Whey Protein Powder For Muscle Building

Where Does It Come From & What Is It?

Whey protein is derived from fermented milk, or more specifically, when milk gets turned into cheese. Whey-protein is without a doubt the most popular muscle building supplement and if you could take only one supplement to help you build muscle, whey-protein powder would be it.

A high quality protein supplement will mostly include whey-protein in the form of whey concentrate, whey isolate and whey hydrolysate.

Whey-protein naturally contains high amounts of branched chained amino acids or BCAA’s (leucine, isoleucine and valine). When you are looking for a high quality protein powder, make sure that the majority of the whey comes form whey isolates and hydrosilates.

A high quality protein powder will contain either whey isolate or hydrolysate (more expensive forms) as the first ingredient and whey concentrate (least expensive) as second or third.

You can also purchase whey isolate, hydrolysate or concentrate powder only, meaning that the powder will only contain one of the three sources of whey protein.

Whey protein hydrolysates and isolates have a higher BV (biological value), and thus have a better effect on protein synthesis and are easier and quicker absorbing than whey concentrate.

The best time to take whey-protein powder is immediately after an intense workout. It’s at this time that your muscles are like a sponge ready to absorb all of the essential amino acids from whey. Mix your protein powder in low-fat milk or water, or if you prefer you can mix it with 100% fruit juice.

To get the most out of your post workout whey-protein shake, for muscle building and workout recovery, I recommend that you consume at least 25 grams of whey protein immediately to no more than 30 minutes after you finish your final set in the gym.

Note: Whey-protein can cause stomach discomfort in some individuals. If you are lactose intolerant, you may want to try using soy protein instead of whey-protein and see how your body responds. Stomach discomfort can also be caused by artificial sweeteners that most whey-protein powders contain.

If you experience gas, bloating, cramps, headaches, fatigue or any other bothersome symptoms after ingesting whey-protein powder, try switching to naturally sweetened whey-protein powder instead of the artificially sweetened powders.

All proteins (including whey) are made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. There are 20 amino acids that must combine to form a complete protein. These are:

Aspartic acid
Glutamic acid

Of the above 20 amino acids, there are 9 that cannot be made by your body and must be consumed in your diet. These are: Leucine, Isoleucine, Lysine, Phenylalanine, Methionine, Histidine, Threonine, Valine and Tryptophan.

Complete protein sources (such as whey) contain all of the amino acids (including the 9 essential amino acids), are used by your muscles more efficiently, and are of higher quality than incomplete protein sources such as vegetables, wheat and soy.

The Best Time To Take Whey Protein

Since whey-protein is very fast digesting, other than immediately post-workout, the 2 other best times to take whey-protein are immediately after waking up in the morning (to feed starving muscle tissue from overnight fasting period) and also before training with weights.

Whey Protein Safety

Whey-protein is considered to be a safe supplement for most individuals. If you have kidney problems or any issues with your kidneys, then you’d be better off not consuming whey-protein.

Studies have shown that whey-protein is perfectly safe even if consumed in very large quantities on a daily basis (200-400 grams). Most professional bodybuilders consume large amounts of protein and whey-protein with no reported side effects from its high intake.

Since whey-protein needs water to be metabolized, be sure that you’re drinking enough water every day while taking whey-protein and be sure to avoid dehydration.

Whey Protein and Weight Loss

Individuals looking to lose weight can benefit greatly from supplementing with whey-protein. Since your body has to burn calories in order to metabolize and digest protein, taking whey-protein powder for weight loss will speed up your metabolism and increase lean muscle mass (lean muscle mass also burns calories).

Whey-protein also makes you feel full so it’s ideal to take it 30 minutes before a meal for hunger management, appetite suppression and long-term weight management.

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