Whey Protein is one of the most commonly used sports nutrition supplements.
It has a whole range of benefits that make it a no brainer that every active sports person should be taking-even endurance athletes.
It's not only the product of choice for power athletes there is increasing evidence that protein mixed in with the usual carbohydrate energy drink can have significant benefits in endurance athletes it can help prevent muscle breakdown associated with exercise.
Whey Protein contains high levels of Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA). In total there are 20 amino acids the building blocks of protein, 9 of these amino acids need to be ingested because they cannot be made by the body they are called essential amino acids.
The 3 BCAA's iso-leucine, leucine and valine are all essential amino acids. The protein in your muscles is made up of 30% BCAA's so they are a very important part of your muscle mass. When you exercise it’s the BCAA's that are broken down first in your muscle cells, so by ensuring you have an adequate supply before you train you can preserve your muscle mass.
Whey protein is also rapidly absorbed, it’s this feature that makes it a necessary post workout beverage for any form of exercise. When it comes to purchasing whey protein you will probably come across whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate, with the isolate version costing a bit more.
The reason for the 2 different types is that isolate is presented in smaller molecules that in theory can get into the muscle cells quicker. In practice I have not noticed any major difference when working with my athletes when using whey protein isolate exclusively compared to whey concentrate.
There are many different suppliers in the UK and I have tried a lot of brands with surprisingly mixed results. I’ve had some brands tested in the lab and what they say in the tin is not always what’s in there, some cheaper versions are padded out with milk protein.
If you’ve got any questions about whey protein then post a comment here.