Whey protein is one of the fastest digesting proteins and is the most consumed nutrient, post workouts. It is a naturally occurring protein found in milk. Milk proteins are of two types: Casein and Whey. 80% of the protein in milk is casein while the remaining 20% is whey. Most protein powders are based on these two proteins.
Casein is slow digesting while whey gets absorbed quicker and is available to the muscles in as much as 20 minutes. Casein takes a few hours to reach the muscles. There is much debate about which one is better to help in recovery and muscle gain. As of now, they are both at par but whey is generally preferred as a post workout drink.
Now the fun part!
HOW TO MAKE WHEY PROTEIN AT HOME
Since whey is naturally occurring in milk, you can extract it at home. All you need is Milk and Lemons. I remember my mom used to follow this process to make Paneer (Indian cottage cheese). Extracting whey also follows the same steps except now you will keep the leftover water as this is what contains all the Whey.
- Put your milk on high flame for boiling. Just as it is about to boil, lower the flame.
- Add drops of lemon juice to the boiling milk and slowly stir to see the milk separating
- Keep stirring till you see the cheese separated from the water. Turn off the flame.
- Pass the cheese through a sieve and collect the water into a container. This water is what contains all the Whey!
Keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days.
There is a neat video where Osi takes us through the entire process step by step.
A litre of milk contains about 34g of protein. Assuming you get all the whey out using the process above, you will get 20% of 34g, i.e. 6.8g of proteins from the whey water you have at hand. Now you know why all the protein powders are so expensive!
Add the whey-water to your soups, daals (lentils); use it to knead your dough for chapatis or even add it to your shakes.
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