- When To Take Whey Protein
- What Is Whey Protein?
- What Is Whey Protein? The Popular Protein Supplement Explained
- What is whey protein?
- Why do I need whey protein?
- What are the different forms?
- How much do I need?
- When do I take it?
- Myprotein Pro THE Whey+
- SiS Advanced Isolate+
- Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey
- Maximuscle Max Whey
- Myprotein Clear Whey Isolate
- Supreme Nutrition Diet Whey
- Whey protein: Health benefits, side effects, and dangers
When To Take Whey Protein
May 4, 2018 Gemma Peakman July 25, 2019
Whey protein – while arguably the most talked about – is just one of several types including casein, egg and soy. So what makes whey so special in the world of sports nutrition supplements? What sets it apart from the rest? And, most importantly, when should you take it to achieve maximum results?
I’ll tell you. But first…
What is Whey Protein?
Whey protein is an all-natural by-product of cows’ milk which comes to be during the production of cheese.
To avoid going into too much detail, we’ll keep it simple: During industrial cheese production, rennet (a complex set of enzymes) is added to milk which separates the milk into curds and – you guessed it! – whey.
Because it’s naturally occurring, it has just the right proportion of essential and branched-chain amino acids. This means that it has something called a high biological value.
What does that mean?
In layman’s terms: It’s good for you. We (as humans) digest it quickly and our muscles reap the benefits.
Concentrate vs. Isolate and Hydrolysate
Depending on the production process and in particular how the whey is filtered, there are a few specific types of whey protein.
When the curds and whey are continuously filtered, its protein percentage drops to anywhere between 30 and 90 percent. The whey solution is then warmed and spray dried and – ta da! – you’ve got protein powder. When the powder still contains a small amount of lactose and fats, you have whey concentrate.
When producing whey isolate, water is removed along with bits of the lactose and fats. This leaves you with a final product with 95 percent protein concentration.
Finally, whey hydrolysate is broken down by enzymes. This ‘pre-digestion’ allows amino acid peptide bonds to be broken down into smaller chains which allows the protein to be more quickly absorbed into the body. Quicker absorption means faster-acting amino acids. This type is best consumed directly after a workout.
But more on that later.
How is Whey Protein Different From Other Proteins?
Different types of proteins have different absorption rates within the body. This absorption rate is the biological value of the protein. Remember (up there) we mentioned that whey protein has a high biological value? Check out the chart below to see how it stacks up to the other types of protein. A score of 100 indicates maximum amino acid digestibility.
|Protein Type||Biological Value|
With absorption rate and biological value in mind, let’s answer the question of the hour.
When Should I Take Whey Protein?
There is no hard rule that dictates when. Of course, there are benefits to taking whey protein at different times, as is the case with other supplements creatine.
While there are several benefits of whey protein, the most notable is how it helps in muscle recovery. With that in mind, it should go without saying that the two most important times for you to incorporate whey protein into your diet are before and after a tough workout.
By ingesting 20-30 grams of whey 30 minutes to 1 hour before your workout, you’re setting your body up for success. You’ll create a positive nitrogen balance, helping to increase endurance, stimulate protein synthesis, and encourage muscle growth. Why not go for WHEY PLUS RIPPEDCORE which offers 20 grams of protein per serving.
Alternatively (or in addition to!) your pre-workout, you should look to finish a protein shake with up to 40 grams of whey no more than 30 minutes after an intense training session.
After the stress of a workout, your muscles need amino acids to aid in repair.
As we’ve said, whey protein absorbs quickly into the system and is therefore the perfect choice when looking for a fast-acting and powerful supplement that’ll help you meet your fitness goals. You can choose any product from our recovery range to help you.
You can also take whey protein first thing in the morning.
By getting a good 20-40 grams of protein as soon as you wake up, you’re ending your overnight fast, restocking glycogen stores, and subsequently stopping muscle breakdown.
This high dose of protein will also support fat loss, increase energy levels and can even help with concentration. Consider our WHEY PLUS HARDCORE which offers 26 grams of protein per serving.
For the same reasons as it’s a good idea to drink a protein shake first thing in the morning (or chuck it in with your morning coffee –read more here) or take it right before bed.
While it may seem counterproductive to sip at night, you’re actually helping your body stock up on the nutrients it needs before entering a catabolic state.
If your body has amino acids from protein, you’re discouraging muscle breakdown.
Where to Find Whey Protein?
As you might have been able to guess, because whey protein comes from milk and the cheese making process, you can find whey in those products.
