What is Whey Protein?
A superior form of protein, whey protein is protein derived from the whey i.e. the liquid you get when you make cheese or yogurt. This separation process makes whey very low in lactose- an irritant for many individuals.
The protein derived from Whey is rich in amino acids and can provide the right fuel for your workouts and help you gain lean muscle mass.
How can you benefit from Whey Protein Powder?
While most people consume Whey Protein to build lean muscle, improve exercise performance or reduce weight, there are many more benefits to this type of Protein. These include:
1. Mentally – Increases mental energy and alertness; by giving the mind the fuel it needs to stay focused.
2. Internal – Supports muscle recovery, improves gut health, and increases muscle recovery.
3. Physical – Help in muscle gain and a reduction in weight by reducing cravings and boosting energy expenditure.
4. Nutritional – Increases the absorption of other foods and proteins, thereby ensuring that the body actually gets all the nutrients from the food consumed.
Are there any side effects?
While Whey Protein typically has lower lactose content than protein from casein, it can still cause irritation to those with lactose intolerance.
Consuming too much Whey Protein can also cause side effects like nausea, cramps, diarrhea, reduced appetite or fatigue.
Since everybody is built differently, it is a good idea to do your research before consuming this protein. Seeing what type of Whey Protein works for you and in what amount can help alleviate the side effects associated with Whey Protein.
What do the different kinds of Whey Protein mean?
Depending on the concentration and degree of processing, this type of Protein is classified into three categories:
1. Concentrated – Whey Protein Concentrate refers to low fat and low carbohydrate protein. The amount (or percentage) of protein depends on how concentrated the protein is. The range can vary anywhere from 30% to 90% protein.
2. Isolate – The types of amino acids found in Isolate is almost identical to Concentrate. The difference comes from the amount of lactose, fats and carbohydrates, which are lower in Isolate. Typically the concentration of protein is also higher than Whey Protein Concentrate.
3. Hydrolyzed – Whey Protein Hydrolyzed is protein that has undergone hydrolysis, making it easier for the body to digest than other forms of Whey Protein. Since the protein is already broken down, it delivers protein faster to your body and is more easily absorbed.
What should you look for in your Whey Protein?
1. The Ideal BCAA ratio – BCAA or branched-chain amino acids are the three protein building blocks essential for maintenance and growth. These include leucine, isoleucine, and valine. The ideal ratio of these three proteins is 2:1:1 i.e. two parts leucine to one part isoleucine to one part valine.
2. Choose options with no added sugars and minimal sweeteners – For the option that is the healthiest, go for unsweetened options or those with natural sweeteners.
3. Balance the carbs – Protein, when taken in conjunction with carbs, increases amino-acid absorption stimulating muscle growth. Depending on your goals, it is important to balance the consumption of protein and carbs to help you achieve optimum results.