Not all protein is made equally, and some forms of protein, such as whey, might be better than others. Whey protein contains vital amino acids that are absorbed quickly, and many studies showcase its efficiency in increasing strengths, gaining muscle, and losing body fat.
I have been relying on whey protein throughout my career, so I can vouch for it in confidence.
What You Need to Know About Whey Protein
Milk contains two types of protein, including 80% of casein and 20% of whey. Whey protein is a mixture of proteins separated from the whey. Whey is found in the watery part of milk.
If you’ve seen liquid floating on top of yogurt, that’s what whey is. Before the commercial value of whey was discovered, whey used to be discarded by cheesemakers.
Whey goes through many processing steps after being separated during cheese production to become what people recognize as whey protein.
Unflavored whey is usually described as watered-down milk, and many people aren’t a fan of this taste. As a result of this, whey is usually flavored. Most commonly, chocolate or vanilla flavor is added, although there are lots of different flavors.
Ideally, I’d recommend that you read the ingredients list before consuming whey protein, as some of the products could have potentially unhealthy additives such as dyes or sweeteners.
Taking whey protein is one of the best ways to increase your daily protein intake, especially if you are a bodybuilder such as myself, or you just want to lose weight or lack protein in your daily diet plans.
Whey protein is safe for consumption. However, people with lactose intolerance need to consume whey protein that doesn’t contain lactose. Also, some people might be allergic to whey.
How Whey Protein Helps Boost Your Protein and BCAA Intake
Through protein consumption, you can help your body grow.
Whey protein is specifically beneficial to bodybuilders because they build our muscles’ contractile elements. They are assembled from amino acids, which are smaller molecules that are linked together. The contractile elements are produced by the cells in our body, while others are given to us by our food. The ones that we get from foods are known as essential amino acids.
Proteins can supply all nine essential amino acids, and whey protein is loaded with all of them.
More specifically, it’s high in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) consisted of valine, isoleucine, and leucine.
Whey protein is particularly effective at stimulating growth, and breast milk itself is 60% whey compared to the 20% in cow’s milk.
Whey Protein Concentrate vs. Isolate
The whey concentrate has 70% to 80% protein, and it contains lactose and fat. There’s also Whey Isolate, which has 90% protein, or higher in some cases, contains less lactose and fat, but it lacks many beneficial nutrients found in concentrate.
What is Hydrolysate?
Hydrolysate is known as hydrolyzed whey, and it is pre-digested so that it can be quickly absorbed. It causes a 28% to 43% greater spike in insulin levels than isolate.
When it comes to picking what’s best for you, whey protein concentrate is the right choice. Besides being the cheapest option, it also retains many of the beneficial nutrients in whey. Some people do not tolerate concentration and want to emphasize protein while keeping carbs and fat low, making hydrolysate protein superior to other types of whey.
Many people prefer the taste of concentrate as well, which is a result of the lactose and fat in it.
Effects of Whey Supplementation on Muscle Mass and Strength
Whey protein supplements are most commonly used to increase muscle mass and even strength.
Whey protein is extremely popular amongst fitness models, bodybuilders, athletes, and people looking to improve their performance at the gym.
Protein provides amino acids that serve as the building blocks for muscle growth. You also get access to hormones because it increases the release of anabolic hormones that can accelerate muscle growth, including insulin.
It’s high in amino acid leucine, which stimulates muscle protein synthesis at the molecular and genetic levels. Compared to other types of protein, whey protein is absorbed and utilized quickly.
Health Benefits of Whey Protein
Aside from being a high-quality protein source, whey protein has plenty of other beneficial nutrients. This includes immunoglobulins, alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin, and lactoferrin.
Apart from leanness, strength, and muscle, whey protein can also lower your blood sugar, blood pressure, and it can reduce symptoms of stress and depression. Whey protein may help people in treating type 2 diabetes and reducing inflammation.
Furthermore, whey protein is high in amino acid cysteine, which can mediate many health benefits. Cystine does this by raising glutathione levels, which is the primary antioxidant substance your body’s cells have.
Proper Dosage and Side Effects of Whey Protein
When it comes to the proper dosage, it depends on your body’s size. However, most recommended doses include one to two scoops, which would average around 30g of whey protein.
This is the ideal amount to repair the damage you have done to your muscles during training, and it can initiate muscle protein synthesis, which is the process through which new muscle tissue is built.
A diet filled with protein can also help reduce body fat levels, making you bigger, stronger, and leaner as a result.
How I Pick the Best Protein Powders?
