Still having questions about Whey protein supplements?
In this guide you will get to know the different types of Whey Protein, what is this supplement, what are its benefits, how one should take and still many small doubts that may arise along the way.
At the end you also have the comments zone in case of specific questions for which you do not find the answer in this guide.
Let's get started.
Whey Protein – What is it?
It is a milk protein, more precisely from whey and is obtained during the cheese making process.
Whey proteins make up about 20% of the protein content of animal milk, and the rest of the proteins are casein fractions (~80%).
The production of whey protein can be done through various filtration methods (microfiltration, ultrafiltration, etc.), depending on the desired protein content.
Once filtered, the protein is dried by spraying to produce its desired powder form, and after that may undergo additional modifications by manufacturers, such as flavorings, dyes, etc.
It is a complete protein source, which means they contain all 9 essential amino acids, and have a high biological value and high concentration of BCAA's.
Whey Protein – Different types
Whey Protein Concentrated
This is the cheapest and most common way.
It is produced by ultrafiltration of whey and normally offers protein concentrations between 70 and 80%, thus also bringing some carbohydrates (lactose) and fats.
Since the concentration of this protein is around 70-80%, it means that for every 100g we have on average between 70 to 80 grams of pure protein, which is a very good value.
In addition, it has a high amount of BCAA's and other essential amino acids and is fast absorbing.
Whey Protein Isolated
The isolated form is basically an evolution of the concentrated version.
It can be produced through various filtration techniques and achieves protein values in the order of 85-95%, which is excellent.
In addition, due to the increased filtration, the values of fat and carbohydrates are very low, and can reach zero, eliminating lactose.
For example, in a protein with 95% concentration, we have 95g of high quality protein per 100g.
Hydrolyzed Whey Protein
This is the latest production technique of this type of supplement.
It is produced through concentrated and/or isolated Whey enzymatic hydrolysis.
With this technique the protein is absorbed more quickly, since the peptide bonds are separated and digestion facilitated.
This is usually the most expensive way.
Benefits of Whey Protein
Proteins are an essential macronutrient and play a crucial role in the development and maintenance of muscle as well as many other physiological processes.
In a simplified way, amino acids are the blocks that make up proteins and proteins are the blocks that make up muscles.
In addition, amino acids play an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system, cardiovascular function and brain metabolism.
Supplementing with protein brings many benefits, which come essentially from the biological function of essential amino acids.
Whey protein is a complete protein with a high amount of L-Leucine, essential to stimulate protein synthesis, among other AAs.
Some of the reasons for using this type of supplement:
- Stimulates protein synthesis(3)(6)
- It is quickly absorbed/digested
- It is easy and convenient to use
- Increases anabolic response to resistance training(3)(2)
- May act as anti-catabolic during prolonged aerobic activities(2)
- Strengthens the immune system(5)
- Promotes fat loss(4)
- Helps maintain lean mass(3)(4)
- Recovery aid (1)(2)
Whey vs Other Protein Sources
The most popular way to determine the quality of a protein is through biological value. The biological value of a protein refers to a practical measure that assesses the degree to which we can use that protein.
Basically the higher the biological value of a protein, the more effective it will be.
- Whey concentrated and isolated- Between 100 and 159
- Full egg – 100
- Milk – 91
- Egg white – 88
- Cottage cheese – 84
- Tuna – 83
- Chicken – 79
- Peanuts – 68
- Oatmeal – 58
How to Take Whey Protein
The best time to take this supplement is undoubtedly before and after training, however it can be used throughout the day when you want a source of quality protein.
Example: Add protein to the snack.
There is no universal value for the amount to be taken per day, as this always depends on person to person and should be used as a way to achieve daily protein requirements.
This supplement is usually well tolerated, however in special cases may occur:
- Swelling/intestinal discomfort
- Allergic reactions
These problems usually arise when there is a food allergy (lactose) or when protein consumption is too high.
If you experience intestinal discomfort with a concentrated Whey, try an isolate or a whey supplement with added digestive enzymes to facilitate digestion.
How to choose a whey supplement
To choose a good whey protein supplement the first step is to always look at the product label, analyzing the ingredients and nutritional value.
The supplement should have at least between 70 and 80% protein, i.e. between 70g and 80g of protein per 100g, with the ideal should be around 80% in the case of concentrated and 90% in the case of the isolated.
If it is a mixture of several proteins, it should contain between 75% and 85% protein.
Protein sources should always be concentrated, isolated or hydrolyzed.
You may have only a few of them or a mix, depending on what you're buying.
Another important point is to analyze the additions made by the brand and the aminogram.
If you see additions like glycine or taurine on the label, it is usually a bad product.
In the aminogram you should also look at the amounts of BCAA's (Leucine, isoleucine and vain).
A good whey protein brings at least between 17 to 18g of BCAA's in the case of concentrated, and 20-22g in the case of isolate.
In addition, a good whey protein has low amounts of carbohydrates (5-10g/100g) and fats (4-8g/100g).
Here is our list of the best Whey Protein supplements on the market.
Whey getting fat? Whey loses weight?
To gain weight you need to have a caloric excess, that is, to eat more calories per day than those we consume, so it doesn't just depend on whey.
A whey protein shake has about 100 calories, making it very difficult for someone to gain fat through these shakes.
For this to happen your diet would have to be already very high in calories and the whey have increased even more, and even then would not make a very significant contribution to the "fattening".
That said, using whey to gain muscle mass is a good idea as it will help increase the protein content of the diet and the quality of it.
For those looking to lose weight, this supplement can be a good ally to maintaining lean mass while eliminating fat.
What is the best whey supplement?
The best supplement is the one that has the highest amount of quality protein, with the least amount of carbohydrates and fats.
Here you will find our Top 10 Whey supplements.
What is the worst whey supplement?
Products with a high amount of carbohydrates and low amounts of protein should be avoided.
The sources of protein should be whey protein and not wheat proteins and company.
Techniques such as aminospiking are also not welcome. (See 100% Whey Prime analysis).
I'm lactose intolerant, can I use Whey?
Yes, however you should use an isolated whey as its lactose content is very low or null.
Whey concentrated or isolated?
Concentrated whey is the most economical whey supplement and is usually well tolerated. Depending on the concentration of the powder, it is an excellent option for those who do not want to spend a lot of money and have a quality protein supplement.
As for disadvantages, it has a slightly lower bioavailability compared to the isolated and a lower protein concentration.
It also has a little lactose and if you're intolerant it's not a good idea.
As for whey isolate, it has a very high bioavailability, is even easier to digest, is very low in fats/carbohydrates and has a very high protein concentration (+90%).
Find here our article Whey Isolated vs Concentrated, is it worth the isolated?
Do I use water or milk to mix my milkshake?
You can use both water and milk, however, before and after training it will be ideal to use water as the milk will delay the digestion of the protein.
Also, don't forget that milk has a significant amount of sugars and some fat.
Should I use whey protein on days without training?
It just depends on your diet.
If you can achieve daily protein values without resorting to whey protein, you don't necessarily need to use this supplement on days without training.
If you can't reach the required daily protein, you can use it to get it even on days you don't train.
Supplementation with Whey Protein is very famous, and for obvious reasons.
It is an economical source of protein, with an excellent amino acid profile and very practical, making it much easier to achieve the necessary daily protein values.
Although it doesn't work miracles, its benefits are evident, and if you're looking for your first supplement, a good Whey is probably the best bet.
If you have any questions, please use the comments area below!