21st century is an era wherein Fitness has turned out to be a fashion trend rather than a wellness approach and when it comes to building muscle, managing weight and nonpareil athletic fitness nothing beats Whey Protein.
As more people are getting involved in this regime, more brands of Whey Proteins are springing up in the market. Therefore, it is crucial that you understand the different type of Whey Protein and which one to choose according to body type and fitness goals.
People use Whey Proteins for a variety of purposes- to lose weight, to improve sports performance, build muscle mass, increasing core strength and for overall wellness.
Despite the growing craze for Whey Protein, A bunch of questions remain unanswered in the consumer’s mind like, what are the benefits of whey protein? which is the best type of whey? Are there any side effects of using whey? Is it value for money? and many more.
Being a consumer, you have the right to get an answer to each of these. So, here is your expert guide to whey Protein, where we address and breakdown all the key facts you should be aware of before simply kickstarting with your Whey shaker bottle!
Let’s quickly begin with understanding the basics about Whey Protein.
What Is Whey Protein?
Whey is Milk Protein and is derived from a simple process of making cheese using milk. Milk is made up of two primary proteins, which are Whey and Casein.
Approximately 80% of milk protein is Casein, whereas Whey comprises up for the remaining 20%. Whey can be extracted from Milk using the process of creating cheese. To put in simple words, Whey is nothing but the liquid residue left after milk has been curdled and strained to make cheese.
However, in order to become what most of us recognize as Whey Protein Powder, it undergoes several more processing and filtration steps. After vigorous processing a proportionately tasteless powder we all recognise as Whey Protein Powder is produced which can then be added to your favourite smoothie, Shake or just plain milk/water.
You might have thought all Whey proteins are the same and buying any type between concentrate, isolate and hydrolysate will get you the same results but No! Whey Protein concentrate, isolate and hydrolysate all have different compositions of protein, carbs, fats and amino acids.
Now, that we have a basic understanding of what Whey Protein is, Let’s understand the differences between different types of Whey Protein.
Different types of Whey Protein and How to choose one for myself?
1. What is Whey Protein Concentrate?
Whey protein concentrate is the most common type of whey used to increase intake of dietary protein, often with the goal of bodybuilding.
Although, Whey concentrates contain 70-80% protein concentration, with lactose (Carbs) and fat in limited quantity which is up to 20%. However, the concentration of protein and other nutrients may vary from brand to brand.
“Whey protein concentrate is constitutionally inferior to whey protein isolate” This is a most common misconception amongst many gym-beginners, but the fact is Whey Concentrate is a well-balanced protein supplement which can in-fact prove to be a better choice than whey isolate depending upon your fitness goals.
2. What is Whey Protein Isolate?
Whey Protein Isolate can be said to be as a more refined version of Whey Concentrate as most of the fat and lactose are filtered out. This process of filtering out carbs and fat leads to an average protein concentration of Whey isolates boosted as high as 80-95%. Whey Isolate is a goto choice for lean muscle building.
Various studies reveal that people who have suppressed milk digestibility or Lactose intolerance responds better with whey isolate compared to concentrate.
3. What is Whey Protein Hydrolysate?
Also known as Hydrolyzed Whey, As the name indicates; Hydrolysate (Undergoing Hydrolysis) is a partially digested form of Whey Protein. To get whey hydrolysate, the whey protein undergoes the process of partial breakdown where the long protein chains are broken down to simpler chains which improve the digestibility and also reduces the potential of allergies.
Therefore, if you want your protein to be quickly absorbed by the body and also do not cause any digestion troubles, Whey is the ideal option for you!
Another category of Whey protein you might have come across is Whey Blend. Lets quickly go through Whey blends and understand how it is different from other whey types.
What is Whey Blend: Difference Between Whey and Protein Blends
Whey blend is basically a blend of hydrolyzed whey with isolate or concentrate, or all of these could be blended together to make a whey blend. Whereas, when whey protein is mixed with other proteins types like soy, pea, rice, etc. the mix is known as a Protein Blend.
Now, that we have a clear understanding of each of the Whey type and blend, Let’s quickly run through the chart given below to revise basic differences between Whey concentrate, Whey Isolate and Whey Hydrolysate.
How to Choose Whey Protein according to Your Body?
Which Whey shall I pick for my body type? Which type of whey protein would suit me best? These are some of the most common questions asked by fitness enthusiasts and has become one of the key discussion areas amongst gym-beginners.
Choose a Whey Protein that syncs best with your fitness goal.
For Gaining Weight: For gaining weight Whey Concentrate would be a better option, while for reducing weight Whey Isolate is a better option.
For Lactose Intolerancy: Individuals should choose Whey Isolate or Hydrolysate if they are lactose intolerant as Isolate and hydrolysate have lactose filtered out, whereas Whey Concentrate contains a higher concentration of lactose.
Another situation which often put protein consumers in dilemma is which Whey Protein flavour or brand is the best in taste? To your notice, protein powders are now available in a variety of flavours, to learn about the best tasting Whey protein you can check out our blog on Best Tasting Whey Protein Powders 2019
Despite which-ever Whey type you choose or taste you prefer, there is no known contradiction that a particular type of whey is better than another, it completely depends on your health and fitness goals, personal liking and the amount you wish to invest; So feel confident while you grab your best whey out!
Key Benefits of Whey Protein: What makes Whey Protein a Complete Fitness Supplement
Now, that we are clear with types of whey and their differences, Let’s roll down our eye on the benefits of Whey Protein and what makes it go to fitness supplement?
Whey as Pre & Post Workouts: Whey Supplements are most often used as Pre and Post Workout supplement, and is known to enhance the workout results.
Consuming Whey Supplement as a pre-workout provides ample nutrients to the body which boosts the workout efficiency and thereof allowing high output focussed workouts to reach your fitness goals.
Whey when consumed as a Post-workout, it helps in replenishing lost electrolytes and nutrients, allowing better muscle recovery & reduced muscle fatigue.
A very interesting study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism demonstrated that during resistance training those who complemented with whey protein had an almost 5% (or 5.5-pound) of a greater increase in lean muscle mass as compared to those who didn’t start with Whey supplement making Whey Protein an absolute supplement to get greater gains in muscle mass and strength over just exercise alone.
Whey for Weight loss: Whey Proteins are well known to help reduce weight in a healthy manner the reason being its composition which includes: alpha,beta-lactoglobulin, immunoglobulins, smaller components and Bovine serum albumin. These Essential Amino acids take longer to digest which gives you a feeling of fullness keeping your food cravings at bay and allowing weight loss.
Best Time to Take Whey Protein?
Another big question that often floats in our minds is When Should We Take Whey Supplements? Whey Protein can be consumed as Pre or Post workouts, it can be taken in the morning with breakfast and can also be consumed at night before your bedtime. Most people prefer having Whey Supplements 30-45 minutes prior to the workout (Pre-workout meal) or/ and within 30 minutes of workout (Post-workout meal).
Conclusion: Wrapping it Up
Whether it is increasing muscle mass, reducing body fat or increasing core strength, irrespective of your fitness goal, Whey Protein is the ultimate and a complete dietary supplement to support your workouts and get the most out of your training.