Modern bodybuilding science has provided us with a better portrayal of how nutrients and exercise help our bodies develop. Compared with generations past, today we have a better understanding of what happens when we supplement our diets with creatine and glutamine. Building muscle today is a more sophisticated process where specific actions produce exact results.
Whey powder has been a staple of the bodybuilder diet for years. Recently, beef has received much attention and promotion as a superior protein source. This generates the inevitable question many have, does it matter if you’re getting protein from beef or whey, and what is the difference?
There IS a difference. Some explanation is in order. It boils down to how it is digested and the ease of availability for your body to make use of it, along with the quality of nutrition received from each.
Here, we take a look at the biological value of each source and how it benefits your strength training goal.
Which is better? We compare two products, Carnivor Isolate, and ON 100% Gold Standard.
Side by Side Comparison – 100% Gold Standard
Note the saturated fat, which is the “bad” kind. 0% vitamin A and C. Really, the protein is the only thing this has going for it, which comes in at 24 grams.
Carnivor Beef Isolate Nutrients
Check out that label! No fat. No sugars. It’s totally loaded with vitamins and minerals. It features important electrolytes which will keep you energized through your workouts. Clearly, when discussing additional benefits, Carnivor is the clear winner.
We’ll get into the difference of digestibility and absorption in a moment. For now, simply looking at the label reveals some interesting details. Saturated fat is the bad kind, and each scoop of whey has 1/2 gram of it. Beef, on the other hand, has none. You’ll also notice that it is loaded with naturally available vitamins and minerals that are generally lacking in whey. Sugars are also found in whey, where they are not found within beef. Without even getting into the question of quality of protein found within each, it has whey beat hands down in the area of nutrition necessary for bodybuilding.
Which is Better?
Technically, 1 gram of protein equates into 4 calories. It doesn’t matter where it came from. The issue is absorption. Beef absorbs better than whey. Here is why.
As noted above, it has extra sugars and bad fats. Your body has to do more work in order to digest these, working twice as hard to accomplish the same thing. It therefore takes longer to digest. Another bad ingredient in whey is lactose. Most people have a hard time digesting lactose, many of whom are lactose-intolerant. All this complexity of digestion is further compounded by the fact that it digests in the long intestine (not until after it has passed the stomach). This gives the common feeling associated with consuming whey, of bloating in the stomach area. The swelling sensation is it being processed in the long intestine.
Compare this with beef, which is digested directly in the stomach. Quicker digestion makes it more available for absorption. Every factor mentioned on this page favors beef, it is in fact the clear winner in my opinion.
And The Winner Is …
I hope your research has lead you to conclude that beef is the best protein you can get. Where can you score some? Below is a chart comparing the leaders in the market. These are Predators Prey, Carnivor, Crossgen and Elite Primal. These are all fantastic products!
I featured Carnivor as I have excellent results from it. However, pick whichever meets your fancy – there are some variables like the amount of protein vs carbohydrates found in each formula. Some have more or less vitamins and minerals.
|Vitamins and Minerals||15||10||15||None|
Trying to Add Bulk to Your Physique?
Some guys have a problem adding weight. Perhaps you found this page looking for information on protein so you can figure out how to bulk up your muscles more. If you’re having problems doing that, check out my weight gainer supplement page where I review five different muscle gaining formulas.
Before I knew any better, I would strictly take the 100% gold standard I featured above. The lower gut feeling of long-digesting uneasiness was something I thought was just par for the course. Later on, I switched to Carnivor — I’m impressed with the nutrients and I normally couldn’t care less about the carbs it has. It certainly gives a lighter feel for its easy digestibility. However, if I start feeling flabby (which happens every few months, especially after Christmas and holidays), I go on a very strict low carb diet for about a month (20 grams or less per day of carbohydrates), and when I’m doing that I use Elite Primal because its the only formula that has zero carbs in it. The low carb diet is also a great option for looking extremely cut!