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7 Common Whey Protein Powder Question Answered

Updated on May 20, 2010

Here are some answers to 7 of the most common question asked about whey protein powder. These answers will give you an understanding of what whey protein is and how it can benefit you.

1) What is Whey Protein?

Whey protein is one of the highest quality proteins that we know of and it is found in cows milk. There is actually two kinds of protein found in cows milk - casein and whey. However studies have found that whey protein is a superior form of protein for building muscle and recovering from exercise.

2) How is Whey Protein Powder Made?

Whey is a by product of making cheese and was often thrown away until it was discovered to be very beneficial for health. When milk is pasteurized the curds and whey are separated from the milk. The curds are a solid and are separated from the liquid whey for further processing to be turned into cheese. The remaining whey protein is then isolated from the left over liquid by different methods and techniques (depending on the company and their quality standards) and formed into the whey protein powder that we buy at the store.

3) What is the Difference Between Whey Protein Concentrate and Why Protein Isolate?

The difference between the two is basically how pure a form of whey protein they are. Whey protein concentrate is the least pure of the two and will contain other milk derivatives such as lactose and milk fat. Most whey protein powder concentrate products contain about 70-85% pure whey protein and some may contain as little as 20% pure whey protein. Whey protein Isolate powder is the superior product and will always contain at least 90% pure whey protein. There is even one company that provides 100% pure whey protein powder. However, as you would expect, the more pure the product the more expensive it is.

Separating Curds and Whey

4) Is Whey Protein Good for Athletes and Those who Exercise?

The short answer is - absolutely! Whey protein powder is actually the best known protein food source for building muscle and repairing muscle quickly and efficiently after exercise.

Research shows that whey protein powder is the highest scoring protein on the BV chart. BV stands for biological value and is a measuring system for the effectiveness of a protein source. Whey protein excels because a bigger percentage of the whey protein we eat is digested and taken into the body for muscle and cell building and repair then any other protein source.

Whey protein is also the most easily digested of protein sources. This means that the whey protein reaches your muscles more quickly than other proteins and for this reason it is one of the most popular proteins consumed post workout to feed starving burnt out muscles. It is estimated that whey protein starts to feed your muscles within 20 minutes of consuming it.

5) Is Whey Protein Compatible With Low Carb Diets?

Whey protein isolate is actually a great choice for low carb diets because it is an extremely low carb food that is almost pure protein. A whey protein isolate powder shake will actually make a perfect low carb snack.

6) Is Whey Protein Powder a Diet Food?

Whey protein powder is great for weight loss and is a featured ingredient in some weight loss diets. The reason whey protein helps is that it is more likely to build lean tissue mass than fat. Whey protein powder contains high amount of what we call branched chain amino acids (BCAA's). BCAA's are different to other amino acids in that they do not need to be processed by the liver and then allocated to different needs by the body. BCAA's go directly to muscle tissue to build and repair more muscle tissue only.

7) Can I Get Enough Whey in my Diet by Drinking Milk?

The answer is no. Whey protein only makes up about 1% of the total calories supplied by milk and you would need to drink an incredible amount of milk after a workout to provide you with enough whey protein to achieve the fast recovery benefits supplied by concentrated whey protein powder.


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    • Deborah Donados profile image

      Deborah Donados 7 years ago from Portland

      I love to make protein smoothies and my friends think I'm nuts since I'm not a body builder. I'm sending them this article so they can see for themselves what a great idea it is.

    • Fungus-Yeast profile image

      Fungus-Yeast 7 years ago

      Great hub. I always thought I would get enough whey protein from milk and cheese (I eat a lot of it). Now I know better. Thanks.

    • Mireille G profile image

      Mireille G 7 years ago from Kansas

      My son who was into building muscles used to take whey protein. I have to admit that he did get some really nice improvement in his training which I attributed to his good diet. I think diet is everything.