As fast as you enter the gym, the clanking of protein shake thermoses is deafening. And if you are just beginning your journey to six-packs and bulging biceps, you may not even know that everybody is drinking proteins, not water or coffee. You’re about to learn the importance of protein shakes, especially the ones with whey protein.
“Whey protein” – these two words will be your best buddies for a long time to come. If you don’t know what that is, you’ve come to the right place. This is the ultimate guide for beginners with respect to this fabulous protein that you are about to use to become muscular.
Bodybuilding shows results after frequent, intense workouts that take years and never really cease unless you’re 100% happy with what you’ve achieved. However, you can give your body a much-needed boost to reach your objective faster. It’s something that everybody uses to pump up their muscles in a natural way. In this article, you’ll learn what you need to know about this miraculous whey protein, from what it is to what it does and how it does it.
With all these, the most valuable thing you’ll learn in here is why you need to start taking whey protein. First off, let’s take a look at what proteins are.
Proteins are the essential catalysts (molecules) of all the biochemical processes and reactions in our bodies. They’re made of amino acids and are divided into nine categories:
Each of these categories contains uncountable types of proteins.
Proteins also represent one of the three macronutrients, alongside fats and carbohydrates. A deficiency of any of the three can have ugly repercussions on your body. If you will, you can say that they form life as we know it.
Now, closer to the topic of our article here, proteins are extremely important in building up muscles, as well as in repairing them after severe workouts. That’s why 90% of athletes use protein shakes as food supplements. By consuming them, they make sure they get the optimal level of proteins that they need.
It may sound weird, but sometimes you simply cannot get all the proteins you need just from food. This is where supplements come in handy and save the day. However, this doesn’t mean that you should replace all your meals with supplements. That’s not the right way to go.
Proteins usually come from food. Still, as you’ll see later on, they can be purchased as a powder and mixed with water or milk.
There are some fantastic sources of proteins right in your refrigerator: eggs, yogurt, soy, meat, beans, cheese, meat, oats, chicken breasts, broccoli, fish and many others.
They can also be found in a variety of fruit: guavas, bananas, apricots, kiwi, passion fruit, pomegranate, jackfruit, avocados, as well as in nuts and seeds (which, by the way, have unbelievable quantities of proteins).
Pumpkin seeds, pistachios, almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, and pecans, among others, are extremely rich in proteins.
Although many foods have proteins, you should also keep an eye on how many calories and fats they have. You must go with the ones with the lowest levels of fats and calories if you want to lose weight. By contrast, you’ll have to opt for foods that are packed with fats, proteins, and carbohydrates if you want to gain mass. Now let’s move on to the main focus: whey protein.
Milk has two proteins. One of them is, of course, whey protein. The other one is casein, which is also used in bodybuilding thanks to its muscle building properties. Casein and whey are separated when milk is turned into cheese, more precisely when the anticoagulant is added to it.
In short, whey protein is found in the watery part of milk. Whey protein is especially beneficial because it does not trigger allergies. It’s casein that is allergenic for some people with lactose intolerance.
In terms of whey protein that is being used as a standalone supplement, it can be either a concentrate or isolate. Whey protein concentrate contains 80% pure protein – let’s say you take 100 grams of powder-80 grams out of 100 are pure protein.
Whey protein isolate can contain up to 90% pure protein. Another difference between whey protein and casein is the speed with which the body absorbs them. This is important because your muscles need immediate repair after each workout. You cannot see this happening, but small cuts scar them when they’re stressed. Protein heals those cuts; that’s one of its main tasks.
How does it taste? Whey protein tastes quite unpleasant on its own, that’s why whey protein powder is usually flavored. Strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla are the most common flavors of whey protein. The powder can be mixed with other things, such as fruit, to get a fantastic smoothie.
Whether you want to lose weight, gain weight or simply get some additional protein to your body, whey protein is the best candidate for all those three circumstances.
