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How to cook with Whey Protein, and can you heat it safely?

The bodybuilding community has always benefitted from diet plans rich in protein, and shown us the results on stage, on screen, and in our gyms. The majority of fitness professionals also support their same school of thought – that well planned protein intake can be a helpful way to transform body shape for the better.

The most relied upon protein supplement source used to help is whey protein powder.

Most of us have a whey protein powder stashed in our pantry, and you may have thought of experimenting with variations on how to eat it from time to time. A good thing to know is that adding your whey protein to baking, or heating it in the microwave may lower some of it's healthy properties. In one case in particular it can even put your health at risk.

Better quality whey powders, such as those coming from grass fed cows milk, contain greater levels of naturally occurring nutrients that may offer many health supportive benefits. These nutrients include immune system supporting 'immunoglobulins', vitamins – and also healthy fats which are found in higher quality, less processed wheys (particularly in New Zealand whey protein concentrates).

When cooking at high temperatures, especially for longer times, you will damage some of these healthful nutrients. Vitamins and healthy fats are the most at risk. Healthy fats can be destroyed completely, vitamins may lose 75 percent or more of their benefits, and immunoglobulins can lose at least 20% of their action. If you like to add your protein powder to your microwave porridge, then hold off adding it until after cooking, when your porridge has cooled slightly.

To retain highest levels of beneficial nutrient properties, keep heating and baking times to the minimum.

Something to keep an eye out for – never heat any food or drink item that contains the artificial sweetener Aspartame. Aspartame is found in many sports nutrition products, make sure to check all ingredients lists. When heated, the artificial sweetener Aspartame breaks down into the known carcinogen, diketopiperazine (DKP). Something you definitely don't want in your diet.

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