Whey Protein: What is it?
Whey protein is the main ingredient in most sports supplements for gaining muscle mass. In its preparation, the milk proteins are isolated and concentrated, being later sold in the form of protein shakes. The solo versions are those in which the powder is purified to obtain minimum fat and lactose percentages. The following article describes the benefits and contraindications of whey protein.
The benefits of taking whey protein are to cover the recommended amount of essential amino acids and stimulate muscle recovery processes. As is the case when taking BCAA amino acids, this supplement improves the functions of anabolism and muscle recovery after muscle hypertrophy training.
Although it is possible to gain muscle mass without whey protein (see bulking diet to increase lean muscle mass ), this supplement allows more precise control of the amount of protein in the diet—a significant fact for those athletes who do not have the opportunity to cook during the day.
Benefits of whey protein
Taking whey protein has three fundamental benefits:
- Improve muscle recovery processes
- Ensure the proper functioning of the body
- Prevent muscle destruction processes
Whey protein isolate is good to cover the recommended dose of protein (approximately 1.5 g per day). To achieve the benefits of whey protein, ensure it is not high in poor-quality ingredients like sugar, additives, and soy.
Studies state that the maximum protein absorption limit is 10g per hour. So it is recommended to either take whey protein or protein foods. An excess of protein will lead to an increase in body fat.
Are there fast and slow proteins?
Whey protein is a fast-absorbing protein. Protein shakes are designed to be absorbed by the body almost instantly. However, other protein supplements, such as pure casein, are interested in a slower rate.
For this reason, some people call casein the slow protein. The absorption difference between casein and whey protein is only 15-20%, which has made it clear that taking casein before bed is not the most important thing for the patient—muscle development.
How to take whey protein?
Here are four ways to take whey protein:
- Take protein with water. It is recommended to drink protein shakes with water to avoid excess calories. Additionally, whey protein can be combined with a wide variety of foods.
- Take protein with juice. When the goal is to increase muscle volume, whey protein can be mixed with juice or another source of simple carbohydrates. The resulting mix is similar to mass gainers or gainers but costs less.
- Creatine Shakes Adding 3-5 g of creatine to a protein shake will help optimize muscle recovery processes. Remember that taking creatine monohydrate improves strength and increases muscle glycogen stores.
- In protein bars. This is the easiest way to include protein in your diet. While it is relatively more expensive than buying protein powders, it can get you out of a bind between meals.
How to buy the best quality whey protein?
To buy this type of good quality supplement, the ideal is:
Read the ingredient list. Cheap isolate may have suspect additives, flavorings, sugar substitutes, and poor quality thickeners in its composition. Saving on the purchase can increase the list of contraindications and side effects.
Check the carbohydrate, protein, and fat content.
Whey protein can vary substantially in carbohydrate, protein, and fat content depending on the price. The most expensive shakes are usually higher in protein and the cheapest in carbohydrates or fat.
Hydrolyzed or laboratory isolates
Hydrolyzed laboratory isolates tend to have better control over their production. This is important to avoid side effects and contraindications of the possible impurities of cheaper shakes.
The higher price is not always equal to the quality.
Some brands can be more expensive, with glossy packaging, and promise magical results. Remember that all proteins are made from milk; they must be purified and produced under strict controls. Read the ingredient list and ask your supplier to taste a portion to distinguish between marketing and quality.
Composition of protein shakes
Whey protein is the main ingredient in protein shakes. These proteins contain essential amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) and B vitamins. In addition, vitamins, magnesium, L-carnitine, and other microelements useful for muscle growth are usually added to protein shakes.
A good quality isolate whey protein should not contain fat, lactose, or added sugars in its composition. Ensure the ingredients and purity list are on the packaging to ensure you don’t buy poor-quality protein shakes. Consuming poor-quality whey protein can cause side effects and contraindications such as gastritis, flatulence, and upset stomach.
Whey protein – contraindications and side effects
Taking whey protein in moderate amounts is considered safe for health. Most of the side effects and contraindications are for people with allergies to any of its components: casein or lactose intolerance.
The most common side effects of taking protein are:
- Skin rash
Low-quality protein brands may have impurities and secondary ingredients with higher additives. Please read the ingredient list carefully before purchasing. If you are allergic, avoid dyes like tartrazine.
Studies indicate that whey protein is not recommended for people with kidney disease regarding contraindications. Excess increases the work of this organ and can cause an increase in the concentration of ammonia. When drinking protein shakes, you should increase the water you drink daily. Adding foods with fiber is an excellent strategy to avoid stomach side effects.
How long does a protein shake last?
While determining exactly how long a protein shake lasts a complex task, as a general rule, whey protein shakes should be taken within 1 hour after preparation.
Microorganisms can use proteins and carbohydrates in protein shakes as energy to reproduce. If there is no water, they cannot grow; but they begin to multiply exponentially when there is.
Whey protein is an ideal medium for bacteria to grow. These microorganisms can grow at a rate of double every 20 minutes, which can be dangerous for your health. (2) To get an idea, a single bacterium can multiply by 2 million in 7 hours.
Whey protein is the main ingredient in a wide variety of sports supplements. Isolated proteins are one of the purest forms of these supplements. Although all accessories made from whey protein are made from cow’s milk, the quality and composition of the different brands vary substantially. Stomach problems often accompany a cheap isolate. Whey protein contraindications are for people with severe kidney disorders and allergies to any of its ingredients.