I typically drink protein after a workout because that’s the time your muscles need it the most. Drinking a shake of whey within 30 minutes of finishing your training will begin the recovery process for your muscles.
In my case, I typically recommend brands that have excellent efficiency, sound branding, and use the latest technologies to develop their proteins.
The Best Whey Protein Powders
1. Kevin Levrone Signature Series – LevroWheySupreme
Based on high-quality whey protein concentrate, LevroWheySupreme is one of the most nutritional and delicious protein drinks.
LevroWheySupreme is a premium micro-filtrated and cold-pressed blend created by one of the most legendary and iconic athletes – Kevin Levrone.
I specifically recommend this protein because it aids in physical activity, long-term strength, and endurance training. In addition, this whey protein doesn’t include any excess sodium, and there are no harsh acids or crude heat.
You can mix it into juice, milk water, and smoothies in an instant, and every 30g portion delivers 23.5g of protein, which is an incomparable percentage.
This whey protein contributes to the growth and maintenance of muscle mass while also strengthening your bones. LevroWheySupreme is the optimal choice for people who want to participate in high-intensity exercise routines.
If you’re allergic to milk, do not use this product. Also, do not exceed the recommended daily dose. This shouldn’t be used as an alternative to a balanced diet. Keep out of reach for children. Never use this if you are pregnant or nursing.
2. Swedish Supplements – Whey Protein Deluxe
The main reason why the Swedish Supplements Whey Protein Deluxe is second on my list is its fantastic taste. Besides the flavor, this product is a source of high biological nutritional value, and it is quickly absorbed thanks to its high levels of BCAA and amino acids.
Common whey protein’s concentration is 80%, and the Swedish Supplements Whey Protein Deluxe is usually somewhat higher in purity. For those who are lactose intolerant, it probably won’t be an issue to consume this whey protein since the level of lactose is typically around 0.5 to 5%.
The usual ingredients in whey are serum albumin, alpha-lactalbumin, and beta-lactoglobulin, which have been found to have many positive effects on both immune and muscle-building systems.
I’d recommend using one scoop or 30g of powder with 300 ml of water or milk and putting it in a shaker. You can have it as a snack to help you reach your protein levels throughout the day, or you can even add it to your morning muesli.
It has inulin, cocoa, sweeteners, flavorings, sunflower lecithin, guar gum, and skimmed milk in terms of ingredients.
3. FA Engineered – Nutrition Whey Protein
One of the highest-quality protein drinks that are prepared from whey concentrate is FA Whey Protein.
This protein provides 60% of the protein in each serving due to the fact it is produced on the basis of 65% whey protein concentrate.
One of the most critical nutrients in endurance and strength training is whey protein since it contributes to muscle growth and helps maintain muscle mass. This specific protein contains large amounts of L-glutamine and BCAA, and it meets the daily requirement for protein.
When it comes to the benefits that FA Whey Protein offers, it is available in 3 different sizes, with 23 flavors that all have excellent taste. It has 20 grams of complete protein for each serving; it increases muscle mass and helps maintain healthy bones and muscle mass.
4. Optimum Nutrition – Gold Standard 100% Whey
Opium Nutrition’s Gold Standard 100% supports the growth of muscles by delivering 24g of whey protein, and it is one of the world’s best-selling whey proteins.
This protein supports muscle growth with 5.5g of naturally occurring BCAAs.
The taste of Opium Nutrition’s Gold Standard 100% is phenomenal. In addition, it is available in a wide range of flavors that should fit everyone’s needs.
After testing this protein, I can genuinely say it is excellent for repairing, building, and maintain lean muscle. You can take it as a post-workout recovery drink and a pre-workout fuel or any time throughout the day to meet your daily protein intake. This should be a protein that just about anyone can get behind, use, and feel great while drinking.
5. Dorian Yates – ShadoWhey
ShadoWhey contains an astonishing 26 grams of protein per scoop. It is perfect for post-workout, and it is easily digested due to the fact its naturally high in glutamine and BCAA.
You can look forward to drinking it every day because it has a great taste, and it comes in different flavors so that you can pick your favorite.
ShadoWhey is one of the best competitors on the market because of its percentage of proteins per scoop. Besides the fact that you get 26g of protein per serving, this product also has 0g sugar per serving, swift digestion, 84% pure protein, and excellent bioavailability for enhanced muscled building rate.
When your body needs a quick source of protein for post-workout consumption, ShadoWhey is an excellent choice.
