Whey protein is definitely one of the most popular supplement products in today’s fitness industry. The overall demand of whey protein is increasing monthly as more and more individuals become more health conscious, which leads them to start correcting their eating habits. In this guide we will explain to you exactly what whey protein is, how it can benefit you and how to use it for optimum results.
WHAT IS WHEY EXACTLY?
Did you know whey is actually found in milk? Yeah! It’s actually one of the two of the proteins found in cow’s milk. So if you wondered if whey was natural, here is your answer. The other protein found in milk is casein protein, casein makes up approx. 80% of milk protein, while whey makes up the other 20%. Whey protein in general is a very fast absorbing protein which makes it the ideal post-workout source!
DIFFERENT WHEY PROTEINS
There are about three different types of popular whey proteins on the market today.
- CONCENTRATED WHEY PROTEIN
- ISOLATE WHEY PROTEIN
- HYDROLIZED WHEY PROTEIN
This is the most popular whey. This is one of the main reasons being that it’s more affordable than the other two. It is also the most basic one as concentrated whey goes through the least amount of processing. The filtration process of whey is basically when the milk protein is pushed through a small filter that allows organic materials to fall through, the leftovers are considered as whey protein, but along with the whey protein is also lactose, which makes up approx. 5% of the total left over proteins. This is why concentrated whey proteins are not really suitable for individuals that are lactose intolerant.
BEST TIMES TO TAKE YOUR WHEY PROTEIN
- 30-60 minutes before your workout
- Directly after your workout
- First thing in the morning
This is not the best source to take between meals, as it digests quickly and might leave you hungry after an hour. If you do want to take whey between meals, I suggest you have something like almond butter, or another healthy fat source with it, that can slow down the digestion process.
ISOLATE WHEY PROTEIN
This is basically a purer form of whey concentrate due to the fact that extra processing and filtration is involved. Whey protein concentrate already has a low carbohydrate and fat value; however, whey protein isolate is winning the race, as its carbohydrate and fat content are lower than concentrated whey. Because of all the extra processing and filtration, lactose is also removed, making whey protein isolate suitable for lactose intolerant individuals. Isolate also gets absorbed a lot quicker than concentrate, making it a superior post-workout recovery source. One con about whey protein isolate is that it’s more expensive than concentrate.
BEST TIMES TO TAKE WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE:
- 30min before a workout
- Directly after a workout
- You can also drink this during workouts
HYDROLYZED WHEY PROTEIN
This, to me, is the MVP of post-workout protein! Hydrolyzed protein is produced when whey is taken through the process of hydrolysis. We are going to skip the “sciency” part and just skip to the conclusion that the end process is smaller peptide fragments. The smaller the fragments, the less the body needs to work to digest it; which makes it much easier to absorb. This basically means that between whey concentrate, and whey isolate, hydrolyzed protein gets absorbed the quickest. Now do you understand why I said, it’s the MVP of post-workout protein? One con about hydrolyzed protein is that it can be very expensive, but at the end of the day, instead of focusing on quantity, focus on quality.
BEST TIMES TO TAKE HYRDOLYZED PROTEIN:
- Directly before a workout
- Directly after a workout
- During workouts
WHEY PROTEIN BLENDS
A lot of brands come up with whey protein blends that consist out of two or all three of the above mentioned proteins. Now that you have a background on the different types of whey protein, you can make informed decisions next time you walk into the store.
OVERALL BENEFITS OF WHEY PROTEIN:
- Whey protein (any of the above mentioned 3) consists out of a complete amino acid source
- Helps speed recovery time
- Aids in building lean muscle
- Easy to add to one’s diet
- Can be seen as an anti-catabolic tool
- Boosts your immune-system
- Can help speed up your metabolism, which can assist in weight and fat loss.
FOR INTEREST SAKE, WHAT OTHER FOODS CONTAIN WHEY PROTEIN?
Other milk protein food sources like yogurt and cheese also contain whey protein. In fact, you know when you open a yogurt and you see that watery fluid at the top? That’s a form of whey.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM TAKING WHEY PROTEIN?
- Any active individual looking to either increase overall protein consumption or overall health and well-being
- Sport athletes
- Females looking to lose weight or fat
- Teenagers looking to increase protein consumption