Most people who buy whey protein aren’t exactly sure what it is or what they’re putting into their body, but they know that they need it. To find the best whey protein for your body type, you should know exactly what you’re looking for. That way, you’ll know what you’re putting into your body and why.
Being educated on your diet and how certain foods affect your body is a great way to get better at treating your body with kindness. If you don’t know what you’re putting into your body, you’re less likely to care about added sugars and fats, which may hinder your weight loss and muscle gain goals.
What is Whey Protein?
Whey is the protein that is used in cow’s milk, making up about 20% of the protein in a glass of milk. It’s also a byproduct of cheese production. There are a few different types of whey protein on the market, including the widely debated whey protein isolate vs concentrate conversation. Whey concentrate and whey isolate are two different types of whey protein.
Whey protein concentrate isn’t filtered like isolate is, so it still has a lot of the fats and carbohydrates in it from the milk it was taken from. A whey concentrate is only approximately 70-80% protein, making it the cheaper option.
Isolate the gold standard when it comes to whey protein. Most of the fats and carbohydrates have been filtered out, so it’s about 90% protein. There’s no fat used, so digestion isn’t slowed down at all. If you choose to use whey isolate, you should consume it immediately post-workout.
Benefits of Whey Protein
There are many different benefits to whey protein, no matter which type of protein you decide to ingest.
Supports Muscle Gain
Whey is a complete protein, meaning it contains all essential amino acids that must be ingested through food (the body can’t make it). This is why many people choose to take whey because you get the whole protein, opposed to other foods that may only offer some essential amino acids.
However, the most important amino acid for supporting muscle growth is Leucine, a branched-chain amino acid or BCAA.
Promotes Fast Recovery
Your muscles require protein and leucine after your finish a workout in order to help build them bigger and stronger. Whey protein can help to stimulate muscle protein synthesis sooner, which is why it’s important to take whey protein immediately after a workout.
Maintains Overall Health
One study found that between subjects who took whey protein and subjects who did not, the subjects who took whey protein had much higher levels of glutathione and HDL cholesterol after six weeks.
Glutathione helps support cell health, helping your body maintain its overall health.
Reaching Optimal Protein Intake
If you’re looking for a way to boost your protein intake, whey protein (and other protein powders) is a great way to do this. You can supplement your daily intake with a smoothie or shake. Especially if you’re working out, it’s important to make sure that you reach optimal protein intake levels each day.
Ways to Use Whey
There are so many different ways you can use whey protein, but the most common is to mix it with water or blend it into a smoothie. This is a great way to ingest whey after your workout. However, there are many other ways you can use it. It can be used to make healthier baked goods like cakes and cookies, or you can use it to make snack bites that are mixed with oats. Some people will even put whey into their oatmeal in the morning.
No matter how you choose to ingest whey, make sure you choose the right one for your body and your needs.