You may have heard of whey protein, a substance that is often associated with bodybuilding or stocking up muscle mass. However, it isn’t just a protein for massive gym buffs or people wish to create a solid set of biceps – far from it. In fact, whey protein can help anyone in many ways, which is why it’s important to read up on its benefits before discounting it as a useful tool.
What is it?
It is a type of protein that’s based on branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), which boast the highest levels of protein of any natural food or mineral source. It is described by some as the ‘ultimate’ source of protein and is sourced initially from cows’ milk. When churned into cheese, the by-product of this milk is the whey – hence the whey protein.
Whey naturally occurs in many foods, including cheese, fish, eggs, turkey, red meat (as long as it is lean) and chicken. This makes it easy for non-gym-goers to get their fill of this important protein. However these don’t always contain enough to give people the full benefit, which is why they turn to a whey supplement.
What can it do for me?
Whey protein has many purposes – it can help strengthen, build and repair tired muscles. Bodybuilders use it to build their muscle mass in as quick a time as possible, though it can be used in more minimal quantities simply to help people that are simply working out quite often – leaving their muscles in a less-than-perfect condition. It’s best to take the whey protein, either through your food or supplements/shakes, straight after your workout. This is when your body is in a vulnerable state; leaving the protein to work its magic on your muscles. What’s more, taking in whey protein can repair your muscles faster, improve your metabolic rate and reduce the breakdown of your muscles.
What types of whey protein are available?
There are three main types – whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate and whey protein blend (which mixes both). There are good points and bad points to both, which are summed up here:
– Whey protein isolate
This type of whey is very pure and boasts a solid amino acid make-up. It’s free of carbs and fat, as well as providing the most protein per serving of the three main types. However, it can be expensive, so requires a substantial investment.
– Why protein concentrate
It is usually priced fairly well, which is ideal for those who don’t have a lot of spare cash. It’s really great for building up your muscle and has high amino acid content. However, it does have some carbs and fat in it; meaning that per serving, the calorie levels are higher than isolate whey.
– Whey protein blend
This gives you the best of both worlds – but ultimately, has more calories in it and some blends aren’t as they seem – they actually have a higher level of concentrate than isolate.
Richard Towey considers his body a temple when it comes to training, dictating the kinds of supplements he chooses to use. He writes on behalf of bodybuilding supplements supplier sci-mx.co.uk.