New to working out? Want optimal gains from your workout program? Need to lose a few pounds? You need whey protein. A by-product of the cheese making process, it contains all the branch chain amino acids your body needs to pile on muscle and boost your post-workout recovery. And because protein helps keep you feeling fuller for longer, it’s also an important part of any fat loss program.
There are lots of protein rich foods, and all form part of a healthy diet. Foods like red meat, chicken, fish, cottage cheese, nuts and soya contain good amounts of protein, but for concentrated protein delivered when you need it, it’s hard to beat the convenience and effectiveness of a whey protein supplement.
Take milk, add rennet and you get curds and whey. The curds go on to become cheese, the whey is a fluid that’s packed full of protein, vitamins and minerals. Now comes the micro filtration stage during which carbs and fats are removed from the solution.
This is important because the finer the filtration process, and the more processing, the more concentrated the final whey protein product. Finally, the remaining liquid is spray dried to form a powder. That’s your basic whey protein.
Whey protein concentrate
The standard cost effective protein supplement, most of the fat and lactose is removed, but some remains. The protein content of different products varies from 25 – 89% – so check before you buy.
Whey protein isolate
At least 90% protein, but containing less amino acids than your basic product, whey protein isolate is a good choice if you’re lactose intolerant. And because natural milk sugars have been removed, isolate is also good bet if you’re on a cutting phase.
Whey protein hydrolysate
Running whey protein isolate through another process called, hydrolysis, pre-digests the protein, by breaking the amino acids into smaller peptide fragments. Whey protein hydrolysate is easy to digest, meaning it gets to where it’s needed faster. Think faster tissue repair and accelerated injury recovery.
Optimise your protein intake by selecting from the vast range of all-in-one protein mixes on the market. Check the ingredients to make sure you’re getting the right protein delivery system for your needs.
How much to take and when
Not all whey protein products are the same strength so it’s important to read the directions on the packet before taking any supplement. As a rule of thumb, if you’re male and into bulking yourself up through resistance training, you’ll need somewhere between 1.5 and 2 g of protein per kg of body weight per day.
For more info, check out our free comprehensive guide to whey protein