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Whey Protein

May 18, 2011 –

Whey Protein is an extremely popular supplement with so many choices it will make your head spin. You can find it everywhere. How do you distinguish one from the other? Which one is best for me? How much should I take? Let’s take a look a those questions as we dive into today’s topic of Whey Protein.

What is Whey Protein vs. other proteins?

Whey refers to the source of the protein. It is left over when milk coagulates and contains everything that is soluble from milk. (Sounds yummy, right?) It is removed after cheese is processed. Processing can be done by simple drying, or the protein content can be increased by removing lipids and other non-protein materials. In its purest form, as whey protein isolate, it contains little to no fat, lactose or cholesterol.

Casein and Soy are other types out on the market. Casein is also derived from milk and has a longer sustained absorption time frame. Hence, many take it before they go to bed. (Learn more about Casein Protein HERE.) However, Whey Protein has long been considered the “Gold Standard” for athletes and is the most popular protein.

What are the benefits of Whey Protein

-Whey protein is a naturally complete protein, meaning that it contains all of the essential amino acids required in the daily diet. It has the ideal combination of amino acids to help improve body composition and enhance athletic performance.

– Whey protein is a rich source of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), containing the highest known levels of any natural food source. BCAAs are important for athletes since unlike the other essential amino acids, they are metabolized directly into muscle tissue and are the first ones used during periods of exercise and resistance training. Whey protein provides the body with BCAAs to replenish depleted levels and start repairing and rebuilding lean muscle tissue.

– Whey protein is an excellent source of the essential amino acid, leucine. Leucine is important for athletes as it plays a key role in promoting muscle protein synthesis and muscle growth. Research has shown that individuals who exercise benefit from diets high in leucine and have more lean muscle tissue and less body fat compared to individuals whose diet contains lower levels of leucine. Whey protein isolate has approximately 50% more leucine than soy protein isolate.

– Whey protein is a soluble, easy to digest protein and is efficiently absorbed into the body. It is often referred to as a “fast” protein for its ability to quickly provide nourishment to muscles.

– Whey protein helps athletes maintain a healthy immune system by increasing the levels of glutathione in the body. Glutathione is an anti-oxidant required for a healthy immune system and exercise and resistance training may reduce glutathione levels. Whey protein helps keep athletes healthy and strong to perform their best.

* Referenced from WheyofLife

Which Whey?

There are so many Whey Protein’s on the market that it can become very confusing very quickly. As with every supplement, not all are created equal. Some protein is not as high quality as others. Many have other proprietary blends and actually contain other supplements in them. Here are some things to look for:

– Look at the ratio of calories to protein.

– Look for the most protein for the least amount of  fat and carbs

– Does it contain Whey Protein Isolates (the purest form)?

– Are there other supplements included?

I have tried (3) different types of Whey Protein.

1) EAS Whey Protein – This was the least expensive and least quality. The taste was also so-so. I stopped using this quite some time ago. However, if you are on a tight budget, it is inexpensive.

2) Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard. This is a good solid whey protein at a middle of the road cost.  You get 24g of protein in a 130 calorie serving, which equates to ~73% protein. This does contain whey protein isolates as the primary source of protein in its overall whey protein blend. It also  contains some digestive enzymes and Glutamine.

3) GNC Amplified Wheybolic Extreme – This is the most expensive, but also the best performing and highest quality Whey Protein. It is 20g protein in a 93 calorie serving, which equates to ~86% protein. This contains ONLY Whey Protein Isolates and Hydrolysates. It also contains a great proprietary blend of amino acids, including 3.6g arginine and 10g of gluatmine. This actually turns into a savings as you do not have to buy L-Glutamine as a seprate supplement.

How Much and When do I take it?

How much is really something that is different to each individual. I use Whey Protein to help crank up my protein intake for the day as I just can’t eat enough chicken or other protein-rich food sources to get where I need to be. I take 60g of Whey Protein along with the 15g that is contained in Shakeology. Many take Whey Protein before they workout and/or 30 minutes after their workout. I put one scoop of Whey Protein in my Shakeology for my morning snack and I take two scoops with water or Almond Milk between dinner and bedtime.

Protein, Protein, Protein

As a general rule, try and have protein in every meal you eat. Whether this is from Whey Protein or another natural protein source. For example, at breakfast time do not just have some whole wheat toast, cook some egg whites that have great protein. If you are having a salad, include some beans. If you are eating meat, chose one rich in protein, like a chicken breast. Having an afternoon snack, choose a protein bar or an ounce of almonds. Protein is so critical to our bodies. Unfortunately, we are surround by mostly bad carbs so it will take a conscious effort to crank up your high quality protein intake. But with new things become habits as we do them day after day. Pretty soon, you will be eating protein throughout the day as part of your daily ritual.

17 Responses to “Whey Protein”

  1. Zella Dubourg says:

    i have heard good things relating to xenadrine. do you suggest me buying it?

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