The practice of bodybuilding involves the adoption of a diet rich in protein. In fact, many scientific studies have shown that protein promotes muscle mass gains when combined with resistance training.
However, it is important to know that not all proteins are equal, since they do not provide the same quality and quantity of essential amino acids.
Some, including Whey Protein, are richer than others. It is a particular form of protein known to contain all 9 essential amino acids. The reason why this dietary supplement is so popular with bodybuilding and bodybuilding enthusiasts is because of its ability to increase strength and muscle mass and its quick absorption.
In this article you will discover exactly what this protein is and its beneficial effects on health. You will also see why it is advisable not to abuse it...
Table of Contents
- What is Whey protein?
- Why take Whey
- Buy Whey: Isolate, Concentrate or Hydrolyzed?
- Consuming whey protein: Contraindications
- Dosage and risks of Whey protein
What is Whey protein?
The whey protein, it is a protein powder derived from cow's milk. This product of animal origin is a source of protein with a high biological value because it is full of proteins with a complete amino profile.
It is in fact a protein powder obtained from milk without its casein, its water and fat. The production techniques are not the same for all brands. Some produce Whey from the residues of the manufacture of cheese. It should be noted that this technique, far from being unanimous, is controversial.
However, it should be noted that the purity of the powder obtained depends on the extraction process used. The purity of whey is expressed by the absence of fat (lipids) or sugars (lactose). The more it is filtered, the purer it is.
If you are wondering why take whey, you should already understand that it is characterized first of all by its speed of absorption. A characteristic that gives it many advantages in the world of high-level sport, and particularly in the practice of bodybuilding.
It is the fastest and safest way to provide your body with all the protein it needs to function. Basically, it's an easy to consume supplement that can supplement the protein from meat, eggs, soy and fish that you consume during your meals.
It is therefore a better alternative to other protein sources that can be overpriced. Whey, on the other hand, is accessible and simple to use. Since it is a powder, it is very easy to use in many snacks and meals. All you have to do is mix it with whatever liquid you like. This can be water, coffee or vegetable milk (almond milk for example).
Why take Whey
The benefits of this complete protein are diverse. Here are some of them:
Increases your daily protein intake
Whey protein is known to give a boost to your daily intake. Indeed, the fact that it is called a complete protein is not accidental, but rather due to its composition. It includes the 9 so-called "essential" amino acids (that the human body is unable to synthesize). It is among them that we find the famous BCAA or branched-chain amino acids (Leucine, Valine and Isoleucine).
Among other proteins such as casein, vegetable proteins powdered soy, pea, rice and many others, whey is the most effective.
Protein foods are naturally consumed, but the intake can be insufficient compared to real needs. This is why whey protein supplements are so useful. All you need is to integrate it into a balanced diet.
Supports muscle building and mass
As already mentioned, whey protein is a very popular protein for athletes looking to build muscle mass.
In fact, whey is composed of proteins and amino acids that serve as building blocks for increased muscle growth. The nutrients present in this dietary supplement increase the release of anabolic hormones that stimulate muscle growth.
This protein powder is also rich in leucine. This is an amino acid known to stimulate muscle protein synthesis at the molecular and genetic level.
Whey protein has been shown to be particularly effective in increasing muscle growth when consumed just before, after or during a workout. Muscle protein synthesis is generally maximized in the period following training.
With its rapid absorption thanks to its chain of amino acids and the synthesis of anabolic hormones, Whey offers an incredible capacity for muscle recovery after exercise. Therefore, you will feel less fatigue, soreness and inflammation
It also helps to strengthen bones. According to statistics, for every 100 g of Whey, you can absorb up to 800 mg of calcium. This is really considerable. This supplement can therefore have a protective effect on the bone system.
Helps you lose weight and keep it off
Whey consumption and weight loss are related in case you are wondering. In any case, protein has always been considered a sure-fire ally in weight loss diets.
Those contained in whey are no exception to this principle. They increase the feeling of satiety, which allows them to reduce the appetite.
Did you know that one study showed that consuming 25 % of daily calories in the form of protein reduced cravings by 60 % and the urge to snack at the end of the day by half? That being said, consuming whey protein is a great way to increase your protein intake, which should have major benefits for weight loss.
