such as protein powder. When excess protein has to be excreted from the body, the nitrogen it contains is converted to ammonia and excreted through the urine via the kidneys. Much excess protein that has to be broken down can put a strain on the kidneys.
Protein-enriched foods are not necessary for a balanced diet, they usually contain many additives and are on average almost three times as expensive as, for example, quark.
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