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Whey - the what and the why!

There seems to be an abundance of ‘different’ proteins available in today’s protein market and we are certainly spoilt for choice! The most commonly used and one of the oldest forms of protein is whey protein. [caption id="attachment_3414" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Whey protein is available in many flavours Whey protein is available in many flavours[/caption]

Why protein?

Protein is one of the main ingredients of muscle building - when you exercise hard, you tear millions of muscle fibres and they respond by healing stronger and multiplying. Your body responds and uses protein to help it rebuild them. Weight training/exercising + protein and diet = will make you stronger.

Whey of life?

I thought I would look into whey protein, find out where it comes from and how it can benefit us as after our workout sessions, and try to find out how it helps. Whey is basically the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained, which I admit sounds a little grim. In short however it is a by-product of the manufacture of cheese or casein. Whey protein is considered a complete protein and contains nine essential amino acids and is low in lactose content. Whey is now used in various products – infant formulas, food supplements, ice cream, food bars and beverages – to meet a variety of health goals for people of all ages. Whey protein is proven to leave the stomach quickly, and is absorbed into our blood faster than lots of other different proteins, this helps in speedier muscle recovery. A lot of people prefer it as their choice for post-workout protein for recovery. Whey protein can also help control blood glucose levels, and it can help people who have diabetes control their diet.

When your body uses whey protein

[caption id="attachment_3412" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Your body needs protein all through the day Your body needs protein all through the day[/caption] Obviously your body has different needs for different situations.  With a regular, balanced diet, you should be getting a normal amount of protein from many of the foods you eat. However, with our busy schedules and training, your body will need additional protein to recover and, depending on your workout/sport, build and maintain necessary muscle. Research also suggests that consuming protein before you work out is a great way of promoting muscle development. This protein is quickly digested in readiness to be used by the muscles needing repair following a work out. Now remember you don't need hundreds of grams of protein a day like some people believe to build muscle, but you definitely do need to get in enough! 1g per 1lb target weight is about right if you're serious adding lean muscle. If you fail to get in all the protein you need, you are not going to be successful with the goal of building/maintaining muscle. The amount of protein you consume should be matched with your exercise levels. This will ensure that the body is properly nourished and not overloaded.

Final whey thoughts

So if choosing whey protein you must therefore do so in a sensible manner and ensure you give it some time to see results (don’t think it’s not working, it is!). Remember, protein isn't a feely type of supplement; you are not going to see and feel results immediately. Give it at least four to six weeks and then evaluate your results and go from there.
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