Other studies have also shown that Whey, when used as a substitute for other calorie sources and combined with weight training, can promote weight loss while increasing lean muscle mass.
Also, the protein in Whey is known to boost metabolism, which generates higher calorie consumption at rest. If you combine its consumption with HIIT sessions, you will burn more calories up to 72 hours after the end of your session.
Other health benefits of whey
Apart from the increase in muscle mass, strength, its slimming benefits and its ability to supplement your daily protein intake, Whey protein has several other benefits on our health.
While further research would be useful, some studies reveal that its consumption favors the reduction of blood pressure. As we all know, high blood pressure is an open door to cardiovascular disease. In fact, there is a correlation between the consumption of dairy products and the reduction of blood pressure. Tests on overweight people have shown that supplementing with Whey for 12 weeks, lowered blood pressure by 3 to 4 %.
This protein derived from milk helps regulate blood sugar levels and therefore reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. According to a 2009 study, its properties are similar to those of anti-diabetic drugs such as hypoglycemic sulfonamides.
Whey's richness in an amino acid called cysteine justifies the many health benefits it provides. In fact, cysteine acts by increasing the levels of glutathione, the main antioxidant substance present in the body's cells.
Buy Whey: Isolate, Concentrate or Hydrolyzed?
We agree, Whey Protein has many beneficial effects on health in general and facilitates the life of bodybuilding enthusiasts.
But what we may not know about this protein of animal origin is that it comes in several variants. We have seen above that depending on the extraction process used, we obtain powders of different purity and concentration. Your choice will depend on your needs and especially on your budget.
Protein Whey Isolate
It is known to be a dietary supplement free of lactose as well as carbohydrates and fats. This is why it is perfect for people who are lactose intolerant.
It compensates for this total absence of sugar and fat by its high protein content, between 80 and 95 %. Moreover, it presents an excellent quality/price ratio. However, it contains fewer nutrients than other types of Whey.
This type of protein is also designed to aid digestion and avoid intestinal problems. It is considered high quality because of its high degree of purity, and it is perfect if you want to reduce your carbohydrate intake.
It is the most widely used type of Whey because of its affordability and effectiveness.
It can be eaten all year round. It is the best way to supplement your protein intake without spending too much money. However, its protein content is lower, between 70 and 80 %.
This third type of "predigested" Whey is easily digested and offers better assimilation. It does not contain lactose either, similar to isolate. Very digestible, hydrolyzed Whey offers an equally high protein content.
Of the three, whey protein concentrate seems to be the best overall option. Not only is it popular, but it is also very nutritious, very beneficial, and most importantly, more affordable.
Consuming whey protein: Contraindications
It is a priori reasonable, even advisable to take Whey protein in order to take advantage of its many benefits. However, this protein is reserved for those who provide more or less intense efforts in sports, especially for bodybuilding. You can also read this article to more about whey protein.
If you do not exercise, there is often no point in taking this protein unless you are deficient in this nutrient. Moreover, replacing meals with Whey is not recommended at all. You must use it in conjunction with a healthy and balanced diet.
For the lactose intolerant, there are also excellent plant-based protein powders with the right amino acid profile. Or, take Whey isolate or hydrolyzed Whey which are lactose free.
Dosage and risks of Whey protein
It is always important to respect the dosage for best use. The recommended dose is 25 to 50 grams of Whey per day, usually after workouts.
Keep in mind that if your protein intake is already high, you don't need to take this complete protein anymore. As you may know, excess protein can cause kidney problems. It is therefore advisable to stay within a daily supply 2 or 2.2 g per kilo of body weight.
In conclusion, we can say that whey protein, commonly called Whey, is a very good protein food supplement. It is a complete protein that has beneficial effects on health.
It is also an excellent way to ensure a sufficient protein intake for athletes or those who have difficulty consuming it in their diet. It is also a great ally for people who are on a diet to lose weight and who do not want to go hungry.
However, as with everything else, it is essential to use it sensibly and maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle. I also encourage you to combine it with other protein sources, such as egg white and pea protein.
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