Whey Protein: Its history, uses and connection to the sports supplement industry.
Whey is the result of cheese production. When the process begins Renit is added to heated milk causing it to coagulate or curdle. This causes the milk solids and liquids to separated leaving the starting cheese curds and the liquid whey. Depending on the cheese production you get 2 kinds of whey - Sweet Whey: Which is used for protein powder and supplement production, and Sour Whey(or Acid Whey): Which is just now beginning to use in Yogurt and other food product to try to capture a market such as Sweet Whey has done.
The uses of Sweet Whey has been in use for hundreds of years before it hit the shelves and counters of stores and kitchens across the country. Throughout history, whey was a popular drink in inns and coffee houses. When Joseph Priestley was at college at Daventry Academy, 1752–1755, he records that, on the morning of Wednesday, 22 May 1754, he "went with a large company to drink whey." This was probably "sack whey" or "wine whey".
Another use of whey is to make "cream of tartar whey": "Put a pint of blue milk [blue milk is characterized by the appearance on its surface, eighteen or twenty-four hours after it is drawn, of small, indigo-blue fungal spots that rapidly enlarge until the whole surface is covered with a blue film] over the fire, when it begins to boil, put in two tea spoonfuls of cream of tartar, then take it off the fire, and let it stand till the curd settles to the bottom of the pan, then put it into a basin to cool, and drink it milk warm.”
Where there was more cheese production the excess byproduct of the whey was used as fertilizer for farm use. Historically being seen as a waste product for most of the 20th & 21th century most whey was just dumped into streams or rivers, until complaints started oiling up because the whey did not dissolve like th fine processed product you see today. Cheese production whey is a heavy liquid that doesn't dissolve but forms a film over the top of the waters and emits a foul odor. When the government put a stop to this companies started to look for other means of disposal and started to look for other ways of use. Ice Cream was tried along with using it as a food additive before finding its way to being sold as a flavored powder to be drank after your daily workout.
Welcome to 1994 and the first whey supplements are starting to hit the market. Being new to the ever growing supplement field its get little fanfare because the established proteins of the day, egg, milk and yes calcium caseinate are still leading the market place. All three of these though very good proteins in their own right, they can't stand-up against whey protein as it relates to digestibility, fat content, muscle growth, strength increases and oh yeah price. At this point in the game whey is very cheap compared to the other sources. Remember it was a waste product so this is like found money for these manufactures at this point.
Fast forward to the year 1999 and you start to see whey protein beginning to lead the supplement protein market. A little know supplement called Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Protein.
"Now I have used this supplement and can tell you its not the protein you have today. With that said it was the best tasting and mixing protein at that time by a county mile."
Whey protein was the 2nd biggest thing on the market in the supplement realm. Every company was scrambling to get their brand out their to compete and snag some of the spotlight away from the bigger companies in a hope to get a foothold in the industry. There were some that were really good and many that were very bad. Some were loaded down with sugar and extra flavoring to the point that nutritionally they became useless. Still others were so strict that it was like drink a glass of dust, no taste, no flavor, nothing. So when Optimum came along it grab a giant share of the market based on flavor alone.
Jump ahead to 2005 and now we have a whey protein industry that has annual sales in the billions of dollars. Along with this new found success comes the ever increasing price increases. From 2005 to 2010 these prices went nuts! In 2005 a tub of 100% Whey was ~ $30. By the year of 2010 the price of a 5 Lbs. tub was now ~ 45$. Now today the price of that same tub is ~ $60. We have had many a conversation with people about this and it is really simple to explain. As more people use it overstocks become shorter and companies will pay more to make sure their product hit the market before their competitors. Those extra cost are always passed on to the consumer.
From 2010 til todays protein powder market , whey protein is still the #1 selling and preferred protein powder by athletes and the general public. It digest quite easily compared to other forms of protein supplements. The flavors and varieties of brands and formulation is quite extensive. We are also starting to use it in the treatment or healing or recovery aspect of many medical therapies and procedures. Whey protein has become an intergal part of our daily lives and form the looks of its versatility those uses are just gonna keep growing.
Bodybuilding Supplement Benefits
Average Usage: 1-2 Scoops 1-2 times a day for general use, 2-3 times a day for competitive trainers.
Affordability: Ranges form medium to high, blended choices best for adding extra protein to your daily intake.
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