Diet and NutritionEngineering

Protein Powder: The Journey Explained

The result of protein powder
The Perfect Body (Or is it?)

So, for some this might actually look a vascular and ugly piece of muscle (harsh,but true)

But to be honest for some, I mean really few (almost 1 in 10) this , right here is their dream. Their motivation, everything is that picture-perfect physique.

Which not only differentiates them from others but also make them truly feel good about themselves. Now I certainly do not mean that every other activity other than body-building, is something that even a toddler can do. No, No Sir. What I mean to say over here is to respect each activity that requires hard-work and talent into it. And bodybuilding is no different than it.

Now we all have seen this in hand of a bodybuilder (SIGH, even in hands of some rookie,pseudo bodybuilders)

Protein Powder

Now, some really civilized Spongebobs, present in our 21st century call the above many names like juice,steroids,pulses…(This makes my heart bleed.)

And that’s what brings us in to this article, to make people and Spongebobs understand, that everything you see in bodybuilding, is not superficial and easily achievable (Unlike that plate of oily French fries that you are eating as your 10th brunch.)

Not Protein powder

With this crazy madness to remove all these dark marks painted on our beloved body-building industry (Feelings, mate…) and to improve the level of arguments for our respected Spongebobs. I want to take you through the process that these so-called steroids for Spongebobs but for a bodybuilder his/her true soulmate ‘the whey protein powder’ (Drum roll, yeah that’s what you call it).

But before we put our big witched nose into this matter, why and what do we use this protein powder?

So well, the answer is to make our body. (Slow claps, sarcasm)

Okay, but to be honest that’s a layman answer to the question,

 So, actually what happens is that when you workout or do any type of activity which puts a lot of stress and tension on your muscle tissues( Now I don’t count eating chocolate ice-cream as a muscular stress), your tissues go through micro-tears. It’s very similar to the phenomenon where you use your shoes for a very long time, they get tears on various places due to the workload until you finally throw them.

Now, fortunately and unfortunately we can’t throw those torn muscles out of our system and bring a new and bigger one (I wish we could). But your body understands you mate! (Respecc). So happens is that, it uses something from your food to bring new life and new size to those sick and torn muscles. And that something is known as protein.

So, to bring a conclusion to our story, whey protein powder supply those precious and valuable proteins to your body in a form that is more readily absorbed and digestible form.

But how can you say that it’s easily absorbed and digestible? (Any proof? Mr. Food Technologist?)

Well, imagine body waiting and segregating all nutrients from a pile of food that you dumped in your body. Now, compare this to getting an only pure protein source, that too in liquid form. (Now put 2+2 together, genius.)

So, after discussing the Physics and Biology of protein powder.

Let’s take a look now at the History, Geography…(And whatever you want to add.) of whey protein powder.

So let’s get started:

Step 1- How I Met Your Mother (Whey Protein’s Mother) or the History of Whey Protein

Consider a situation where you have to prepare your favourite dish, so what is going to be your first step of execution?

Ding-dong, ding-dong.

If your guess is collection of ingredients, you’re absolutely right. Similarly, for a bodybuilder, his/her perfect, delicious dish is the protein shake. And the base ingredient for this exquisite and delicious dish is:

Cow’s milk. (Yes, not chemicals, Spongebob)

Mother of protein powder
Awww, she’s adorable

But, let’s be honest! It doesn’t sound very logical, right?

So please, give the food-techie in me a chance. So basically, cow milk has 2 different types of protein, one is called casein (Can be ignored for this article.) and another is a combination of certain proteins (A-lactalbumin, β-lactoglobulin, serum albumin and immunoglobulinsdon’t worry no details would be missed.) . They make a combination and are termed as whey protein or serum (That’s the stuff of our interest).

So, for the first step we set our eyes for a perfect bovine lacteal secretion (Show off, crap that is to be ignored) aka milk. And what do we mean by perfect? Well something which has 3.5% protein, 4% fat and 4.6 % lactose (From, no wild guesses).

Step 2- Protecting What We Obtained / Yalgaar Ho

Now, nobody would want this milk which is obtained by great hard-work, pain, labour and sacrifice (A bit of melodrama, just to freshen up) to go to waste. And by that what I mean, is that once you get milk out of the cow the countdown begins (Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock.)

So, there are certain villains in this milk story which are Bacillus, Clostridium, Cornebacterium, Arthrobacter, Lactobacillus, Microbacterium, Micrococcus and Streptococcus.

Villains of protein powder
The Villians

So to cut a long story short, the only objective of these villains/microbes for which they have descended to earth is to spoil our beloved milk (Nooooooo.)

But don’t worry, because now it’s time for the entry of our hero (Yayyyyy) and the hero for this part of our story is pasteurization

Protein powder's saviour
Sorry, no joke here.

Hahhh, chemical process.

Now, before we move forward in this game, we need to understand what this super dangerous sounding word pasteurization mean?

So basically, what this hero actually do is that is it actually heats ( 72°C ) our villains to their death. And for easy handling and preservation purposes, we cool it down to around 4°C. (Side note- After this treatment, we can say that no more microbes would be there in our milk.)

Step 3- Grand Welcome To Heaven

So, in this crucial step the milk that we saved due to our hard-work now goes through a process termed as coagulation. (Don’t worry, as I said no details will be missed.)

Doesn’t Look So Good, Right?

Hahh, and milk would be like, “Hail my King, here I separate!!!”

Nope, not like this, but there’s an enzyme called rennin (It’s organic mate, so chill.) which basically coagulates or separates our milk proteins (Which we discussed earlier in our steps) into two parts. One, that is important for this article (Whey or serum, no need to scroll up) and other that is not. (Why to waste time on what is not necessary?)

Step 4 – Final Touch Up

So, once we achieve our serum or whey protein (Not finished up mate) it’s time to bring it to the form that we are familiar with and that is the smooth and white textured yummy powder.

For this a process known as Fluidized Spray Drying is used.

Yaay, It’s Over.

So basically, in this process you send your slurry whey into magical hocus-pocus thing. It also has a name, spray dryer. With the help of magical equipment aka a atomizer micro-encapsulate this slurry or just segregate them into tiny droplets (Keep it simple), which in turn is dried into a powder form with the help of hot gases.

Now do we go for this only?

I like your curiosity.

Well, because whether we want it or not the protein in our whey is highly delicate to heating process. (Thermal denaturation, now I can’t give it all in one article, google it if you want) and also if drying is not done properly and quickly, microbes may contaminate the whey slurry.

Step 5 – Monetization

Just Imagine That These Are Rupees

So here comes the last chapter of our legendary tale, in this the manufacturing firm pack the whey protein and send this elixir to our gym buddies. And this gives everyone what makes them happy (Including me), money.

So to end this my last words would be, (For this article only)

Naa baap bada naa bhaiya,

The whole thing is that,

Ki sabse bada rupaiya.

Written By,

Yash Bundela

Student, NIFTEM (also really amateur body builder)

That was a really long article. If you have interests about reading more about plant-based protein, you can check our article on it.

All Hail The Bael Fruit

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