Is Whey Protein Vegetarian?

Whey Protein is a prevalent supplement that is popular among many gym fanatics. This is because it is known for its many health benefits.

These shakes are known to increase your power and strength, build and retain muscle mass, and even help you lose weight.

Whey Protein

So essentially, it’s a gym-goal boosting beverage that will help you start seeing results much quicker. 

Whey protein comes in several forms such as isolate, powdered, and pre-mixed and the flavor choices are endless, so you can be pretty sure that you can find a form of Whey protein that is going to fit your needs.

Most of these shakes can tend to be very ‘bitty’ and taste not all that great but these creamy shakes are absolutely delicious.

So it’s not hard to see how Whey protein is dominating the market. 

But more consideration must be given to the ingredients in shakes such as these when you have specific dietary requirements.

If you’re vegetarian you may be unsure as to whether these drinks are something that is suitable for you. Well, in this article, you’ll find out.

We’ve taken a look at all the ingredients within Whey protein to assess whether they are suitable for vegetarians – so let’s take a look. 

The Forms Of Vegetarianism 

Individuals’ ideas of what vegetarianism actually is can differ from person to person so we thought we would take the time to define vegetarianism before we get into the real nitty-gritty of it. 

Vegetarians do not eat meat for moral, health, or religious reasons. This means that they will not eat any food that contains any form of meat.

Where the real difference lies between some vegetarians is their beliefs about certain animal products. Some vegetarians will not consume particular consumables that use ingredients that contain animal products such as gelatin.  

Typically there are three forms of vegetarianism 

  • Lacto-vegetarians – Will consume dairy products but refrain from consuming meat, pork, or poultry. 
  • Ovo-vegetarians – Will consume eggs but refrain from consuming meat, pork, or poultry. 
  • Pescetarian – Will consume fish but refrain from consuming meat, pork, or poultry (find out more about what happens when a vegan eats fish here). 

Some individuals may have a combination of certain foods in their diets, for example, some may eat dairy, eggs, and fish while others may consume eggs and dairy products but refrain from consuming fish.

This is really down to each individual and how they view certain animal products. 

What Is Whey Protein From? 

Whey protein is essentially made from milk. In fact, it’s the major component of milk. But the liquid that Whey protein comes from is actually made through making cheese.

When making cheese you’ll have curds and the liquid that separates from them is known as Whey.

This natural byproduct of the cheese-making process is super easy to digest and is actually pretty low in lactose content which will be good news for any fellow lactose-intolerant individuals among us. 

This liquid is then processed in a way that creates the Whey protein that you’ve come to know and love.

All the water, fat, and remaining lactose are removed which creates the powder that you’ll use to create those creamy muscle-pumping shakes.

This powder can then be further processed to create the isolate and hydrolysate protein forms that are on the market. 

Is Whey Protein Vegetarian? 

Is Whey Protein Vegetarian 

Depending on your stance with by-products, yes Whey Protein is vegetarian.

This protein does not contain any foods that come directly from animals. There is no meat, or gelatin, for example in the ingredients. 

As mentioned above, though, Whey protein is derived from animal by-products.

For most vegetarians though, this is usually okay, as they tend to still eat products that are made by animals such as honey, eggs, or milk. 

However, personal views and stances on vegetarianism can differ, if you choose not to consume dairy products such as milk or cheese then this protein will not be suitable for you. 

Is Whey Protein Vegan? 

Vegan individuals refrain from eating any products that are made by or from animals as they believe it is unethical for humans to interfere with animals and use them for their own personal gain.

This means that not only meat but any by-products that are created from animals are unsuitable for vegans. 

Therefore, Whey protein would not be suitable for vegans, as it is derived from milk. 

Are Plant-Based Protein Powders Available? 

If you have read this article and determined that Whey protein is not suitable for you, you may be wondering if there are other protein powders that are suitable for your consumption.

And there are – there are plenty of protein powders that are derived from completely plant-based means. 

However, most of these powders will not contain all of the essential amino acids needed in the way that Whey protein does.

They are also much less common than that of your typical protein powder and also tend to be more expensive. 

The good news, though, is that they do seem to be on the rise as many individuals turn to primarily plant-based diets, so their availability may rise and their price decrease in the coming years. 

Final Thoughts

Though vegetarianism can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people, the general consensus is that providing there is no meat, pork, or poultry contained within an item it is considered vegetarian. 

Going by this definition, Whey protein is suitable for vegetarians.

And so those looking to keep animal products out of their diet can still enjoy the many great health benefits that are associated with Whey protein. 

So what are you waiting for? Get guzzling those creamy and delicious shakes on the go, head down to your local gym for some exercise, and get bulked or toned up in no time at all.

I’m sure you’ll be very happy with the progress that you make.

Jenna Priestly
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