Health Benefits of Protein
Whey protein is produced from the milk used during cheese making. The liquid is dried and sold to whey protein companies who then add ingredients to make powders.
Why is Protein Important?
You must eat enough protein daily to ensure a healthy body.
Protein is the most abundant substance in the body after water and is found in every body cell from your hair, your heart, and most crucially especially your muscles.
Protein contains the vital 20 Amino Acids.
Why is Protein Critical for Weight Trainers and Athletes?
Protein is especially important for success in sports, particularly weight lifting and general recovery. When you workout you stress and tear your muscle fibers
Protein restores the muscle fibres to full and stronger strength. The more you stress your muscles the bigger they become to adapt to the workload. However, they can only fully recover if they are fuelled correctly with both rest and nutrients, including protein.
Bigger muscles need more protein to keep them big. If you consume insufficient amounts the body takes protein from your muscles for energy, therefore reducing the size of your muscles.
Why Whey Protein?
1. It gets into your muscles fast! As soon as you drink a protein shake the whey protein is quickly digested and absorbed into the blood.
It reaches the muscles tissues in about 20 minutes and goes directly to your muscles to repair, grow and strengthen them. The entire process is completed within 1 hour of drinking your shake.
This is much much faster than food which may take several hours to complete the process.
2. Easy to digest. It is commonly used in baby food.
3. It's hard to get all your protein from food. We recommend you drink 2-5 protein shakes per day along with a good diet.
4. Convenience. Protein shakes are quick and easy to make.
What is the Difference between Whey Protein Concentrate, Isolate and Hydrolysate?
The difference is due to how much the whey protein is filtered I.E. how much other stuff is removed.
Types of whey protein
Used in the majority of whey protein powders and the least filtered. It contains 70-85% protein along with low levels of fat, cholesterol and carbohydrates. It also contains a higher level of immune system boosting ingredients.
The second most used and can be found in many whey protein products usually mixed with whey protein concentrate.
It contains 90-95% protein but due to being more filtered it contains less lactose and fat.
This makes it popular with those who suffer from lactose intolerance.
The purest form of whey protein due to being the most filtered but is therefore the most expensive. It contains 100% protein and no lactose or fat. In addition, it has been “pre-digested” meaning it is absorbed into the body more rapidly.
For the vast majority, we advise whey protein concentrate as a suitable option. Some products may mix 2 or even all 3 types together but unless you are particularly lactose intolerant, or want super fast absorption, then concentrate will be fine.
Who Should Take It?
Anyone involved in physical activity, especially weight lifters. However, it can also be useful as a meal replacement or those looking to a lose weight.
Some high-protein foods contain a high fat content and opting to use whey protein powder can decrease the amount of fat consumed and therefore reducing cholesterol levels in the body.
How Much Should I Take?
Health experts suggest 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
How Much Protein Should I Consume in Each Shake?
Y ou can follow individual product guidelines but as a guide a good amount is somewhere between 25g to 40g per shake. We suggest you aim for 30g.
What Are The Best Times To Drink Shakes?
The optimum times are about an hour before, and immediately after a workout. Another great time is first thing in the morning as during sleep muscle repair will use up any protein stored meaning the body needs replenishing.
There are also products designed to be taken before bed to feed your body during sleep.
Should I Mix With Water or Milk?
We advise mixing with water. Firstly because protein needs water to assist digestion, and secondly because whey protein is absorbed quickly by the body but this process is slowed down when milk is added.
What is The Difference Between the Brands and Why is There Such a Price difference?
Every product contains slightly different ingredients but the differences can be categorised into 3 reasons:
1. Added extras.
Creatine and Glutamine for example are expensive and therefore increase prices.
2. The whey protein type used.
As mentioned above Whey Protein Isolate or Hydrolysate cost more than than Concentrate.
3. Brand premium.
Like any product, you pay a premium for a well known brand.
The more famous it is, the more the added price premium.
How you get your whey protein is up to you, in many cases it can be more effective when combined with other supplements to help improve athletic performance and stamina. This is why you will find whey protein isolate in many pre and post workout supplements.
Angela is the owner and primary contributor to Crazybulkwomen.com I love writing about all things fitness and nutrition related. I studied nutrition at the University of Phoenix and currently am a full-time mom and blogger.