Which “Whey” Do I Go?
Just enough knowledge to choose the better protein for you!
Before I knew any better, nothing was worse than walking into my local nutrition house for protein powder, to be bombarded by a multitude of gargantuan, colorful plastic barrels— all promising variations on the same theme: muscle growth, faster recovery, great taste, improved energy and a leaner physique. Even some of the names sounded the same! Its enough choice to make your head spin. I’ve had clients tell me countless stories of walking in to these places, taking one look at the ominous stacks of tubs and barrels, turned around and walked right out. Certainly, the options can be intimidating.
While they all might look the same and many make similar promises…
Not all protein powders are created equal:
Protein is an absolute essential nutrient for great health and a strong body. I believe choosing a protein powder for your nutrition needs is like selecting a compatible wine with a good meal. Knowledge is power. Let me help you with the confusion, clarify the options and hopefully guide you towards the right protein for you and your fitness needs.
Always remember that the goal of choosing a good protein supplement is to maximize muscle protein synthesis and reducing muscle breakdown by ensuring adequate muscle tissue rejuvenation. So let’s look closely at our main options beginning with one that may surprise you!
Believe it or not, good ‘ol fashioned white milk is worth a mention. It contains a combination of whey which is fast acting and a greater percentage of casein which is slower acting, offering your body a pretty strong anabolic (muscle building) response. Both whey and casein are significant milk proteins. Milk also supplies a wholesome and healthy dose of carbohydrates which restore your muscle’s glycogen (or energy), some electrolytes, B vitamins and vitamin D which make milk a suitable protein to stimulate muscle growth! So if you’re in a pinch after a workout, grab a small carton! Simple and definitely cost effective!
Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC):
A very common form of protein. It’s comprised of approximately 65-70% total protein and around 35-30% lactose (a milk sugar) and lipids (fats). WPC’s are very widely used and are popular because of a generally lower cost and extra flavor from the added carbs and fats. Also, WPC’s generally digest quite quickly so they are a good choice when you want a scoop of protein before a workout. Quick energy, good calories and quickly digested.
Whey Protein Isolate (WPI):
This particular protein formula has about 90% total protein and very little lactose making it an excellent choice if you have a lactose sensitivity. I personally prefer WPI’s as I feel they offer a more effective result for improving muscle size and muscle integrity. WPI’s have a longer transit time in the gut, so this powder can almost act like a meal replacement if you needed it to. I always keep a dry scoop in a water bottle in my gym bag and I just add 250ml of water to it after my workout to immediately replenish protein sources. I also like it because it ties me over well until my next meal.
Whey Protein Hydrolysate:
A strong competitor and comparison to the whey protein isolate. If you are unsure, I would just cost compare at this point.
High Quality Protein provides for a solid foundation;
No matter whether you eat or drink it, good high quality protein is the “bricks” (foundation) to your “house” (your finely tuned bod) so please don’t neglect this vital macronutrient!
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, please let me know, as soy and hemp proteins are a whole other kettle of fish that I can write about too. I don’t want you to feel I neglected you!
Hopefully, I have been successful at elucidating some potentially confusing information for you. Don’t forget, if you are ever standing there, stuck and bewildered in the store, hop on line with your smart phone and send me an email via HeadsUpDad and I’ll try to get back to you right away!
Til next time… train hard, drink plenty of water and always refuel with a good quality protein!