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Native whey and cheese whey: what are the differences?

Nutrimuscle explains the major differences between native whey obtained directly from cow's milk and cheese whey from cheese industry waste.
Nutrition sportive
whey native en poudre pour la musculation

It is natural for a bodybuilder to take whey. However, this requires some vigilance: not all wheys are qualitative. Nutrimuscle explains the major differences between native whey obtained directly from cow's milk and cheese whey, made from waste from the cheese industry.

What you may not yet know about whey protein is that it doesn't necessarily come directly from milk. Indeed, some food supplement sellers have no qualms about offering protein powder from cheese waste.

The food industry uses a chemical process to transform milk proteins into cheese. Waste results from this manipulation and is recovered by the majority of sellers to make "whey". Not only are these wheys obtained by chemical processes that degrade the product, but they are also less effective for muscle development.

We explain in detail the differences between cheese whey and native whey.

Contents :

  • The nature of the raw material
  • The manufacturing process
  • The quality of the protein
  • The nature of the raw material

    Whey is obtained from whey proteins. These proteins contribute to muscle building and meet many sporting objectives (mass gain, weight loss, muscle mass support, etc.). There are therefore two main types of whey.

    Native whey: native whey comes directly from cow's milk, in particular from “whey”. It is in this aqueous part that the protein supply necessary for muscle development is found. The raw material is then composed only of milk proteins and not of cheese waste.


    Whey cheese: The raw material is completely denatured due to a chemical process that alters the molecular structure of milk proteins so that they become cheese.

    The manufacturing process

    Whey cheese: during the production of cheese, chemical reagents are introduced into the milk. This chemical process leads to the appearance of GMP (Glycomacropeptides) in whey cheese. GMPs are not natural proteins, they consist of an agglomerate of sugars (up to 30%) and amino acids (up to 70%).

    But that's not all: as the whey obtained takes on a yellowish appearance, it is generally bleached using a bleaching chemical. In addition, according to scientific analyses, traces of chemical preservatives are found in whey cheeses.

    Native whey: whey derived directly from fresh cow's milk does not require any chemical manipulation or addition of questionable products. Naturally, it therefore does not contain GMP.

    The quality of the protein

    Whey cheese: the amino acids of whey are degraded during the making of cheese. The higher the temperature, the higher the level of GMP. This results in a whey protein with an unbalanced aminogram. Indeed, GMPs only contain 7 essential amino acids out of the 10 that should normally be provided by a good protein. A whey cheese will therefore not provide you with optimal muscle growth.

    Native whey: it has a very high quality undenatured aminogram. It contains the 10 essential amino acids well and in proportions that allow increased muscle growth. To give an example, Nutrimuscle native whey contains about 14% more leucine (the most anabolic amino acid) than most cheese wheys. (1)

    If a seller does not specify that his whey is native, it is automatically a degraded cheese whey. These wheys are found on the market because they are inexpensive to manufacture and allow sellers to obtain very juicy margins.

    All Nutrimuscle whey proteins are native whey proteins and have not undergone "instantization" chemical manipulation to transform poor quality proteins, completely insoluble, into proteins that melt in water.

    Our proteins therefore do not contain transgenic (GMO) soy lecithin, sunflower lecithin or carboxymethylcellulose and have not undergone treatment with ionizing radiation.

    To find out the difference between native whey and native whey isolate, see our dedicated article.

    (1) Hamarsland, H. et al. Native whey induces higher and faster leucinemia than other whey protein supplements and milk: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Nutr. 3, 10 (2017)

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