WHEY PROTEIN IS EVERYWHERE NOWADAYS
It’s most people’s second-ever supplement behind a multivitamin.
Sadly, there’s a lot of misunderstanding about protein powders and what they do.
Whey protein supplements have gained immense popularity over the years. With the help of social media, there are now more myths and misconceptions about whey protein than ever before.
In this article, we will discuss three common myths about whey protein that you need to avoid.
Then, I’ll help you understand what whey protein is, its benefits, and which types of whey protein supplements are available in the market.
We will also cover how much whey protein you should take, whether it can aid in weight loss or muscle building, and which alternative options available. Let’s dive into this monster and bust some myths!
3 COMMON MYTHS ABOUT WHEY PROTEIN
MYTH #1: WHEY PROTEIN CAUSES WEIGHT GAIN
FACT: Your total calorie intake is more important than how much protein you eat when it comes to weight gain. Energy balance (how much you eat vs. how much you use) dictates your bodyweight.
This is one of the most common myths surrounding whey protein. Many people believe that consuming whey protein will automatically lead to weight gain.
Whey protein supplements are relatively low in calories, and aren’t exceptionally easy to get carried away consuming.
In fact, most folks actually find them quite satisfying. At 120 calories per scoop, I’d be hard pressed to see someone going overboard.
In case you want an overly scientific explanation of how this works Click Here
If you’re brand new to tracking…
MYTH #2: PROTEIN POWER MAKES YOU JACKED
FACT: While whey protein can certainly aid in muscle building, it’s important to understand that there are many other factors involved in building a muscular physique. Consuming whey protein alone will not make you jacked.
Many brands that sell whey protein want you to think that it will work like steroids. You take 1 scoop per day and get absolutely swole out of your brain without changing anything else.
That is dogshit.
Here are some other things to focus on:
Training hard and smart for muscle growth
Eating enough total calories to support growth
Sleeping enough to give your body a chance to build
Staying consistent with the above for long enough for it to matter
I’m sorry, but whey is not a magic powder.
After accidentally taking 2 scoops of whey, you won’t become 6’3, 286lbs champion Wrestler Aleksandr Karelin.
After accidentally taking 2 scoops of whey, you won’t become 6’3, 286lbs champion Wrestler Aleksandr Karelin.
MYTH #3: WHEY PROTEIN IS ONLY FOR POST-WORKOUT
FACT: While consuming whey protein after a workout can certainly aid in muscle recovery and growth, it’s not the only time to take it. Consuming whey protein at any time of day can help increase your overall protein intake to support muscle maintenance and growth.
It’s important to remember that protein is a nutrient that our bodies are using throughout the day, not just after exercising.
So, feel free to enjoy a whey protein shake as a snack or part of a meal anytime!
Eating enough total daily protein supports muscle building, aids in recovery post-exercise, and helps control your appetite by keeping you full for longer.
Combined with consistent resistance training, protein will help you put more muscle on your frame.
Don’t be scared to have whey for breakfast.
It makes for a bunch of great 2-minute meals (more on this later)
WHAT IS WHEY PROTEIN?
What is it Made From?
Whey protein is derived from milk.
Is it Good for You?
Generally, yes. It’s a simple food product made from natural sources. If you have allergies, intolerances, or any other reasons why you may suspect that it’s not a good idea for you – maybe consult your healthcare provider first?
But it’s usually quite well tolerated. The most common complaint is gas.
Does it Cause Kidney Damage?
There is no evidence suggesting that whey protein causes kidney damage or other health issues.
Please consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you’re concerned about your health for a specific reason. But, when used correctly, whey protein is safe and effective.
This idea has been around for a long time.
An umbrella review done by the German Nutrition Society looked at the best evidence that we have on high protein diets and kidney function.
The evidence is thorough. Composed of 9 systematic reviews (6 of which with meta-analyses).
In case you don’t know what that is, you can think of it as a structured analysis of the information we have available.
There is no compelling evidence that high protein diets are damaging your kidneys.
Check this out for more. https://rdcu.be/dcN88
Carbs and Calories in Whey
For a guy who wants to lose weight, this is a pretty sweet way to get protein in without cooking.
For a guy who wants to gain weight, an easy way to hit protein goals without chewing more meat.
In general, you’re looking at something like 100-150cal per scoop, with around 20-25g of protein.
Carbs will be below 5g, and fats generally below 3g.
This will vary by brand.
Types of Protein Supplements
You will primarily find just three types of whey protein available:
Whey Protein Concentrate
Concentrate is the most commonly sold and least expensive of all the options.
