Whey Protein. You Need It. Here’s Why.
Why you need extra protein in the first place
Everyone knows that if you want to get jacked and build brutally terrifying strength, you need to include protein in your diet. There’s some dispute in academic studies over the the amount of protein one needs among academics has raged for decades, and their research is largely ignored by elite strength and bodybuilding athletes for a “more is better and much more is much better” approach. On top of that, debates rage about timing and type of protein, so we’ll cover that first.
- If you are an athlete or highly active person attempting to lose body fat while preserving lean muscle mass, a daily intake of 1.5-2.2g/kg bodyweight (0.68-1g/lb bodyweight) is a good goal.
- If you are an athlete or highly active person, or you are attempting to lose body fat while preserving lean mass, then a daily intake of 1.0-1.5g/kg bodyweight (0.45-0.68g/lb bodyweight) is a good goal.
- If you are sedentary and not looking to change body composition, a daily target of 0.8g/kg bodyweight (0.36g/lb bodyweight) is a good goal.
Those numbers, however, don’t match the massive protein intakes of some elite bodybuilders, powerlifters and strongmen, routinely eat 300-500 grams of protein. Therefore, some experimentation will be necessary to determine your ideal intake. The addition of even 25 grams of protein, in fact, has been shown to be effective:
”In non-vegetarian males with a dietary protein intake of 1.2g/kg or so at baseline, the addition of 25g protein (mostly whey, some egg and casein as well as glutamine added in small amounts) was able to enhance power output and enhance muscle hypertrophy more than placebo over a period of 14 weeks” (Anderson).
The best protein source on Earth? The debate rages
Whey protein is generally considered the best of all of the powdered proteins one could eat. The issue, however, is that it comes in three separate types, all of which that have their own unique qualities. No matter which you choose, however, you get the following benefits from supplementation with whey:
- fat loss
- waist circumference decrease
- reduced cancer rates
- combats HIV
- improved immunity
- reduction of stress
- lowered cortisol
- increased brain serotonin levels
- improved liver function in those suffering from certain forms of hepatitis
- reduced blood pressure
- improved athletic performance
The benefits of whey isolate
Whey protein is the purest protein source- it’s 90% protein as opposed to whey concentrate’s 80%. This is due to the fact that isolate is more highly refined, so it has fewer fats and sugars in it. What about hydrosolate, you might ask? Hydrolyzed whey is inferior to whey isolate because it lacks the special bioactive effects of whey isolate (immunoglobulins, bovine serum albumin, lactalglobulin and lactalbumins). Finally, the excess amino acids in hydrolyzed whey, especially the Branched Chain Amino Acids and Proline, give those proteins a shitty, bitter taste..
“Ingesting the Î²-lactoglobulin-enriched WPI drink resulted in significantly greater plasma leucine concentrations at 45-120 min and significantly greater branched-chain amino acid concentrations at 60-105 min post ingestion compared with hydrolysed WPI” (Farnfield).
Sip, don’t chug
This is an interesting and little-known fact about viscous liquids like whey protein shakes- it takes 1.5 hours for them to pass through the section of the gut that can actually absorb it. While that not be news to anyone, this part is – the maximum rate at which whey protein can be absorbed is about 8-10 grams per hour. That means that if you drink a protein shake with 50 grams of protein in it, you’ll only absorb 10 grams an hour… so it would take five hours to absorb it. The gut clearance rate of whey protein is 1.5 hours, though, so you’re only absorbing 15 grams of that protein. The solution? Sip your shakes rather than chugging them (like nobody does in real life, but at least give it a shot).
As a lot of protein shakes taste like a combination of horse piss and gasoline, this idea seems untenable, so be sure to pay a little extra for a protein that tastes amazing… like Cannibal Weight, which tastes like angels are having sex on your tongue in a sea of of ambrosia.
One time this rule of sipping rather than chugging a shake does not apply is immediately post workout, which is when you want to slam protein as quickly as you can post-workout to maximize your anabolic window. There, however, is considerable dispute about the effect of doing this, whether pre- or post- workout nutrition is more important, and as to how much protein to take. Alan Aragorn thusly recommends the following:
“a maximal acute anabolic effect of 20–40 g [53,84,85]. For example, someone with 70 kg of LBM would consume roughly 28–35 g protein in both the pre- and post exercise meal. Exceeding this would be have minimal detriment if any, whereas significantly under-shooting or neglecting it altogether would not maximize the anabolic response” (Aragorn).
Take your digestive enzymes
Another thing you can do is to take digestive enzymes to increase the absorption rate of the protein. Protease is the digestive enzyme that performs this function, so look for digestive enzyme high in that. The addition of 5 grams of digestive enzymes to a protein shake has been to to increase the absorption rate from 127% versus 30% in the same time frame- and while most protein powders contain “some” digestive enzymes, it’s highly unlikely they contain what they should. Instead, that’s just window dressing for their label.
The conclusion to this article should be fairly obvious, and if you haven’t decided that whey isolate is the superior single protein for the heavy trainer,you might want to consider hitting yourself in the face with a tack hammer a few times. Now go get some, and keep in mind that Cannibal Weight is 100% of the highest quality whey isolate on the planet and tastes like it dripped down from the heavens.
Andersen LL, Tufekovic G, Zebis MK, Crameri RM, Verlaan G, Kjaer M, Suetta C, Magnusson P, Aagaard P. The effect of resistance training combined with timed ingestion of protein on muscle fiber size and muscle strength. Metabolism. 2005 Feb;54(2):151-6.
Aragon AA, Schoenfeld BJ. Nutrient timing revisited: is there a post-exercise anabolic window? J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013 Jan 29;10(1):5.
Baer DJ, Stote KS, Paul DR, Harris GK, Rumpler WV, Clevidence BA. Whey protein but not soy protein supplementation alters body weight and composition in free-living overweight and obese adults. J Nutr. 2011 Aug;141(8):1489-94.
Farnfield MM, Trenerry C, Carey KA, Cameron-Smith D. Plasma amino acid response after ingestion of different whey protein fractions. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2009 Sep;60(6):476-86.
Pal S, Ellis V, Dhaliwal S. Effects of whey protein isolate on body composition, lipids, insulin and glucose in overweight and obese individuals. Br J Nutr. 2010 Sep;104(5):716-23.