What exactly is whey protein?
Whey protein is one of the two
types of protein found in cow's milk. Milk is
approximately 87% water and 13% milk solids. The milk
solids are comprised of fat, lactose, protein and a
small amount of other minerals. The protein portion of
the milk solids is approximately 80% casein protein and
20% whey protein.
Whey protein is digested by the
body much faster than casein and more closely resembles
human milk, which makes it the most nutritious protein
Where does whey protein come from?
As mentioned above, whey protein
comes from cow's milk. To make whey protein supplements,
the whey protein is separated from the fat and lactose,
using one of several methods in order to create a powder
of concentrated whey protein.
What is whey protein isolate?
Whey protein isolate is a more
expensive form of whey protein. Whey protein isolate
contains 90% or more protein and very little fat
compared to whey protein concentrate, which could
contain between 29% and 89% protein. The difference
between the two types of whey protein is that whey
protein isolate comes from a longer and more complicated
How is whey protein made?
Ion exchange is one method used to
make whey protein. When the casein or curd and milk fat
are separated from milk in order to make cheese, the
remaining liquid whey goes through a series of filters
to separate the whey protein from lactose and other
ingredients. This concentrated liquid whey then enters
an ion exchange vessel, which then uses electrical
charges to purify the whey protein. The purified whey
protein is then dried to remove moisture.
Why is whey protein so popular?
Whey protein is extremely popular
among bodybuilders for several reasons. The biggest
reason is because whey protein is the most complete, and
most quickly digested protein available. It has the
highest biological value and contains branched chain
amino acids, which are critical in building muscle mass.
The second reason why whey protein is so popular is
because compared with other proteins, it is much less
Who can benefit from supplementing
with whey protein?
Anyone involved in sports
activities, especially bodybuilding, will benefit
greatly from supplementing properly with whey protein.
In addition to supplying the body with all the essential
and nonessential amino acids, whey protein is especially
rich in naturally occurring branched chain amino acids
(leucine, isoleucine, and valine). These particular
amino acids are used directly by skeletal muscles, and
therefore are in great demand during exercise or
strenuous sports activities.
How much whey protein should I
Your daily intake of protein should
be between 1 and 1.5 g of protein per pound of body
weight. This means a 200 pound bodybuilder, should be
consuming 200 to 300 g of protein each day. This amount
should be divided up into at least 5 or 6 feedings. Two
or more of your protein meals should be made up of
seafood, beef, chicken, milk and other dairy products.
The remaining feedings can consist of protein shakes
made with whey protein. If your goal is in the middle of
the range, and each feeding should consist of 40 to 50 g
The majority of whey powder
supplements contain about 22 to 24 grams in a serving.
Most whey protein supplements also come with a scoop
that is equal to one serving, therefore, each shake
should consist of two scoops of whey protein.
About the Author
David Monyer has been involved in bodybuilding for the last 20 years,
making most of his muscle gains in his basement gym, as
well as different clubs and gyms over the years. For
more information and well researched sites to purchase
equipment and supplements, visit