Cor-Performance Whey is a whey protein supplement from Cellucor that’s pacled with 25 grams of protein per serving. Priced similarly to other premium protein products in the market, Cor-Performance Whey contains both whey protein isolate and concentrate as its primary ingredients. Cellucor has also added a blend of digestive enzymes into their formulation and promises a great taste that was insprired by our favorite desserts. Let’s check out the ingredients in Cor-Performance Whey and what science has to say about its ingredients.
What is Whey Protein?
Whey protein is derived from whey, which is the liquid by-product of the cheese making process. The process involves heating milk to a certain temperature and adding acid to force the milk the curdle. The solids, which becomes cheese later in the process, are separated from the liquid fraction which is then referred to as whey. Since it’s derived from milk, many of the healthy components that are present in milk are also retained in whey. Various vitamins, protein, and minerals are present in high concentrations which is why this valuable commodity is often included in supplements. For lactose intolerant individuals, pay careful attention to the type of whey protein you’re getting as some forms will trigger an allergic reaction since lactose may still be present.
Benefits of Whey Protein
Protein shakes have been a staple amongst bodybuilders since the 1950’s as high protein intake has flooded the broscience at gyms across the globe. The industry saw this as a massive opportunity to market whey as a high protein supplement and rest is history. Due to its abundance and beneficial nutrient profile, whey protein has been thoroughly studied in the science community and the results are widely available in literature. Let’s take a look at some of whey protein’s benefits.
Decreases in total fat mass have been noted in multiple studies when whey protein is used in conjunction with a diet that has a caloric deficit. In a double blind study performed with 31 women over the age of 60 years old, the average weight loss amongst the group supplemented with whey was roughly 8% in total bodyweight which was almost double the control group. Upon further inspection, the percentage of total fat loss was also higher in the group taking whey.
- While whey intake has been shown to be effective in helping individuals retain their hard earned muscle mass, it’s also been shown to enhance muscle building directly. A study published in 2004 tracked a group of healthy individuals between the ages of 18 – 29. The subjects underwent resistance training (weight lifting) and were either given casein, whey, or a placebo one hour after training. The groups who consumed whey and casein showed positive signs of elevated muscle protein synthesis at levels three times higher than the placebo group through the first 300 minutes post-workout. While all three groups reached the same level later in the day, the small window with elevated numbers for muscle building potential is a significant finding for someone who’s trying to maximize the effects of their weight training.
- In addition to whey protein’s effects on body composition, benefits have also been found in for individuals with less than desirable cholesterol levels. A study published by in the British Journal of Nutrition tested 70 subjects’ cholesterol levels in a double blind study with whey supplementation. Relative to the control group who didn’t consume additional protein in their diets, a decrease in LDL and total cholesterol was observed in the group who ingested 27 grams of protein from whey daily over the course of 12 week study.
- Another noted benefit of whey supplementation is decreased appetite. Protein in general is very satiating and provides energy for the body to function. In meals lacking sufficient amounts of protein, whey is a convenient solution for reaching your macronutrient targets.
While the jury is still out in terms of how high a protein intake is ideal for the general population, anecdotal evidence has always supported the notion for more protein. Personally I’ve seen very good results for both sports recovery and muscle building when I take in about 1 gram per pound of body weight, but keep in mind that science has shown that amounts between 0.4 – 0.7 grams is sufficient for general health and muscle building. I’ve found that when I hit the 1 gram per pound of bodyweight number, I tend to be less sore throughout the week and just generally feel better when I’m in the gym. Your experience may vary and it’s definitely worth testing yourself, just know that more protein can never hurt. While the calorie restriction is likely the culprit for the majority of the weight loss, the increased retention of lean body mass in the test group is truly remarkable. While many dieters solely rely on the weight scale for affirmation, body composition (e.g. muscle to fat ratio) should be at the forefront when assessing the effectiveness of a diet. Including whey into their daily nutrition is certainly one proven way for looking better when trying to lose weight as indicated in this study.
Cor-Performance Whey is Cellucor’s only whey protein supplement and their answer to other premium protein supplements available in the market. It doesn’t come cheap but the company takes pride in the amount of protein they’ve packed into their product and promises a great taste. The product is low in both fat and carbohydrates and several of the flavors are also available as a gluten-free alternative, more on this later. Let’s see how Cor-Performance Whey stacks up!
