The world of protein powders can be a confusing, daunting, and frustrating thing.
With so many brands and types to choose from plus an overload of information and opinions, how on earth are you supposed to know what the best choice is for your goals and your budget?
Luckily, we are here to help. This guide has everything you need to know about whey protein. In this guide we will break down:
- What exactly whey protein is
- Why it’s effective
- The 2 main types of whey
- How it can help you with your goals
- Our coaches top recommended brand
With this guide, you’ll finally be able to put the myths and confusion to rest!
What is whey protein?
Whey protein is one of the many forms of protein powders available as a way to supplement protein intake. It comes from cows milk and is one of two different proteins found in milk.
This milk derived protein comes in all sorts of ways, flavored, filtered, or plain. It’s widely sold by a variety of supplement companies and is growing in popularity.
Why use whey protein? Can’t you use egg, soy, or other plant proteins?
Sure, but whey just might be the best.
Whey protein has the highest bioavailability, meaning it is easily used by the body to repair tissue. Whey also contains BCAAs, amino acids that are essential for growth and repair.
Basically, whey protein is a tested and proven form of protein that has been favored by athletes for years.
Whey protein has more benefits than just helping you to build a lean body and look good. Whey protein has been studied to have several health benefits as well!
Here are just a few:
1. A healthy heart.
Special peptides in whey protein have the ability to lower blood pressure. Other studies show that whey protein eaten with meals can lower risk of atherosclerosis. Plus it can increase HDL (good) cholesterol and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol.
2. Blood sugar control.
Whey protein contains the amino acid L-cysteine which has shown to possibly be used as an adjuvant type II diabetes therapy. One study found that a meal containing whey protein was effective at reducing insulin spikes.
3. A healthy digestive system.
Most studies show that whey protein is beneficial to the lining of the intestines. It also promotes GLP-2 activity, which is critical for nutrient absorption.
Concentrate VS Isolate: “Whey-ing” the difference
Many of you have probably heard of whey concentrate and whey isolate. What’s the difference and does it really matter?
When it comes to supplements, quality is most important so YES! It does matter. Let’s point out some of the differences in each.
Whey concentrate is the most inexpensive form of whey protein and it is the least processed form of whey. This makes it more affordable, but also means lower quality.
Whey concentrate also contains lactose and extra fat. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but usually the point of buying a protein powder is to get protein!
Some whey concentrate powders have lots of extra fillers. A cheap container of concentrate can contain as little as 30% protein. Make sure you check the nutrition labels and find the mixtures where whey protein is the number one ingredient.
Whey protein isolate is quickly approaching the status of being the best overall protein for digestibility and effectiveness.
Why? Because it’s been through an extra filtration process, making it virtually fat-free, lactose-free, and carb-free. (Like our favorite brand.)
The protein content in whey protein isolate is very potent, boasting a concentration of over 90%. At this level, the protein is very easily absorbed by the body and goes directly to repairing muscle.
This makes it perfect for a post-workout shake and is excellent for recovery and supplying your muscles with muscle building and body leaning protein.
Is whey protein good for losing fat?
Most of us (especially if we are women) are not getting enough protein.
For some odd reason, ladies are afraid of it. I can’t tell you how many questions I’ve gotten from misinformed women asking if protein will make them gain weight and get bulky.
NO NO NO!
Sure too much protein will make you bulky, just like too many cupcakes will. But eating protein itself won’t turn you into a dude. So let’s put that myth to rest for good, please?
Getting enough protein in the diet will actually help you get that one girl’s lean, fit body that you stalk on Instagram.
- Whey protein (especially isolate) can help you build lean muscle. If you want to be “toned” you need some muscle. Period.
- Whey protein requires more energy to digest, meaning you’ll actually burn more calories digesting it than carbs or fat. One study found that when protein makes up ⅓ of the diet, you’ll increase your calorie burn from anywhere from 80-100 extra calories a day!
- Whey protein has a satiating effect. This means it will keep you fuller for longer and lessen your cravings and munchies. Sick of feeling hungry all the time? Eat more protein.
Is whey protein good for building muscle?
But what if you don’t need to lose weight. What if you have the opposite goal? You need to gain some muscle and some healthy weight along with it?
Whey protein is your new best friend.
Protein is the building blocks of our bodies, especially muscle. If you want to build a strong figure, yes you need to lift but you also need to EAT.
Protein stimulates protein synthesis in the body (that’s a fancy word for muscle building) so it’s essential you fuel your body with a high quality protein after a workout.
Whey protein isolate is your best pick because it is used quickly by the body, working to repair and rebuild your muscles.
What whey protein brand is the best?
Now for the real question. Which brand of whey protein is the best?
When it comes to a high-quality brand of whey protein isolate our number one choice is IdealLean protein for women.
Let’s look at a few features and why we love it so much.
- Has just 80 calories per serving and 20g of the highest quality whey isolate protein.
- Has zero carbs, fat, and sugars.
- Comes in 6 delicious flavors including flavors you won’t see anywhere else (like pina colada and chocolate coconut).
- Comes with a 100% money-back guarantee so there’s no risk for you!
Like the name implies, IdealLean can help you attain a lean and fit figure but it can also help you build muscle and get stronger!
It’s hands down our coaches favorite and most recommended protein powder. Give it a try! You won’t be disappointed.