If you know anything about weight loss, fitness, nutrition, diets and supplements, chances are you are familiar with the term whey protein. And although everyone has heard about it and even used it, not so many people know exactly what it is.
First of all, not all protein is created equal – some forms are better than others. What separates whey protein from the rest is its amazing range of quickly absorbed essential amino acids. Many studies have proven its effectiveness in gaining muscles, weight loss and increasing strength, so it’s safe to say that whey is more than just a protein.
The term “whey” refers to milk serum – a liquid part of milk that separates during the curdling of milk (cheese production). Actually, milk is made of 2 proteins, whey 20% and casein 80%. We can say that whey is the watery portion of milk or a byproduct created when cheese is produced. In that process, whey is separated from coagulated fatty parts of the milk.
After it’s separated, whey protein goes through different processes and becomes a powder that most people recognize. It’s important to note that whey doesn’t taste good on its own and this is the reason why it is flavoured. The most recognize flavors include chocolate, strawberry and vanilla.
Proteins are the building block of our entire body. Skin, organs, tendons, enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters and many other tiny molecules all need it, and it’s safe to say that without protein we can’t survive. It is made of smaller molecules called amino acids.
Some amino acids are produced in our body, while others we have to get through food and they are referred to as essential amino acids. The term “essential” really highlights its importance, but luckily for us, whey protein is loaded with them. Probably the most important branched chain amino acids (also known as BCAAs) is Leucine that also contains Cysteine. Leucine is the biggest growth promoting amino acid, and in general, whey protein seems to be very effective at stimulating growth in humans. For example, breast milk contains 60% of whey, compared to 20% found in cow’s milk.
The main difference between different popular types of whey protein is the way it has been produced. The most famous are:
Overall, protein concentrate like FORZA Whey Protein is the best and the cheapest option, and it retains the most beneficial nutrients naturally found in whey.
People who want to lose weight, gain muscles or increase strength all use whey protein. It is popular among gym enthusiasts, athletes, fitness models and basically everyone loves it and uses it.
But how whey effects muscles/strengths?
First of all, whey provides protein and amino acids – the two building block that increase muscle growth. It also increases the release of anabolic hormones responsible for stimulating muscle growth. Such hormone is Insulin.
Whey protein is also rich in Leucine, the amino acid known for stimulating muscle protein synthesis at the genetic and molecular level. And more importantly, whey protein is absorbed quickly and our body can utilize it in a matter of minutes.
Many studies have shown that whey protein increases muscle growth when consumed before, after or during a workout, but it’s most effective as a post-workout meal. But the most important thing is that our body has an adequate amount of whey at its disposal.
Whey protein is by far the most fulfilling macronutrient, often used for weight loss. It boosts metabolism by 80-100 calories per day and can reduce daily calorie intake by up to 441 calories per day! One study even showed that a diet that consists of 25% protein cuts craving by 60% and reduces late night snacking by 50%.
Another study has proven that combined with weight lifting, whey protein can cause weight loss of about 8 pounds, while increasing lean muscle mass. Therefore, if you are trying to lose weight, whey protein must become an essential part of your diet.
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