But there is something that people tend to forget when they start taking whey protein: it is not a meal replacement. That is to say that you couldn’t live solely off of it. It is beneficial only when coupled with a proper, healthy diet. There are two dangers that loom when you cease eating properly, thinking that your body gets everything it needs to function just from powder. Those are malnutrition and overdose.
Even though proteins are indispensable, they still can cause issues, from mild to severe, when taken in excess.
First of all, they can ruin your digestion.
Secondly, they may even provoke kidney problems. Your kidneys can overload because they function at maximum power (and they moonlight, too) to process the proteins.
But when we talk about all of these health concerns that are posed by whey proteins. Surely, we’ll also talk about all of its benefits.
As we mentioned, protein isolates are the purest forms of protein that will help you get your protein benefits more efficiently, without mixing it with other compounds. Sure, the best whey protein isolate may be a tad bit more expensive than its concentrate counterpart; but it’s also the more effective one.
Also, if you have an intolerance to lactose, the best protein isolate will be much kinder to you than protein concentrate. Since it‘s isolated from the other minerals, it will cut down (and in some cases, eliminate) the risks of gas and upset stomach.
Since protein isolate is so pure, it will easily be absorbed by your body, allowing your muscles to grow and recover much quicker. It’s pretty much the fastest way to reach your results, which is why you need to know how to choose it.
Basically, when you are buying a whey protein powder, make sure that you have the following on the ingredients list: protein isolate and protein hydrolysate. Seeing other types of protein there won’t make it bad – but you can be sure it won’t be the best one. Read the label carefully before choosing the best whey protein isolate product.
Whey protein has four main advantages when consumed for fitness purposes. That’s why it is not surprising that it is the #1 choice for the vast majority of bodybuilders/trainees/rookies.
If you are already a professional bodybuilder or just a beginner, for that matter, whey protein is everything you need. Why? Because it is all natural! For years on end, the go-to helping hand was steroids. You may already be familiar with what they are and what they do.
First of all, using steroids to grow muscle is cheating. You don’t really make so much effort. Secondly, they come with an extensive set of side effects - baldness, acne, liver problems, increased chances of heart attack and stroke, depression and mood swings, as well as aggressiveness. Those should suffice to scare you off and make you loathe steroids for the rest of your life. You can find examples of how dangerous these steroids are just by searching on Google for extreme cases.
Whey protein offers real benefits, and it doesn’t pose any health risk unless it is consumed in excess. Thus, you shouldn’t wonder “Which are the best steroids for me?” but “Which is the best whey protein for me?”
There’s this myth going among women that they shouldn’t consume whey protein because “it will make you look bulky.” However, that is not exactly true. Protein is there to make you strong and fit – according to your physique. Therefore, if you are a woman consuming protein, you won’t just suddenly turn into a man.
If you choose to eat chicken instead of chocolate and decide to lift weights instead of shopping bags, you won’t become overly ripped. Since your muscles do not contain as much testosterone as the muscles of men, you won’t bulk up like they would. Instead, you will get lean muscles that will make you look sexy and ladylike.
Here’s exactly why women should add the best whey protein to their diet:·
Since whey protein is high in amino acids and protein, women will benefit the most out of taking these supplements. Whey protein promotes a healthy immune system, but will also help ladies build more muscle – which will, in turn, lead to a faster metabolism.
When taken in the right dosages, whey protein will also give you that fresh look you’ve been dreaming of. Over time, it will make your hair grow nice and shiny and your nails will be long and strong. It will also prevent bone conditions (and we know all too well how women are predisposed to these kinds of problems).
So how much whey protein should you actually consume to get those nice, woman-like lines? Well, it generally depends on how much you weigh and how active you are. Manufacturers advise that women should take one scoop of whey protein powder every day (approximately 20-25 grams).
Here you have an example of a woman-designed whey protein recipe:
Mix these together, and not only will you have a nice whey protein drink for women, but also a tasty drink for a hot day.
The best time to take this type of protein is either before or after a workout. If your plan is to exercise sparingly and lose some weight, it might be best to take the whey protein in the morning, before starting your daily activities.
