Friday, March 15, 2013

No Whey!

Sometimes, the posts that appear here originally begin as articles for the website Occasionally, I like to give a little extra background behind why I write what I write for TDIV, and this is one of those occasions.

In this case, it all started at the YMCA. You see, I'm a member of my local Y, and it never fails to irritate me when I walk into the weight room and see plastered all over the bulletin board articles and ads torn from muscle magazines—all extolling animal protein (particularly whey supplements of every sort) as necessary to get huge muscles. 

(Of course, the fixation on bulging, vein-popping biceps is an irritation in its own right, but I'll save that for another day.)

The issue, for me, is the Y's promotion of all this cruel, not to mention unhealthy, whey. I guess what I really need is to get up the gumption to talk to the Y director and see if, at the very least, some plant-based information can be included to balance out all the animal propaganda. In the meantime, I decided to pen the following article for TDIV: 

Derek Tresize, vegan body builder
It’s what bodybuilders are famous for: pumping iron, posing in front of mirrors, and choking down tons of whey. Why whey? Because whey protein—a by-product of the cheese industry—is known for its ability to help build lean muscle, which is exactly what muscle mavens are after.

And even though vegan bodybuilders have been wildly successful (just check out the amazing Robert Cheeke), there’s been a decades-long perception in the bodybuilding community that plant-based protein supplements were somehow inferior to animal-based ones.

Of course, vegan body builders have always known the stereotype was bogus. But now there’s proof. A newly released double-blind study has concluded that plant protein (specifically the one found in whole-grain brown rice) has the same muscle- and strength-building power as the long-lauded whey.

The study, conducted at the University of Tampa’s Department of Health Sciences and Human Performance, found that rice protein
"decreases fat-mass and increases lean body mass, skeletal muscle hypertrophy, power and strength comparable to whey protein isolate."
In other words, rice gives you all the benefits of whey without subjecting you to whey's dark side—not the least of which is the way that whey, like all milk protein, nourishes cancer growth.

And it's not just bodybuilders, or would-be body builders, who stand to gain from the transition away from whey. The dairy industry—which confines, rapes, drugs, and forcibly separates millions of mother cows from their calves before eventually slaughtering them—is one of the cruelest forms of factory farming. And whey, the supplement of choice for generations of body builders, has helped to support this terrible practice. Fortunately, this new study proves there's no need to choose between having magnificent muscles and a compassionate heart.

"Downer" veal calves (essentially dairy cows babies who are too sick to stand up and be slaughtered); like whey and cheap "hamburger," they are the by-products of the dairy industry


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