In reality you’re trying to understand what protein does for you in general along with the pros and cons of whey protein specifically, right? That’s what we’re going to tackle in this 3 minute article where we will try and answer the question, “what does whey protein do?”
The Basics of Protein
It’s an essential macronutrient, just like fat and carbohydrates. Micronutrients are your vitamins like D and C, trace minerals like iron, antioxidants and phytochemicals. The hardcore physiological and biochemical specifics of what protein does for you are rather complicated, but for living in general it plays vital roles in building and maintaining lean mass along with transporting nutrients. You can find protein in literally every single cell that composes your body.
When building/maintaining strength or making muscles bigger (hypertrophy) protein is required because protein is the building block of actual muscle tissue itself. Protein can then be broken down into amino acids and those play a large array of roles in the body as well.
The Popularity of Whey Protein
All you have to do is look around the supplemental protein powder/bar industry and you’ll see that it’s dominated by whey. Whey protein is everywhere and why is that? Well, because it comes from the incredibly powerful beef/dairy industry. Whey is a by-product that’s created during the process of curdling milk/cheese production.
There are three types: whey protein concentrate (WPC), whey protein isolate (WPI) and whey protein hydrolysates (WPH). All three of these come with a long and highly complex laundry list of pros and cons, but to keep it simple whey protein is a complete protein source with all 9 essential amino acids.
How Much Whey is Enough?
1 gram of protein per pound of body weight is a generic intake requirement for both males and females. When it comes to body building this can increase to upper intake levels as high as 3 grams. Where you fit is probably somewhere in the middle.
When’s The Best Time to Consume It?
There is no best time. All that matters is that within a 24 hour period you get enough protein to not only build and repair muscle, but to ensure that your body doesn’t consume muscle tissue for energy.
If you need 150 grams per day, it’s best to spread that out. Say for example 3 meals with 50 grams each or 5 meals with 30. It’s good to keep in mind the optimal uptake is within 30 minutes of a heavy workout and ideally in liquefied form.
What’s The Best Kind of Whey Protein?
This is a very difficult question to answer because all three kinds of whey protein have tons of conflicting data and mainstream opinions behind them. They are whey protein concentrate (WPC), isolate (WPI) and Hydrolysate (WPH). Two things:
- If your fitness, physique and BMI are very important to you then you owe it to yourself to do your research on all three and then make the best choice for you given who you are as an individual.
- Your goal should be to pick a source of whey protein that has the highest degree of value that you can afford. Don’t nickel and dime your protein! Consider organic sources first.