Coming Soon? Whey Protein Soft Drinks

The beverage industry, for those of you who aren’t aware, is a multi-billion dollar business. Whether it’s fruit juice, soda pop, or bottled water, consumers spend a lot of money on hydration every day. Beverage marketers spend gazillions advertising their products. It’s competitive as hell too. What’s amazing is that there are continually new innovations in the field.

We covered one such splashy (pun intended) product launch a few days ago. If you’ve been following Fooducate for a while, you know we are not fans of this industry. Tap water is where we’d like to see more people turn to. It’s healthier for you and the planet.

So each time we hear about new beverage trends and products, we shudder a bit.

What’s the upcoming buzz? Drinks “fortified” with whey protein. From the Beverage Industry website:

In 2010, performance beverages, juices, beverage mixes, enhanced waters, meal replacement drinks and even teas launched with whey protein included. Innovations such as Kellogg’s Special K2O Protein Water Mixes and Bolthouse Farms Protein Plus All Natural Protein Shakes have taken whey protein out of just the performance arena and beverage-makers continue to expand its use.

Promising scientific research is being conducted as well with whey protein focusing on several of its bioactive components that can offer protection against infections and viruses, enhance immunity, protect against some cancers and positively affect cardiovascular health and muscle tone, says Gwen Bargetzi, Hilmar Ingredients’ director of marketing. Read more…

What you need to know:

Whey protein comes from whey. Whey is the liquid part of milk that is left over when it coagulates into a cheese. The liquid whey is not very appetizing, but when dried, and after fats have been removed, the remaining powder is what we know as whey protein.

Bodybuilders have been adding whey protein to shakes for ages. The proteins in whey are quickly made available to muscles. The use of whey protein has trickled over to other fitness enthusiasts, and you can find whey protein in many energy bars.

But the big breakthrough comes when products and ingredients that make it to the big leagues – mainstream consumers.

So, will we be seeing a “Whey fortified Tropicana OJ” anytime soon? How about a “Pepsi Whey-back” ?

Stay tuned…

What to do at the supermarket:

For the 99% of us non-bodybuilder types, how about getting protein from food sources we actually need to chew on, and hydration from tap water?

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  • Rachel Assuncao, Health Coach

    I don’t get it! In North America, the average person is already overconsuming cheap, unhealthy proteins. Why would we add more of them into the food system? Oh, yes…that’s right. The food industry needed to create an artificial market for the byproducts of making cheese (that come from factory farmed cows) so that the whey didn’t go to waste.

    The addition of whey protein into consumer products isn’t going to cause everyone to suddenly wake up with body builder physique one day. What it is going to do is put even more stress on kidneys, increase the rates of disease, and add to our overburdened medical systems.

    I agree – drinking water is our best option! I would add eating healthy whole foods to get protein from natural sources in healthy amounts to that list too.

    • citadelgrad

      I want to second Rachel’s statement and offer a call to action.

      Marketing and ignorance. In high school and college, I was buying whey protein supplements and paying insane prices for this crap. Why? I listend to the marketing messages, my friends, and was completely ignorant of what I was buying. The only effect I ever noticed from taking the whey was more acne.

      I think it is up to us, when given the opportunity, to explain what exactly these “food” elements are and if we think they are healthy or harmful. It is word of mouth influence, education, and consumer choice that is helping get High Fructose Corn Syrup out of a lot foods.

    • buy protene

      The addition of whey protein into consumer products isn’t going to cause everyone to suddenly wake up with body builder physique one day.

  • Jsmith

    Question. Overall, is whey protien unhealthy? My daughter will attend ballet intensive this summer (two weeks of serious dancing 6-8 hours every day). She is not a breakfast eater at all, but I can usually get her to drink a small fruit smoothie. I am wondering about adding protien to it to bump up the energy and stamina she will get from it. She will have two classes before lunch. I thought whey would be a good alternative to soy, which I refuse to give her.

    • Morgan

      It’s not that bad if she doesn’t consume enough protein during the day, but realistically, she probably gets enough. If she eats legumes/meat during the day, she’s getting protein.

      I would advise putting some skim milk in her smoothies for some extra protein, if you think she needs it.

  • Morgan

    That is disgusting. Americans get plenty of protein just by eating far too much meat. Most people think that a 20 ounce steak is a serving or two of meat. In reality, it’s more than 6 servings.

    The whole “bottled water” thing is a completely different issue, but worse than the addition of unnecessary protein. It causes the desertification of areas of our planet, and the bottled water companies make obscene amounts of money off of it.

    • I’ll post as a guest

      No, a 20 oz steak is exactly 5 servings, not “over 6.” And I get about 10-30 grams of protien a day and am an American, which is exactly why I turn to sources like this most days.

  • Tori2220

    Whey protein is not bad for you if you are taking it correctly and for its intended purpose. Most people do not need it, however if a person is trying to gain mass or does not eat enough protein, whey is perfect.

  • Anonymous


    There are so many manufactured goods now that are
    rich with nutritious content. For sure many people are waiting for the
    launching of these new protein rich beverages. It would be a better alternative
    in some commercial drinks that are unhealthy for our body. 

    Whey protein isolate

  • Anonymous

    Very useful reading! I like your writing style and surely will come back for more side
    effects of steroids

  • Robert Bowmer

    How can they do a whey protein soft drink who’s adding alcohol to there shakes lol.

  • Robert Bowmer

    would drink mik give me the same results as using whey protein shakes?