Whey protein powder is the most popular type of protein powder and can be used by anyone regardless of training background or goal. Let’s look more closely at whey protein powder so you can make the best choice for your nutrition plan.
Whey protein powder guide
In this article, you’ll learn about how whey protein powder is made and what some of the different types of whey protein are called. You’ll also discover why amino acids are important, and how whey protein powder can help you build and retain muscle or lose body fat.
What is whey protein powder?
Whey protein powder is a by-product of the dairy industry. Milk has several components, including the liquid element which is called whey. To make whey protein powder, the liquid whey is filtered to isolate the protein even further. Finally, it is dried into a powder.
Whey protein powder is a cost-effective, convenient, and very versatile way to get more protein into your diet without needing to eat whole food. But essentially it is real food, just in powdered form.
What is the difference between WPI and WPC?
During the manufacturing process, the liquid whey is filtered and purified to various levels. This results in different forms of whey protein, called whey protein concentrate (WPC) or whey protein isolate (WPI). Whey protein concentrate is a more palatable option and is considered a great choice for everyday whey protein. Whey protein isolate has been filtered down even more, so it has a slightly higher protein content and fewer carbohydrates and fats. As WPI takes more processing time and comes with increased protein content, it is often an expensive alternative to WPC.
Why combine WPC and WPI?
GymCrate whey protein combines both whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate for a protein-dense product that features the best of both options.
Combining WPC and WPI in one protein powder means you access the higher protein content of whey protein isolate whilst still being a cost-effective option and retaining the pleasant taste of WPC.
What are amino acids?
All proteins are made up of molecules called amino acids, which are often called the building blocks of protein. Your body uses amino acids to carry out a huge number of functions, including repairing muscle and other tissue. It needs 20 amino acids in total, but it can make some of these 20 from other amino acids. These are called “non-essential” amino acids.
However, there are 9 amino acids that your body can’t make from any other amino acids. These are called “essential” amino acids, and you need to get enough of them from food or supplements like protein powder.
The 9 essential amino acids are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
Of these essential amino acids, leucine, isoleucine, and valine are considered particularly important for muscle building and these are called branched-chain amino acids or BCAAs.
How does whey protein help me build muscle?
Protein is an important macronutrient for building muscle, gaining new muscle tissue, and retaining existing muscle. Any protein food will help you get the protein your body needs, but whey protein is particularly convenient. You can use it any time of the day, it doesn’t need prep or cooking, and it delivers a lot of protein with barely any carbohydrate or fat.
Whey protein also contains all 9 of those essential amino acids, including the 3 branched-chain amino acids, making it an excellent protein source for muscle gain.
How does whey protein help me lose fat?
If your goal is losing body fat but also retaining or even building muscle, whey protein is a useful choice of protein. It will give you the protein and amino acids your body needs to retain lean tissue and will increase the release of natural anabolic hormones.
Protein has the highest thermic effect of food (TEF) of all the macronutrients, which means it takes your body more energy to digest and can help with fat loss.
How much protein do I need?
Sedentary people only need about 0.8g of protein per 1kg body weight, but this need increases when you are active and especially when you want to gain or retain muscle mass.
Aim for 2.2-2.5g of protein per 1kg bodyweight to begin with and monitor your progress, hunger, and weight. Don’t sacrifice other macronutrients just so you can eat a lot of protein. Carbohydrates and healthy fats are important to help give you energy throughout the day and especially before training.
How much whey protein is too much?
There is no limit to how many servings of whey protein you could have in a day, but a varied diet is important. Remember, whey protein doesn’t contain important nutrients like fibre. Limit your whey protein to 3-4 servings per day and make sure you vary your protein sources from whole food too.
Who can have whey protein powder?
Whey protein powder is simply a powdered by-product of the dairy industry, so it is safe for everyone unless you are extremely lactose intolerant. Some lactose-intolerant individuals are still able to digest whey protein easily. If you can drink cow’s milk with no problem, then you can enjoy the benefits of whey protein too.
- Whey protein powder is a convenient, high-protein supplement that can be used any time of day
- Whey protein powder offers a quick and easy way to refuel with protein after a workout
- Whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate in combination offers high levels of essential amino acids and BCAAs
- Protein is an important macronutrient for building muscle and retaining lean tissue, and whey protein powder is the most convenient and cost-effective source
- One scoop (35g) of GymCrate whey protein powder gives approximately 28g protein, 1g carbohydrate, 2g fats