The Right Whey for You
The Right Whey for You?
Friday 20 August 2021
Heat it gently and add a weak acid.
The milk will separate into the sum of its parts: Curd – fatty clumps which form the base of all cheese making; and Whey – the liquid portion; a miracle food loaded with protein and micronutrients.
Once considered a waste product, whey is now the best known of all nutrition supplements. Gym enthusiasts, bodybuilders and athletes mix whey powder into shakes daily. But why? The answer is simple: Protein. Sport science has revealed to us that adequate protein consumption promotes the development of muscle.
Whey is more easily prepared than high protein whole foods (just add milk or water) and is a convenient way for an athlete to fulfill their protein requirements. But the supplement market has many other easy-to-prepare protein products. Casein, egg protein, pea protein and even micronized beef protein are available.
So again, why whey?
The answer is best explained by investigating two concepts: Amino Acid Profiles and Biological Value.
Biological Value (BV)
The concept of BV is simple – it is the efficiency of protein absorption into the human body from any specific foodstuff. I.e., a person consumes 100g of protein A and 100g of protein B; 80g of Protein A is absorbed, while only 70g of protein B is absorbed – Protein A therefore has a greater biological value than protein B.
Whey protein has the highest BV of all proteins studied to date. It is also the most quickly absorbed protein. This makes it particularly useful for nutrient timing; after a heavy workout, the body increases protein synthesis; whey protein is the most efficient way to provide protein at this juncture.
Amino Acid Profile (AAP)
All proteins are made up of building blocks called amino acids. There are 20 of these amino acids, 9 of which are considered essential – meaning that the human body cannot synthesize them; they must be acquired from food sources.
The amino acid makeup of proteins is referred to as the AAP. Proteins are either considered complete – including the 9 essential amino acids – or incomplete. Whey has a complete AAP; indeed, it provides on average a greater amount of the 9 essential amino acids than any other supplement.
Types of whey protein
There are three types of manufactured whey protein, specifically:
1. Whey protein concentrate
The simplest to manufacture. Whey concentrate is essentially a powderized version of the liquid whey. Protein content can vary in concentrates but can be as high as 90% protein (revealed by checking protein content per serving in any supplement). Concentrates include a small amount of fat and carbs – as well as immunoglobulins, which provide a boost to the immune system.
For a great whey concentrate supplement try Gold’s Gym Super Whey.
2. Whey protein isolate
Isolate is whey concentrate that has been further processed to reduce the carb and fat content. It is even higher in protein than concentrate, and it contain even lower levels of carbs and fats – and no immunoglobulins. It also has a faster absorption rate than whey concentrate.
An ideal whey protein isolate supplement is Gold’s Gym Iso-whey. It consists primarily of whey isolate and is delicious (as tested by this blogger!).
3. Whey protein hydrolysate
Whey hydrolysate is isolate that has been pre-digested. This provides even quicker absorption and digestibility of the protein. It is quite expensive to produce and these protein supplements tend to be on the pricey side. It is particularly useful for those with whey allergies, as the pre-digestion does not seem to elicit an allergic response.
If you are looking for a more easily digestible protein product try Gold’s Gym 100% Whey. It is a mix of whey concentrate, isolate and hydrolysate – and is an effective allergy solution at a great price.
And there you have it. A quick simple breakdown of whey protein, why it is useful and its different incarnations. But please don’t take our word for it, we have included our references below; feel free to read through them, learn more and correct us if we are wrong.
Protein – Which is best?
Protein content and amino acid composition of commercially available plant-based protein isolates:
How can you assess protein quality?
Credit: Alex Cheboub – Brand Manager Fitness & Toys