What is whey protein and how to take it

What is whey protein and how to take it

Whey protein is a popular sports supplement that is high in protein and amino acids. In our article, you will learn how to take it to gain muscle mass when playing sports.

Whey Protein Composition

The source of raw materials for whey protein is natural cow’s milk, purified from impurities, water and fat. The concentrated protein mixture is obtained from whey, which is a byproduct of curdling milk in cheese making.


The percentage of protein in the composition depends on the price of the product. The lower the cost of protein, the more sugar, flavor enhancers and other artificial additives it contains.

Types of Whey Protein

There are 3 main forms of whey protein: concentrate, isolate, and hydrolyzate. The main difference between them is the method of receiving and processing.

  • The concentrate contains 70–80% protein. It includes a varied amino acid composition, fats and lactose (milk sugar). It is absorbed most quickly by the body. People with individual lactose intolerance should choose another form of whey protein.
  • The isolate contains over 90% protein. It is lower in nutrients, fat and lactose than concentrate.
  • Hydrolyzed protein (hydrolyzate) is the most purified form of protein. It is absorbed by the body faster than others. Strongly raises insulin levels: 25-40% more than isolate.

Fast and Slow Protein

The forms of protein discussed above are quickly absorbed by the body. Casein is derived from the “waste” of whey isolate production. It is a complex protein found in cow’s milk. Its absorption rate is 15–20% slower.

There is an opinion that casein is recommended to be taken before bed for maximum effect. However, at the moment it is not confirmed by scientific studies and is a gimmicky marketing.

Useful and harmful properties of whey protein

Whey protein is a healthy and natural product that people around the world consume. It helps build muscle, build energy, physical strength and endurance with regular exercise.

Набор мышечной массы

What is the mechanism of action of whey on muscle growth?

  • In the composition – a large percentage of proteins and amino acids, which are necessary for muscle growth.
  • The amino acid leucine is part of the protein. It regulates muscle protein synthesis at the genetic and molecular level.
  • The release of anabolic hormones (particularly insulin) is enhanced, which stimulates muscle growth.
  • The cells of the body metabolize the isolate much faster than other types of protein.

Whey protein consumption also has beneficial effects on health. It lowers blood pressure and blood sugar levels and helps cope with stress and depression.

Whey protein contains the amino acid cysteine, which increases the level of the antioxidant glutathione in the body. Experiments by scientists have shown an increase in the lifespan of laboratory mice with regular use of whey protein. The isolate strengthens the immune system, reduces symptoms in patients with hepatitis, increases the mineral density of skeletal tissue.

Side Effects

Eating high doses of whey protein can cause digestive upset, such as nausea, bowel cramps, flatulence and diarrhea.

Whey Protein Slimming

Protein speeds up the body’s metabolism, which can help you lose weight. When using whey protein, metabolism increases by 70-100 calories per day, and appetite decreases. Low calorie content and a feeling of fullness are associated with the fact that proteins in the body are broken down much longer than carbohydrates and fats.

Протеин в продуктах

Scientific studies have shown that protein consumption in combination with exercise can help you lose weight and build muscle. Eating 25% of your total calories in a day reduces food cravings by 60%.

Contraindications for use

If you are diagnosed with diseases of the digestive system, you should consult your doctor before using.

Some people may develop a serum allergy. If you feel unwell after taking whey protein concentrate, you should reduce the dosage, try the isolate and hydrolyzate, or stop using it. Replace protein with foods with a high protein concentration.

You should completely stop taking whey protein:

  • For kidney failure or other kidney disease.
  • Individual intolerance to certain components of whey concentrate (for example, lactose).
  • Genetic predisposition to kidney disease.

Whey Protein Instruction

For optimal muscle gain, whey protein must be taken in the correct dosage and according to the established rules. The average dose is 1-2 tablespoons (approximately 25-50 grams) per day. Whey protein intake may not work well if your diet is high in protein.

Whey protein is most effective when consumed during exercise. Fitness instructors advise taking it a few minutes before or immediately after your workout.

Употребление протеина

Recent scientific studies have shown that daily protein intake is most important for regular exercise, and the timing of intake is not critical.


