There is no magic pill you can take that will get you fit and help you gain weight. Only quality time spent working out and eating good foods will cause your muscles to grow.
Making sure that your body gets enough nutrients is also an important aspect. You can do this by eating a healthy diet. There are also some supplements that can give you a helping hand.
One of these is whey protein. Read on to learn how to use whey protein to get fit and gain muscle.
What Is Whey Protein?
Whey protein, believe it or not, comes from milk. There are two types of proteins in milk–whey and casein.
Have you ever tried your hand at homemade yogurt or cheese? If you have, you know that there is a liquid runoff that you strain from your final product. You may also have noticed a yellowish liquid in your storebought yogurt sometimes.
This liquid is whey. Manufacturers dehydrate the liquid to sell it in a more convenient powdered form. The consumer simply reconstitutes the powder by adding it to a shake or other liquid.
There are three forms of powdered whey. It’s important to know what each one is and choose the right one.
Whey Protein Concentrate
Whey protein concentrate is the least processed version of the bunch. It doesn’t have too much fat or cholesterol. But has plenty of bioactive compounds (lactose).
This version is easy on your digestive tract and your body absorbs the protein well. We recommend looking for protein powders made from whey protein concentrate.
Whey Protein Isolate
To make whey protein isolate, manufacturers remove the fat content. Because of this whey protein isolate is almost pure protein. In fact, about 90% of the powder is protein.
That may sound like a good thing at first, but in reality, it isn’t. Through the process, the whey loses many of its bioactive compounds. It also undergoes a transformation called denaturation.
Denaturation actually breaks down some of the protein structures. The proteins also lose some of their peptide bonds. All this leads to a less effective protein and a product that is harder for the body to digest.
Whey hydro-isolates is one other version of the protein powder. Manufacturers make it because it tends to be less allergenic than the other forms. But it is very processed and denatured.
Benefits of Whey Protein
Of course, the point of taking whey protein is to promote muscle building. But there are a whole host of other health benefits as well.
Protein itself is key in several bodily processes. Of course, you need it to rebuild tissue and cells. That’s how you build new muscle. Your body also uses it to keep your fluids balanced and protect your enzyme functions. It also helps your skin, teeth, and hair stay strong and healthy.
There is also evidence that whey protein helps your body to burn fat and reduces cravings. It also helps regulate blood sugar to the point that some diabetics can use it to manage their disease. All of this helps tremendously in the weight loss department as well.
Whey protein can also help up your energy level and strengthen your immune system. Plus, it’s good for your heart.
Bottom line, you won’t be able to magically go out and run 6 miles because you took the powder. But it will help a whole lot. With regular training, you can easily meet and exceed that goal.
Who Can Use Whey Protein?
Whey protein can be helpful for many people. Bodybuilders can use it to help gain weight and muscle. Athletes can use it for recovery after intense workouts. Some people can even use it in conjunction with exercise for healthy weight loss.
For most people, whey protein has no adverse side effects when used correctly. But, as we’ve mentioned, the protein comes from milk. People who are lactose intolerant or have allergies to dairy shouldn’t use whey.
The point of whey hydro-isolates is to offer a less allergenic form of whey. But it is so processed and hard on the digestive system that we don’t recommend it.
Look instead for a vegetable source of protein. There are a few good vegan protein powders out there that you can use. These can be almost as effective and are much easier on your body.
How To Use Whey Protein
Learning how to use whey protein is pretty easy. The hardest part is finding a brand you can trust. Many powders tout themselves as healthy protein powders. But, in reality, they are full of sugar, artificial ingredients, and preservatives.
Look for powders that have whey protein concentrate. Try to avoid the other two versions we mentioned earlier. Neither is as effective or gentle on your system as the concentrate.
If possible, choose an organic brand that sources their whey from grass-fed cows. This will ensure that you are getting the highest quality protein that you can.
How to use whey protein is easy. You can simply mix it with water or milk for a fast fix.
For something a bit more satisfying, make yourself a delicious shake. Toss in a scoop of protein powder to add an easy protein boost. Voila! You have an easy “meal” on the go that will help you get your daily intake of protein.
We should note here that whey protein is a supplement. That means it is meant for use as a supplement to a healthy, balanced diet.
The majority of your protein intake should not come from whey. But used correctly, it can be a powerful tool for achieving your fitness goals.
Find Your Protein
Now that you understand a bit about how to use whey protein, it’s time to choose your powder. There are lots of options out there and not all of them are healthy.
There is no one-size-fits-all option either. One powder can be great for one person but not as good for the next. Check out these protein powder reviews to find the best product for you.