Beginner's Guide to Whey Protein

Roslyn Yee | Accredited Sports Dietitian by Roslyn Yee | Accredited Sports Dietitian 10 August 2018

Have you overheard conversations about protein powder? Unsure what it is, why it’s used or what to believe? Learn the basics on whey protein and how it can assist with your health and fitness goals

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Beginner's Guide to Whey Protein

Confused about protein powder? Unsure what it is, why it’s used and how it could benefit you? These are all common concerns for those new to the diverse world of sports supplements.  

The first step is to understand what exactly whey protein is before you can understand if and how it can help you achieve results.

What is whey protein?

Whey is a component of dairy milk. Milk is comprised of two proteins: 80% casein and 20% whey.  Whey is separated out during the manufacturing of cheese from dairy milk. Whey is then filtered, purified and dried to form whey powder.

Whey powder is low in lactose and contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source, whilst retaining essential vitamins and minerals like calcium and vitamin B12.

The most common use for whey protein is supplementation in the diet to ensure adequate protein intake, to improve muscle protein synthesis maximising lean muscle gains, and for weight loss success.

There are three main types of whey protein:

 

  1. Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) contains low levels of fat and carbohydrate in the form of lactose. The percentage of protein within WPC ultimately depends on its concentration and if there are other ingredients added. True WPC80 has 80% protein content, making it a perfect ‘all-rounder’ protein that tastes great.

  2. Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) is created from further processing of whey that strips away all fat and lactose. True WPI90 is one of the cleanest protein supplements available with a 90% protein content.

  3. Whey Protein Hydrolysate (WPH) is a specific protein that doesn’t require as much digestion as WPC. It is frequently used within medical protein supplements or infant formulas. However, it often has a bitter taste requiring many other ingredients to sweeten and mask its natural flavour. 

 

When should I have my protein powder?

The optimal time to consume protein powder will depend on your training, eating habits and goals.

Post-workout

Most importantly, consuming protein right after training will ensure your hard-working muscles can recover and adapt. This could be in the form of increased muscle mass, increased strength or decreased muscle soreness and fatigue. 

On-the-go

A sit-down meal isn’t always possible with our busy lifestyles. A protein shake is the ultimate convenient solution for an on-the-go healthy snack, particularly when our protein intake is frequently low mid-morning or in the afternoon.

Did you know that all True Sample Packs include a free True Shaker? You’re welcome! One 30g sample of delicious WPI90 mixed with 200ml water is the perfect 3pm snack to stop you reaching for that chocolate bar.

Before bed

Consuming protein before bed is another prime time to optimise your nutrition. If you’re exercising regularly then you need to ensure your body recovers properly. Depending on the type of exercise, the recovery phase can extend up to 48 hours post-workout. Consuming protein prior to bedtime will help to prevent your body shifting into catabolism, which is the breakdown of muscle to be utilised as energy, undoing all that hard work!

True Night85 is specifically formulated as a pre-sleep supplement due its slow release of amino acids (the building blocks of protein) to ensure you’re feeding your muscles during your (optimal) eight hours of sleep.

 

How do I choose a whey protein that’s right for me?

Check the ingredients

Most of the protein powders available on the market consist of a blend of protein, additives, sweeteners and other unnecessary ingredients. Be sure to check the ingredient list on any protein powder before you consume it. 

A long list of strange and confusing ingredients and numbers is generally a warning sign, particularly if it says ‘proprietary blend’, which means the manufacturer doesn’t have to disclose the amounts of the blended ingredients. This often means you will be ingesting mostly the cheapest ingredient with only a whisper of the ingredient you actually need. 

All of True Protein’s ingredients are pure, simple and natural. There are no additives, fillers, artificial flavours or artificial sweeteners. All True Whey Proteins are from New Zealand grass-fed cows. For flavouring, True Protein uses the best quality raw ingredients and 100% natural flavourings and sweeteners to ensure a superior final taste. Simply read True Protein’s labels to see for yourself!

Read the reviews

Many products are listed across several distributor sites or in store as well as on the manufacturing company’s site. It’s normal to feel unsure about a new product or if the quality is up to scratch. Get an idea of what people are saying about the product from reading the reviews and star ratings.

Get a sample

There are so many protein varieties available and we all have our own unique taste preferences. A sample is a great way to try a flavour you may be hesitant about. This will help you to determine how well the protein mixes together with liquid, test the texture and see if you would actually use and enjoy the product before you commit to buying a larger quantity. 

True Protein Sample Packs are the perfect introduction to the premium protein range. Sample packs are available for WPC80, WPI90, Vegan85 and ProDefine, with a sample of all the available flavours in each pack and a bonus True Shaker!

 

Key message 

Feeling confused about protein powder is perfectly normal if you’re new to fitness and sporting supplements. Whey protein is the most readily available supplement and for good reason. 

Consuming whey protein has a wide range of benefits; when taken at the right time it can boost performance, assist with muscle recovery, increase your lean muscle mass and strength as well as aiding fat loss.  

When making a decision on which ‘whey’ to go, consider your health and fitness goals as well as personal taste preferences and when you plan to use it. True WPC80 and WPI90 are versatile and delicious as a snack, a post-workout shake, blended in a fruit smoothie or as a sweet treat alternative.

If you’re comparing products, always check the ingredient lists. The best choice is a product that uses all-natural ingredients without artificial additives, preservatives or flavours. Doing your research first can prevent harmful substances from entering your body.

At True Protein, the research has been done for you with premium whey proteins from grass-fed cows, naturally sweetened with stevia or freeze dried fruits and no harmful additives or cheap fillers.

 

 

 

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