Whey protein is a well-known and trusted supplement within the fitness community. Honestly, it’s earned its place. Whey protein can be used to help boost metabolism, control hunger, and build muscle. But that doesn’t mean you should take it without knowing a few things about it. For example, when is the best time for YOU to take it? How much should you take? Supplements or shakes? That’s why we’ve compiled a guide to help you answer those questions, and more.
What is Whey Protein, and What Does it Do?
Whey protein is actually derived from milk. After cheese is made from milk, the whey is separated and processed to become the tasteless powder that we’ve all come to know. This powder can be taken alone through supplements or can be added to other foods like protein bars, shakes, and even home baked goods. Since whey protein is an amino acid, and part of an elite group of branch-chained amino acids, this means that it can be utilized to maximize muscle growth, boost energy levels, and repair damaged muscle tissue.
What Differences are There Between Whey Concentrate, Whey Hydrolysate, and Whey Isolate?
The easiest way to answer this is to say that each form of whey is broken down and processed differently. But let’s go a bit further.
Whey Protein Concentrate: This form of whey protein is made up of around 80% pure protein, but usually contains more amounts of carbohydrates and fat than it’s two other counterparts. Still, considering that many ready-to-drink shakes add extra sugar, whey protein concentrate is often the healthier option.
Whey Protein Hydrolysate: If you’re looking for a whey protein product that will digest at the speed of light, then look no further. This product has already been partially broken down, but it’s important to understand that the actual protein content in hydrolysate can vary due to this fact.
Whey Protein Isolate: Isolates have had all the lactose and fat removed from them, and leave a product that is 90% to 95% pure concentrated protein.
What Are the Benefits, and When Should it Be Taken?
Whey protein is a true powerhouse of a supplement. It can boost endurance, enhance muscle growth, add muscle strength, help repair muscle damage, curb hunger, and boost metabolism. We KNOW this is what whey protein can do, but honestly the jury is still out on when the best time to take it is. Some fitness experts swear by taking it before a workout, others argue that after a workout is best, and others still say you should take it, well, whenever. Studies have shown that taking it an hour after a workout can due major good in helping repair muscle tissue, but other studies have also shown that taking it an hour before a workout can help boost your endurance. Since it’s possible to take too much whey, finding the balance and time that works best for you is important.