Protein is an extremely important nutrient for the human body, protein is responsible for numerous functions such as helping to build tissue, cells, muscle as well as many other bodily functions. This is why it is important you get your recommended daily amount for optimal bodily functions.
So, What is Whey Protein?
It is a supplement that makes it easy and convenient to increase your protein intake. Whey protein comes in powder form with various different flavours from chocolate to vanilla that you can mix with either water or milk.
Whey protein supplements are actually the waste by-product of cheese. Now I know this may sound bad, “waste by-product” but it is not. You see, milk actually contains about 20% whey and when cheese is being manufactured from milk the whey is separated as it has no use in the cheese manufacturing process.
A long time ago, the whey used to just get thrown away until someone came up with the bright idea of manufacturing the whey into a protein supplement as it contains many nutritional benefits that were being wasted.
Why do People Take Whey Protein?
There are many reasons why people take whey protein, the most common is amongst bodybuilders. When whey protein was first introduced it was mainly taken by bodybuilders to help repair muscle that they have broken down in the gym. Whey protein was a quick and easy way to get high doses of protein in between meals for bodybuilders and that is why it was so popular amongst them.
However, in this day and age, it has become popular amongst a wider variety of people, from people into general fitness to your average Joe just looking to get their recommended daily protein intake.
The main reason to take protein supplements is to help recovery after any intense exercise, if you are doing any form of exercise that breaks down muscle then you will need protein to help repair the muscle and make it bigger and stronger than before. If you’re struggling to get enough quality protein through food than the next best option is to take a protein shake, when protein is a good source of nutrients and amino acids. It contains all the essential and non-essential amino acids that are extremely important for building muscle as well as other bodily functions.Types of Whey Protein
Types of Whey Protein
This is the most popular type of whey protein and the type that is most commonly bought. Depending on the manufacturer and who the actual protein is aimed for, whey protein concentrate can contain anything from around 30% protein to 70 to 80% of actual protein along with some fats and carbs too.
If you’re buying a protein supplement from a store that specialises in strength and performance you can expect to find whey protein concentrate at 70 to 80%, always be sure the read the label to see how much protein it contains. Whereas the 30% concentrate will be aimed towards the general public or even elderly people who do not partake in any kind of strenuous physical activity and want to just increase their protein intake for health reasons.
This type of protein is manufactured slightly different to whey protein concentrate. With whey protein isolate, the water, lactose and cholesterol is removed which gives you a protein supplement that can potentially be up to 95% concentrate. This means you get higher protein content per scoop as compared to the standard concentrate protein, however, the taste of the isolate protein does suffer and can lead to a protein shake that does not taste as good as the standard concentrate protein.
Hydrolysate whey protein is a fast by digesting protein. During the manufacturing process, it goes through a partial hydrolysis process, this process makes it easier for the human body to absorb the majority of the protein supplement. This type of protein is quite common in baby formulas and protein supplements that required for medical reasons.
For the average gym goer, whey concentrate seems to be the best option. Not only is it cheaper but it should supply you with more than enough protein to help you get the daily recommended amount for you.
Benefits of whey protein
- Can help you build muscle
- Has a good ratio of essential amino acids that your body cannot produce.
- Studies show that weight protein can help you gain strength, muscle as well as help you lose body fat.
- Easy and convenient way to get 15g – 50g of protein per day.
- Convenient snack between meals
- It can help lower blood pressure as well as help reducing symptoms of stress and depression
Should You Take Whey Protein?
Not everyone is required to take a protein supplement as there are some people that naturally get plenty of protein from their diet and taking a protein supplement will just be a waste of money as there is only so much protein your body can use to help you recover and repair damaged tissue from working out.
If you do not know how much protein you are taking per day the best thing you can do is track your intake from apps like MyFitnessPal and if you’re taking less than your recommended daily amount for the activities that you perform, than adding in whey protein can be really beneficial and help you recover faster.
Remember, you can build muscle and recover from exercise without whey protein if your diet is naturally high in good sources of protein as well as other vitamins and minerals. However, for those with busy lifestyles who struggled to get enough protein through their diet can really benefit from taking a protein supplement such as whey protein.