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Why You Need Whey Protein Isolate

Whey protein isolate is one of the most popular kinds of protein powder for a reason. Here's why all bodybuilders need this supplement.

Out of the many protein sources out there, whey protein isolate is the ultimate. Protein can be found in a variety of foods—meats, fish, dairy, eggs, and vegetable protein. Nevertheless, none of these sources compares in quality and ease of use to whey protein isolate. This whey protein has the highest value in providing amino acids, which result in building and retaining muscle mass. It's one of the most crucial supplements for muscle growth.

What is whey protein isolate and where does it come from?

Whey isolate comes from milk. During the process of turning milk into cheese, whey is separated out. The whey is then processed into different kinds of protein powders. Whey protein concentrate is a less refined version of this protein source, with a few more grams of fat and carbohydrate and more of the other nutrients that are in milk (but also more of the lactose). Whey protein isolate is more refined, and has very little of these substances. This product is a very pure protein source that supplies high-quality nutrition while also being a very versatile, easy-to-use protein powder.

What does whey protein isolate do?

Whey protein is incredible stuff. It provides the body with the necessary amino acids for building muscle tissue. Studies have been conducted that compare whey protein to other sources. They have found that whey protein contains the perfect combination of overall amino acid makeup, and in just the right concentrations for optimal performance in the body. Both hormonal and cellular responses seem to be greatly enhanced with supplementation of whey protein, too. Most importantly, the amino acids you get from consistent whey protein intake coupled with exercise can result in consistent muscle building.

Who needs whey protein isolate and why is it important to get enough protein? Whey protein is very important for bodybuilders, dieters, and just about everybody! Since athletes and bodybuilders work out often, their protein levels become depleted. By being a direct precursor to building muscle and essential amino acids, the content from high-quality whey protein can help one's muscles recover and grow faster by bring up the levels of protein. With dieting for fat loss, whey protein can be very useful because a good intake of protein balances blood sugar levels, while carbohydrates cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate. When the blood sugar levels stay balanced, one is not as prone to rampant eating and has more energy and greater fat loss. Whey protein allows a person to control his or her diet effectively. Most people who want to change their body for the better could benefit from whey protein supplementation. However, since protein is naturally found in many food items, deficiency is usually not a problem.

How much whey protein isolate should you take? Are there any side effects?

Training athletes often consume 25 grams of whey protein per day. Bodybuilders who want serious gains (and are burning serious calories) consume up to 150 grams per day. Extremely high doses of whey protein are not recommended, as you won't get the same nutrition benefits as with a consistent, lower amount of whey taken 3-5 times per day.

If you're sensitive to lactose, whey might give you digestive side effects. There is less lactose in an isolate than in a whey protein concentrate, but it's still present in small amounts.

How do you take whey protein isolate?

Whey isolate is mild-tasting and mixes very easily into other liquids and foods. The simplest way to take whey protein is to combine it with water in a shaker bottle. You can also shake it with milk or blend it with fruit and other ingredients in a smoothie. Start with a vanilla isolate, as it pairs well with a variety of flavors. You can even stir it into your oatmeal to power up your muscle growth. If you want something more exciting than vanilla, experiment with the many other flavors of whey available, or try some of our recipes.

Studies on Whey Protein

Consuming Protein Supplements Can Help Deter the Effects of Overtraining Protein intake of approximately 0.88 grams per pound of body weight resulted in increased prevention of overtraining. This study was conducted at Ball State University on 17 weight-trained men. They were put on a four week "overtraining" program where they did 8-12 rep maxes for 3 sets of eight exercises for the first two weeks, then 5 sets of five exercises for 3-5 rep maxes for the next two weeks.

The men were chosen to receive either an amino acid supplement (like the aminos found in whey protein) or a placebo for four weeks. Those that were given the amino acids had measureable positive changes in total testosterone, the ratio of testosterone to the protein that transports it, and hemoglobin compared to those given a placebo. This proves that adequate protein consumption is the key to making gains! Be sure to get enough (approximately 1 gram per pound of body weight).

Protein Taken With Carbs is Better than Protein Alone for Building Muscle! L-phenylalanine is one of the amino acids found in whey protein isolate. This study, conducted at University of Texas Medical Branch, measured the amount of uptake of L-phenylalanine into healthy leg muscle tissue in one of three protein shakes.1 The shakes were consumed one and two hours after intense leg training and provided protein, carbs, or both.

The L-phenylalanine uptake from the protein and carb shake was three times higher than the carb shake and roughly twice as great as the amino shake! So, there you have it! As you know, the post-workout shake is the most critical meal for your increased anabolism. Make sure you're getting some carbs in your post-workout shake for best results.

Wrapping Up

Whey protein isolate has been shown to be an effective protein powder for building muscle mass and increasing your amino acid levels. To get the best results, take whey protein after working out and combine it with some carbohydrates.

Learn More About Whey
  1. Borsheim, E., Aarsland, A., & Wolfe, R. R. (2004). Effect of an amino acid, protein, and carbohydrate mixture on net muscle protein balance after resistance exercise. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 14(3), 255-271.
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