Whey Proteins & More Protein Info

There is a lot of consumer confusion regarding the selection of the proper protein powder for their training goals. Let’s set the record straight: Protein is made up of peptide chains that link amino acid molecules together. The longer the peptide chain is, the more difficult it is for our body to absorb and utilize it. The various types of whey protein on the market are utilizing different peptide chain sizes to allow faster or slower absorption. Let’s dive deeper into whey proteins……

  • Whey Concentrate – When milk gets processed, it will produce 2 separate products: whey and casein. Whey concentrate contains 70-80% whey and has a slower absorption/digestion rate than the other types of whey protein. It does have more carbs and milk lactose, but is the least costly to make – hence the lower price. This protein powder would be ideal for beginners in training, or people who want a slower absorption time and a longer source of amino acids throughout the day.

  • Whey Isolate – The additional processing and filtration of the whey produces a product that contains 90% whey per serving plus lower carbohydrates and lactose than whey concentrates. This allows the isolate protein to not only be absorbed quicker, but more effectively too. Ideally whey isolate protein should be taken just after your training/workout to replace and repair the targeted muscles.

  • Hydrolyzed Whey Isolate – During processing, the whey peptide chains are partially digested and broken down into smaller chains. These smaller chains allow it to be absorbed faster and offer more bioavailability than the other whey products. Hydrolyzed whey builds muscle the best, promotes faster recovery, and has the least amount of lactose. All this additional processing makes hydrolyzed whey the most expensive product too. This should also be taken after your training session.

  • Whey Blends – These protein products are a combination of 2 or more protein types. The result is you get the effects of both protein products in each serving. The only disadvantage is that some manufacturers put a lot of additives in the mixture so read your labels carefully!

Final steps in selecting a whey protein are checking the sugar/carb content (should be under 5g), watching for sodium levels that are over 200mg for fluid retention, and finally is checking if the protein is grass-fed. Grass-fed protein is a cleaner, minimally processed, low sugar option. It also has less additives and a complete amino acid profile. Whichever type of whey protein powder you take, get the one that fits your training goals!

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