The protein is essential for developing muscle and helps with weight loss. Whey protein will help you achieve greater protein intake in your daily diet. Whey protein is a practical nutritional supplement that can be used in several ways. The positive properties of protein powder attract athletes in particular, as it facilitates muscle growth.
What is Whey Protein?
Whey protein is a dietary supplement that is offered as a powder. Basically, whey protein is naturally produced as a component of mammalian milk.
The body needs complete protein, which has the nine essential amino acids because it cannot produce the amino acids independently. However, the proportion of natural whey protein in milk is very low since most mammalian milk consists of caseins.
Humans mainly need protein to build muscle. The body does not differentiate between vegetable and animal proteins. However, the lighter the nutritional proteins, the easier it will be for the body to convert them into body proteins.
Simple intake results in faster muscle development so that athletes in particular consume a high protein content in their diet. If the protein requirement cannot be fully or partially covered by normal foods, a nutritional supplement should be used.
By default, whey protein has an animal origin, so it is not suitable for vegans. Unprocessed whey protein also contains lactose, which means that people with lactose intolerance cannot consume it.
At the same time, there are special preparations of lactose-free whey protein. Lactose was removed from the products in the course of its manufacture, so they are perfectly tolerable by lactose-intolerant people.
Whey Protein Ingredients
The main component of the protein is the homonym serum. This in turn is a byproduct of cheese production and is obtained from curdled milk. Milk is separated from fat and casein beforehand.
Typical of the serum is its greenish-yellow color and its aqueous state. 94 percent of whey is water, with 0.6 percent protein. Therefore, whey contains only a small proportion of protein, which however has the amino acids: isoleucine, lysine, threonine, valine, leucine, methionine, and tryptophan.
All the amino acids contained in whey protein are essential for human muscles, as they consist of up to 35 percent of the so-called branched-chain amino acids ( BCAA ).
The more amino acids a protein has, the easier it will be for the body to absorb them and promote muscle growth. The amount of protein needed is also reduced since proteins with branched-chain amino acids are of higher quality.
With respect to the biological value, which determines cell growth based on a certain amount of protein, whey protein is 104 above chicken eggs, so in many cases, it is better for humans than animal protein.
Types of whey protein
Although whey protein is particularly widespread in the world of sports, there are generally three types of whey protein. The difference is in the protein used. Concentrated whey protein consists of a maximum of 80 percent protein in dry matter, making it the simplest of the types of powder.
Some variants only contain a maximum of 70 percent protein. At the same time, the proportion of lactose or sugar and milk fat is significantly higher than in the other types of powder. Due to the high sugar and fat content of milk, indigestion such as diarrhea and flatulence may occur in some people.
The complexion is also significantly affected. Therefore, whey protein concentrate is not particularly suitable as a sports food.
Isolated whey protein, on the other hand, has very low fat and lactose content. Lactose and excess fat are extracted in the best possible way, which means that pure protein is almost exclusively obtained.
In addition, the powder contains all important immunostimulant substances. With whey protein isolate, there is a difference in terms of manufacturing processes. Unlike ion exchange, no salts are used in microfiltration, so the powder is extremely pure and has a particularly high protein content.
In both manufacturing processes, the protein content of the powder is about 90 percent. The fat and carbohydrate content is very low because it is on average one percent.
Even better than the isolate is hydrolyzed whey protein, which is obtained by hydrolysis. In the course of this process, the existing protein building stones break down into the smallest components, the peptides.
The body can absorb and process small proteins even faster. However, the special manufacturing process ensures that hydrolyzate is the most expensive whey protein. The hydrolyzate also has a very bitter taste, which explains why many people avoid it.
Protein to build muscle
Different types of muscles are distributed throughout the human body, which helps stabilize the musculoskeletal system and perform a wide variety of movements. Strong muscles are required, especially for sports activities but also for daily routines.
Muscles can be improved and strengthened through training. However, the body needs enough nutrients to maintain them. Protein is essential to build muscle.
While most of the required protein can be supplied through standard nutrition, protein powder, such as whey protein, helps provide the body with additional nutrients that promote muscles.
Whey protein as a dietary supplement is particularly widespread among athletes who wish to build muscle. The body can easily convert the whey protein contained in the body’s own protein, making whey protein more efficient than other dietary proteins.
In general, all athletes can use whey protein as a supplement. Above all, bodybuilders and strength athletes like to use the supplement.
Athletes such as cyclists, rowers, and martial arts fighters also support their muscle building and maintenance with whey protein, since high-quality protein is processed quickly and, therefore, helps the construction process.
Whey protein as part of your own diet
As we have said before, protein is especially important for athletes as an integral part of their diet because it supports muscle development. But people who want to lose weight also aspire to high protein content in their diet, since proteins become saturated longer and at the same time have fewer calories per gram.
The protein requirement differs according to the person. In general, the base applies that you should consume between 0.7 and 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight every day. With a standard diet, this means that most foods have to be a direct source of protein or that the protein content must be very high.
For this reason, whey protein is often used as part of your own diet and exercise plan to more easily meet the desired or required protein needs.
However, when whey protein is consumed on a regular basis, care should be taken with what foods and in what form the powder is fortified. Since the protein itself contains calories, those who want to lose weight should mix it with water or low-calorie milk in their shakes.
