As those who exercise regularly well know, particularly those who work out to either build muscle or lose weight, protein is an important part of this equation. There are a number of factors that need to be contemplated when selecting a protein type for formulation work to pair with the consumers’ desired end results and considering milk protein isolates and concentrates is an important part of this process.
At Idaho Milk Products, we’re proud to offer a variety of milk protein isolate and concentrate products for numerous uses, including for weight management applications and many others. Creating products that maximize benefits to consumers leads to delighted consumers, which leads to higher sales and profitability. Many areas of research have shown that milk proteins in weight loss products help stimulate fat burning and provide several other benefits — and in fact, these benefits are available on both sides of the weight spectrum, including not just people looking to lose weight, but also those looking to gain healthy mass or see certain other health-related upgrades. Here’s a primer on how milk protein plays a positive role in many of these efforts when sourced and used correctly.
Milk Protein Concentrate and Isolate Basics
At Idaho Milk Products, milk protein concentrate (MPC – 80% – 85% protein) and isolate (MPI – 90% protein or greater) refer to concentrated forms of milk protein that are created using a process known as ultrafiltration. During this process, various excess fluids, fats and carbs will be filtered out of the milk, leaving a higher concentration of protein in its wake.
This process yields the concentrated and isolated proteins of casein and whey. When this is done for MPC or MPI, the product retains the same ratio of casein to whey as you’d find in normal milk: 80% casein and 20% whey. This basic combination has several biological benefits:
- This form of milk proteins is considered nutritionally complete and is of high quality. It’s also bioavailable, meaning it can be easily digested and absorbed by the body.
- MPI and MPC products are naturally low in lactose based on the ultrafiltration process, making digestion easier for those with lactose intolerance. You can even get low-lactose versions which help you produce an almost lactose-free product.
- The proteins found in MPC and MPI products have a high Biological Value (BV), which refers to the percentage of protein that is retained after digestion and absorption. The higher the BV, the better the quality of the protein.
- Casein is known for being slow to digest in the body, plus it provides sustained delivery of amino acids throughout the body.
- Whey is quick to digest and also absorbs quickly into the bloodstream. It is known for its high levels of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and glutamic acid.
- These proteins are also known for their impact on satiety, or the feeling of fullness after eating. Milk protein products have been found to help reduce hunger and cravings, as well as promote a feeling of satisfaction after meals.
What are some of the practical applications and other health and exercise-related pursuits of MPIs and MPCs besides weight loss? Here are several categories to consider.
For several of the reasons we went over above, MPI and MPC are excellent for weight loss efforts. Many areas of research continue to suggest that high-protein diets increase the production of certain hormones that help burn fat, including glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and peptide YY (PYY).
Milk proteins have also been found to help reduce overall calorie intake, as well as decrease the desire for sweet and high-calorie foods. When combined with a regular exercise routine, MPI or MPC can help people lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way.
Muscle Growth and Repair
Both whey and casein proteins found in milk are important for muscle growth, repair and overall health. Whey protein is especially beneficial due to its high levels of BCAAs and glutamic acid, which helps to promote protein synthesis – the process by which new muscle tissue is created.
In addition, milk proteins are a rich source of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. This means that they are important for athletes and others who regularly engage in strenuous physical activity.
Milk proteins have also been shown to help reduce muscle soreness and inflammation after exercise. This can help people recover more quickly and get back to their routine sooner.
How many other products can have such an impact on both sides of the weight coin? It’s clear MPC and MPI are important for many people in this realm.
Other Health Benefits
The above areas aren’t even the full extent of the health- or exercise-related benefits that can be received from milk protein concentrates and isolates. Here are just a few:
- Improved bone strength: A milk-based protein diet has been shown to improve bone mineral density and strength, which can be particularly important as people age.
- Improved cholesterol levels: Milk proteins have also been linked with better cholesterol levels, including lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and higher levels of good HDL cholesterol.
- Reduced inflammation: The anti-inflammatory properties of milk proteins can help to reduce overall inflammation in the body, which can lead to better health outcomes.
- Improved blood sugar control: Milk proteins have been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels, which is important for those with diabetes or prediabetes.
- Immune system benefits: Finally, milk proteins are also beneficial for the immune system. They have been shown to help increase immunity against viruses and bacteria, as well as improve overall health.
For more on the ways milk protein isolates and concentrates help with both weight loss and other health-related areas, or to learn about any of our milk protein products, speak to the team at Idaho Milk Products today.