It is safe to say that Whey protein has become the most popular supplement today. Why? It’s simple. No matter what kind of goal you have, whether that is weight loss, toning, bulking, or something else, you need to have a consistent amount of protein in your diet.
What is whey?
A lot of the fear regarding supplement comes from the lack of knowledge about it. It’s also a lot less complicated than people perceive. Whey is a completely natural by-product of milk that is formed during the production of cheese.
Protein for muscle growth
So why do we need protein for muscle development and repair?
Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks for muscle tissue. Even more specifically, it’s the nitrogen that plays the vital role of tissue growth and repair. The goal is simple, that is, to have a positive protein balance, because that’s how you ensure that there is adequate protein supply for muscle growth. It’s all about ensuring the amount of protein intake/synthesis is greater than protein breakdown.
This is why it is extremely beneficial following a strenuous workout to consume protein as it rapidly ensures there isn’t a net protein loss by facilitating the growth and repair of muscles.
How much do I need daily?
Difficult question to answer. Or let’s say, there’s no one correct answer. Lots of different opinions and perspectives so the easiest way to answer this and make it simpler for you guys is by setting limits. You should at least be having 0.8g multiplied by your body weight in KG of protein. For example, someone who weighs 60KG would need 0.8 x80 = 64g of protein a day.
This is the bare minimum amount you require to ensure healthiness. This amount is insufficient for athletes and people trying to gain muscle mass. Naturally, depending on what your goal is, the amount you require will vary considerably. The upper limit while still being completely safe is around 2g multiplied by your body weight. Any further than this would have no effect on muscle growth, according to studies.
Types of Whey
Which kind of protein shake should one be looking to take? There are 3 main options to choose from.
This is a form of protein that is a derivative of cow milk and is obtained during the production of cheese. During this process, the milk separates into solids and liquids – the solids being the curd and the liquids being whey. Whey Concentrate is arguably the most popular one today, being efficient as well as economical. The protein content can vary by a lot but is usually around 70-80%.
Staying on the topic of protein content, whey isolate is superior with a protein content of at least 90%. Why? Whey Isolate undergoes a further process known as Cross Flow Micro Filtration. Simply put, this separates the protein from the fats, cholesterols, and lactose, resulting in ‘purer protein.’ Because of this, Whey Isolate contains lesser amounts of fat and carbs and a higher percentage of protein. It is ideal for those trying to gain lean muscle without getting the fats and carbs while doing so. The added process is why it costs more than Whey Concentrate.
Casein is the second dairy protein found in milk (Whey being the other). It is the curd that gets left behind in the process we went through above. Whey is considered as a ‘fast’ protein as it gets absorbed in a few hours whereas casein, like most food sources, takes longer to be absorbed. Casein can raise amino acid levels for longer as a result of this, which means that it is an ideal supplement to take at night before bed. Whey is more suited to being consumed as a post workout due to its quick nature.
How many protein shakes should I take a day?
Hopefully, now that you know how much protein you should be taking; this question becomes easier to answer. Once again, it depends on your goal but once you calculate how much protein you’re getting from food sources it should be easy to see how many.
When should I take protein shakes?
Depends on which kind of protein you are taking. Whey can usually be consumed any time of the day due to how quickly it gets absorbed. Most research points towards post workout for optimal results.
Casein is best taken before bed, as mentioned above because it takes longer to be absorbed.