You might think that spending hours in the gym lifting weight is the path to bigger and stronger muscles. However, if you don’t pay attention to what you eat, the effect you might achieve with your exercise might be a little disappointing.
In order to support your workout regimen, you need to make sure you eat the right foods. This means eating lots of protein, which is crucial for repairing and rebuilding your damaged muscles after an intense workout session. Because protein is found in many delicious foods (egg, meat, dairy), people generally don’t have trouble consuming more of it. However, when it comes to getting the amount you need to support heavy training, it takes more than a handful of nuts for breakfast and chicken breast for lunch and dinner.
Protein shakes are an effective way to ensure you achieve your daily targets. Easy to make and convenient to drink, protein shakes are much easier to consume after a heavy training session than a plate of eggs and steak. Although there are many types of proteins available on the market, powdered whey protein is the most popular among bodybuilders. The reason behind that is whey protein products generally lack the fats, carbs, lactose and cholesterol generally found in other forms of protein powder. This makes whey protein the ideal dietary supplement to aid in muscle building and strength. Let’s take a look at the benefits you can experience when supplementing with a whey protein powder.
Improved Muscle Mass and Tissue Repair
Whey protein, at its purest form, has all the nine essential amino acids. These amino acids aid with proper muscle repair and muscle protein synthesis. BCAAS are well known for helping improve recovery and muscle growth. When combined with all nine essential amino acids, there can be an increase in muscle protein synthesis by as much as 50% over the use of just BCAAS alone.
The glutamine and leucine found in the amino acid profile in whey protein are what help stimulate protein synthesis right after a training session. They are also responsible for decreasing tissue damage and improving endurance. When you engage in weight lifting, you’re creating micro-tears in the muscle fibres. The complete essential amino acid profile whey protein, help repair these tears and allow your tissues to come back bigger and stronger.
Can Be Easily Digested
Thanks to its high absorption rate, whey protein can be easily digested and can be processed much faster than other forms of protein. Furthermore, it helps regulate bowel movements. Certain powdered whey protein products can even be consumed by those who are lactose intolerant.
Aids In Weight Management
It’s no secret that increased consumption of protein is an effective way to shed kilos. Whether in food or supplement form, higher protein intake can lead to smaller portion sizes and less frequent snacking, both of which can help maintain a healthy weight. From all of the types of protein powders available in the market, whey protein is the most filling. A study has shown that individuals who consumed whey protein powder lost more body fat and got greater preservation of lean muscle than those who consumed other types of protein.
How Do You Know if Whey Protein Is Right for You?
You can benefit from supplementing with whey protein powder if you are:
- An athlete or bodybuilder looking to increase muscle mass
- An adult trying to manage your weight
- An individual who doesn’t get enough protein throughout the day from your diet
It’s common to see athletes drinking protein shakes to replace a meal. You can do the same with whey protein powder and there are many delicious protein shake recipes to try. Just make sure you don’t go overboard. It’s still important that you eat whole foods, not only for additional protein but also for vitamins and minerals, fibre, antioxidants and other necessary elements that whey protein doesn’t provide. Make sure you treat whey isolate as a supplement and not as a food group.
It’s also important that you keep your body hydrated when supplementing with not only whey but any kind of protein supplement. Water helps transport the nutrients needed for producing glycogen and protein structures, the building blocks of muscle. So make sure you drink lots of water to maintain optimal performance.
What Are the Side Effects of Whey Protein Powder?
As with any supplement, you may want to talk with your doctor before you start taking a whey protein supplement. That is because consuming too much of it can result in negative side effects. For example, whey doesn’t harm the liver or kidneys, but it can aggravate pre-existing damage. So, individuals with damaged liver or kidneys should use caution when rapidly increasing protein intake without consulting a professional. Also, those who are allergic or intolerant to lactose should make sure the whey protein powder they choose contain no more than 0.1 grams of lactose per tablespoon of product.