Specifically look for whey protein in:
- Ricotta Cheese
- Skim Milk
- Parmesan Cheese
While – yes – you can get up to 10 grams of protein from these foods, they’re also high in other not-so-great ‘nutrients’ sugar lactose and fat.
To supplement foods this, look at making high-protein shakes. We’ve organised our products so that you can shop ‘shop by timing’. For delicious protein shake recipes, check out this blog.
A healthy anabolic drive and a high solid diet is what gives you aggression in the gym,…
What Is Whey Protein?
Whey protein is a popular diet supplement among people of all ages. Baby formulas include it, as do nutrition shakes for the elderly. Weight-loss supplements contain whey powder as an appetite suppressor, yet young men buy whey protein powder by the gallon in hopes of building muscle mass.
Much of whey protein's appeal is in its texture. Whey is the liquid left behind when milk is turned to cheese.
The protein in whey is one of the two main proteins in milk, the other is a protein called casein.
(When an acidic substance such as vinegar is mixed into milk, these two proteins will separate — the casein proteins glob together to form solids called curds, leaving the whey as a liquid.)
Whey protein may show up in your favorite baked goods or ice cream as a way to replace the consistency of fat without the actual fat.
all proteins, whey protein is made of building blocks called amino acids. Protein in the body is primarily used for muscle growth and to repair tissues. When people digest food, they break down the proteins into amino acids, and then use those amino acids to build new proteins.
Body builders prize whey protein as a good source of the amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. Together these amino acids make up the BCAAs (3-branched chain amino acids) that are important in building muscle. There are nine essential amino acids that humans must get from food to survive and thrive. In addition to BCAAS, whey protein also contains all the essential amino acids.
Early studies have linked whey protein supplements with a stronger immune system and athletic endurance. But whey protein supplements are touted as a way to increase energy, fight stress and improve mental focus.
Very early studies indicate whey protein may have a role in the body's cancer-fighting abilities.
Whey protein is also said to help control blood sugar, lower cholesterol, treat asthma and possibly prevent allergies.
Do whey protein supplements work?
Whey protein supplements can certainly provide high-quality protein in the diet. But most health organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommend getting your protein from food and not supplements if given the choice. Meat, poultry, fish, legumes, tofu, eggs, nuts, seeds and milk are all good sources of the essential amino acids people need.
Early studies have shown taking whey protein supplements before or after exercise can improve muscle strength, lean-muscle growth and immunity. One study of 387 U.S. Marines put protein supplements to test during basic training.
At the end of 54 days, the protein-supplemented group showed stronger immune systems, with 33 percent fewer medical visits than the Marines given a placebo, or a carbohydrate and fat supplement. Marines taking the protein supplements also experienced less muscle soreness and had 28 percent fewer medical visits for muscle and joint problems.
The members of the group taking protein supplements were also less ly to visit doctors for infections during the study, published in 2003 in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
Among other protein supplements, small studies show whey protein may have an edge at increasing muscle mass.
In one study, researchers at the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Connecticut divided 63 men and women into groups receiving a soy supplement, a whey supplement or a carbohydrate supplement.
Over the course of a nine-month training regimen, researchers found that those taking whey protein gained several more kilograms of muscle mass than people taking the other supplements, according to the 2013 article published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
But the timing of taking whey protein supplements can change how effective they are.
A 2009 joint statement by the American Dietetic Association (ADA), Dietitians of Canada (DC) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) noted that eating protein during exercise did little to improve athletic performance.
The statement recommended eating a low-fat, high-carb snack that is moderate in protein content before exercise, to make fuel available to the muscles.
Protein digested after exercise provides the amino acids the body needs to repair and build new muscles. Eating whey protein right after exercise could be especially useful because whey protein has a high level of leucine, an easily absorbed amino acid, according to Joslin Diabetes Center.
Many of whey protein's purported health benefits are linked to a powerful antioxidant called glutathione. People with HIV, liver disease, diabetes and various cancers can all develop low glutathione levels in the body.
The body can make its own glutathione from the amino acid cysteine, and whey happens to be high in cysteine. Studies confirm eating whey protein increases the levels of glutathione in the body.
However, there is only preliminary evidence investigating whether whey protein has a meaningful effect on the health of people with conditions linked to low glutathione.
Small studies done in people show whey protein may have a modest effect on asthma symptoms, inflammation after stroke and some liver conditions by indirectly increasing glutathione levels.
