View Full Version : Whey Protein Heated?

07-31-2009, 07:26 AM
I put whey protein in my coffee this AM instead of the nasty powdered soy hydrogenated crap we have (no creamer). I usually drink all my coffee at home, so this is not normal for me.

Question, however... does it break down the proteins in whey if they are heated (i.e. put in coffee, oatmeal, etc.)?

07-31-2009, 10:57 AM
Apparently the whole 'can't heat whey' thing is pure mythology.

07-31-2009, 11:33 AM
Your body is going to break down the proteins anyway.

08-01-2009, 01:03 AM
Your body is going to break down the proteins anyway.

It's not about "breaking down the proteins." Heat will denature (reshape) the molecule. This is the same process that turns egg white protein from a clear liquid to an opaque solid. The argument is that with whey any heating will denature the protein and harm its bioavailability.

I haven't looked into the whole issue in a while so I have no idea if new information has surfaced, but the basic concept is certainly reasonably and I would consider it silly to dismiss it out of hand.

08-01-2009, 07:09 AM
Yep a protein molecule is highly dependent on its shape and composition, and I know heat can change it.

08-02-2009, 06:27 PM
Ive cooked with whey protien. Used it to make low carb muffins back when I tried the Atkins diet 4 years or so ago.

08-02-2009, 07:22 PM
Your body doesn't use the protein directly. It uses the amino acids it gets from the protein degradation.

By heating and potentially-denaturing whey, you are not changing the benefit you get from it. It's going to get degraded into it's individual AA's in your digestive track, regardless. The body doesn't absorb whole proteins from your food, it absorbs individual amino acids as protein is degraded in the gut

In the mouth, initial physical break-down of protein begins. The stomach continues physical break-down and begins chemical break-down by secreting a substance called pepsinogen. It then converts pepsinogen into an enzyme called pepsin. This enzyme starts to break apart the protein into amino acids. Muscles in the stomach walls then move the food into the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine. The duodenum and pancreas work together to complete the chemical break-down of protein into single amino acid molecules with the help of another enzyme known as trypsin. Finally, the small intestine absorbs the amino acid molecules, allowing them to pass into the bloodstream. The blood then carries the amino acids to the rest of the body to rearrange into human proteins and use in building its structure. Each part of the "machine" of digestion must work properly in order for protein to be broken down into useful amino acids. .