OK, so what’s the big deal with whey protein?
First of all, the amino acids from whey protein are delivered to bloodstream faster than from any other protein and this results in “hyperaminoacidaemia” (HA), a dramatic rise in the concentration of amino acids in the blood. Scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center demonstrated that the greater the degree of HA, the larger was the amount of amino acids that were absorbed and retained in muscle cells. In other words, whey’s speedy delivery of amino acids forces the most muscle-building activity.
Another advantage of whey is that it not only delivers its amino acid payload fastest but it also delivers the highest quantity of the most anabolic amino acids. Recent research has confirmed what has been suspected by many top sports nutrition scientists for years - that only the essential amino acids (EAAs) are required for muscle growth. Adding non-essential amino acids to a quality protein source or to a serving of EAAs produces no further muscle-building effect. So these are probably the primary key to protein’s muscle-building effects and in this capacity also, whey protein is the champ, with the highest concentration of EAAs!
So it cranks up muscle-building signals in the body and it has the best amino acid profile but has anyone ever tested whey protein specifically to see if these impressive attributes actually lead to more lean tissue growth? Well, yes! There are numerous measures of protein quality but the best one for those interested in building muscle is Biological Value (BV). BV is a measure of the amount of protein retained in the body as a percentage of the protein that you absorb. For healthy guys who lift weights, more protein retained by the body almost certainly means more muscle! Of all proteins, whey has the highest BV!
Finally, and this is where whey protein never gets the credit it deserves, it is certainly the healthiest dietary protein. In fact, forget about just “protein”, you can make a fairly good argument that whey protein is one of the world’s most healthy “foods”! It jacks up levels of your body’s most powerful and broad-spectrum antioxidant (glutathione), it is supports liver health, reduce many of the risk factors for heart disease, decrease inflammation, improve blood sugar control and improve immunity.
Of course, there are studies showing that it increases muscle mass and strength too but we’ll leave those for the next whey protein article.
So definitely have a whey protein shake after training and I would also suggest taking it first thing in the morning or between meals with snacks.
I hope you find this helpful and I hope you are all followers of our Facebook page!
I hop in on the debates when required!
Nutritionist and Supplement Specialist
Articles don't accept comments on Fitness Inventor but you could ask a question about its contents, if you like.