Animal studies show whey protein supplements fed to rats can prevent inflammation and early signs of complications from obesity and diabetes, according to a 2012 review published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease.
The review also found promising evidence that whey protein can trigger the release of hormones that make people feel full, and very preliminary evidence that whey protein may help lower high blood pressure.
Whey protein also shows a potential for lowering blood sugar. A study of 14 people with type 2 diabetes found that combining whey protein with a high-sugar meal increased people's insulin production and quelled the expected blood sugar spike following the meal. The study was published i 2005 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Are whey protein supplements safe?
The safety of whey protein supplements depends largely on the dose. Most Americans eat twice the protein they need, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Excess protein of any kind will be stored as fat in the body, and can increase the risk of dehydration.
Too much protein may also increase a person's risk for calcium loss and osteoporosis. That's because acids are released into the bloodstream when protein is digested, and the body uses calcium to neutralize these acids.
It is possible that the extra calcium needed will be leeched from bones, according to the NIH. However, studies are inconclusive on this point.
Some research shows high-protein diets are correlated with more fractures, but other research has found people with high-protein diets have increased bone density, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.
Athletes can safely eat more protein than people who are not physically active. In fact, an athlete who does not get enough protein will sustain some muscle damage and take longer to recover. The average person needs 0.8 grams of protein a day per every kilogram of body weight.
This translates to about 50 to 65 grams of protein a day, or roughly 4 ounces of meat and 1 cup of cottage cheese. On the other hand, an athlete may need 1.2 grams or even up to 2.
0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight a day, according to various statements by the American Dietetic Association, the American College of Sports Medicine and the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
Because whey is a dairy product, people with milk allergies should avoid whey protein. People who are lactose intolerant should also take caution. Different whey protein powders can vary in calories, and fat and lactose content.
Whey protein isolate is 90 percent protein and contains little to no fat, cholesterol or lactose. But whey protein concentrate can have 29 to 90 percent protein, and as the proportion of protein goes down, the fat and lactose content in a whey protein supplement increases.
Protein supplements of any kind may cause additional strain on the kidneys if a person has a kidney condition.
Most supplements on the market haven't caused problems, but there is less oversight of supplements sold in the United States than of prescription drugs.
In their joint statement, the American Dietetic Association and the American College of Sports Medicine noted some cases of protein supplements also containing anabolic steroids. One 2010 experiment by Consumer Reports tested 15 protein drinks purchased online or from stores in the New York metro area.
The study found three products that would exceed the daily limit of arsenic, cadmium and mercury set by the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention if a person consumed more than the three recommended servings.
Whey protein may also interact with some medications. Whey protein supplements can decrease the effectiveness of the Parkinson's drug levodopa.
Whey protein supplements may also reduce how much of the osteoporosis drug alendronate is absorbed by the body, making the medicine less effective. Whey protein supplements may reduce the effectiveness of quinolone and tetracycline antibiotics.
People with diabetes may experience changes in blood sugar when taking protein supplements.
It is best to talk to your doctor about your athletic goals and personal needs before starting protein supplements. Overall, the International Society of Sports Nutrition considered a short-term regimen of whey protein supplements safe for most healthy adults.
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What Is Whey Protein? The Popular Protein Supplement Explained
If you go to gym to lift weights, do cardio or both, or you regularly pound or pedal the pavement for your fitness fix, eating lots of protein will help rebuild and repair the damage done to your muscles for a stronger, leaner body.
A quick and easy way to increase your intake is a protein shake made with whey powder.
So if you want to build a bigger, stronger and leaner physique, consider investing in a tub of high-quality whey protein powder, the ones we recommend below, to give your muscles all they need to grow.
What is whey protein?
Whey is a by-product of the cheese-making process – the liquid left over once the milk has been curdled and strained. In its powder form, it’s one of the most popular sports nutrition products in the world because of its availability, cost and effectiveness.
Once consumed whey is rapidly digested and absorbed by your digestive system so it gets into your bloodstream and then your muscles very quickly, which is beneficial after training when you need to initiate the recovery process.
Whey comes in four forms, all of which are abundant in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), the crucial elements in rebuilding and repairing the muscular damage caused by working out.
Why do I need whey protein?
If you are following any sort of exercise programme, whether it’s based around weights, cardio or endurance training, then you may benefit from more protein than the UK government’s current recommendation of 55g per day.