As opposed to women, men have entirely other reasons to add the best whey protein in their diet. However, technically speaking, there is no difference in whey protein between men and women.
Whey protein powders for women don’t have compounds that are harmful to men just as whey protein for men doesn’t have extras that are not suitable for women. The only difference comes with the effects and the dosage.
While the best whey protein will make a woman look beautiful and slim, men will gain other advantages. Since they have high testosterone levels, the whey protein will react by making the muscles grow and giving you that “bulky” look. So, as you can see, it’s not about the type of protein – it’s about how the body reacts to the protein.
Still, how much you take will depend on your level of activity. This is how most nutritionists recommend that you go about it:
Therefore, if you are a regular Joe that only works out now and then, you’ll need about 60 grams of protein to keep you going. On the other hand, if you are already a bulky man over 160 pounds, the best whey protein for you will be around 130 grams (which you will split into smaller doses throughout the day).
Here’s an example of a delicious whey protein recipe for men:
The whole mix will have 485 calories and 60 g of protein, which is enough to keep you going until your next meal.
Long story short, when it comes to dosage, it’s basically this: men eat for two. So, if a woman takes one scoop, men should go for two scoops. Their muscles are “hungrier” too, which is why you will need a higher dosage than women.
There’s a good reason why the best whey protein helps you with weight loss: it’s by far one of the most fulfilling macronutrients that not only makes you feel well-fed but also boosts your metabolism. Therefore, if you would normally consume 80 calories per day, switching to protein will bring the calorie burning to 100.
Plus, since protein makes you feel satiated, you won’t have the need to consume even more calories. It will also cut food cravings by 60%. As a result, going on a whey protein diet will make you automatically eat approximately 450 calories less per day.
Many studies show that if you replace your calorie sources with the best whey protein and mix it with some sort of strength training (such as weight lifting), you can lose up to eight pounds a lot faster while increasing your muscle mass.
For instance, a study in 2006 had three groups of people consuming 60 grams of whey protein, soy protein or carbohydrates respectively. After six months, the researchers noticed a significant drop in weight with the subjects taking whey protein as opposed to those on soy protein or carbohydrates diets.
Here you have an example of a whey protein recipe that will allow you to lose weight:
Shake this by hand and drink it before or after the workout. The whole recipe has only 275 calories.
The bottom line is that whey protein can boost your metabolism. It increases its capacity to burn calories. Moreover, protein makes you feel more fulfilled, reduces your appetite and therefore you won’t eat as much. As a result, you will lose that annoying weight while developing your lean muscles.
Muscles are not the only beneficiaries of whey protein’s amazing properties. There are a lot of bodybuilders that do not even know that this type of protein has a lot of other things to offer besides muscle increase. There’s not much education in this respect.
Whether or not you’re aware of it, whey protein works its magic throughout the body, helping with an assortment of conditions.
Although whey protein is an inherently good thing, it is not 100% healthy if you take too much of it. You might be asking yourself: “How can it be bad once the body’s full of it anyway?” Your body is full of blood. Do you inject more blood into your veins on a regular basis? Hopefully not. Your body is full of bones. Do you implant more bones? God no.
The bottom line is: the body knows how much of a certain something it needs. Proteins make no exception from this universal rule. In the following, we’ll emphasize the things to which you’re exposing yourself when consuming more protein than you need.
These are the main unpleasant reactions of excessive intake of whey protein. As good as that best whey protein powder or best whey protein isolate may be, do not overuse them.
Now, you might be wondering “When should I use this protein?”. Well, read on to find out the answer.
Protein powder is a food supplement. It gives you some extra proteins you couldn’t otherwise gather from what you eat. This is especially beneficial for those who suffer from congenital protein deficiency and need an external intervention.
If you are sure that you take all the protein you need just from food, then there’s no reason to use protein powder. You’d be spending money you could spend on something else you actually need.
Whey protein is a better way of gaining weight than counting calories, for instance. It takes a lot of time to do it, and it’s so easy to fall back into temptation.
