On the most basic level, protein is a nutrient essential for life. To those looking to build muscle and strength, protein is a nutrient which needs extra attention. Many studies, as well as mountains of empirical evidence, show protein needs in strength training athletes can increase by between 100% – 250% from the RDA, and as such, taking in 1-2g of protein per pound of bodyweight is in fact necessary to maintain a positive nitrogen balance, and remain anabolic. So what is whey protein, and does it deserve the crown as the top protein source?
Whey protein is a by product of cheese making. Of course, it’d be rather unappetizing if it were simply served as-is, it’s processed – usually into a powder – and usually (though not always) flavored and sold as a sports supplement.
As a rule of thumb, for the athlete looking to increase muscle mass, protein should be taken in every 3 hours, and as such, getting enough protein from food alone is no easy task. It can be time consuming, and let’s face it, just hard going eating the amounts required. Whey protein supplements help to make that task much easier.
What is special about whey protein is that not only is it a complete protein – the best type for building muscle – but it’s also got other special properties too. First, it has an extremely high biological value (or BV, for short) which is the usability scale for protein. What this means is, when you take X amount of whey protein, compared with the same amount of another protein source, whey will generally be used far more by the muscles than the other source. Whey protein toppled whole egg – the previous king of protein on the BV scale. Second, whey is also very, very quickly absorbed, which makes it the ideal type of protein to take after a workout, or for breakfast, when your body needs a quick intake of high quality protein the most.
Whey Protein Effects: What It Can & Can’t Do For Your Training
Everyone in every kind of training who really loves what they do wants to make progress. There would be something seriously wrong if that weren’t the case. One supplement which could help to give you a substantial helping hand towards reaching your goals is whey protein. Here we’ll look at what whey protein is and what whey protein effects a person can expect to see when supplementing with it.
As you’ve probably guessed, whey protein is a source of protein. It is derived from the cheese making process, and previously was discarded until the incredible whey protein effects on muscle building were realized, and it’s value as a high end sporting supplement was truly appreciated.
Since then whey protein has risen to become the top sporting supplement in the world.
Protein is essential to building muscle and maintaining health. Numerous studies show that athletes participating in moderate to strenuous training during which the muscles are broken down need more protein to repair and grow the muscles to enhance performance.
Protein deficits hamper progress.
Two things really set whey protein aside from other sources of protein, those two things are it’s extremely high BV (biological value) and it’s super fast absorption rate.
Protein sources with a high BV are important because they are the ones which are absorbed the most. Whey protein in fact has the highest biological value of any protein source, so you know when you take in X amount of whey, your muscles are making use of nearly all of it. Other sources of protein aren’t absorbed so well, meaning your muscles aren’t necessarily getting what they truly need.
Most important of all the whey protein effects is it’s ability to be absorbed quickly by the muscles, which makes it the ideal source of protein to be taken in after sporting activity or as part of breakfast to kick-start recovery and muscle building once more. Other sources of protein are much slower off the mark in switching muscle back from a state of catabolism to anabolism. This really puts whey ahead of the pack.
When To Take Whey Protein
Nutrition makes or breaks any physical aspiration. More informed people may also be aware of timing their nutritional intake, and the importance of key meals and what nutrients they need to take and when. Whey protein supplements make for outstanding nutritional support, but knowing when to take whey protein can elevate your results even further.
Protein is vital to muscle growth, and life itself – hence it’s name the ‘building block of life’. Consuming regular amounts of high quality protein is key to maintaining a positive nitrogen balance and ensuring muscle repair and growth are continuous. Whey protein is of such a high quality it even beats egg. While whey protein isn’t a supplement which has a right and a wrong time to be taken, and it can be taken – and should be – at regular intervals. That’s not to say it should replace real, wholesome foods entirely – but it should be a part of this, and can certainly make your life easier by saving you from preparing 2-3 or even 4 meals each day.
So yes, whey protein can and should be used throughout the day. However, for those in training there are two key times when to take whey protein over other sources of protein is preferable, as it gives even greater positive impact upon results. Those times are:
- Post workout.
Post workout is the most important. It’s the time your muscles are most in need of nutrients, and a special anabolic window opens for a few hours when the muscles literally gobble up all of the nutrients they can – almost like a sponge. Whey protein, having elite bioavailability, and super-fast absorption is the ideal protein to take during this time. There simply is no better protein to take during this time.
Similarly, but to a lesser extent, the muscles are starved after sleeping, so having a fast acting protein like whey is a great way to get nutrients back into your muscles to continue repair and growth. Remember when to take whey protein: throughout the day, but particularly after a workout and during breakfast.