Whey offers a quick and easy way to increase your daily intake, especially after your training session when you might not be inclined to cook and eat a full meal. But it’s important to remember the clue is in the name of supplements – they are designed to fill in the nutritional gaps of a complete and varied diet.
Getting the majority of your daily dietary protein from red and white meat and fish is the way to go, because you’ll also consume the essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients vital to optimal health.
What are the different forms?
Whey protein powder comes in four forms: concentrate, isolate, hydrolysate and native.
Concentrate whey protein is typically lower in fat than other forms and has higher levels of carbohydrates from lactose, the type of sugar found in milk products, and bioactive compounds. The protein content by weight can be anywhere between 30% to 90%.
Isolate whey protein is processed to remove fat and lactose, but is also lower in health-boosting bioactive compounds. The protein content by weight is at least 90% .
Hydrolysate whey protein is pre-digested and partially hydrolysed, which means water is added during the production process to break down the constituent compounds to make them easier for the body to digest, but this increases the cost.
Native whey protein is the purest form because it is extracted directly from skimmed milk, rather than being a by-product of the cheese production process concentrate and isolate. It is very low in fat, lactose and bioactive compounds and the protein content by weight is typically 95% or higher.
How much do I need?
Most serving suggestions are around 30g, and with good reason. Research suggests this is the ideal amount to repair the damage done through training and initiate muscle protein synthesis – the process by which new muscle tissue is laid down. Studies also show that a diet high in protein can help reduce body fat levels, so you’ll not only get bigger and stronger, but leaner too.
When do I take it?
After a workout is the most obvious time to consume whey protein powder because that’s when your muscles need it most.
Drinking a shake of whey mixed with cold water or milk within 30 minutes of finishing your training session will initiate the recovery process by flooding your bloodstream with amino acids, which are quickly shuttled into your muscle cells where they can be laid down as new muscle tissue.
You can also take whey protein at other times: blend a scoop of your favourite flavour with an egg and a banana for some high-protein breakfast or dessert pancakes, for example. It’s especially useful to have to hand to mix with water when you’re out and about and don’t have time to eat a proper protein-rich meal.
Myprotein Pro THE Whey+
The whey in this powder is a high-quality mix of concentrate, isolate and hydrolysed whey, and each 32g serving contains 26g of protein. Myprotein’s beadlet tech also promises phased absorption of the BCAAs in the powder to best promote muscle growth. The chocolate brownie flavour is a winner, especially if you mix it with milk for an especially rich post-workout treat.
Buy from Myprotein | £35.99 for 960g
SiS Advanced Isolate+
This powder is made purely from whey isolate and packs 31g of protein into a 40g serving. There are 9g of BCAAs, including 5g of leucine, and the carb count is low at 1.7g per serving, 0.6g of which are sugars.
Buy from SiS | £45 for 1kg
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey
This is a popular option with gym-goers, with an easy-mix blend of hydrolysed whey, whey isolate and whey concentrate providing the 24g of protein in each serving.
There’s a wide range of flavours although we reckon it’s hard to look past double rich chocolate, and ON’s Gold Standard Whey is often reduced in annual sales Black Friday, so keep your eyes peeled and you might be able to stock up for up to 60% less.
Buy on Amazon | £43.98 for 2.27kg
Maximuscle Max Whey
Each 30g serving of this powder contains 23.5g of protein, which is sourced from a mix of whey concentrate and isolate, although heavily skewed towards the former – only 10% is from isolate. So far, so standard, but Maxinutrition has mixed things up a little by packing 7g of BCAAs into the powder as opposed to the usual 5g, with more than 3g of leucine.
Flavour-wise there’s the usual chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, but also a more exciting banoffee option, which is naturally the one we opted to test. We were impressed by the flavour but less so by the texture – the drink remained a little lumpy even after a vigorous shaking.
Buy from Maxinutrition | £20 for 480g
Myprotein Clear Whey Isolate
Although whey protein now comes in more flavours than ever before, thick vanilla, chocolate and strawberry shakes still dominate – hardly ideal for refuelling after all-out workouts on hot days.
On those days you’ll be better off with the refreshing shake this protein powder makes.
The flavours available are joyfully ofeat with mojito, peach tea, and our favourite, rainbow candy, and the quality isn’t compromised with 20g of hydrolysed whey isolate protein in a 25g serving.
Buy from Myprotein | £19.99 for 500g
Supreme Nutrition Diet Whey
Alongside 23.4g of protein, each 30g serving of this powder packs in a host of extra ingredients, including green tea extract and acetyl L-carnitine, all designed to help you burn that little bit more fat. Sucralose is used to provide sweetness, with sugars kept to 1.
