Whey Protein 101 - The Ultimate Guide For Beginners

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The popularity of Whey Protein is unparalleled. This Ultimate Whey Protein Guide for Beginners explains whey protein types, usage, and dosage information.

Bodybuilding enthusiasts literally swear by the many benefits of whey protein, but are they actually aware of what exactly whey protein is and how is whey protein made? Let’s try to uncover some truths about Whey protein.

Every time the discussion about bodybuilding supplements takes off, whey protein is the first name that comes to everyone’s mind. Certainly, supplementing your diet with whey protein is great for building muscle, but only adding whey protein will not do any miracle and you must incorporate rigorous workout in your regimen for optimum results. 

There has been a lot of confusion about whey protein due to deceptive advertising by several protein manufacturers, which indeed makes understanding whey protein a bit complicated. 

With this article, we are trying to clean the air for you at once and will also strip away the myths surrounding this extremely popular bodybuilding supplement. By the time you will finish reading this article, you will be at least able to answer simple questions like, what is whey protein? How is it made? What is Ion filtration? etc.

Whey Protein 101: Everything You Need To Know About Whey

What Is Whey Protein?

Whey protein is a high-quality protein, which is found naturally in milk and milk products. It is often referred to as ‘complete protein’ because it contains all the essential amino acids required by the human body and it is also very easy to digest. Whey protein has also often been regarded as the best source of branched amino acids (BCAA’s) like leucine, that has shown to stimulate muscle synthesis. 

Various studies have shown that even the small amount of whey protein can be very beneficial for your body. Only 10gms of whey protein consumed immediately after exercise can stimulate the rebuilding of muscles.

Best Whey Protein

Why Is Taking  Whey Protein Important?

Apart from being a staple supplement for bodybuilders and athletes, whey protein is now also regarded highly for its positive effects on building immunity and its anti-aging properties. 

Several studies have found that whey protein has the potential to improve immunity, lower cortisol, reduce stress, improve liver function, reduce blood pressure and a lot more pertaining to medical and sports related health conditions. 

In addition to its high BCAA content, whey protein is also known for raising glutathione (GSH) levels in human body. The importance of GSH for improving immune system cannot be understated as it is inarguably the most important water-soluble antioxidant found in human body. 

Because GSH is essential for immunity, whey protein can easily make a place for itself in anyone’s nutrition program. In relation to athletes and bodybuilders, it has been proven time and again that why protein has a direct effect on performance and muscle mass. Some studies have also suggested that high levels of GSH provided by whey protein help in trainer harder and for a longer period. 

Protein Powder Importance

How Is Whey Protein Made?

Whey protein is naturally found in cow’s milk, thus almost all whey protein originates at dairy farms. Cows are brought into a specialized milking parlor two to three times in a day, where the milk is collected from them. The collected milk is then transported from dairy farm to a manufacturing and processing center, where large tankers that can store up to 50,000 gallons of milk are employed. 

Once the milk arrives at the processing center, it is tested thoroughly to ensure that its safe for consumption. There are two major protein’s found in cow’s milk, one is casein protein which constitutes about 80% of protein reserve present in milk. The remaining 20% protein found in cow’s milk is whey protein. 

Raw milk itself is made up of several constituent parts. Some of these parts are found in suspension while some are present in solution. Whey protein, in particular, is produced during the cheese making process, which begins after the addition of certain enzymes in raw milk. Enzymes made milk separate into several constituent parts, one of them being the curd. The curd that forms at this stage is later used to make cheese and during this cheese making the process, the whey protein is left behind in the liquid form. 

Later on, this liquid portion of whey protein is pasteurized and dried into a powder form, which is often used for consumption. The most popular processing methods used for making whey protein are:

Microfiltration: Fine specialty filters called micro-filters or ultrafilters, because of their microscopic pores, are used to strain protein in this method. This is also called as the physical means of removing contents from the protein. 

Ion Exchange: In this method, the protein is placed in ion exchange towers, which undergoes a chemical purification process. Hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide are the two chemicals used in this process. Though this process is less expensive as compared to microfiltration, it causes damage to some of the amino acids found in whey protein. Once the protein is concentrated, it is then placed into the drying tower to remove the remaining water. The final step is to take protein for packaging in various sized containers.

How is whey protein made

Different Types Of Whey Protein - Whey Isolate, Whey Concentrate, and Whey Hydrolysate

Whey protein can be further divided into following three types:

Whey Protein Concentrate: This is the most commonly available whey protein powder supplement as most of the manufacture use whey protein concentrate as the first ingredient of their protein powder. The amount of protein in whey protein concentrate can be as low as 25% or as high as 89%. Most of the sports nutrition contain close to 80% whey protein content abbreviated as WPC or WPC80, while rest of the product is made from 4 to 8 percent lactose, minerals, fat and moisture content. 

Whey Protein Isolate: Often abbreviated as WPI or WPI90, whey protein isolate is the purest form of whey protein, with almost 90 to 95 percent protein. It is an excellent source of protein for those who are lactose intolerant as it contains little or no lactose and is also very low in fat. 

Whey Protein Hydrolysate: WPH or whey protein hydrolysate is made when large protein polypeptides found in whey protein broke down into much shorter chains. This makes whey protein easy to digest and it also absorbs much faster in the intestine, thus reducing the chances of any potential allergic reaction. This form is protein is the most expensive one and comes with a bitter, acidic taste. It is treated specially to make it soluble in water and other beverages. This kind of protein is mostly used in baby formulas or other specialized medical nutrition products.

 

Beginner's Whey Protein Guide - Usage and Dosage

 Whey Protein IsolateWhey Protein Concentrate / Raw Whey ProteinWhey Protein Hydrolysate
UsagePeople in the cutting phase of their gymming cycle or targeting lean muscle mass.People targeting mass gain/lean muscle mass or fat loss can use and customize the protein according to their needs.People interested in a more pure form of Whey Protein Isolate. This is Whey Protein Isolate going through an extra round of processing.
TimingPost WorkoutPost WorkoutAids in Heavy workout sessions/post workout
BenefitsIt is a premium quality protein which delivers high protein amount per scoop. It is also easily digestible.Basis the bulking or cutting cycle, customer can customize the product in terms of flavor, carbs etc to suit his/her needsFast absorption with quick muscle recovery
RecommendationCustomers with high protein and low carb and fat needs should definitely go for this product.Post workout in conjunction with nutrients suitable for customer needsSuitable for advanced bodybuilders and professional athletes
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