Whey protein is something most fitness enthusiasts know about and may already include in their post workout shakes, but what makes this protein powder so great?
Whey protein powder has the ability to help refuel your body better than some of the other protein powder options on the market, and I am going to break it down for you right now. I will share the top seven tips on how you can take advantage of the amazing benefits of adding whey protein powder to your diet so you can fuel your body right and feel amazing after every workout.
Before we get started, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of whey protein powder.
Why Drink Whey Protein Powder?
- Weight Loss Support: If you are working to out to lose weight, whey protein powder may be an excellent option for you. Supplementing with a high-quality whey protein powder after a workout may be able to help curb your appetite and help aid in weight loss efforts.
- Lower Your Cholesterol: Who would have thought that a protein powder can help lower your cholesterol? According to a study from The British Journal of Nutrition, those who drank whey protein for 12 weeks showed a reduction in overall cholesterol as well as LDL-cholesterol levels! (1) This study was comparing whey protein and casein, and whey protein definitely proved to have better results.
- Reduce Your Blood Pressure: If you have high blood pressure, exercise is an excellent naturally way to reduce it, but as it turns out supplementing with whey protein may also be able to help. A study from the International Dairy Journal found that those who consumed beverages with whey protein were able to reduce their blood pressure readings. Who knows, maybe adding some whey protein to your after workout shake can help balance your blood pressure levels as well.
- Boost Glutathione Levels: Glutathione is an antioxidant found in our body cells, and whey protein may be able to help give this powerful antioxidant a boost! How? Well, whey protein contains a rich source of cysteine which is an amino acid. Cysteine has been shown to help boost glutathione levels in the body.
- Provides the Body With High-Quality Protein: Whey protein is a complete protein and is easily digested and absorbed in the body making it readily available to tired muscles. Whey is far superior to some of the other protein powder options available.
- Whey Protein is Filling: If you find yourself snacking all day long, adding some whey protein to your diet may be able to help curb your appetite by keeping you full longer. Adding a whey protein shake to your diet as a mid-day snack may help ward off late-night sugar cravings or binge snacking.
Now that you know a little bit more about the awesome benefits of adding whey protein to your diet let’s take a look at seven ways you can take advantage of this protein powder.
#1 Know What Whey Protein Is
There are so many different types of protein powders on the market, it’s hard to determine which options will work best for you. In order for you to take advantage of whey protein and what is has to offer, you will want to know what this protein consists of. Whey protein is found in the liquid part of milk and is separated during cheese production. Whey protein is a complete protein as it contains all nine essential amino acids. It is also low in lactose and is commonly used to help build muscle and refuel the body after an intense workout. Whey protein is composed of beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, bovine serum albumin, and immunoglobins. Whey protein has proven to be king when it comes to other protein powders as it has a huge reputation for helping the body build muscle as well as recover.
#2 Know the Different Types of Whey Protein
Knowing the different types of whey protein available will help you better determine which one is going to work best for you. There are three different types of whey; whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and whey protein hydrolysate. Let’s dive into each one of these.
- Whey Protein Concentrate: This particular form of whey protein is low in both fat and carbohydrates and the percentage of protein varies based on how concentrated the powder is. The range varies between 30-90% protein. This option also tends to be the most inexpensive and most basic form of whey protein found in protein supplements. This may be an excellent starting point if you are just adding whey to your diet, but some people may experience some gas and bloating after consuming whey protein concentrate. Whey protein concentrate can be used before or after a workout or even as a snack between meals.
- Whey Protein Isolate: This form of whey protein is even more processed than whey protein concentrate as it removes the fat and the lactose from the powder. It is also very high in protein. The isolate version is one of the quicker absorbing forms of whey and is more expensive than whey concentrate. Whey protein isolate is ideal for anyone on a low carb diet and should be used before or after a workout to quickly refuel the muscles for growth.
- Whey Protein Hydrolysate: Whey protein hydrolysate is the most expensive option. This form of whey is very high quality and contains peptides that are easily absorbed in the body giving it the highest absorption rate when compared to the other types of whey protein. This form of whey is also easier on the digestive system and is perfect for either a pre or post workout supplement.
#3 Check the Nutrition Label
While plain old whey protein holds some impressive health benefits, you will want to check the label on your protein powder tub. Some brands add in refined sugar and artificial flavorings. Just be sure to take a look at the ingredient list thoroughly before making a purchase.
#4 Decide if Whey Protein Works for You
Adding whey protein to your diet is an excellent way to pack in an extra 25-30 grams of protein after a workout but make sure your body agrees with whey first. While this type of protein is usually well tolerated, those with a lactose intolerance or an allergy to whey will likely need to avoid it.
#5 Know When to Consume Whey Protein
If you are using whey protein as a way to boost muscle growth and refuel your body after a workout, you will want to know when to use it. Whey protein is likely to be most effective for muscle growth when used right before a workout, after a workout, or even during a workout. (2) Many studies have linked muscle protein synthesis to be greatest after training. The great news is that most forms of whey work best when used as a pre or post workout supplement so you can easily add whey into your workout routine for maximum results.
#6 Know How to Use Whey Protein for Weight Loss
We now know that adding whey protein to your diet may be able to help boost your chances of weight loss success, but how does it work? Since protein is a filling macronutrient and can certainly assist with weight loss, it’s no wonder that the rich source of protein whey offers can have the same effect. Some studies have shown that adding whey protein to the diet instead of other forms of calories along with weight lifting was able to help build lean muscle mass while also improving weight loss success. (3) The bottom line is that adding a whey protein shake to your diet may very well be able to help you shed those stubborn pounds while also helping you build muscle.
#7 Know How Much to Take
While whey protein may be the king of all protein powder, it’s important to know how much to take. Too much of a good thing is not good. It’s recommended that you follow the serving suggestion on the back of your protein powder tubs which will usually recommend between 1-2 scoops after a workout. Since all protein powders offer different amounts of protein, you will want to follow the instructions to prevent adding too much protein to your diet. If you consume a diet very high in protein already, supplementing may be unnecessary and too much protein can lead to digestive upset. Those with kidney or liver issues will want to speak with a medical professional before adding whey protein to their diet.
Whey protein is an excellent way to boost your protein intake for the day, build muscle, and refuel the body after intense exercise. Whey protein is great because it comes in different forms which makes it easily accessible to anyone’s budget, and it’s easily absorbed in the body. For those who are looking to build muscle, those who need to lose fat, or build strength, whey protein is an excellent option.
Take these seven tips on making the most of whey. You may be surprised at how much better you feel after a workout with the help of whey protein.
To help get you started, give this post-workout shake a try.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Post Workout Shake
- 1 scoop (or as directed on the instruction label) of whey protein
- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 Tbsp. raw unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 Tbsp. unsweetened creamy peanut butter
- Simply place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Enjoy after your workout.