Whey protein powders aren’t all gluten-free. Other than whey, powders used to help develop muscle generally contain additional components. Before using any whey powder, be sure it’s gluten-free by reading the ingredients list.
Because the government does not regulate dietary supplements like whey powders, even if the name or brand of whey protein powder states “pure protein” or “100% protein” on the front label, the back label will generally have many more components besides whey. Because each flavor of whey protein powder is made with a distinct combination of components, double-check the label of each flavor before using.
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found predominantly in wheat, barley, and rye (including wheatberries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, graham, khorasan wheat, and einkorn). Gluten has a glue-like quality that aids in the preservation of food form. It’s what gives dough its elasticity and allows bread to rise during baking. It also adds a chewy texture to the dish.
This protein causes digestive discomfort and damage in those diagnosed with gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease by their doctor. As a result of their gluten sensitivity, many patients develop gas, stomach discomfort, bloating, and diarrhea. The only method to avoid this is to avoid all gluten-containing meals completely.
A food intolerance is not the same as a food allergy. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), they are significantly distinct. Food intolerances cause symptoms that are specific to the digestive system, particularly the small intestine. Food allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to a certain food, resulting in symptoms all throughout the body. Food allergies are dangerous and can even be fatal.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that affects the small intestine. Damage to the villi, tiny finger-like projections that border the small intestine and aid in food absorption, results from the immune system’s assaults on the small intestine. Nutrients cannot be absorbed effectively into the body when the villi are destroyed.
Around 1% of persons in the United States have celiac disease, according to a study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology titled “The prevalence of celiac disease in the United States.” It is inherited, which means it runs in families. People who have a first-degree relative with celiac disease (such as a parent or sibling) have a one-in-ten chance of getting it. The Celiac Disease Foundation advises that celiac disease can strike at any age once people begin consuming gluten-containing foods or medications. Celiac disease, if left untreated, can lead to a slew of other significant health issues.
The contents list of a product is a major concern whether you have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or just any sort of food allergy. All of these diseases can be treated by avoiding certain foods and substances, such as gluten. Not only must you be aware of whether gluten is present in the foods you eat, but you must also be aware of whether gluten is present in any supplements you take, including your protein powder.
Is Whey Protein Powder Gluten Free?
Whey protein is one of the most popular protein powders on the market. When coupled with resistance training, it helps to increase muscle development due to its rapid absorption rate and influence on anabolic hormones. Whey is a by-product of the cheese-making process. Special enzymes are added to heated milk during cheesemaking to cause the casein in milk to solidify and separate from the liquid component. Whey protein is the liquid material. The whey protein is then rinsed and dried into a powdered form, which is subsequently added to protein drinks or added to meals and dishes for a protein boost.
Whey protein is inherently gluten-free since it is separated from milk; however, many whey protein powders may contain gluten-containing additives such as flavorings, stabilizers, or preservatives. Furthermore, even though whey powder does not include a glutenous component, it might be cross-contaminated with gluten if it is made in the same facility as other gluten-containing goods.
So, how can you know whether your favorite protein powder has gluten? Any product branded “gluten free” in the United States must be manufactured using gluten-free components containing less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. If you see the words “gluten free” written on a protein powder product, you can be sure it’s gluten-free. You may also seek protein powders that have been gluten-free verified by a third-party body like the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO). Products must contain no more than 10 ppm of gluten to earn the GFCO stamp of approval, which is considerably stricter than the legal minimum.
Who Should Eat Gluten-Free?
The health and wellness sector has exploded in recent years, pushing gluten-free diets, and the gluten-free market is continuously growing. More people are being diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, in addition to increased interest and public awareness of gluten-free diets.
Celiac disease patients, for example, must avoid any gluten. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which patients cannot consume gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, because it causes the immune system to attack and destroy the small intestinal lining. Some people should have a gluten-free diet, not because they have celiac disease, but because they have a gluten sensitivity.
Gluten sensitivity in those who aren’t celiac may not cause small intestine damage, but it can cause headaches, bloating, tiredness, and diarrhea.
How To Tell If Your Whey Protein Powder Is Gluten-Free?
If a product is labeled gluten-free in the United States, it must be manufactured using gluten-free components and contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. Gluten-free whey protein powders are easy to spot thanks to these labeling standards.
You may also pick protein powders that have been gluten-free verified by a third-party body like the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO).
To earn the GFCO stamp of approval, goods must have a gluten content of less than 10 parts per million (ppm). This is a higher quality than the legal requirement. If you have celiac disease and are on a strict diet, you should contact the product maker if you have any concerns or queries.
Ingredients To Avoid
When following a gluten-free diet, you should avoid specific items. Avoid wheat, rye, and barley and all products made from these grains, such as wheat flour. You should also be cautious of a few problematic products that contain gluten despite claiming to be gluten-free.
Some of these components are as follows:
- Brewer’s yeast
- Graham flour
- Hydrolyzed wheat protein
- Modified Wheat Starch
- Oats, unless they are certified gluten-free
- Natural and artificial flavors
- Certain types of food coloring
- Modified food starch
These substances may be a reason for worry in gluten-free goods that have not been confirmed. However, if they are mentioned on a certified gluten-free food’s label, the product and all of its components are gluten-free.
What Are The Benefits Of Gluten Free Protein Powder?
Protein supplements, such as protein powder, are used to help people develop muscle and lose weight. Muscle is made up of proteins, which are the building blocks of the body. Protein is also required for the production of hormones, enzymes, and other substances in the body. Protein’s important amino acids — especially, the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) — are used by the body to relieve tiredness, enhance athletic performance, and accelerate muscle repair after exercise for individuals looking to gain muscle growth.
Gluten-free protein powder has the same advantages as other protein powders. You shouldn’t allow a gluten sensitivity prevent you from getting the most out of your workout by utilizing a protein powder. Simply be sure you pick a gluten-free protein powder that has been third-party tested.
Whey protein is a high-quality, naturally gluten-free protein source that may be a useful supplement to any diet, gluten-free or not. On the other hand, many whey protein powders may include gluten-containing ingredients or be cross-contaminated with gluten during manufacturing.
Make sure to do your homework and opt for whey protein powders that don’t include any additional components or cross-contamination. The gluten-free seal on the box may serve as a good clue.