Whey is a powdered protein complex popular in the world of sports nutrition. Here we take a look at the efficacy of these proteins and how they can help maximise your body’s performance and athleticism.
Whey protein is a complex of proteins extracted from whey, the liquid by-product left over from the manufacture of cheese. Whey protein is formed by dehydrating this liquid once the lipids and carbohydrates have been removed.
We should first say that whey protein’s reputation is well-deserved: this protein complex is indeed highly effective at increasing muscle mass. (1) But let’s look at exactly why this is ...
A quick reminder of how the body gains muscle: in the course of exercise (such as weight-training) muscle fibres suffer tiny amounts of damage, or microtrauma. In order for muscles to then rebuild themselves, they form larger, stronger fibres, and so it is that with repeated exercise, muscles gradually get bigger.
Whey acts in several ways to promote this muscle reconstruction and growth:
In addition, it is absorbed faster than many protein complexes (4). In this way, it delivers a comprehensive action guaranteed to build a strong, muscular ‘framework’.
There are several types of whey, the main ones being hydrolysate, concentrate and isolate :
It’s advisable to take whey protein every day to ensure a regular gain in muscle mass. For even greater efficacy, it’s a good idea to take some just before or during your training session, in addition to your daily dose.
Whey is a complete complex in its own right for improving physical performance and gaining muscle mass. It can, however, be combined with other supplements for even greater efficacy:
Remember: regular exercise and a protein-rich diet are essential for maintaining healthy muscles. To increase muscle mass and improve your performance, opt for whey protein isolate, a form that’s pure, easy to absorb and rich in proteins. A whey supplement such as Undenatured Whey Protein Isolate will prove an invaluable aid in achieving an athletic body.
(1) Paddon-Jones D, Westman E, Mattes RD, Wolfe RR, Astrup A, Westerterp-Plantenga
(2) Joy, J.M., Lowery, R.P., Wilson, J.M. et al. The effects of 8 weeks of whey or rice protein supplementation on body composition and exercise performance. Nutr J 12, 86 (2013).
(3) Salehi A, Gunnerud U, Muhammed SJ, Ostman E, Holst JJ, Björck I, Rorsman P. The insulinogenic effect of whey protein is partially mediated by a direct effect of amino acids and GIP on β-cells. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2012 May 30;9(1):48.
(4) Boirie Y, Dangin M, Gachon P, Vasson MP, Maubois JL, Beaufrère B. Slow and fast dietary pro-teins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Dec 23;94(26):14930-5.
(5) Nissen SL, Sharp RL. Effect of dietary supplements on lean mass and strength
gains with resistance exercise: a meta-analysis. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2003 Feb;94(2):651-9.
(6) Howatson, G., Hoad, M., Goodall, S. et al. Exercise-induced muscle damage is reduced in resis-tance-trained males by branched chain amino acids: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 9, 20 (2012).
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