6. Whey Protein Powder by Pure Protein
This is an easy-to-mix protein powder containing only the best protein sources, where each scoop provides 30 grams of premium protein. In addition, there are nearly 9 grams of naturally occurring and added valine, isoleucine, and leucine (BCAAs) per scoop.
This protein will give you a fantastic boost if you’re looking for a nutrient snack or you’ve just completed a hard workout. Better yet, the Whey Protein Powder by Pure Protein has an exceptional taste.
By using sophisticated filtering technology, this whey protein has much of the lactose, fat, and carbohydrates “isolated” out. This means that the protein powder will be able to get into your system quickly.
7. Pro Jym Protein Powder
Throughout its years in the industry, this whey protein has won multiple awards. This protein with science-based formulations and excellent taste was created by Jim Stoppani, Ph.D.
It is the perfect protein blend of muscle strength, growth, recovery, and energy. One serving of this protein contains 24 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbs, and 2.5 grams of fat. So if you want to grow your muscles efficiently, this is a well-rounded and good amount of protein.
It also has 140 calories per serving count, and it uses high-quality proteins, like egg white protein, milk protein isolate, micellar casein, and whey protein isolate.
If you don’t want to add any bulk, the recommended amount for muscle growth is 24 grams per serving. This is also an excellent protein for increasing strength and general performance, given its combination of ingredients.
8. Syntha-6 Whey Protein Powder
You will definitely be craving to drink this whey protein every single time since it’s by far one of the most delicious whey protein powders out there. Another reason why I’m recommending it is that it promotes recovery support and muscle protein synthesis.
It has a 22g protein matrix consisting of milk protein isolate, egg albumin, calcium caseinate, micellar casein, whey protein concentrate, and whey protein isolate.
Depending on the flavor, Syntha-6 contains 2 to 3 grams of sugar per serving. Considering the taste you’re getting out of it, this isn’t that much.
This protein powder can be used as a treat, between meals, or post-workout.
9. Dymatize – ELITE 100% WHEY
Dymatize has been on the market for decades, which is why this whey protein powder is one of the most popular proteins out there.
Elite 100% Whey should satisfy the needs of just about anyone since it comes in many flavors.
Elite 100% Whey is low in sugar, making it great between meals or after your workout. In addition, it contains all the essential amino acids to built muscles, and it is a fast-absorbing protein source.
You get 25g of whey per serving, and depending on the flavor, each serving contains 5.9 to 6.1g BCAAs, including 2.6 to 2.7g of L-Leucine.
I love it because it is suitable for vegetarians, low in sugars, and it’s gluten-free.
10. Nitro Tech 100% Whey Gold
Nitro-Tech 100% Whey Gold is recognized as one of the most powerful proteins ever to be developed.
This protein is microfiltered for fewer fat and cars, supports workout recovery, is gluten-free, and continues to deliver on that high standard. With each scoop, you get 24 grams of premium protein, including 4 grams of glutamine and 5.5 grams of BCAAs.
The main thing about this protein that I love is that it tastes great and mixes easily. You can mix it in a shaker cup or glass bottle with some cold milk or water, and you’re ready to go! It promotes rapid recovery, as well as clean muscle.
Since it’s an ultra-pure protein, it digests quickly and absorbs fast. You can use it before or after an exercise or between meals.
Where Is Whey Protein From?
Whey protein comes from milk; you can recognize it as the liquid part that separates from the curds during the process of cheesemaking.
Is Whey Protein Bad for You?
Whey protein is safe to consume without any side effects. However, people who are lactose intolerant and those allergic to it should watch out.
When Does Whey Protein Expire?
When stored under normal conditions, whey protein powder usually has a shelf life of 9 to 19 months. Some protein powders have a 2-year shelf life due to the fact they contain additives. Take a look at the stamped-on expiration date on the powder to be sure.
Does Protein Make You Fat If You Don’t Work Out?
If you overeat and don’t exercise, the protein will be stored as fat since it has calories.
You need to essentially figure out which protein works best for your specific body, but most importantly, which one tastes the best. You want to get both your mind and body used to drinking protein powder, and it has to be a part of your day that you look forward to. I drink protein powder after each workout for the best results; however, some of the protein powders we mentioned can be consumed in any period of the day. It all depends on the type of protein and how quickly it gets into your muscles.
With that out of the way, good luck with your bodybuilding endeavors, and I look forward to seeing you at the Gladiator Fitness Center.
If you are interested in reading more opinions and recommendations straight from Tose Zafirov, make sure to check our Ask Tose page.