Whey protein is a form of protein found in dairy. A product of the cheese making process whey protein is a cheap nutrient to produce and offer as a nutritional supplement. Combined with a progressive fitness program supplements can help in the process of muscle building and support repair of muscle tissues. It can also be used as an energy source when other energy sources like carbs and fats are manipulated.
Whey protein was once used as a medicine by the father of medicine in 460 BC, Hippocrates. Hippocrates realized that whey had health benefits and prescribed it to people to boost their immune system. 2500 years later these “lifestyle modifications” are still being recommended.
Protein and protein supplements like whey protein date back more than 8,000 years. First recorded in 5,500 BC, Kujawy, Poland. People noticed milk treated with acid formed a gel. The solids from this could be turned into cheese. The leftover was discarded, used as starter culture for the next day’s cheese, or used as pig feed. The next record was uncovered when using stomachs of calves to store and transport milk. The stored milk coagulated, leaving them with curds and whey. It was discovered that the coagulation was because of chymosin.
What Is Whey Protein?
Whey protein can be added to a lot of different foods and recipes to increase the amount of protein in that meal or to increase the amount of protein consumed during the day for specific requirements. Whey protein is found in milk in small amounts. In the process of turning milk into cheese, whey protein is removed. Once the protein is removed it is then available for a variety of use cases.
Whey protein provides essential amino acids needed to carry out functions in the body. Protein is made up of amino acids bound by peptide bonds. These peptide bonds contain carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, usually sulfur and occasionally other elements. Their main function is to build and repair body tissue.
Upon digestion whey protein is disassembled and broken down. The byproduct are amino acids that enter the body’s cells and go to work repairing, growing and building muscle tissues. They also help with the synthesis of hormones, enzymes and peptides. People commonly consume protein to improve athletic performance and address nutritional deficiencies.
How Much Whey Protein Do I Need?
Whey protein needs are determined by activity levels, caloric intake, body composition and sports. Through exercise oxidation of amino acids and protein usage increases. The process by which amino acids are used for energy during fat reduction is called gluconeogenesis. A general rule of thumb for calculating protein intake is one gram of protein per pound of body mass.
However there has been much debate and research into the amount of protein required. Many bodybuilders suggest one gram of whey protein per pound while scientists and researchers suggest differently. Research has suggested the following amounts should suffice for most:
- Adults – 0.8g/kg (0.4g/lb)
- Strength Athletes – 1.2 – 1.7g/kg (0.5 – 0.8g/lb)
- Endurance Athletes – 1.2 – 1.4g/kg (0.5 – 0.6g/lb)
Therefore anywhere from 0.4g/lb to 1g/lb is the accepted range.
What Are Whey Protein Supplements?
Whey protein supplements are products made to enhance your diet or make up for a lack of nutrition. They come in a variety of forms. From powder to premade drinks and snacks. Whey is a fast-digesting protein that contains all essential amino acids your body can’t make. When taken over time, in combination with regular resistance exercise, supplements can help support muscle building. The essential amino acids also include the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs): leucine, isoleucine and valine.
There are a ton of different options when it comes to whey protein supplements. Whey protein concentrate is the most common. Great for most. If you are looking for a supplement with less fat, cholesterol and carbohydrates, whey protein isolate is a good choice. Hydrolyzed protein is protein that has been broken down for faster absorption.
Some supplements offer a combination of whey protein. Look at the Nutrition or Supplement Facts Label for details when selecting the protein. Whey protein supplements can be used to help meet your protein needs. Look carefully for ingredients such as “cane sugar,” “maltodextrin,” and “corn syrup solids”. They should not be there. Sugar is sugar and offers no nutritional value. The last thing you want your protein powder to do is to help make you fatter.
The market is full of different whey protein supplements that come in a variety of forms such as isolates and concentrates. As well as different product types like powders, liquids or food items. When looking for a protein supplement it can be a little bit trick as you never know what you’re getting until you get it and give it a shot. This trial by error can be costly and dissatisfying.
In order to make looking for a whey protein supplement easier here are some tips. First and foremost how does the product taste? Do you know someone or have you read any online reviews about how well the product tastes? There are proteins like Optimum Nutrition that set the standard for flavor. While others taste like powder or something else very bad. Knowing how well it tastes would probably be the first thing to sort out.
Another important characteristic to look at is how well it mixes. Since protein supplements are going to be used on the go seeing how well it handles plain water and a shaker cup is the litmus test of a good protein powder. What good is it if it tastes good but doesn’t blend for shit and you’re left with chunks? Again Optimum Nutrition sets the bar for mix-ability. Their protein powders blend nicely with just pure water and a shaker cup.
How much does it cost and cost per serving is another consideration. Whey protein supplements can vary significantly in price. They can go from the cheapest most accessible to the most expensive in no time based on formula. When looking at the price of a supplement consider the cost divided by the amount per serving. Then figure out how much of your protein powder is actual protein versus necessary ingredients to produce. Is it reasonable?
Additionally when selecting a whey protein supplement to find out if the product is even worth it’s weight. Divide the amount of protein grams per serving by the individual serving. You want a powder that’s at least 80% protein by weight. There will be things like sweeteners and emulsifiers that make the product tasty and shelf stable.
Best Whey Protein Concentrate
A rich source of protein that supports muscle growth and aids in recovery. Whey protein concentrate is also a great source of leucine and BCAAs, that are primarily in the production of proteins.
Best Quality Whey Protein Source
Used to build lean muscle and aid recovery. Produced from 100% grass-fed dairy cows that are never given rBGH or rBST. This non-denatured whey is loaded with essential amino acids and glutathione.
Best Natural Whey Protein Supplement
Made from the highest quality bioavailable grass fed protein. Sourced from dairy cows that cows that graze on all-natural, pesticide-free farmlands. Up to 5x higher CLA, more Vitamin A & E, beta-Carotene and Omega-3.
Best Tasting Whey Protein
Great tasting powder instantly mixes with a shaker or a glass and spoon. 24 grams of whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, and whey peptides to support lean muscle mass. Instantized for improved mixability to prevent lumps and clumps
Best Whey Protein Isolate
Delicious protein that encourages muscle recovery and supports muscle growth. The world’s leading hydrolyzed isolates due to its fast-absorbing, easy to digesting flavors. With 11.8g of EAAs, including 5.5g BCAAS and 2.7g Leucine per serving.
Best Priced Whey Protein
Super Advanced Whey Protein to maximize your workout routine. Body Fortress supplements are always the highest quality without being the highest price. A single serving contains 60 grams of Protein and 12 grams of BCAAs.
Help in the process of muscle building and support repair of muscle tissues, combined with a progressive fitness program whey protein is a cheap nutrient to produce and offer as a nutritional supplement. It is a byproduct of the cheese making process once used as a medicine. Whey protein can be added to a lot of different foods and recipes to increase the amount of protein in that meal or to increase the amount of protein consumed during the day for specific requirements.
They come in a variety of forms. From powder to premade drinks and snacks. It’s is a fast-digesting protein that contains all essential amino acids your body can’t make. Concentrate is the most common. When looking for a whey protein supplement consider how the product tastes, mixes, protein per serving and cost. Keep in mind these are meant to supplement your diet. Always try to get as much of your food from a solid nutritional plan.