Protein is a known stable for everyone who’s into health and fitness.
Protein powders come in many forms and in many flavors, but the whey is the immediate choice for every fitness and health-obsessed individual.
From nutrients, to how many times it should be used in your diet, this article will be the ultimate guide that will turn you into a whey protein believer.
What is whey protein made out of?
A simple answer is whey is the watery portion of milk and can be found in yogurt that contains watery liquids on top of the yogurt.
A longer answer is that whey protein is started at a dairy farm where cows are brought to produce milk after the cows are milked the process of separation starts by adding specific enzymes to separate curds and the whey, also known as the process of cheese production.
The liquid whey is later pasteurized, and then it gets turned into a dried powder form through different methods such as microfiltration and ion exchange to turn it into the supplements that are being used today.
Why is whey protein such a favorite among bodybuilders?
Protein is what helps bodybuilders get the muscles they are trying to build. Whether you’re an athlete, bodybuilder, or just someone who enjoys going to the gym and wants to see results, whey protein is the most powerful and beneficial supplement you can add to your diet.
The human body’s muscle tissue is made out of protein and there are 20 amino acids that help your body to build muscles, but only 11 non-essential amino acids are produced naturally by the body. The other 9 essential amino acids are not produced naturally by the body and that’s why it’s recommended to eat food that has a lot of protein, such as eggs and dairy, to reach your goal of building muscles.
Whey protein is famously known for containing all the 9 essential amino acids that your body can’t produce on its own. The 9 essential amino acids are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
The reason why fitness fanatics love whey protein is because of how quickly the body absorbs it. We’ve all heard about the 2 hours post-workout window when it comes to protein and muscle building, but what you may not know is that it also includes the time your stomach takes to digest it.
Researchers have discovered that consuming proteins that are fast-digesting can build muscles faster through the process of muscle-protein-synthesis.
One benefit that researchers have focused on when it comes to protein is the timing. The protein timing is important for growth hormone. When the production of growth hormone is increased that more your body is able to build more muscles.
The benefits of whey protein supplements.
Aside from it being an excellent source of protein and great for muscle growth, it has many benefits for the body. Those benefits include studies that have noticed a reduction in blood pressure with consuming dairy products.
Whey protein also has an impact on moderating blood sugar and increasing levels of insulin which can help anyone who suffers from type 2 diabetes.
Another benefit is that whey protein helps reduce inflammation in the body. Studies have found that a high dosage of whey protein reduced blood levels of c-reactive protein which is a sign of inflammation in the body.
Weight loss is another benefit that comes from consuming whey protein supplements. Eating more protein can stop you from eating a lot of calories by suppressing your appetite, burning more calories by boosting your metabolism, and keeping your muscles mass instead of losing it during your weight loss process.
Studies have also shown that whey protein can boost the immune system in children with asthma, reducing weight loss among patient with HIV, and possibly helping with treatments for patients with cancer.
The different types of whey protein
Whey protein is categorized based on how it has been processed. The most popular types of whey protein are:
- Concentrate: Contains up to 80% protein and more lactose than other kinds as well as more essential nutrients. When the liquid whey is processed the main focus is to increase the protein content.
- Isolate: Contains 90% of protein and more. Lacks beneficial nutrients and it contains less lactose, fat, and carbs than other kinds.
- Hydrolysate: This kind of whey is considered the most processed. The reason for the amount of processing that this kind goes through is to make it easier and faster for the body to absorb. This kind is also referred to as pre-digestion, referencing the breaking down process of proteins inside the human body by breaking it into small pieces, hence why whey protein hydrolysate is faster for the body to absorb it.
You may wonder which kind of whey protein is the best, and the short answer is concentrated whey protein. That also depends on what you’re looking for and if your body can tolerate concentrated whey protein, the taste, digestibility, and overall price.
What to look for when buying whey protein
A crucial factor in choosing the right kind of whey protein for your body is reading the label and learning about the ingredients that are added to it.
After learning which kind of whey protein will be more suitable for your body, look into the three protein building blocks that boost muscle growth. Look for the BCAA ratio which are leucine, isoleucine, and valine but make sure it’s two parts leucine to one-part isoleucine to one-part valine as they are the perfect ratio for building muscles, fat loss, and fatigue.
Next, look into the amount of artificial sugars or zero-calorie sweeteners such as stevia to avoid having gut problems like gas and bloating. It’s recommended to not buy protein powders that contain sugar.
Make sure that the whey protein has been tested by quality assurance programs such as Informed-Sport and the NSF International. Products that have been tested will have the seal on the container.
Choose whey protein the same way you choose your meat. Look for the organic, grass-fed whey protein as the cow’s diet has a major influence on the nutrients that are going into your body. That includes non-GMO proteins to avoid the chemicals and the sprayed pesticides that goes into their diet as well as the large amounts of antibiotics to keep them healthy when disease start to abrupt.
Grass-fed whey also contains more omega 3 fatty acids and is more effective when it comes to increasing the rate of fat metabolism thanks to the rich source of conjugated linoleic acid found in grass-fed cows’ milk.
The benefits of grass-fed whey protein are not only great for your body, but it’s also great for your heart. Grass-fed is greener, more humane, and healthier for everyone.
Some great examples for grass-fed whey are Naked Nutrition’s Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder and AGN Roots – The Best Unflavored Grassfed Whey Protein.
How to take whey protein powder?
The most common way of taking whey protein powder is mixing it with smoothies or drinking it as a shake. Try adding chocolate, peanut butter, and banana for a delicious protein shake. You can also add frozen mixed berries and spinach for a healthy smoothie.
Get creative with your usage of protein powder by making protein pancakes for the morning or add it to your overnight oats recipes for extra protein. You can even make chocolate chip whey protein cookies, banana protein bread, and homemade protein bars with coconut and peanut butter.
Dosage and side effects of whey protein
The recommended scoops of protein powder will depend on your level of activity.
For a moderate activity such as 3 workouts or less per week, add 1 scoop of protein powder, amounts to about 20-25 grams of whey, post-workout to build lean muscles.
For high activity, 4 workouts and more per week, it’s recommended to take 24-48 grams of whey protein. Add 1-2 heaping scoops of protein powder to your post-workout shake to gain muscles.
Generally, whey protein is an excellent safe way to promote muscle growth but consuming high dosage of whey protein powder can cause digestive issues such as stomach pains, cramps, and nausea. Other issues are headaches and fatigue. Some studies have also shown that it can cause acne.
You may want to consult your medical doctor before consuming whey protein if you are allergic to milk or have kidney and liver issues.
Whey protein supplements are great for muscle growth and maintaining it if you’re trying to increase your muscle mass and get rid of body fat. It’s important to exercise and take whey protein supplements together to receive the best impact on your body.
Published studies have proven that gaining muscles during strength training while taking whey protein offered greater gain in muscle building than training without adding whey protein to your diet.
Become the most athletic version of yourself with whey protein powder.