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Curious About Kefir Protein Shakes

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  • Curious About Kefir Protein Shakes

    I recently switched out whole milk for kefir in my protein shakes for better taste and consistency, and I've been wondering if there's any added effects from using kefir. I haven't had much luck searching for an answer, so maybe one of you know something about it.

    For instance, do the probiotics help to break down and process the added protein more effectively, or does the added sugar from the powder negate the probiotics, or do they both just do their own thing?

    This is more a gee wiz kind of question since I'm going to keep using kefir no matter the answer. The shake tastes 9001x better with it.

  • #2
    Kefir cultures primarily break down sugars, so they probably won't do much for digesting the protein, which is mainly done by your stomach acid and small intestine enzymes. They will attack the sugars though, along with the other bacteria in your gut. But your body will absorb most of the sugar long before they eat much of it. But you'll get the probiotic benefit of the kefir still, for sure.
    Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

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    • #3
      Keep eating the kefir. The health benefits of the probiotics are very important. Give some thought to making your own kefir from raw milk.

      Detox the Body, Mind, and Spirit with Holistic Healing


      • #4

        I just registered to add some info about kefir's protein content that seems to contradict some things said above (it may be useful to someone).

        Short communication: effect of kefir grains on p... [J Dairy Sci. 2010] - PubMed - NCBI

        There's currently a lot of research being done about kefir, but that's concerning milk cultured by kefir grains. Kefir grains "predigest" the several types of casein (but not whey proteins) rendering them in smaller blocks (peptides) which are more easily (and more quickly) absorbed by our organism. As aprox. 20% of the proteins in milk are already "whey proteins", which digestion is naturally faster, and the remaining 80% are mostly predigested, one can figure that kefir is a rather "faster" protein source than milk, although not as fast as whey concentrates/isolates.

        As for the lactose, it's fermented in lactic acid, acetic acid and CO2, so it's almost absent in cultured kefir.

        It seems to me that mixing whey powder in commercial kefir as OP suggests doesn't hurt either one's value, but I wouldn't expect much "added effects" since he's probably drinking it right after the mixing (not letting it sit long enough to allow some interaction) and also, the commercial preparations are poor in active alive microbes. Commercial kefir is richer than commercial yogurt in that field, but there's only 3 or 4 types of alive bacteria and no yeast. Freshly home cultured kefir brings more than 40 different types of active bacteria and yeasts, in absolutely different amounts.

        Personally, I culture one liter of milk daily and I take half of it 30 minutes before my workout (+ a banana) and the rest of it after workout mixed with my whey powder. That's around 15g of protein before and 35g after, all top quality fast protein, enriched with all the other known benefits of kefir.

        I never felt better!
        Last edited by calip; 01-17-2013, 03:53 PM.