Whey Protein Frequently Asked Questions.
Whey protein is one of the densest sources of proteins available and can be a powerful tool in your physique toolbox. But there are still many misconceptions around, hopefully this post will clear some up.
1. Should I take protein before my workout?
Yes and no. Should you take some protein before your workout? Yes.
Should you take only protein before your workout? No.
The goal of consuming protein prior to your workout is simply to prevent excessive muscle loss. This helps boost recovery, which can promote good energy levels after your workout and benefit your lean muscle. But, you generally don’t need to consume very much protein to get this effect.
The ideal pre-workout will consist of 60%+ carbohydrates and 30% (or less) protein.
Food example: Yogurt + Banana
Supplement example: 2:1:1 Recovery mix (specialty supplement drink with two-to-one ratio of carbs:protein.)
Carbohydrates give your body the glucose energy to fuel your workout, while protein prevents breakdown of muscle tissue. All in all, this results in improved performance and more potential for fat loss. Good deal, mate.
2. Will Whey Protein make me fat if I don’t workout?
Will chicken make you fat if you don’t workout? Understand that Whey Protein, while a supplement (and not a whole food), should still be considered as a food. Whey, itself, will typically contain 75% or more protein, with a minor amount of carbohydrates and fat.
Since protein requires more energy for your body to digest, and since protein is the building block of muscle, the answer is that NO, whey protein will NOT make you fat.
If you already consume 100+ grams of protein per day, or if you consume more than 40+ grams of protein in one sitting, it is possible that some of the protein will be stored as fat. This is highly unlikely though. There is a much greater chance of carbohydrates being stored as body fat, than there is of whey protein.
For people who do not consume enough protein (less than 60 grams per day), then Whey Protein is a great way to boost up protein levels. Since your body needs a certain amount of protein each day, you will utilize the protein and not get fat from it.
On the other hand, if you DO workout, then the whey protein will boost muscle recovery and help you get lean and sculpted.
3. When is the best time to take Whey Protein?
Whey Protein should supplement a healthy, balanced diet.
But you can supercharge that healthy, balanced diet by taking whey protein at two key times:
b. Immediately after your workout
Of course, some people consume Whey Protein all day long to meet protein requirements, and you may do so if you wish. However, I encourage you to consume more whole foods if you really want to reach physique goals.
Back to our key times…
Breakfast is a time in the morning in which your body is ready to uptake a glorious amount of nutrients. This is the time when you can fuel your body and prepare it for the rest of the day.
For example, Oatmeal + Whey Protein in the morning will pretty much guarantee that you’ll get closer to your physique goals (build muscle, burn fat).
As for taking protein after your workout, the idea is simple…
Following an intense workout, your muscles are highly responsive to amino acids (protein) in the diet. Therefore, you can attain a greater anabolic muscle growth stimulus. Remember, even if you are female, having a certain amount of muscle on your body will raise your metabolism — helping you burn more fat. Think: Jessica Biel booty.
4. Whats the difference between Whey Protein concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate?
The difference between Whey Protein (specifically called Whey Protein Concentrate) and Whey Protein Isolate has to do with the amount of protein compared to lactose and fat. Whey Protein Concentrate, the most popular protein supplement, will contain between 75-85% protein — the remainder will be carbohydrates (lactose) and fat.
On the other hand, Whey Protein Isolate (WPI), has greater biological value in that it is usually 95% or greater protein — often it is completely lactose free. WPI is more absorbable and therefore more expensive as well. You pay for what you get, WPI is generally superior, but costs more.
5. How about Whey Protein versus Plant based protein?
Now, moving on to plant based proteins…the most common are Soy, pea, rice, hemp, and combinations. The key is to look at the amino acid ratios. Certain essential amino acids, including the Branched Chain Amino Acids, are more responsible for muscle growth and recovery. Athletes love whey protein because the amino acid profile is fantastic, whereas some plant based proteins may be lacking in the essential amino acids.
To solve the amino acid dilemma, some producers utilize special extraction techniques or combine Pea, Rice, and Hemp protein together to create a solid amino acid profile.
More thoughts to consider…
- Whey protein tastes better than most plant based proteins
- Soy Protein contains phyto-estrogens, which may or may not be good for men. (Note: General consensus is that Soy is good in moderation, but preferably from whole food sources, and not necessarily from supplement form)
- Make sure your plant protein specifically states that it does NOT come from GMO source — if it is cheap, it might be GMO based.
6. How do you usually take your Whey Protein?
I appreciate that you value my physique accomplishments and am enthusiastic to share personal experiences. Truthfully, I would much rather consume whole foods than bombard my system with whey protein. While whey protein is a great source of amino acids, you should know by now that I am all about the most bang-for-the-buck.
My biggest success with Whey Protein have been from…
- Oatmeal + Whey Protein. I must have consumed this combination hundreds of times. Great for energy levels, muscle growth, and fat loss. PS I love eggs, but they take longer to prepare
- Whey protein immediately following my workout. This is a money period and I ensure my muscles are loaded with the building blocks required to gain strength.
- In my smoothies. Mixed frozen berries + whey protein = delicious, nutritious smoothie.
Overall, whey protein is a good supplement, but you have to figure out how to make it work in your lifestyle.