Whether you are an exerciser, want to lose weight, or just care about your health, protein is a very important nutrient. While your body can use carbohydrates or fat for energy and usually has abundant sources of both, protein is rarely used for energy. Instead, it provides the very building blocks that your body is made from.
The word protein comes from the Greek word proteus, meaning first or primary. That should give you an idea of just how important protein is. If you don’t eat enough protein, your body will make sure it has enough of what it needs by catabolizing (which is literally the catastrophic breakdown) your muscles and organs.
There are lots of dietary sources of protein, and it’s possible to get everything you need from the food you eat. Meat, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, and beans are all excellent sources of protein.
On the downside, it’s not always easy to eat protein when you are at work or otherwise away from home. After all, while your boss might be okay with you eating a candy bar at work for carbohydrate energy, they might not be so happy if you start chowing down on tuna or hardboiled eggs. One way around this is to use a protein powder.
In this article, we look at bone broth protein vs. whey so you can decide which one is best for you.
Bone Broth Protein vs. Whey
What Is Bone Broth Protein?
Unlike a lot of sports and health supplements, bone broth protein is a very natural substance. As the name suggests, it’s made by boiling bones to make a broth and then dried to make a protein-rich powder.
You then mix the powder with cold or warm water to reconstitute it.
It’s available unflavored, so it tastes just like homemade bone broth, but there are other flavors too, including:
- Cinnamon apple
- Banana cream
Bone broth can be made from most animal bones, and tendons, ligaments, and cartilage go into bone broth too. Some bone broth products are made from beef bones, but others are made from chicken bones and even fish.
Bone broth protein is, unsurprisingly, high in protein, providing 20 grams per 22-gram serving. A lot of this protein is in the form of collagen, which is the most abundant protein in the human body. One 22-gram scoop of bone broth powder is said to be equal to 2 ½ cups of liquid broth.
Bone broth is very nutritious, and bone broth protein powder is a convenient way to enjoy its benefits. You can make your own, but to do so, you’ll need lots of bones and time to cook them for 24-48 hours in a slow cooker. Making bone broth is also a smelly process.
The benefits of bone broth include:
Less Joint Pain
The collagen, glucosamine, and chondroitin in bone broth may help repair articular hyaline cartilage and reduce joint pain, which is a valuable benefit for exercisers and older people. Bone broth protein powder may also have a helpful anti-inflammatory effect.
The collagen in bone broth may make your skin more elastic and less prone to wrinkles.
If you want to age more slowly, bone broth protein powder could help.
Bone broth contains the amino acids glycine, which is renowned for its sleep-enhancing qualities.
Better Digestive Health
The glutamine in bone broth protein powder may offer protection against leaky gut syndrome and other digestive issues, including irritable bowel syndrome.
Recovery From Exercise
Like all types of protein, bone broth protein powder could speed up recovery from exercise, enhancing muscle repair and growth.
Bone broth protein powder has plenty of advantages and benefits, but there are a couple of drawbacks to consider too:
On average, bone broth protein costs twice as much as whey protein. While it does offer some valuable benefits, if you just want a protein powder to boost your protein intake, whey is cheaper and more widely available.
Not Vegan or Vegetarian-Friendly
Bone broth protein is made from animal bones. Subsequently, vegetarians and vegans will not be able to use this supplement, and there are no plant-based alternatives that contain the same nutrients.
What Is Whey Protein?
Whey protein powder is one of the most popular sports supplements.
Made from milk, as well as being a sports supplement, whey is used as animal feed and is part of the cheese manufacturing process.
There are several different types of whey protein supplements, including whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, hydrolyzed whey protein, and whey protein blends.
Like bone broth protein, whey protein is available unflavored, but most whey is sold flavored and sweetened. As well as standard flavors like vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate, whey protein comes in more exotic flavors, such as piña colada, birthday cake, chocolate brownie, salted caramel, and cheesecake.
Whey protein contains about 20 grams of protein per 30-gram serving, so it’s not as protein-dense as bone broth. It usually contains at least a gram or two of fat and carbohydrate. However, it’s also much cheaper, so you can have several servings per day without breaking the bank.
Whey protein has several impressive benefits, including:
Muscle Recovery and Repair
Most of the people who use whey protein do so to improve exercise performance and muscle growth. Used as part of an intense training regimen, whey could help you get better results from your workouts.
Lower Blood Pressure
The minerals in whey may help lower blood pressure. High blood pressure can increase the risk of coronary heart disease, strokes, and kidney disease.
Whey protein is very filling and could make weight loss easier by preventing overeating and cravings. It also contains calcium, which is linked to faster weight loss.
Antioxidants provide protection against free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage cell membranes and DNA. Free radicals are linked to many serious diseases, including cancer.
While whey protein is one of the most well-researched and popular supplements around, there are a couple of drawbacks to consider before using it:
Allergies and Stomach Upsets
Whey is low in lactose, but it’s not entirely lactose-free.
If you are allergic to dairy or have issues with lactose, you may find that using this supplement causes stomach upsets, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, and flatulence.
Whey protein is made from milk, so it’s not suitable for vegans, although some vegetarians may still use it.
Whey is often flavored and sweetened. Depending on the product, this could mean it contains artificial additives such as sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners, and other chemicals.
While such additives are generally considered safe, some people are sensitive to them or just prefer to avoid them. However, there are some pure whey products with nothing else added or made with all-natural ingredients. Read the ingredients list to see what’s in your whey protein supplement.
Getting enough protein is essential for exercisers and non-exercisers alike. Most people need between one to two grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Not consuming enough could impair muscle recovery and growth after exercise and could even lead to a condition called net protein deficiency.
One of the easiest ways to make sure you are getting enough protein is to use a protein powder supplement. Just 1-2 scoops per day are usually all that’s needed to bring your protein intake up the required level.
But, which should you choose – bone broth protein or whey protein?
If you are only interested in the exercise recovery aspect of protein supplementation, whey protein is probably your best choice. It’s cheap, readily available, and comes in a variety of exciting flavors. It also has a few noteworthy benefits, including lower blood pressure and antioxidants.
In contrast, bone broth protein is arguably the most nutritious type of protein powder. It’s high in many useful nutrients, including collagen, glucosamine, glutamine, and glycine. It is said to be good for things like joint pain, gut health and may even help you look younger by preventing and reducing wrinkles.
However, these benefits come at a cost, as bone broth protein powder is typically twice as expensive as whey. Ultimately, in the battle of bone broth protein vs. whey protein, the winner is the one that benefits you the most. Choose the one that most closely matches your needs.