Whey protein is one of 2 types of protein that comes from milk. It's made during the process of cow's milk being turned into cheese. When the milk is being turned into cheese, the whey protein is a by-product.
- Lean red meat (20% protein)
- Chicken/turkey (20% protein)
- Fish (20% protein)
- Eggs (6-8% protein)
- Cheese (10-30% protein, but high in fat)
Whey protein supplements generally fall into 3 categories. Whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate and whey protein blends. Whey protein concentrate powders are the cheapest, but have the highest levels of fat and lactose. Whey protein isolate powders have the most amount of protein per serving and literally zero carbs, lactose and fat. These are generally priced higher than concentrate. And finally, whey protein blends are the most popular of the whey protein powders. As the name suggests, these products combine whey protein isolate and concentrate to make a high quality product (with an awesome amino acid profile), at an affordable cost to the consumer.
Whey is also fast ingesting, meaning it gets to where it's needed - fast! Whey protein supplements play a huge roll in post-workout nutrition, when your body is in a catabolic state and needs a fast injection of protein.
On top of the muscle building and recovery benefits, whey protein also works as an antioxidant to boost the body's immune system. Scientific studies have shown that regular supplementation with whey protein promotes a strong immune system.
Effects whey protein has on performance:
- Increased lean muscle mass
- Decreased recovery times and faster muscle repair
- Reduced post-workout muscle breakdown
- Increase metabolic rate
Whey protein isolate has the biggest bioavailability of the whey sources, generally about 30-60% more than concentrate.
People that need increased protein levels will get the most benefit out of supplementing with whey. These include:
- Bodybuilders & strength trainers
- Endurance athletes
- Those on weight loss programs
- New to strength/weight training
- Team sports players
- Whey protein isolate - the most pure form of whey protein
- Whey protein concentrate - not as pure, slightly higher fat & lactose
- Whey protein blend - a mixture of isolate and concentrate