Ingredients & Effectiveness
Right off the bat, each serving size consists of a 35 gram scoop of 130 calories packed with 25 grams of protein. According to the label, this puts the total protein content at 77% of the total calories for most of the flavors. Now I’ll have to admit that this value is slightly lower than what I would like for a premium protein supplement. My minimum target for total protein in a product with whey protein isolate is 80% as this ensures that my money is going towards the muscle building macronutrient than it is to the fillers and the flavorings. Now whey protein isolate is listed first in the label which is a pretty good sign, but unfortunately the split between the ‘isolate’ and the less quality ‘concentrate’ is unknown. One can only assume, based on the slightly low protein content in the product, that the split is less than favorable when compared to other products in the same price range. For their Whipped Vanilla flavor, the protein content comes up to 83% so the issue is likely more due to the increased sugar in the other flavors. Again, not a good sign as you should be spending your money towards protein rather than cheap flavoring.
Another hit to this protein is the lack of an amino acid profile on the label. Most premium whey protein supplements list the concentrations of each individual amino acid present in a scoop as the highly anabolic amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine (branched chain amino acids or BCAAs) are a major benefit of including whey protein isolate into a mix. While I have no doubt that BCAAs are present in this mix, I’d feel more comfortable recommending a product that fully discloses the amounts on the label. The dangers of leaving this off the label is it opens your product up to concerns of both quality control and protein ‘spiking’, where cheaper and less anabolic amino acids are added into the product to boost the total protein content. I certainly wouldn’t suggest a company like Cellucor spikes their product with cheap filler, but I’m very disappointed in how they failed to include this valuable information.
As noted above, the carbohydrate content in Cor-Performance Whey is suspiciously high. Many of their flavors come with 5 grams of carbohydrates per scoop, which is over 60% more than other protein supplements at this price point. While I can’t comment for everyone, but I’d rather be paying for high quality protein than for sugar and additional flavoring.
One good sign for Cellucor is the decision to include a variety of different digestive enzymes in Cor-Performance Whey. This inclusion ensures that you’ll have little to no problems when digesting this product and that you maximize the bioavailability of its components. My experience with this product included no bloating and I was more than comfortable in the gym when I took a serving in my pre-workout shake. Cellucor isn’t the first company to add digestive enzymes in their whey supplements and it’s a trend I hope continues. If you suffer from light lactose intolerance, this product may be easy enough on your system to not cause any problems. Definitely try to get a sample first but I don’t foresee any issues.
Taste & Texture
Cor-Performance Whey comes in the following flavors:
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- Chocolate Peanut Butter
- Red Velvet
- Strawberry Milkshake
- Cookies ‘n Cream
- Peanut Butter Marshmallow
- Cinnamon Swirl
- Whipped Vanilla
- Molten Chocolate
I’ve tried a handful of flavors thanks to a few samples sent my way and they were all very palatable and easy to consume. My favorite flavor was Chocolate Peanut Butter, but recommendation is to go with the Whipped Vanilla. Their vanilla flavor contains slightly less calories compared to the others, which can sometimes be too sweet, and it’s very versatile for baking purposes. I found Cellucor’s vanilla flavoring to be lighter than other companies’ and very pleasant overall. The primary flavoring compound used in Cor-Performance Whey is sucralose and acesulfame potassium. For reference the gluten-free flavors are: Cinnamon Swirl, Molten Chocolate, Strawberry Milkshake, and Whipped Vanilla. Each of the flavors I sampled mixed easily in water and stayed in solution very well. You shouldn’t run into any trouble with any of the flavors.
Price & Value
When no discounts are applied, a 4 pound tub of Cor-Performance Whey retails for $50 ($0.93 per serving). While definitely in the range of other high quality, premium whey protein supplements, I find this price point to be too expensive in terms of what you get. You can find other protein supplements with a much better protein profile with a known individual amino acid content for the same price. Many of these products also contain less sugar if carbohydrate intake is a concern to you. The one strong area Cor-Performance Whey excels in is the flavor, though this is likely due to the higher sugar content. Fortunately, Cellucor is infamous for providing discounts to their customers so don’t be surprised to see a coupon pop up every couple of months that significantly reduces the price. Your miles may vary, but pay attention for these coupons you can save a lot of money if you choose to use this product regularly. At the time of writing this review, I’m staring at a Buy One Get One Free promotion which drastically reduces the cost per serving by half! It’s definitely worth it at half the cost so pay attention!
Cor-Performance Whey by Cellucor is marketed as a premium whey protein supplement that fails to live up to its competition. If you’re looking for a go-to protein source, check out our review of Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard that we published back in January of this year. Fortunately, Cellucor has a wide following and they have a reputation of distributing very generous discounts for most of their product lines. The Whipped Vanilla flavor is something I try to stock up on during one of their promotions as baking protein bars and protein-rich desserts with this stuff is a staple in my household. Hope you enjoyed the review, stay tuned for more whey protein supplement reviews!