Beginner's Guide to Whey Protein

By Eva
15 October 2015

Have you overheard conversations about protein powder?  Unsure what it is or why is it used?  Whether it’s to support your training, add into recipes, or simply take as a snack, you want to know more about whey protein and it’s many benefits.

What is whey protein?

Milk is comprised of two proteins; casein and whey.  As a by-product of cheese making, whey protein is extremely low in lactose and contains 9 essential amino acids.  The most common use for whey protein is supplementation, with exercise, to improve muscle protein synthesis and maximise growth of lean tissue mass.

There are three main types of whey protein:

  • Whey protein concentrate (WPC) contains minimal levels of fat and carbohydrates (lactose).  The percentage of protein within WPC ultimately depends on its concentration, with lower end concentrates usually comprising of 30% protein and higher ends up to 90%.
  • Whey protein isolate (WPI) is a further processed type of whey that sees all fat and lactose removed from the product. WPI is comprised of at very least 90% protein content.
  • Whey protein hydrolysate (WPH) is a specific protein that doesn’t require as much digestion as WPC or WPI, and as such is frequently used within medical protein supplements or infant formulas.

When should I take protein?

There are optimum times to consume protein, depending on your nutrition and training goals.  Most importantly, take protein right after training because your muscles require immediate nutrition for recovery and growth.

Before bed is another prime time to consume extra protein to ensure you’re nourished whilst asleep; 8 or more hours without nutrition is significant – you want to keep your belly satisfied!  Milk protein is the ideal choice at this time because of it's slow release of amino acids.

What to consider when choosing a whey protein

  • Grass-fed whey protein isolate has been extensively researched and found to be the purest form world-wide.
  • Consider the nutritional information; is it readily available to view?  How many ingredients are listed?  Items such as saccharin, aspartame or acesulfame have negative research indicating they promote cancer and disease. Stevia and sucralose are popular sweeteners used regularly in whey protein.  Make an informed decision of which sweetener works for you, read more about these both here.
  • Not sure about a particular product?  Many products are listed across several distributor sites as well as the company site – get an idea of what people are saying about the product and read the product reviews.
  • Get a sample.  Various companies offer single sachets or samples of products for you to try.  Try a flavour you may be hesitant about, see how the protein dissolves, or mixes with other ingredients, what texture does it have? See True Protein’s sample protein packs here.

In summary

Consuming whey protein is beneficial for various reasons; when taken at the right time it can boost muscle performance, recovery and growth.  Ingredients matter and given many protein powders available contain harmful, unnecessary products, its well worth doing your research to find a protein that best suits you.

At True Protein, we’ve done this research for you with our grass-fed whey isolate containing 90% protein content, sweetened only with Stevia and no nasty or cheap fillers.  See more about our protein range here.

 

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