Weighing In On Whey Protein

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By: Sammy Cusimano

Water is commonly known as the source of life; however, protein holds strong as second place in the hierarchy of nutrition. Protein is the source of a good, strong quality of life. Nearly every aspect of the human body is protein-based. Our muscles, immune system, energy levels, brain function, blood sugar levels and so much more are all strongly linked to protein as the foundation. With so many choices of protein supplements on the market today, it can be a very challenging task to find the right protein for your own individual needs. It seems that there are as many types of protein powders as there are types of motor oil. Each one has a specific purpose and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which is the correct product for the right machine. Whey protein alone has many varieties. There is regular whey protein, whey isolate, whey hydrolysate and sometimes even combinations of two or more in a protein supplement. So which whey protein is right for you?

In order to find the right type of whey protein, it is important to understand the differences between each whey protein and where each is extracted from nutritional sources. Whey protein can be found right in your own refrigerator. Look no further than the simple gallon of milk in your own kitchen. Milk contains two main types of protein: whey and casein. Whey protein concentrate is a very fast-absorbed protein, while casein is a very slow-absorbed protein. Whey is commonly utilized as a morning and post-workout protein supplement because of its fast rate of absorption; however, casein is a slower-absorbed protein which makes it effectively ingested at night before sleep. Casein is a type of protein supplement that is
also available at nutrition stores, along with the varieties of whey.

When whey protein is processed from milk, the effectiveness of the nutrient is much higher and faster than simply drinking milk in its pasteurized state. Whey protein is the most valuable component of milk in regards to muscle growth. It contains all nine of the essential amino acids, in addition to the powerhouse branched chain amino acids, while also being low in lactose. Another advantage of buying a whey protein concentrate supplement is that the digestive system does not have to work as hard to process the nutrients for effective use within the body. While whey protein is most famous for being such an excellent source of muscle-building amino acids, it also benefits weight loss and even lowering cholesterol.

The main difference between whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate and whey protein hydrolysate is the variation in how much the actual protein is processed. Whey protein concentrate is the least processed of the three types. While it does contain low levels of fat and carbohydrates, whey protein concentrate can range from 30%-90% protein. Whey protein isolate is much leaner with all the fat and lactose removed and typically contains at least 90% protein. The most processed of the three types of whey protein is the fastest-absorbed whey protein hydrolysate. It is basically partially digested protein. The term “hydrolysis” refers to the process necessary for the body to break down and absorb protein. Whey protein hydrolysate is technically “pre-digested” thus making it the easiest whey protein for the body to digest and absorb. It is not only utilized in muscle-building protein supplements but also in baby formulas and even medical protein supplements, due to its gentleness on the digestive system. These three types of whey protein can each serve a powerful purpose depending on an individual’s own nutritional needs.

Whey protein concentrate is an excellent source of amino acids. It is commonly found in protein supplements sold in nutritional stores. The key to ingesting whey protein concentrate effectively is to take the supplement within 30 minutes of completing a daily workout. This is known as “the window” and is the best time frame to stock up on whey protein. The body is craving essential nutrients in a protein shake or bar immediately after a workout so that the amino acids within each protein can be broken down and utilized effectively. If there is no supply of whey protein following a workout, then the body will not have as nutrient-rich of a stockpile of protein to draw upon for the amino acids necessary for recovery and repair of muscle tissue.

Whey protein isolate is an excellent choice for anyone who is lactose intolerant or trying to lose weight. It contains little to no lactose, due to the extra processing that is involved in the manufacturing of the product. Though higher in price than other whey protein products, whey protein isolate is also lower in fat and higher in overall protein content than whey protein concentrate. Many bodybuilders and athletes typically use products containing whey protein isolate because of the high protein content, along with the incredibly fast absorption within the body for more efficient muscle recovery following a challenging workout or sports training session.

Whey protein hydrolysate is perfect for any individual who needs a fast-absorbed protein that has a low chance for potential allergic reactions. This protein is so gentle on the digestive system that it is the protein of choice for many infant formulas as well as medical nutritional products. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts also utilize the muscle-building and workout recovery benefits of whey protein hydrolysate. Many times, popular whey protein supplements will have a combination of all three types of whey protein. Some supplements even have additional forms of protein such as egg, casein or soy.

The most frequently asked question regarding protein is “how much do I need?” Daily activity level and body weight are the primary determinants of the appropriate amount of protein intake. The average amount for an athlete is easily calculated by matching the grams of protein with the individual’s bodyweight. A 200-pound athlete would need approximately 200g of protein per day. For a person who is moderately active, the ratio shifts to approximately ¾ of a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. A 200-pound individual who only engages in physical activity for an hour or so each day would need around 150g of protein. For sedentary individuals, the ratio is lowest at half of a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. This is usually pretty close to the recommended daily intake of protein found on the labels of food products.

Protein is one of the most vital nutrients that you can put into your body. It is the building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and even blood. The human body depends on protein to help make enzymes and hormones that are crucial for proper health and wellness. Consuming the most effective nutritional products containing whey protein will ensure a very high-quality supply of amino acids that are essential in the health and maintenance of muscles, organs, tissue, hair nails and so much more. Whey protein is the premium source of amino acids just as premium octane gasoline is the best source of fuel for your automobile. Treat your body to the best quality of nutrition and feel the difference in every single thing that you do. Your body deserves the best and so do you!

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