What Is Whey?
Whey is a milk product obtained from the cheese curd of the cow’s stomach. It consists mainly of casein proteins, which are the main components of milk. Caseins are found in all dairy products including butter, cream, yogurt and even ice cream! They play an essential role in human physiology and they’re also very good at absorbing fat soluble vitamins A, D and K2 (Riboflavin). Whey is used to make various foods such as cheese, yoghurt, milk drinks and even energy bars.
Why Do People Want To Drink Whey?
The main reason why people want to drink whey is because it contains high amounts of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Proteins are the building blocks of muscle tissue. Muscle tissue provides strength and power to your body. When you consume protein, it helps build new cells and repair damaged ones. Protein is needed for growth, development and maintenance of health. It’s also necessary for maintaining strong bones, teeth, heart function etc…
Protein is also essential for recovery after exercise or physical stress like training or running a marathon. This is because when you put your muscles under stress by doing a resistance training workout, they get damaged.
This damage needs to be repaired and for repair to happen you need protein.
Whey is a complete protein that contains all the amino acids in the amounts that our body requires. It also contains high levels of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) which can increase protein synthesis, decrease muscle breakdown, improve exercise performance and increase muscle gains.
What Is Whey Protein Isolate?
Whey protein isolate is whey with excess water removed. The high percentage of protein that remains makes it a very sought after ingredient for bodybuilders and other athletes. Depending on the brand of whey protein isolate that you buy, it can have fat and carbohydrate content of up to 5%.
What Are The Differences Between Whey Concentrate And Whey Protein Isolate?
Whey concentrate is the less-processed version of whey protein isolate. When whey is processed, most of the excess water is removed. This leaves us with 30-70% protein content (85-99% protein when micronized). Concentrate also contains small amounts of lactose (4-8g per 30g).
Whey isolate is the least processed version of whey. It is processed even more than whey concentrate and most of the carbohydrates and fat are removed.
This leaves us with 90% or more protein (98% when micronized).
Whey isolate contains less of most other nutrients (except for negligible traces of fat-soluble vitamins) than the other forms of whey. It is generally assumed that this is insignificant for athletes who consume food regularly, but some medical professionals advise that individuals taking whey supplements should supplement with extra vitamins.
What Is The Best Type Of Whey To Take?
There is no clear winner between whey concentrate and whey isolate. Whey concentrate is a slightly better value per dollar, but whey isolate is a slightly better value per serving (higher percentage of protein per dollar). Both are fine to take. Your choice should depend on your budget.
There is more evidence that Whey Isolate is superior to Whey Concentrate as a post-workout supplement for building muscle (possibly only when taken immediately after training). However, you need to consume an extra 50% more isolate to get an equal amount of protein.
This might not be desirable for some as it causes gastrointestinal distress in some people.
As a beginner to weight training, you should consume anywhere from 1.2 to 2.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
This is the bare minimum amount that has been shown to cause muscle growth in beginners. Since whey isolate is more expensive, you might prefer to take a mix of concentrate and isolate, which will bring down the cost per serving.
Taking pure whey isolate is like buying filet mignon and adding it to your diet when you were just eating Big Macs.
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