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Know A-Z of Whey Protein with the help of this guide.

Whey protein is made from milk, that contains proteins of two different types- casein and whey. Casein constitutes almost 80% of milk protein, and the other 20% contains weigh. After the formation of cheese from milk, whey is present in the solid curds and can also be found in the liquid that is left behind.

After the separation, several other processing steps are carried out to make it into a product which is recognized as whey protein by many people. The powder doesn’t have a specific taste and it can be added to milk, protein bars and may also be used in baking. The powder is also used to boost protein in certain commercial smoothies, cereals, bars, and various other food items or can be consumed plain.

Whey Protein components

Whey Protein components

● Alpha-Lactoglobulin
● Beta-Lactoglobulin
● Bovine Serum Albumin
● Immunoglobulins
● Other small components, iron-binding proteins, sodium, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, biotin and vitamin A, C, B1, B2, etc.

Whey is made from many smaller fractions, such as beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, and immunoglobulins. Each of these subfractions has its unique properties, the subfractions of protein are made from amino acids.

Similar to other proteins- beef, egg, chicken, rice, hemp, etc. whey is also composed of the amino acids that are used by the body to grow muscle and repair tissues. Whey has a high concentration of branched-chain amino acids; leucine is present in high concentration because of which it is different from others. Research on some of the best whey protein supplements available in the market, since many brands, have come up with such a product.

What does whey protein do in the body?

For beginners, whey contains all nine necessary amino acids which make it a complete protein. The amino acids are used for protein synthesis. The amino acids are considered essential because our body cannot produce them and therefore they are to be consumed to supply the body with necessary nutrients.

Whey has a higher concentration in the group of three essential amino acids known as the branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. It helps in building muscles and maintaining it. During intense and prolonged workout sessions these proteins provide the necessary energy to the body.

One 25 grams scoop of whey protein has almost 3 grams of leucine, and it is also considered as a necessary nutrient for most athletes as they always look to boost growth, body recovery and performance.

The difference between Whey Concentrate, Isolate and Hydrolysate.

Whey Protein Concentrate

Whey concentrate contains 70-80% protein with a minimal amount of lactose and fat. People misunderstand the fact and think that whey protein concentrate is inferior in quality to isolate, but a concentrate whey protein which is well made is a great choice as compared to whey protein isolate depending on one’s goals.

Though whey protein concentrate contains less amount of protein when compared in terms of weight a concentrated protein which is very good in quality contains other important helpful components that are found in milk.

Good concentrate proteins tend to contain a good level of growth compounds, and they also contain a high level of immunoglobulins and lactoferrin.

Whey Protein Isolate

These proteins are made by removing almost all lactose and fat. As a result, its protein concentration is boosted to almost 90-95%. Some people who suffer from lactose intolerance or face any other issue from milk trust isolate protein more than concentrated protein.

Whey Protein Hydrolysate

This protein is also referred to as a pre-digested protein as because it has already undergone processes due to which it is partially broken down. This reduces the time taken to digest such proteins as compared to the time taken by the other two forms of protein. Whey protein concentrate, as well as an isolated, can be used to make whey protein hydrolysate and this is the reason why its protein content can fluctuate.

Types of processing

ION exchange:

This protein powder is made by running the concentrated powder through ION exchange column to get ION exchanged whey isolate. ION exchange protein powder contains the highest amount of protein per gram, and the higher concentration of protein comes at a cost, many subfraction components of whey is lost that is unique to it.

Micro-filtered whey:

This process is also known as cross-flow microfiltration is carried out by using low temperatures. Very high concentrations of protein are produced, and it also helps to retain the important subfractions and other milk components, lactose content and deficient fat as well.

This natural process is free from the use of any chemicals, and high-end technical filters are used unlike ION exchange, that uses chemicals in the process. The whey isolate prepared by using this process contains a low amount of sodium and high amounts of calcium.

Which is the best type of whey protein

People often assume that whey protein isolate and hydrolysate are more superior as compared to whey concentrate. Studies are still going on to find out which form of protein powder is good for muscle growth and helps in repairing tissues compared to others, you will have to choose the one that fits your budget and will give maximum benefits according to your lifestyle.

If you are looking for a powder that tastes best or has a tight budget to follow then opting the concentrated protein would be the best option. It contains extra carbohydrates and fats which gives a rich, creamy texture to the milk.

On the contrary, if you are on a strict diet and counting your carbohydrate intake whey protein would be the best option for you. Even if you suffer from mild lactose intolerance or you face other GI problems every time you consume a protein shake, you should try whey protein isolate or protein hydrolyzes. However, you can try some of the best whey protein supplements available.

The health benefits of whey protein

Boosts the effects of resistance training

When whey proteins supplements are combined with an intense workout can appear to offer great strength to the muscles and muscle mass just by doing exercise. A study was also reported according to which people who did resistance exercises along with consuming whey protein supplements experienced a 5% greater increase in muscle mass compared to others who did not have supplements.

As far as other forms of proteins are concerned such as casein and soy, whey protein is considered to provide greater improvement in providing strength and size to the muscles. A person who followed 10-week intense workout, men who carried the resistance training program along with consuming supplements of whey protein isolate gained greater strength in body mass, decrease in body fat and improved lean body mass.

Supports healthy weight loss

Protein is known for its fat loss abilities since it the micro-nutrient that fills the requirements of the body as compared to carbohydrates and fat. Diets that are maintained for high protein intake can help boost metabolism and also helps in losing weight. In a study carried out in the year 2008, some participants were suffering from obesity were given whey protein supplement, and those people lost more body fat and were able to maintain good muscles as compared to another group.

However, exercises should not be skipped because you can gain more from your training and protein supplements.

Help reduce hunger

Whey protein is believed to increase satiety, and it also helps in reducing short-term food intake. According to a study in 2009, it was concluded that protein helps in decreasing hunger more than soy or casein. Also, the food that was consumed after having the whey protein was very less after a whey protein meal.

When to consume whey?

Proteins that act very fast are taken in small proportions of 25-30 gms, either before 1-2 hrs your workout or immediately after a workout. Anytime within one to two hours of your workout. Keep in mind not to delay your protein intake of whey may become a barrier in your muscle growth and may also leave you sore for your next session of workout.

Like a dietary protein source – It serves as a good hunger bursting snack that can be opted-in between your meals, or you can also consume it with your breakfast in the form of a smoothie or oatmeal. It can also be used for baking.

In a nutshell

Along with having whey protein supplements make sure to have other necessary healthy fats and complex carbohydrates, so you have enough options available for growth. Even after going through your protein intake diet you are not able to build muscles, try switching some of these whey proteins shakes with some smoothies that contain peanut butter, bananas or an alternative gainer formula.

If you want to gain a systematic routine with whey protein and avoid any problems faced related to digestive problems, you can opt to calculate your daily intake of protein and then try distributing it into smaller portions of 25-30 gms and consume in intervals. After concluding the daily intake of your whey protein and a healthy diet you can easily target the number of portions that need to be taken to hit your daily intake goals.

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