Protein packs a potent punch for your health. Eating quality protein can help you build lean muscle, speed up your metabolism to support fat loss, and prevent hunger pangs. Needless to say, these benefits make it easier to reach and maintain a healthy weight. A high-protein diet also helps adults retain muscle and bone mass as they age, and it speeds healing by ensuring the body has the components it needs to recover. When you consider protein’s numerous benefits, it’s no wonder that so many people are seeking the best protein source available. Have you explored whey protein vs. chicken protein? How do these sources stack up?
Whey Protein vs. Chicken Protein
When weighing whey protein vs. chicken protein, it pays to do your homework. For starters, you’ll need to identify where these proteins can be found and their usefulness as a nutrient. Since boredom has played a role in the death of more than one healthy habit, it’s also valuable to think about their versatility.
Identifying the Competition
In her nursery rhyme, Little Miss Muffet had just kicked back with a bowl of curds and whey when the spider showed up to ruin her day. If that’s your only experience with whey, you might be surprised to learn that it’s actually a popular protein source among health-conscious consumers. In fact, when people talk about whey protein, they’re likely talking about a protein powder. While whey is a protein that is found in milk and a natural byproduct of the cheese-making process, it’s only one component of milk protein. As LiveStrong.com explains, 80 percent of the protein found in cow’s milk comes from a slow-digesting protein called casein, and the remaining 20 percent comes from whey. Although whey is naturally found in dairy foods like milks, cheeses, and yogurts, people know it best as a protein powder.
Chicken generally doesn’t need an introduction. This popular poultry is widely recognized, and most people have encountered it in many forms. A versatile, lean meat, chicken provides a nice protein boost whether it’s served grilled, baked, broiled, or fried. Chicken protein is even available as a protein powder for those who want to enjoy this quality protein without the hassle of cooking it.
In a world where technology is everywhere, the value of being user-friendly is easy to understand. While you may not want to get bogged down with the technicalities when selecting a protein, you should know that the body finds some proteins more user-friendly than others. A protein’s biological value is a number that indicates how efficiently the human body can use a specific protein. The higher a protein’s biological value, the more usable it is. Complete proteins, which are proteins that contain all of the essential amino acids that the body must secure from food sources, tend to rank higher than incomplete proteins because they deliver more of the crucial building blocks that the body needs to maintain and improve its health.
How do whey and chicken fare? As animal products, both are complete proteins, so both score high biological values. This means that both whey and chicken can do an excellent job of delivering vital nutrition that the body can use to thrive. However, it’s worth noting that whey protein products can contain lactose since they are derived from milk. If you are lactose-intolerant or have noticed digestive upsets after consuming dairy products, you may want to avoid whey protein.
Resting Energy Expenditure
Resting energy expenditure (REE) is the rate at which you burn calories after a workout when your body is at rest, and it accounts for 60–75 percent of the calories you burn each day. To keep your REE at an elevated level, it is important to exercise at least three days a week on a routine basis (source). According to a study by Texas Woman’s University (see below), both whey protein concentrate (WPC) and chicken protein isolate (CPI) improved REE when recorded over a period of three hours. However, chicken protein had a later onset and lasted longer than whey protein. Thus, chicken will help you burn calories for a longer period of time when at rest.
Both whey and chicken can be found in the form of protein powders, which offer tremendous versatility. Protein powders can certainly be consumed as a shake or smoothie, but they can also be used as a secret ingredient in many recipes, turning everyday dishes into protein-packed superfoods.
When it comes to whey protein vs. chicken, which offers the most versatility? Both of these proteins can also be found in whole foods, but here, chicken has a clear edge. Although whey protein can be found in many dairy products, the amount that you will receive isn’t especially impressive, and it comes with a hefty serving of fat. Consider ricotta cheese. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, a half of a cup of this cheese provides nearly 14 grams of protein, but it also contains more than 16 grams of fat.
In contrast, as the National Chicken Council points out, a 3.5-ounce boneless chicken breast delivers 31 grams of protein and just 3.6 grams of fat. In addition, chicken is a popular food choice, so there are countless recipes for preparing it readily available. With so many possibilities, it’s easy to enjoy a wide range of tastes and flavors while consuming chicken protein.
Are you eager to add more chicken protein to your diet? BarnDad Nutrition is proud to offer a top-quality selection of chicken protein products, including shakes, snack mixes, gravy, and (of course) protein powder. Visit us today to discover a range of innovative products that can help you achieve your nutrition goals.