It’s the least ‘pure’ in terms of how much additional carbohydrate and fat are still in the powdered product.
But it gets the job done, F-150 style.
Whey Protein Isolate
Isolate has few overall carbs and fats, and has next to no carbs and fats.
The protein is nearly ‘isolated’.
So if you want to save 24 calories per scoop, for an extra few bucks, go for it.
Bonus points for having nearly no lactose, and being a little easier to digest for some.
Whey Protein Hydrolysate
Whey protein hydrolysate has undergone a process that breaks down the protein into smaller ‘pieces’ for quicker absorption.
Hydrolysate is also low in lactose, making it an excellent choice for those with lactose intolerance.
This quicker absorption is probably not worth worrying about for most.
Which Type is Right for You?
If you’re like 99% of guys… whey protein concentrates will be plenty good for you.
Allergies, intolerances, and physique competitors may want to look into other options like isolates, or hydrolysates.
But most are a waste of money for the average dude.
Supplements and Muscle Gain
Whey protein can definitely help you build muscle.
But not in a magic powder, pill, or potion kind of way.
Just in a convenience food kind of way.
There are not many other supplements out there that can honestly say that they help you build more muscle. Whey is one of them.
We know that protein powder can boost muscle growth and improve exercise performance.
Check out this study here for more:
How Does it Work?
In case you’re wondering how muscle building is actually measured in a lab…
One method uses what’s called Tracer Proteins. Certain protein molecules are modified to be slightly heavier on a molecular level. These molecules are then ingested, and find their way into the blood stream.
Once circulating your body, they will inevitably be taken up into the muscle cell to be used in muscle repair and building. At that point, a sample can be taken of the muscle cell, and the researchers can determine that it was the tracer protein ingested that got built into the muscle.
It would be like adding a stripe of pink pant to a dozen of your golf balls before dumping them into your bucket at the driving range.
Then, you’re taking your shots, and each time you come across a pink ball, you could modify your swing using the tips provided by your coach.
All the balls act the same, but you’d be able to see what the pink ones did.
Going out to the range later you could find all the pink balls and see how they performed compared to your usual shot.
Whey protein supplements contain all the essential amino acids needed for muscle building and repair.
Moreover, they are a convenient way to increase your protein intake without having to cook/prepare meals or snacks.
They allow you to add an additional 50+ grams of protein easily into your daily diet with just 2 scoops, and 0 *chewing.
*Something you get a bit tired of when eating for muscle growth…
It’s not that whey has any special properties inherently… but in case you’re sitting in traffic on the way to work…
Would you rather:
A) Pull out a ziploc bag of slimy, cold, chicken
B) Drink a shaker cup of something that tastes like a milkshake
That’s the magic of whey.
How Much Should You Take?
The amount of whey protein you should consume depends on your goals.
Spreading out protein intake during the day is a good idea for building muscle, so most guys would do best on 1 or 2 scoops at a time. As mentioned earlier, some folks get quite gassy when they cross the whey threshold. It might be a good idea to start slow with just 1 scoop a day to see how you tolerate it before going overboard.
Once you’re tolerating it well – use it to help you hit your total daily protein goals.
Ideally, in combination with other, primarily whole food sources.
Total Daily Protein Intake
For optimal muscle growth and recovery, total daily protein intake is a pretty big deal.
As a general guideline, you can start by aiming for around 0.7 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight
So if you weigh 200lb, you’re looking at 140g to 200g daily.
2 scoops of whey puts a decent sized dent in that.
For folks who otherwise wouldn’t be able to eat that much chicken, beef, or eggs, that’s awesome.
And eating enough protein isn’t just a good idea for dudes who want to be big and jacked either…
That leads nicely into the next section.
Whey Protein and Weight Loss
Adding whey to your diet is a bit of a power play when you’re losing weight.
Because at the end of the day, you don’t just want to lose weight, do you?
You want to lose body fat.
Keeping protein intake high and training for muscle growth helps you encourage your body to tap into fat stores without sacrificing muscle.
In fact, dumping your carbs isn’t likely going to help either. If you know how, you can Use Carbs to Torch Body Fat
If you can get your calories in the right place consistently, you’ll lose weight. If you can keep protein intake high while losing the weight you want to lose, then you’ll do a good job (on the nutrition front) at keeping muscle loss low. Whey protein comes in to make the protein intake part a little bit easier. But no amount of whey will make up for the fact that you’re eating too much.
Does Taking Whey Protein Help Control Appetite?
