The Quick Guide to Whey Protein Powder
You don’t have to be a total gym rat to know how popular whey protein is. You've seen it at the gym. You’ve seen it advertised online. You’ve seen it in local stores.
What’s the big deal? Does it really do anything to help you get strong?
The short answer is: Yes. Whey protein powder can help you lose weight, get stronger, build lean muscle, and improve your immune system. But no, this isn’t some wonder substance that will magically turn you into Superman.
Just like with the best skincare products for men, choosing the right products is only part of the process. You have to keep up your end too and use the products properly and regularly.
The same goes for whey protein powder. It can enhance your results, but only if you’re sticking to a solid training program and eating right.
How Whey Protein Supplements Help Your Body
You can’t live without protein. Along with fats and carbohydrates, it’s one of three essential macronutrients. Your muscles, organs, skin, and tendons are all built from protein. Your body needs plenty of protein to keep neurotransmitters, enzymes, hormones, and other tiny molecules in order.
Your body also needs amino acids - the building blocks of protein - to repair itself. That’s how you build muscle after a workout, so protein is critical to fast and healthy recovery.
Whey Protein vs. Whey Protein Powder
Whey protein is a natural by-product of the cheese making process. Casein is the protein left in the curds. Whey is the protein in the liquid part of the milk that separates when cheese is made. If you open a yogurt container and see some liquid floating on the top, that’s whey.
So how does that turn into a powder? And why would you even want to do such a thing?
Essentially, whey protein powder is the isolated, filtered version of whey protein. It’s beneficial because it’s Biological Value (the measure of how well the body can synthesize a food’s protein) is very high - even more than milk or eggs. That means your body can easily process whey protein with very little of its nutrients lost during the digestion process.
Whey protein is also great because - unlike many plant based proteins - it contains both essential and non-essential amino acids. So you get extremely absorbable protein along with all the amino acids you need for efficient recovery.
The Benefits of Whey Protein Powder
The big question is - how is whey protein going to help you build muscle? Because you don’t want to waste your money and time on a supplement that doesn’t deliver results.
Consider the research. Researchers published a review of previous investigations into whey protein’s benefits in 2010. It found that supplementing dietary protein with whey protein can “stimulate the greatest rise in muscle protein synthesis.” In younger subjects, it also enhanced post-exercise recovery.
A clinical trial run in 2011 showed that whey protein is also helpful for weight loss. All 90 of the participants were overweight adults. Their diets were not controlled - instead, they were asked to keep eating as usual and to take one of three test supplements. One was whey protein.
At the end of 23 weeks, “body weight and fat mass of the group consuming whey protein were lower by 1.8 kg.”
Should You Use Whey Protein Supplements?
If you want to lose weight, get strong, and increase your protein intake, the answer is yes. Whey protein powder is a safe and effective muscle building supplement. Just be sure to use it along with a balanced diet and a solid training program.