Whey is a type of protein powder, just like casein or egg powder. It is derived from the milk it makes up to 20% as whey, the other part being casein.
This supplement has become very popular among bodybuilding practitioners for several reasons. First, the whey has a high biological value, that is to say that its assimilation is really good and it is moreover quickly digested. It is also rich in BCAA (Branched Amino Acids).
Whey is made from milk to which water is removed. In truth, the whey production industry is recovering whey (the whey) abandoned by the cheese industry and dehydrates it. But before reaching this point, this whey is removed as much as possible of fat and carbohydrate (lactose).
Thus, by various methods, the raw material is transformed into a powder which has a high amount of protein since all or most of the remainder has been removed. The natural taste of whey reminds a little that of milk but does not please everyone.
To arrive at the finished product, various methods can be used. This is how we can produce different types of whey, containing more or less protein.
Types of Whey
There are three forms of Whey: the concentrate, the isolate and the hydrolyzate.
The concentrate is a powder that contains about 80% protein but also contains a little lactose and fat. It’s an affordable whey with a good price / quality ratio, but it can be a problem for people with lactose intolerance.
The isolate has a protein level of 90-95%, which makes it a source of protein superior to the concentrate. In addition, the isolate contains almost no lactose and is even better assimilated than the concentrate. The counterpart is a higher price.
The hydrolyzate comes from a concentrate or an isolate and undergoes an enzymatic treatment that allows to “pre-digest” the proteins. In other words, the hydrolyzate is absorbed even faster. The disadvantage is the price, but also the taste. Because a hydrolyzate has a bitter taste that few people support.
The effects of whey
Increased muscle mass
When we talk about protein powder, what we often hear is that taking such a supplement will inevitably get more muscle. But it is primarily the classic diet that provides the necessary protein for building muscle. Meat, fish and milk are natural sources. Some researchers therefore argue that a diet high enough in protein is just as effective as a diet less complete benefiting from a supplement of protein powder. And it is true that whey is not an indispensable product for muscle gain if the practitioner’s diet is well designed.
But it should also be noted that whey has a practical side and a speed of assimilation faster than other sources of protein. In the context of a training program, whey can quickly provide protein to the muscles, either before or after a session, to allow the muscles to regenerate. It is said to have an anabolic effect. And this is where whey can be useful because eating around a workout is not necessarily easy or as effective. Before, we risk digestive problems, and after it must have appetite and food will not be digested as fast as whey.
In short, by consuming whey around the training one ensures a supply of protein and a rapid anabolic response. This leads to better recovery and allows you to train harder session according to what inevitably promotes muscle building. This effect can naturally be reinforced by the addition of BCAA in the whey.
Hunger cut effect
Whey proteins contain peptides that have the ability to reduce the feeling of hunger. Whey would therefore be useful in weight loss diets to control appetite and reduce the number of calories ingested.
How to use whey?
It is possible to use this powder to supplement its protein diet. Despite its rapid assimilation, it can be mixed with sources of low or moderate glycemic index carbohydrates to compose snacks. The amino acids thus released are available for several hours. It is also easy to introduce into preparations such as cakes. With regard to dosages, in this context, it is up to the practitioner to calculate how much protein he needs to complete his diet.
But the Whey really finds its usefulness in a grip around the workouts. This is where its speed of assimilation and its positive properties on anti-catabolism and protein synthesis will be most useful. It is therefore possible to take a dose of whey before and / or after training. A dosage of 0.5 to 0.7g per kilogram of body weight is generally recommended. That is to say that for a practitioner of bodybuilding of 80 kilos, the dose could be 40 to 56 grams of protein. The dosage of whey before training may be lighter. 20 to 30 grams of protein can then be sufficient to release enough amino acids during the session.
Lactose intolerant persons are advised to consume only protein powders with a reduced content. This is the case of whey isolates for example. But they still contain a little. We must therefore remain vigilant. The best is to scrutinize the labels. In whey, the indicated amount of sugar gives information on its lactose content (lactose being milk sugar). It is also not recommended to consume protein powders in case of cirrhosis of the liver.
The first thing to do when you want to supplement protein is to assess how much is already consumed through food. A total intake of 2g / kg body weight of protein (foods and supplements) is good enough when you do “recreational bodybuilding”.
As we have seen, whey is an interesting and practical protein that can be integrated into your nutrition plan. This is not a magic powder that will turn you into a beast of muscle but a simple nutritional supplement. Do not expect dramatic effects on strength, muscle mass or fat level.