5g per serving, and there are only 123 calories. It comes in three flavours: chocolate, vanilla, and strawberries and cream.
Not the most imaginative trio, but we found the strawberries and cream flavour pleasant enough, though the shake was a little lumpy even after rigorous attempts to mix it.
Buy from Supreme Nutrition | £34 for 1kg
Whey protein: Health benefits, side effects, and dangers
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People commonly use whey as supplementation, alongside resistance exercise, to help improve muscle protein synthesis and promote the growth of lean muscle mass. But what is it, and what are the benefits of using it?
Milk is made of two proteins, casein and whey. Whey protein can be separated from the casein in milk or formed as a by-product of cheese making. Whey protein is considered a complete protein as it contains all 9 essential amino acids. It is low in lactose content.
There are many benefits associated with the consumption of whey protein, and researchers are constantly finding new possible therapeutic properties. Here, we explain what the benefits might be, and look at some of the side effects and potential risks.
Share on PinterestWhey protein, pictured here, is used for many things including muscle building and weight loss.
Aiding weight loss: In one study of 158 people, published in Nutrition & Metabolism, those who were given whey “lost significantly more body fat and showed a greater preservation of lean muscle compared to subjects consuming the control beverage.”
Anti-cancer properties: Promising results were published in the journal Anticancer Research for the use of whey protein concentrate in cancer treatment. More research is needed.
Lowering cholesterol: A study, published in The British Journal of Nutrition, gave whey supplements to 70 overweight men and women for 12 weeks and measured a number of parameters, such as lipid and insulin levels. They found that “there was a significant decrease in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol at week 12 in the whey group compared with the casein (group).”
Asthma: Whey protein could improve the immune response in children with asthma. One small study involving 11 children, published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition, found that children with asthma who were supplemented with 10 gram whey protein twice daily for 1 month had an improved immune response.
Blood pressure and cardiovascular disease: Research published in the International Dairy Journal found that beverages that were supplemented with whey protein significantly reduced blood pressure in patients with hypertension; their risk of developing heart disease or stroke was also lower.
Reducing weight loss in people with HIV: A study published in the journal Clinical and Investigative Medicine found that whey protein may help reduce weight loss among HIV-positive patients.
Share on PinterestDangers of whey protein include stomach pains and cramps when consumed at high doses.
Some people who are allergic to milk may be specifically allergic to whey. In moderate doses, whey protein does not typically cause any adverse events. However, consuming very high doses can cause:
- stomach pains
- reduced appetite
Consistent high doses of whey protein may also cause acne. From a nutritional point of view, whey protein is very unusual and does not have a natural equivalent.
Some people believe that there are risks from nutritionally refined foods such as these, because, although they contain a lot of nutrients, the balance is heavily tipped towards protein.
There are three primary types of whey protein; whey protein concentrate (WPC), whey protein isolate (WPI), and whey protein hydrolysate (WPH).
Let’s look at each of these in turn:
- Whey protein concentrate – WPC contains low levels of fat and low levels of carbohydrates. The percentage of protein in WPC depends on how concentrated it is. Lower end concentrates tend to have 30 percent protein and higher end up to 90 percent.
- Whey protein isolate – WPIs are further processed to remove all the fat and lactose. WPI is usually at least 90 percent protein.
- Whey protein hydrolysate – WPH is considered to be the “predigested” form of whey protein as it has already undergone partial hydrolysis – a process necessary for the body to absorb protein. WPH doesn’t require as much digestion as the other two forms of whey protein.
Also, WPH is commonly used in medical protein supplements and infant formulas because of it’s improved digestibility and reduced allergen potential.
Whey protein supplementation along with resistance exercise can help improve muscle protein synthesis and promote the growth of lean tissue mass.
A study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism concluded that “whey protein supplementation during resistance training offers some benefit compared to resistance training alone.” In addition, “males who supplemented with whey protein had a greater relative gain in lean tissue mass.”
Much better gains in strength are associated with whey isolate supplementation compared with casein.
This was demonstrated in another study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, which concluded that in “two groups of matched, resistance-trained males whey isolate provided significantly greater gains in strength, lean body mass, and a decrease in fat mass compared with supplementation with casein during an intense 10-week resistance-training program.”
If you want to buy whey isolate supplementation, then there is an excellent selection online with thousands of customer reviews.