Whey protein is a natural byproduct of cheese. During the cheese making process, a liquid byproduct known as whey is created. Liquid whey contains high quality proteins that are beneficial for building and repairing muscle in the human body. Whey protein powder is created from the protein extracted from that liquid whey.

Approximately 25% of this protein source is composed of branched chain amino acids, otherwise known as BCAAs. These essential amino acids are the foundation of protein in the human body, but the body does not naturally create them. They are consumed through your diet, which is why it is so important to eat a lot of protein when you are trying to increase lean muscle mass.

Whey Protein Powder

The best whey protein powder will create a powerful after-workout shake that provides the BCAAs your body needs to repair damage to muscle tissue and recover efficiently. Since whey protein is absorbed into the bloodstream faster than casein protein powder and most vegan or vegetarian protein powders, it is the best shake you can consume after an intense muscle-building workout.

The Benefits of BCAAs

There are four reasons branched chain amino acids are so important to a healthy lifestyle:

1. BCAAs help decrease the amount of damage sustained to your muscles during an intense workout.

2. BCAAs help your muscles recover from intense workouts. They may reduce soreness and ensure your body is ready for the next intense workout.

3. Protein synthesis is regulated with the help of BCAAs.

4. Many users find that they have more energy and can workout longer with less fatigue when they consume the whey protein powder daily over a long period of time.

To maximize these benefits, you must consume the best whey protein powder on a consistent basis. Provide your body with the essential amino acids that it cannot create for itself. That is how you enhance results from your workout program naturally and healthfully.

If you want to pump up your intake of BCAAs, you can purchase these amino acids in bulk and add them to your protein shake. There are also some whey protein powders that add BCAAs to their formula. Some of these products are among the best whey protein powders on the market, and they will be included in my suggestions toward the bottom of this page.

What Is Hydrolyzed Protein Powder?

Hydrolyzed protein powder has been processed to reduce the size of the amino acids. The smaller size allows the body to absorb the amino acids faster. Whey is already the fastest protein powder for the body to absorb, so you could consider hydrolyzed protein powder the Road Runner of protein powders. If you want to use your whey protein powder to support muscle repair after your workouts, this may be the best type of protein for your needs.

More technical information:

The Best Whey Protein Powder – My Suggestions

Now that you understand the best ways to use whey protein, what are the best whey protein powders currently on the market? The following recommendations represent the highest quality whey protein isolates as well as the highest quality hydrolyzed whey protein powders. Some have added BCAAs while others are basic whey powder formulas delivering pure isolates.

If you are looking for vegan protein powder, consider my recommendations for soy protein powderrice protein powderpea protein powder, and hemp protein powder.

Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard

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If you just want high quality whey protein isolates with a healthy dose of BCAAs, this is one of your best whey protein powder options. Each serving contains 5 grams of BCAAs and 24 grams of protein. You can choose between a few delicious flavors with this whey protein powder.

Now Sports Whey Protein Isolate

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This is another basic yet high quality protein powder with a healthy concentration of BCAAs. Each serving contains 25 grams of protein and just 105 calories, so it is an excellent option for those trying to burn fat or lose weight. This powder is unflavored, so you may want to add other ingredients to create a flavor to you enjoy. You can always mix it with other protein powders to increase your protein intake while adding flavor.

Platinum Hydro Whey

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This hydrolyzed whey product is one of the best whey protein powder options for consumption after an intense workout. Whey isolates are hydrolyzed for speedy absorption into your bloodstream, which means the BCAAs reach your muscles to start the repair and recovery process much immediately. Each serving delivers 30 grams of protein and nearly 9 grams of BCAAs. Hydro Whey is a popular option among bodybuilders and weightlifters.

ISO 100 Hydrolyzed

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This is a high quality option for hydrolyzed whey protein with a powerful punch of BCAAs. This formula is gluten-free and offers 25 grams of protein per serving. This is a good option if you are trying to burn fat and lose weight, since the formula is fat and carbohydrate free.

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