Are you confused about the different forms or protein powder currently available? Do you want to make sure you are using the best form of protein for your goals in the most efficient manner? This guide will help you understand what whey protein is and whether it is the best type of protein powder for your health and fitness goals.
If you didn’t know that protein powders were not all the same, learn that lesson right now. They are not all interchangeable. First determine that whey protein is the right type of protein for your goals, and then learn when to take whey protein to maximize the benefits. If you are going to spend money on a protein powder, you might as well get the most out of it.
Is Whey Protein Right for You?
The term “whey” refers to a liquid byproduct that is created while making cheese.
This liquid contains protein, so it is dried out into a powder form. This powder is concentrated protein with complete amino acid content needed to support protein synthesis to counteract the breakdown of muscle following an intense workout.
What is muscle synthesis? It is simply restoring the protein content in your muscle. Since you break your muscles down while working out, you need to build the muscles back up through a fast supply of protein.
When you supply an adequate amount of protein right after an intense workout, you can increase the amount of muscle mass gained from that workout. Do this consistently over a long period of time and you will see impressive muscle gain results.
Now, why is whey protein powder the best choice for building your muscles up after an intense workout? It comes down to how quickly the protein is processed by your body, absorbed into your bloodstream, and distributed to your muscles. Whey protein makes its way into your muscles in less than an hour, which is much faster than casein protein.
If your health and fitness goals involve muscle gain, then whey protein is likely the best source of protein powder for your body; at least partially. You may still rely on casein protein powder for other needs, but you should use your casein protein differently than you use your whey protein.
When to Take Whey Protein Powder
Since a fast supply of protein is needed to support muscle gain after an intense workout, fast-absorbing whey protein is the perfect after-workout snack. Bodybuilders and serious weightlifters have used whey protein powder immediately after their workouts for many years, but you don’t have to be a bodybuilder preparing for competition to use protein powder to reach your goals.
If you are doing any type of strength training, you should consume a whey protein powder shake immediately after those workouts. Even if you perform intense cardiovascular workouts that leave your muscles sore without lifting any weight, you can support your muscles by providing them with whey protein right after each workout.
What if you don’t workout with enough intensity or weight to justify rebuilding your muscles after an exercise session? You may still use whey protein to pick up your energy first thing in the morning. Since whey is absorbed so quickly into the body, it is a good base if you want to build a breakfast meal replacement shake or energy shake to get your body going. You may want to add fiber, fruits, vegetables, flaxseed powder, and other healthy ingredients to create a healthy shake that boosts your energy and supports your weight loss goals.
Whey Protein and Calories
Now that you know when to take whey protein, how much do you need to take? It is important to look at the amount of protein and the number of calories contained in your chosen powder. If your goal is muscle gain, you may consume a high calorie whey protein to support your muscles while boosting your overall caloric intake for the day.
If your goal is weight loss or you want to develop lean muscle while burning fat, then you will need a whey protein powder that is low in calories and high in protein. Your goal is to minimize your calorie intake without sacrificing the protein your muscles need to function effectively.