Hello everyone. Today’s article is a guest post from Nikki Mccoy who writes for Nutrition Discounters.
If you have any experience in the world of fitness or have spent any time around serious athletes, you’ve probably heard them talk about protein shakes or adding “protein powder” to their food. You may have even tried some yourself, getting a scoop of the powder added to a smoothie for a little boost.
Chances are, if you’ve ever tried protein powder, it really was whey protein powder. Whey powder is the most common type of protein supplement. Before you start using it regularly, though, learn some more about the various types of whey protein available to make the right choice for your individual needs.
What is Whey Protein?
In the simplest terms, whey protein is a substance created from the byproducts of cheese production. When cow’s milk is curdled to make cheese, the process creates both a solid and a liquid. The liquid, known as whey, is high in protein. The whey is then processed, either by drying it in its complete form or by removing fats and other non-proteins and then drying, to create whey protein. Whey protein is most commonly sold in a powder that can be added to food or drink. Sometimes it’s added to pre-made foods, like protein bars and shakes.
Why Use Whey Protein?
While some studies have suggested that whey protein does have some anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, most people use whey protein to supplement fitness and bodybuilding regimens. Unlike protein from other sources, whey protein is very quickly and easily digested, making it more readily available for the purposes of building muscle. Studies have also suggested that taking whey protein also helps nutrients flow throughout the body, speeding up the process and helping with muscle repair after a good workout.
Choosing a Whey Protein Supplement
There is a wide range of whey protein supplements on the market, and the one that’s right for you depends on your own personal preferences and expectations.
The most common and usually least expensive form of whey protein is concentrate for example, Gold Standard 100 Whey. This is a powder that still has all of the lactose and fats in it, although they tend to be low in cholesterol and fat. In some cases, these whey protein powders contain artificial sweeteners or flavors that can add to the calories and may cause digestive issues. The lactose in whey protein concentrate is also blamed for some of the reported side effects, include gas, bloating and cramps.
If you experience any of these symptoms or suffer from lactose intolerance, then look for a whey protein labeled as an isolate. Isolates contain all of the protein of concentrates, but have the lactose and fats removed. These brands are slightly more expensive and do tend to taste slightly milky.
The most expensive, but least likely to cause side effects, form of whey protein is the hydrolysate form. These proteins are highly processed to remove all allergens, and tend to be the most easily absorbed by the body. However, they often have a slightly bitter taste.
Warnings about Whey Protein
As with anything, there are some concerns about whey protein. Some doctors believe that whey protein is too much of a good thing and that most people, especially serious athletes, get enough protein from their diets and that using a whey protein supplement is unnecessary. In addition, if not taken properly as part of a balanced diet, too much whey protein can cause weight gain or kidney problems. It’s important for those using the substance to carefully follow the use instructions and not take more than is directed to prevent serious problems.
In addition, those who have dairy or milk allergies or sensitivities, or lactose intolerance, should steer clear of whey protein or, at least, use specially processed varieties. Because it is made from cow’s milk, whey protein will produce the same effects as had you ingested a dairy product.
While some argue whether whey protein is actually an effective supplement for fitness, many professional athletes and bodybuilders swear by it, claiming it increases their lean muscle mass and strength. Before you buy, take some time to compare several brands and types of whey protein. Most importantly, get on track to reaping the health and fitness benefits for yourself.
About the Author:
This post was written and contributed by Nikki Mccoy. Nikki has been a personal trainer for over ten years. As a passionate trainer, Nikki carefully looks for the most prestige supplements from www.nutritiondiscounters.com and workout routines to get her trainees the results they want.