What You Need To Know About Whey Protein
When most people think of whey protein they think it is for bodybuilders or those who are just trying to put on serious size. Although whey protein will help with strength and size gains, it has far more benefits and uses than just that. Everyone that is reading this can benefit from whey protein in one way or another.
First and foremost, the best kind of whey protein you can buy is whey that comes from grass fed cows. However because of how expensive it can be, I decided to leave that out of this article and focus on more cost efficient options. There are still good sources of whey protein you can find for a great price, so that is what we will be covering here. At the end of this article I will provide some resources for you to help with picking out the perfect whey protein.
What is whey protein?
Whey protein is an incredibly fast digesting and absorbable protein that can really help maximize results in all areas of fitness. Whey comes from milk, and is produced during the process of turning milk into cheese. There are three main types of whey protein to choose from: isolate, concentrate, or a blend of the two.
What foods can whey protein be found in?
Whey protein comes in the forms of powders, protein bars, or drinks. Other foods such as chicken, beef, fish, etc. contain protein but not whey protein. The best whey protein you can get comes in the form of powder.
What are the different types of whey protein?
Whey Protein Isolate:
This is the most pure form of whey protein. It is put through a extra process in order to remove the fat and the lactose. Isolate has close to zero fat, carbs, and lactose and therefore is the best kind you can buy. It will be the most expensieve however.
Whey Isolate is 90% pure protein by weight.
Whey Protein Concentrate:
Whey concentrate is low in fat and carbs, but contains more than isolate. It will also contain more calories because of the fat content (although it is usually only around 2-4 grams of fat).
Whey Concentrate is around 75% pure protein by weight.
Whey Protein Blends:
Whey Blends are a combination of whey isolate and concentrate. These tend to be the most popular of the three because of the quality and price. Blends typically have incredible amino acid content and are low in fat and carbs (not as low as isolate but not as high as concentrate).
Depending on the kind, you can expect the protein by weight to be around 80-85%.
What can whey protein do for you?
Although most people think whey protein is just for bodybuilders and athletes, this is far from the truth. Everyone reading this can benefit from whey protein in one way or another.
Some of the main reasons for whey protein is to help with size increase, strength gains, and to help speed up recovery from workouts. Because it is very fast digesting, it is perfect for post workout nutrition. After workouts, you body is in a catabolic state and needs a fast boost of protein. Whey protein does its job very well by getting to where it needs to be very quickly to aid in recovery.
Some of the other benefits of whey protein:
- Increase lean muscle mass (hence help eliminate unwanted fat)
- Less recovery time and faster muscle repair
- Increased metabolic rate
- Reduces post workout muscle breakdown
Who should use whey protein?
As was stated above, we can all benefit from whey protein in one way or another. Even if you are not trying to put on muscle (although that should be everyones goal: read this to find out why), you can still benefit from whey protein.
Everyone can find ways to incorporate some whey protein into their diet. Recent studies have shown that adding whey protein into your diet can promote some serious fat burn!
Your body uses up more energy when digesting protein, so this will enable you to burn calories at a higher rate after a meal filled with protein. One study showed that by just adding in 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up can greatly expedite your fat loss results. Adding protein within 30 minutes of waking can boost your metabolism and start burning fat from the minute you wake up. And being that whey has very fast absorption and is quick to digest, it is a good solution for first thing in the morning.
If you are looking for lean muscle gain, faster recovery, fat loss, higher caloric burn, etc. then whey protein is for you!
When should I take whey protein?
Whey works best when taken after a workout. This really should be the only time you take it as the rest of your meals should be focused on eating real foods.
If you have a hard time eating breakfast, drinking a protein shake within 30 minutes of waking is a great way to get your metabolism boosted, especially when you are looking to lose fat.
For the most part, your focus should always be to eat real foods and then supplement with whey protein after a workout. On none workout days it is fine to add in one shake during the morning or as a snack, but again your main focus should be on eating real foods.
What kind of whey is best for you?
As was discussed above, there are three types of whey protein:
Isolate: Most pure form of whey, but also the most expensive (if I had to recommend a whey protein, it would be this one by far!)
Concentrate: This is the cheapest, with the highest fat and carb content. Great for muscle building and strength gains.
Blend: Most popular. Really have to look at the nutrition content to see if your blend consists of more isolate or more concentrate. The more isolate the better.
Dymatize Elite Isolate (called Isolate but has some concentrate)
I have tried many different kinds of protein and have a few favorites that I always come back to. Here are my picks when it comes to whey protein:
Dymatize ISO-100: You get what you ask for when it comes to ISO-100. You are basically getting pure whey protein without any of the additives. This is no carbs, no fat, and no sugar while supplying you with 25 grams of protein per scoop. A great choice when looking for pure protein.
Dymatize Elite Isolate: The best bang for your buck! This is a great protein that is low in fat, low in carbs, and has a great price tag. You are getting mostly Isolate when it comes to this protein blend with 24 grams of high quality protein. You are also getting a good amino acid profile. This is always a great choice.
Muscle Pharm Combat: More for muscle building and strength gains. This is a powerful protein powder that can really benefit you when looking to add size.
Gold Standard Whey: Standard Whey has been one of the most popular proteins for a long time and for good reason. It has a great price and has very little fat while providing 24 grams of protein per scoop.
Each of the proteins above will do the trick when looking for a good protein. My highest recommendation is Dymatize ISO-100 followed by Dymatize Elite simply because of the price.
Once again, if you can afford grass fed whey protein, go with that. However with many being on a budget, the whey proteins above will definitely work to your advantage.
As you can see, if you are looking for the highest quality of protein, Isolate is the way to go. It removes all the garbage that other whey proteins may have and brings the protein to its most pure form. If you are sensitive to lactose or have a sensitive stomach, whey isolate should be your choice.
All the whey proteins that we went over above will work great for bringing you results. Remember, the majority of the food you eat and the calories you consume should come from real food. Whey protein should simply be supplemented into your diet for better results. Focus on having no more than two shakes per day. My recommendation is to stick with having one after a workout then getting the rest of your protein from chicken, eggs, beef, fish, etc.
If you have any questions, be sure to leave a comment below!
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