There are various types of protein powder to choose from, but there's one that every lifter and gym-goer swears by... Whey protein. This is by far the most popular protein powder, and there's a good reason for that.
It's an outstanding protein powder that has all the essential amino acids, but aside from that, it has a distinct difference from casein protein powder. Those differences are what make whey protein powder an ideal choice for anyone trying to achieve muscle-building or fat loss goals!
Whey protein powder (like 373 Lab's Whey Protein Isolate) can help make a positive impact on your fitness journey - no matter the goal, and we want to share with you just how! We've gathered all the important information about what it is, how it can help you achieve your fitness goals, and tips on finding the best whey protein powder for you!
What is whey protein?
Whey protein powder is made from a mixture of proteins isolated from whey. Whey is an animal-based protein produced from the watery portion of milk that separates from the curds when cheese is made. To help you get a clearer picture... Do you know that liquid that floats on top of a tub of yogurt? That's whey!
However, after it's separated during the cheese production, it undergoes a ton of processing to become an edible protein powder that can be used in various ways! We say "edible" because whey protein on its own doesn't generally taste very good. Each manufacturer processes whey differently, so we can't speak for others, but at 373 Lab our Whey Protein Isolate goes through a membrane filtration process which filters the whey without using any harsh chemicals. We also add natural flavors (and very few artificial) to enhance your tasting experience! Like we said, each process is different, but ours is clean and simple so you can reap the benefits of whey protein - not fill up on a bunch of unnecessary additives and potentially dangerous fillers!
The different types
Aside from the process, there are also different types of whey protein to choose from! We've mentioned one already, whey isolate. The other two types are whey concentrate and whey hydrolysate.
Knowing the different types can make finding the right whey protein for you a bit easier, so here are a few details to help you make the right choice...
- Whey protein isolate (WPI): Whey isolate involves going through additional filtration processes to remove as much fat and lactose as possible. The end result is a higher protein content! WPI's can have a protein content of up to 90 percent, which is far higher than the other two types of whey.
- Whey protein concentrate (WPC): Whey concentrate doesn't go through additional processing to remove all fat and carbohydrates, but it does get processed enough so that it contain low levels of fat and carbohydrates. The amount of protein in WPC's will depend on how concentrated it is. It can range from 30-60 percent protein.
- Whey protein hydrolysate (WPH): This from of whey is "predigested". It undergoes a partial hydrolysis, a process that will help your body and muscles absorb the protein quicker.
There is no better of the three, each type of whey protein has its own benefits. Someone trying to build muscle mass and really increase their protein intake would benefit better from a whey protein isolate because of the higher protein content. It's also beneficial for weight management and weight loss since most of the fat and lactose (milk sugar) is removed! Whatever the case is, you can easily pick the best whey protein for your needs and goals.
But what makes whey protein so great? What does it have that the other protein powders don't?
The difference between whey protein and other types of protein powder
Not all protein supplements are created equal. Some are complete proteins (meaning they contain all essential amino acids), while others aren't. Whey protein contains all essential amino acids necessary for muscle protein synthesis and muscle repair. This already sets it apart from incomplete proteins, like plant-based protein powders (pea protein for example).
Whey protein often gets compared to casein protein, but they are quite different and beneficial for different reasons. Casein contains more milk protein than whey, but its absorbed at a much slower rate. Essentially it delays the bloodstream absorption of amino acids, opposed to giving you a steady stream of it. The benefit of this is that it helps reduce the rate of muscle protein breakdown to aid in recovery. This makes casein protein powder better for those who drink their protein shakes at night, not post-workout.
On the other hand, whey gets its best benefit from this difference! Its absorbed quickly in the body because its acid-soluble. This helps increase amino acid delivery into your muscle tissue which thus helps increase muscle protein synthesis. But the best part is that it contains the greatest amount of leucine compared to casein and soy protein! Leucine is an essential amino acid that is the key driver behind muscle growth because of its ability to increase protein synthesis! So, unlike its counterpart, whey protein is best taken post-workout!
Those differences are what give whey protein its muscle-building and weight loss benefits! But let's take a look at what the studies say...
Effective at increasing muscle growth
Whey protein has been around for a long time, giving it the advantage of being heavily researched! Several studies back up the muscle-building claims behind whey protein powder and show that supplementing with whey protein can help build and maintain muscle mass, and assist athletes and lifters with better recovery! It is able to do this because its rich in protein and increases the release of anabolic hormones that stimulate muscle growth (like insulin)!
Most studies share similar results, but there are a few that show no positive effects of whey protein supplementation. It doesn't necessarily mean whey is ineffective, it just may be ineffective for someone who's already eating a high-protein diet. In this 12-week study, older participants who regularly lift weights and have an adequate protein intake saw no difference in muscle growth when supplementing with whey protein or carbohydrates.
However, not everyone is able to hit their daily protein goals with only whole foods! In this case whey can be very beneficial for muscle growth.
Everyone knows that protein powder, including whey protein, helps with muscle growth. Oftentimes this leads to the other benefits being overlooked, like this one!
Whey protein can help promote weight loss and maintain weight because it helps keep you full! One study that process this claim, tested four different types of protein shakes on different days on a group of healthy men. Whey protein shakes led to the largest decrease in appetite and a reduction in the amount of calories consumed at the next meal! Another study showed that eating 25 percent of your daily calories in protein cut cravings by 60 percent! This study may not show the effects of whey protein, but it does show how increasing your protein intake can help with weight loss!
Overall, a whey protein supplement is a great way to increase your protein intake to help you maintain and build muscle, and also promote weight loss - it's the best of both world! So, after bulking, you can continue drinking whey protein shakes in your cutting phase to help you lose fat and maintain the muscle you gained!
Potential side effects
We can't discuss only the good things, we also have to lay down the facts about potential adverse effects, so you can determine whether whey protein is a good fit for you.
Whey protein is generally safe to consume as long as you follow the serving instructions and don't go overboard on your protein intake. Consuming too much whey protein can cause digestive issues, like nausea and stomach pains. Also, if you're lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy avoid whey protein and any milk-based protein! Although plant-based proteins aren't complete proteins, they are still very beneficial and can help you get more protein in your diet!
But generally, whey protein is safe to consume and most people have no issues consuming it. If you still have concerns on whether whey protein is right for you, consult with your doctor or nutritionist to be safe.
Which is the best whey protein powder?
Whey protein is an excellent supplement for anyone trying to lose weight or build muscle, or just trying to get more protein in their diet! It's a high-quality protein source that our body can efficiently use. If you decided whey protein powder is the right type for you, then it's time to find the best one!
When it comes to finding the best protein powder always look at the ingredients list! Make sure it has at least 20 grams of protein per scoop, it has all essential amino acids, and that its mostly protein - not just a bunch of additives!
Want a Whey Protein Isolate powder that is high in protein and tasty?
373 Lab's Whey Protein Isolate is going to be your new best friend! Whether you're trying to build muscle or lose fat, our Whey Protein Powder can help. Like mentioned earlier, we use a filtration method that doesn't involve any harsh chemicals, and removes most of the fat and lactose to provide you with a high protein content! We also use natural flavors like cocoa powder and actual freeze-dried coffee to enhance the flavors in our Chocolate Cheesecake and Cold Brew Latte Protein Powder! Plus, we've added an enzyme blend to aid in digestion and for maximal absorption!
Get a clean and delicious 25 grams of protein per scoop with 373 Lab's Whey Protein Isolate.