Whey Protein 101

Protein powders are among the most popular muscle-building supplements around. And for good reason!

But how do I know which protein to choose for my fitness and health goals?

Whey protein all the way!

This being said, the most popular form of protein powders are whey protein powders. Whey is one of the two major proteins found in cow’s milk, the other being casein. It is considered to be superior to most other protein sources because of its bio-availability (how easily the body uses it), digestibility, and high concentrations of proven muscle-builders such as branched-chain amino acids and glutamine. Unless one has sensitivity to whey, it mixes more easily than others and doesn’t seem to cause the bloating and gastrointestinal discomfort that other sources are known for.

The right whey:

There are two main types of whey protein, whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate; powders may also be found in a blend of both types. So what’s the difference?

Whey protein concentrate is a less pure form of protein powder, it is filtered and when finished the process yields protein powder that is 70-85% protein and 5% lactose; thus people with lactose intolerance will have a harder time consuming a lot of whey protein concentrate.

Whey protein isolate is the most pure form of protein powder. The protein source is filtered then further purified and yields a protein powder that is 90-94% protein and contains very low amounts of carbohydrates and fats.

Whey protein isolate is the purest and fastest absorbing protein powder and thus is the best to take immediately following a workout, when the body more readily absorbs nutrients. However because protein isolates contain very few carbohydrates and fats a protein blend would be suitable for those that are less active and simply looking to increase the amount of protein in their diets throughout the day.

If there are any further questions please leave a comment and I will respond with my best answer or follow-up the question with a full post if I believe it to be of value to others as well!