Protein powder already has its own flavor. However, the powder tastes better with milk. Depending on the type of milk, the percentage of calories increases. Other ingredients, such as nuts and seeds, which are particularly high in fat, can also ensure that protein shakes turn into small calorie bombs.
For this reason, you should always pay attention to your own goal, for example, muscle development or weight loss, and the amount of protein powder needed should fit your own goal.
What is the right time to take whey protein?
Although medical research has shown the effects of whey protein, it is still unknown what the best time to take it is.
The differences in muscle gain due to the different intake times of the dietary supplement, therefore, do not exist in scientific facts to this day. However, differences were found in the variations of existing proteins. Whey protein performed better in these studies because protein biosynthesis began after two hours.
For this reason, there are still no fixed times to take the dietary supplement. However, it is recommended to consume the powder in the morning after getting up or immediately after strength training, because at this point the body needs enough protein.
Benefits of whey protein
Whey protein has numerous advantages over other dietary supplements. First, it is a relatively inexpensive and practical way to build muscle. The powder is available in different flavors and can be used as a drink or as part of dishes.
Therefore, each consumer can independently determine what form of whey protein they want to consume, when and in what quantity. The combination with fruits, nuts, seeds, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, and water is particularly practical since nutritious and practical shakes can be prepared.
Protein is also easy to dose due to its powder form. As a result, the daily amount of protein powder can be easily adjusted and reduced or increased if necessary.
If a person needs more protein and cannot meet the increased protein needs through their standard nutrition, the powder helps a lot here. At the same time, protein powder does not have a fixed time to take it.
The protein can be consumed before or after training and at each meal. It can be consumed in the form of shakes which is practical and easy to drink on the fly.
In addition, the body digests the protein powder quickly, so that the necessary amino acids are released quickly, which in turn are necessary for muscle building and muscle fiber repair.
With pure protein, the body can not only repair muscle fibers, but also strengthen them. Muscles become more resistant, which also significantly improves the entire musculoskeletal system.
The correct dose of whey protein
Since whey protein is designed as a dietary supplement and not as the main food, large amounts of powder can be consumed. However, an appropriate dose should always be used to achieve the desired protein target.
Basically, the daily dose of the powder does not differ when building muscle or losing weight. For each application and meal, a quantity of 30 g of powder is the ideal value. Muscle development is maximally stimulated with an intake of about 20 to 30 g of protein powder per meal, so a higher dose does not promote faster muscle development.
Also with respect to losing weight, the body cannot process a higher dose of protein. Instead, they are fed with additional calories, which in turn makes it difficult to achieve the goal of training or weight loss.
To determine the necessary or correct dose of whey protein per day and meal, attention should also be paid to the general amount of protein. Since between 0.8 and 2 grams of protein per body weight is ideal, the amount of powder should be adjusted accordingly.
On average, the total amount of protein per day, depending on gender and weight, is around 100 grams, which makes it difficult to meet the necessary protein requirements through standard nutrition without adding the powder. Since the body excretes unnecessary proteins at the same time, an overdose by powder is avoided.
The ideal period to take whey protein
Whey protein as a naturally occurring protein powder has no side effects on health when properly dosed.
Therefore, the product of natural origin can be consumed daily and permanently without any health problem. However, care must be taken to ensure that it is a high-quality powder without chemical impurities.
In addition, the intake period must be adjusted to physical needs and activities. In the case of large sports loads, such as special workouts or competitions, the alternative protein source can be consumed throughout the day in the form of own diets.
Protein shakes are part of the daily diet, especially for athletes in high season.
If whey protein is not used to build muscle during exercise, it is considered a popular diet. In the course of milkshake diets, for example, protein powder can be used for the entire diet.
The amount of powder or the number of shakes can also be varied. Often, daily calories are reduced again in the final phase of the diet. In this case, the protein prevents unwanted muscle breakdown.
Side effects of whey protein
Due to the fact that whey protein is a nutritional supplement that is consumed in addition to standard nutrition, the powder is not completely free of side effects.
Allergies, skin problems, and liver and kidney damage are particularly common with excessive protein consumption. Allergies and skin problems, such as an increased incidence of acne and pimples, may disappear again after a while or disappear if the dose of the powder is adjusted.
If skin problems persist, care should be taken to ensure that they are caused by whey protein. In this case, the powder should not be consumed.
Unlike skin problems, liver and kidney damage only occurs after prolonged powder overdose. Since these are serious health conditions, you should always consult your doctor if there is a problem.
To avoid damage to the kidneys and liver due to a high dose of protein powder, a sufficient amount of water should be consumed at the same time.
Differences in protein powder
Whey protein is offered by numerous manufacturers in various flavors and units of weight. Both the price and the composition of the powder differ.
The nutrient table provides information on the quality of the supplement. Good protein powder has a protein content of at least 75 percent. The sugar content of the powder should be less than five percent.
Attention should also be paid to the powder base. The best is whey protein, which is obtained from willow milk. If cows are fed with a new grade, milk contains the ideal proportion of fatty acids and vitamins.
The protein powder obtained also has a fine crystalline texture. If steviol glycosides are used instead of sweeteners, for example, acesulfame K and aspartame, this is also an essential quality feature.