Whey Protein and Bodybuilding

What is it?

Whey protein is one of the two types of protein found in cow’s milk. Milk is approximately 87% water and 13% milk solids. The milk solids are comprised of fat, lactose, protein and a small amount of other minerals. The protein portion of the milk solids is approximately 80% casein protein and 20% whey protein.

Whey protein is digested by the body much faster than casein and more closely resembles human milk, which makes it the most nutritious protein available.

Where does whey protein come from?

As mentioned above, whey protein comes from cow’s milk. To make whey protein supplements, the whey protein is separated from the fat and lactose, using one of several methods in order to create a powder of concentrated whey protein.

What is whey protein isolate?

Whey protein isolate is a more expensive form of whey protein. Whey protein isolate contains 90% or more protein and very little fat compared to whey protein concentrate, which could contain between 29% and 89% protein. The primary difference between whey isolate and concentrate is that whey protein isolate is made from a longer filtering process.

How is whey protein made?

Ion exchange is one method used to make whey protein. When the casein or curd and milk fat are separated from milk in order to make cheese, the remaining liquid whey goes through a series of filters to separate the whey protein from lactose and other ingredients. This concentrated liquid whey then enters an ion exchange vessel, which then uses electrical charges to purify the whey protein. The purified whey protein is then dried to remove moisture.

Why is whey protein so popular?

Whey protein is extremely popular among bodybuilders for several reasons. The biggest reason is because whey protein is the most complete, and most quickly digested protein available. It has the highest biological value and contains branched chain amino acids, which are critical in building muscle mass. The second reason why whey protein is so popular is because compared with other proteins, it is much less expensive.

Who can benefit from supplementing with whey protein?

Anyone involved in sports activities, especially bodybuilding, will benefit greatly from supplementing properly with whey protein. In addition to supplying the body with all the essential and nonessential amino acids, whey protein is especially rich in naturally occurring branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine). These particular amino acids are used directly by skeletal muscles, and therefore are in great demand during exercise or strenuous sports activities.

How much whey protein should I take?

Your daily intake of protein should be between 1 and 1.5 g of protein per pound of body weight. This means a 200 pound bodybuilder, should be consuming 200 to 300 g of protein each day. This amount should be divided up into at least 5 or 6 feedings. Two or more of your protein meals should be made up of seafood, beef, chicken, milk and other dairy products. The remaining feedings can consist of protein shakes made with whey protein. If your goal is in the middle of the range, and each feeding should consist of 40 to 50 g of protein.

The majority of whey powder supplements contain about 22 to 24 grams in a serving. Most whey protein supplements also come with a scoop that is equal to one serving, therefore, each shake should consist of two scoops of whey protein.