Whey powder is protein, which means it provides essential nutrients and is an excellent source of many amino acids. It will not help you lose weight, but it will help you retain lean body mass while dieting, which keeps your metabolism from dropping. Consult your physician before beginning any diet or exercise program.
What is Whey Protein?
Whey protein is a product of dairy manufacturing. It is an extremely bio-available protein, which means that the body is able to use a large percentage of whey for various bodily processes, most notably muscle repair and regrowth. Whey is a very diet-friendly protein in that it is not only high in protein, but low in carbohydrates and fat.
Use of Whey
The best time to consume whey protein is post-workout. It is quickly digestible and will help you recover from training. Assuming you are training with sufficient volume and intensity, you will be burning amino acids and breaking down muscle tissue, and you need to replace lost nutrients as quickly as possible. For maximal anabolic effect, combine some simple carbohydrates, such as dextrose, with your whey protein to refill muscle glycogen. Active people need more protein than their inactive counterparts, so supplementing with whey protein may help avoid the catabolic, or wasting effect of long-term dieting.
Getting the Most Out of Whey
There are really no disadvantages to whey except it is quickly digested. To get more out of whey you may wish to combine it with other foods so it digests slower, but this is not critical. If you chose to do so, mix whey with milk, pancake batter, ice cream, or sugar-free pudding.
Whey Too Much?
Do not think that you can just drink whey all day, even though it is a complete protein and very high in many essential nutrients. You still need a balanced diet, which means adequate carbohydrates for your energy demands and sufficient fats and essential fatty acids to regulate your hormonal levels. Your whey also needs to be counted into your caloric intake for the day, as each gram contains four calories. But whey can be a very useful dietary aid, so make the most out of it.
- PubMed: Effect of protein/essential amino acids and resistance training on skeletal muscle hypertrophy: A case for whey protein. 2010
- "British Journal of Sports Medicine": Hyperinsulinaemia, Hyperaminoacidaemia and Post-Exercise Muscle Anabolism: the Search for the Optimal Recovery Drink, Manninen, 2006