If you truly need additional proteins, you can make protein shakes. It would be ideal to drink a shake 1 hour before the workout and 1 hour after. Because this protein is absorbed very fast by your body, you can rest assured that your muscles will be repaired and developed at the same time.
As for how you can consume it, there are two main ways of doing this. Make a smoothie by blending a variety of fruits + protein powder and some aroma enhancers like honey, cinnamon, yogurt, etc. Also, you can add it to your cereal or oatmeal bowl.
But then again, you don’t need it if you have a balanced, healthy diet. Whey protein is truly helpful for bodybuilders that are already professional enough to do incredibly heavy workouts that demand a lot from their bodies. It’s up to you, however, if you’ll take whey protein or not, as long as you don’t overdose on it.
All over the place. A simple search on Google for the “best whey protein for women” or the “best whey protein for weight loss” can return numerous sites that sell whey protein.
You should always keep in mind one thing: if a product says it’s the best whey protein, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best for you. The title “best whey protein” is usually the first sign that you’re prone to be tricked into buying something that may not work for you. That’s why reading the labels is extremely important.
Whey protein can also be found in any fitness store or even in the supermarkets. You’ve got plenty of places to take it from, so this shouldn’t be a problem for you.
Once you’ve purchased it, you can make DIY delicious smoothies that will feed you with proteins and quench your thirst on hot summer days. Here are two recipes for you.
Ingredients: 1 banana, 1 cup of strawberries, 8 oz. almond milk, one scoop of whey protein powder, 1 tbsp. of peanut butter.
Blend all of these high-protein ingredients together and enjoy the taste. You can add ice cubes if you want. This shake will provide you with 29.8 grams of proteins, 37.5 grams of carbohydrates and 394 calories.
Ingredients: 1 cup of oatmeal, 2 scoops of whey protein powder, ½ cup of strawberries, blueberries (same quantity), 16 oz. of almond milk, 1 scoop of peanut butter.
Nutritional value: 57 grams of proteins, 46 grams of carbohydrates and 599 calories.
This is the ultimate protein-bomb, and it’s so easy to make! This is probably the very best whey protein shake you can make yourself in your kitchen. It’s less likely that you’ll get this huge amount of protein from a single meal.
Smoothies represent a great way of consuming whey protein because you decide what ingredients go in them. You could probably purchase smoothies, but there will always be that element of surprise. You will not know what exactly is in them.
So, by making your own smoothies, you eliminate the risk of drinking harmful substances.
In case this type of protein doesn’t work for you, you have other options: egg white protein, hemp protein, pea protein, rice protein and proteins from mixtures of plants.
They are as efficient as the protein derived from whey. Don’t you worry, you can find them as powder, as well. In case you don’t want protein powder, you can change your lifestyle and most importantly your diet. Incorporate foods that are rich in proteins in it.
Another quite remarkable alternative is represented by protein bars. You’ve probably seen them in all the supermarkets you’ve ever set foot in. They’re fairly cheap and so rich in proteins that it almost seems surreal. Instead of eating a bag of chips filled with harmful ingredients, you could eat two protein bars.
Whey protein is beneficial for every aspiring bodybuilder out there. It is natural and doesn’t pose immediate threats to one’s health if it is consumed in moderate amounts. Whey protein is all-the-more important because it can replace steroids and plenty of other compounds that are not supposed ever to be consumed.
The best decisions are the informed ones. Do some research and see what would be the best type of protein for you. Even if this one is fantastic and it genuinely has some advantages, it might not be suitable for your needs. If whey protein indeed proves to be your greatest option, then, by all means, go with it. If not, you still have all those alternatives close at hand.
Also, if you suffer from any of the conditions that we mentioned all throughout this article, speak with your doctor before using protein powder. It can worsen your condition. Now you know everything there is to know about proteins: what they are, what they do and how they do it. This, however, does not justify excessive consumption. Also, you shouldn’t use it before talking to a doctor or dietitian.
With all these being said, start working out in order to reach the perfect physical shape you aim for!