Whey Protein for Post-Training Nutrition
Over the past couple of decades health supplements have become increasingly popular in the world of fitness and health. Whey Protein is among the most widely used health supplements because of its effectiveness in repairing and building muscle. But what exactly is whey protein? Is it for everyone? What are the benefits and risks in adding it to your diet? In this article we will analyze all of these common questions people usually ask before using a whey protein supplement.
Before we get into what exactly is whey protein we should first understand what amino acids are. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. There are 20 amino acids total but the essential amino acids are the important ones. These are the amino acids your body cannot produce on its own and whey protein contains all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.
Arguably the most important essential amino acids are the Branched Chain amino acids, or simply BCAAs. These three amino acids that make up the branched chains are Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. BCAAs play a key role in muscle recovery. Studies have shown that supplementing with BCAAs greatly reduces delayed onset muscle sourness, or simply DOMS.
In an article written by the University of Illinois McKinley Health Center whey protein is said to be one of the highest quality proteins on the planet. This is important because the higher the quality of the protein the more effectively is it absorbed and used by the body. But again, what exactly is whey protein, and where does it come from?
Whey Protein is a high quality protein that is derived from cow’s milk. This complete protein is one of two different proteins found in cow’s milk: whey protein and casein protein. Whey protein is the less abundant and faster acting of the two that offers the highest biological value of any food protein. This is due to the fact that it not only contains all essential amino acids but also contains large amounts of BCAAs.
For a healthy diet the average fitness lover should be consuming between 0.5-0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. An athlete or body builder should be consuming between 1-2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. Whey protein should ideally be consumed within 30 minutes of finishing your workout. This is the time when your body needs protein, amino acids, and nutrients the most.
Considerations & Conclusion
Although whey protein has incredible benefits studies have shown that consuming too much whey protein throughout the day can lead to excess body fat and kidney problems. The suggested daily amount- depending on your bodyweight- is between 20 to 40 grams of whey protein. It’s important to remember that these are health “supplements” meaning that you supplement it into your healthy diet. Whey protein should never take up the majority of your diet.
An important thing to consider before purchasing whey protein is the quality of the whey. There are many companies out there that value profits over the safety and health of their customers and these companies tend to add a lot of sugary fillers and needless additives that have not been fully tested. A rule of thumb is the fewer ingredients the better. So ask your doctor and do some research before purchasing a whey protein supplement.
Whey protein can be used by anyone above the age of 16 years old and it can actually benefit the elderly even more so than younger generations-- because the older we get the more protein we need in our diets. It boosts the immune system, repairs and builds muscle, and gives your body a boost of nutrients and BCAAs. We always suggest that you speak with your nutritionist or doctor before supplementing whey protein into your diet. Other than that, eat healthy, train hard, and live an active and fun life!