Preferred by most bodybuilders, whey is one of the two types of protein found in cow's milk. Milk is approximately 87% water and 13% milk solids. The milk solids are comprised of fat, lactose, protein and a small amount of other minerals. The protein portion of the milk solids is approximately 80% casein and 20% whey.
Whey is much more quickly digested by the human body than casein and it
has a higher biological value, which makes it the most nutritious protein available.
How is Whey Protein Made?
Ion exchange is one of the manufacturing methods. When the casein or curd and milk fat are separated from milk in order to make cheese, the remaining liquid whey goes through a series of filters to separate the whey protein from lactose and other ingredients. This concentrated liquid whey then enters an ion exchange vessel, which then uses electrical charges to purify the whey protein. The purified product is then dried to remove moisture.
Why is it so popular?
Whey protein is extremely popular among bodybuilders for several reasons. The biggest reason is because it is the most complete, and most quickly digested protein available. It has the highest biological value and contains branched chain amino acids, which are critical in building muscle mass. The second reason why it is so popular is because compared with other proteins, it is much less expensive.
Who can benefit from supplementing with whey protein?
Anyone involved in sports activities, especially bodybuilding, will benefit greatly from supplementing properly with whey protein. In addition to supplying the body with all the essential and nonessential amino acids, whey protein is especially rich in naturally occurring branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine). These particular amino acids are used directly by skeletal muscles, and therefore are in great demand during exercise or strenuous sports activities.
How much does Whey Protein cost?
The cost of whey protein can vary greatly depending on the manufacturer, the process used to create the whey protein, additional nutrients that may be added, etc. The cost of some of the more popular supplements are listed elsewhere on this page.
Where can I get Whey Protein Powder?
Whey protein supplements can be purchased at any health food store, but the very best prices are available through the links on this page.
Are there any side effects to taking whey protein?
There are no documented negative side effects to supplementing with whey protein. However, people who are allergic to dairy products, or are on a dairy restricted diet for medical reasons, should not use it without consulting a physician.
If you suddenly increase the amount of protein you are eating on a daily basis, you may notice a slight increase in intestinal gas, which is normal, regardless of what type of protein you are using.
What flavors does it come in?
Whey protein is available from many different manufacturers. In any number of different flavors. The most popular flavors are of course vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.
Who has the cheapest whey protein?
I would recommend staying away from the cheapest you can find. I would
recommend Optimum Nutrition's Gold Standard because it is a very high
quality product that is not too expensive. There are many other quality
manufacturers, including BSN, EAS, Ultimate Nutrition, Designer Whey, MuscleTech and many others.
How much should I take?
The total amount of protein from all sources you should take each day is between 1 and 1.5 grams per pound of body weight. This means a 200 pound bodybuilder, should be consuming 200 to 300 g of protein each day. This amount should be divided up into at least 5 or 6 feedings. At least two or three of these feedings should consist of foods from animal sources such as beef, seafood, poultry and dairy products. The remaining feedings can consist of protein shakes made with whey aqnd/or casein. If your goal is in the middle of the range, and each feeding should consist of 40 to 50 g of protein.
Most supplements in powder form and provide 20 to 24 g of protein per serving. They usually come with a scoop that is equal to one serving, therefore, each shake should consist of two scoops.
How do I make a whey protein shake?
Follow the label directions on your particular supplement for a guideline, but you can mix it with milk (preferred), water or juice. One common method is to use a 12 ounces of milk in a blender with one or two scoops of whey protein. You can also add fresh strawberries, bananas, ice cream, peanut butter, crushed ice, or anything else that suits your fancy. Use a blender for best results. You can mix it with a spoon, but it will take a while to make it smooth.
Can I mix other supplements with it?
Yes. You can mix virtually any other supplement with your whey protein when making a shake. If your brand does not include creatine or glutamine, for example, you can add a teaspoon (or whatever the recommended dose is) of these supplements into your shakes. Another good idea is to mix casein and whey in the same shake, giving your body some fast digesting as well as longer-lasting protein. (Casein takes longer to digest than whey, making it ideal to take before bed.)
Will whey protein help me build muscle?
Assuming you are following a good bodybuilding workout program, supplementing with whey protein (and protein in general) will provide the necessary building blocks for your body to recover and grow stronger. It is one of the most important factors in the process of building muscle.
If I am taking whey protein, do I need to eat protein from other sources?
Yes. Most of your daily intake should come from meat and other animal sources. Whey protein should not be used to replace whole food protein, but rather as a means to increase your intake between meals and after workouts. Further, each type of protein (whey, casein, egg, meat, rice, soy) has a slightly different amino acid profile. It is best to take some combination of all of these. (One exception would be soy, which is considered to have a slightly inferior amino acid profile. Soy works well for those who are lactose intolerant, or would prefer to get their protein primarily from vegetable sources.)
When is the best time of day to take whey protein?
Since it is quickly digested by the body, the best time of day for a bodybuilder to
take whey protein is in the morning, and immediately after a workout. Taking it in the morning is beneficial, because you have gone several hours without any protein, and you want to get it into your body as quickly as possible. Taking it immediately following a workout is beneficial because this is the time when your body craves protein more than any other time. The quicker you can get high-quality protein into your depleted muscles, the better.
Do all bodybuilders supplement with whey protein?
Most, if not all bodybuilders supplement with some kind of protein powder. Whey protein is by far the most popular choice due to its low relative costs, high biological value, and BCAA content.