Including whey in your diet may not be ultra-satisfying by itself. But mixing it with other foods that you were otherwise planning to eat can boost how long you feel full for.
Regular yogurt with some fruit < Yogurt with protein powder and fruit.
More meal ideas at the final section of this article.
Can Obese and Overweight Individuals Benefit?
Whey protein can aid in weight loss for overweight and obese individuals. However, it’s not going to be the primary driver of your weight loss. That will come down to how much total food you eat. If you scroll back up to the ‘Energy Balance’ section, you’ll learn more about that.
The Bottom Line on Nutrition
If you can hit your nutrition goals consistently, you’ll begin to see your body change.
Anything that helps you make those goals happen, is great.
For a lot of dudes, whey protein happens to be one of them.
If you need help keeping things enjoyable while getting lean, you should learn How to Make Tasty Low-Calorie Meals
Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.
Dairy-Free Protein Powder Options
In case you don’t manage dairy well, you’ve got other options.
They don’t taste nearly as good for the most part, and are usually at least 25% more expensive.
But hey – if this is what’s standing between you and those sweet sweet gains…
Plant-Based Protein Supplements
For those who follow a vegan diet, plant-based protein supplements offer an easy way to get their daily dose of nutrition without consuming dairy products.
Made from sources such as pea protein, soy protein, and hemp protein, these supplements provide a simple way to hit your protein goals.
Plant-based proteins are usually a little trickier to get from whole food sources without a lot of added carbs and fats. So protein powders are a great option for folks who want to keep protein high and calories low.
Something I do enjoy about these supplements is that they often contain powdered greens, which is kind of like getting a 2-in-1.
The major draw back is they taste like donkey asshole.
Non-Dairy Protein Supplements
In case you still love animal products, but don’t want to have dairy…
Welcome to the weird and wacky world of ‘other’ protein powders.
I’m sure they’re not THAT weird, I’ve just never used them much because they’re expensive, hard to find, and I have no allergies.
- Egg Protein
- Beef Protein
- Collagen Protein
- Cricket Protein
- Goat Milk Protein
- Marine Protein (made from baby seals)
- Chicken Protein
- Bison Protein
- Duck Protein
How to Take Whey Protein?
There’s no special procedure or formula for taking whey protein.
It can be done any time of day. With or without other foods.
Part of a meal or on it’s own.
I don’t recommend scooping the dry powder into your mouth and following it up with water.
Life’s too short.
Mixing Whey Protein with Water
This is the go-to for folks who want to save on calories.
- Make a whey ‘pudding’ by mixing it with a SMALL amount of water (1-2tbsp) until a paste forms.
- Good ol’ fashioned – in a shaker cup or blender with water.
If this is you, I feel for you.
Mixing Whey Protein with Yogurt
If you’re looking for an easy way to boost your protein intake without relying on meat or poultry, mixing whey protein with yogurt could be the perfect solution. A satisfying snack or breakfast in a snap.
Simply mix one scoop of whey protein powder with a serving of your favorite yogurt flavor or with plain greek yogurt (my favourite).
Whey Protein Smoothies
Smoothies made from whey protein powder are an easy way to increase your daily protein intake without any hassle.
- 2 scoops of whey protein powder (pineapple or mango flavor)
- 1 cup frozen mango chunks
- ½ cup frozen pineapple chunks
- 1 cup coconut water
Chocolate Banana Delight:
- 2 scoops of whey protein powder (chocolate flavor)
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup almond milk (or any preferred milk)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- Optional: add 1 packet of sweetener to taste
Whey Protein and Oatmeal
Prepare your oatmeal according to the instructions.
- Allow the oatmeal to cool slightly.
- Add a scoop or two of whey protein powder to the cooked oatmeal.
- Mix well to ensure even distribution.
- Adjust the consistency by adding a splash of milk or water if needed.
- Consider adding toppings like fresh fruits, nuts, or honey for added flavor.
- Give it a final stir and enjoy your protein-packed oatmeal!
This combination boosts protein content and makes for a satisfying breakfast.
Experiment with flavors and toppings to find your favorite mix.
Whey protein powder is a convenient way to help you get more protein in each day.
That means more muscle gets built, and less gets lost.
More fullness when dieting.
Less chewing when gaining weight.
It’s shelf stable and super handy for travel.
And at a reasonable price, it’s hard to beat.
In case you were considering using whey protein to help you eat more protein, I hope this has helped demystify it for you. It’s nothing magical, and about as simple as it gets for supplementation.