Taking protein will be pointless and can cause a number of side effects if not approached systematically. Pay attention to the following tips:

  • Check the ingredients of whey protein before purchasing. Cheap isolates usually contain low quality protein and questionable supplements. Excessive flavors, taurine, thickeners and sweeteners should not be present.
  • Follow the protein intake schedule: there will be no instant muscle growth – the first visible effect appears after 3-4 weeks. During this time, you need to enter the regime and bring the protein intake to automaticity.
  • Divide the main protein intake into two servings: drink the first half (20-30 grams) 30 minutes before training, the second immediately after training. This will provide you with extra energy to do strength and cardio exercises.
  • Mix protein with fruit or vegetable juices instead of water. The resulting mixture will contain fast carbohydrates, which will make it look like a gainer at a much lower cost.
  • Follow a daily routine and an athletic diet with adequate calories and nutrients.
  • Use nutritional supplements to enhance the effects of whey protein intake. A few grams of creatine – and digestive enzymes will increase its strength several times due to improved absorption.
  • Consume this product with food. Instead of taking casein (slow protein) before bed, you can drink whey isolate or concentrate before dinner, which will increase the absorption time.

How to choose whey protein

First of all, you should pay attention to the protein content in the mixture. One serving (30 grams) contains an average of 22-26 grams of protein. Read the ingredients carefully and make sure that there are no ingredients to which you are allergic.

A good mixture should be free of the following additives:

  • Sodium cyclamate (E952) is a synthetic substance that is ten times sweeter than sugar. It negatively affects the cardiovascular system, kidneys and metabolism. Banned in the USA and some other countries.
  • Aspartame (E951) is a sugar substitute containing phenylalanine and methanol. These substances negatively affect amino acid metabolism, hormonal balance and brain biochemistry.
  • Acesulfame Potassium (E950) is a sweetener approved for use by several countries in the late 90’s. The effect of the substance on the body and side effects are poorly studied, so the safety of its use remains questionable.

Best Proteins Review

Consider whey proteins that have proven successful among athletes.

Сывороточные протеины

Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard

Quality standard: won the Protein of the Year and Supplement of the Year awards several times. Contains a proprietary blend of Whey Protein Isolate, Hydrolyzate and Concentrate. The purest product with minimal impurities of lactose, cholesterol and fats. Each serving contains 24 grams of protein. Digestive enzymes are added to the mixture for better protein absorption.

Cost – 3590 rubles. for 2.27 kg.

Ultimate Nutrition 100% Prostar Whey Protein

Contains a set of all essential amino acids that the body needs to build muscle during prolonged physical exertion. The combination of numerous nutrients is ideal for those who enjoy an active lifestyle.

Cost – 2358 rubles. for 2.27 kg.

Rule 1 R1 Whey Blend

It contains 3 forms of whey protein: isolate, hydrolyzate, concentrate. The minimum proportion of simple sugars is 1 g per 33 g serving. Recommended to be consumed during the diet, because it also contains a minimum of fat and lactose. By providing your body with protein from this product, you will shorten the recovery period after intense training.

Cost – 3366 rubles. for 2.27 kg.

Syntrax Nectar

Pure Whey Protein Isolate to help you build muscle faster. The composition is completely free of fats, carbohydrates, lactose, gluten and sugar. There are natural juice sweeteners. The mixture has a refreshing taste of fruit and berry nectar.

Cost – 2248 rubles. for 957

Maxler 100% Golden Whey

Protein is made from different forms of whey protein. It is quickly absorbed and nourishes the muscles with valuable nutrients. Has a complete amino acid profile and prevents muscle catabolism.

Cost – 2860 rubles. for 2.27 kg.

BioTech USA Iso Whey Zero

High quality gluten and lactose free whey isolate. It contains glutamine and BCAAs to support the recovery process. It contains the amino acids citrulline and arginine, which improve the delivery of nutrients to the muscles.

Cost – 4498 rubles. for 2.27 kg.

Whey Protein Intake and Workout Program

Whey protein intake alone will not help you gain muscle or lose weight. It is necessary to lead an active lifestyle, follow a sports diet and exercise fitness to achieve these goals. We offer a personal training program with an instructor, thanks to which you can achieve high results in sports and improve your health.

Занятие с инструктором

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