Today we are going to talk about one of the most used supplements worldwide: Whey Protein.
Rich source of proteins and amino acids, this supplement is recommended mainly for those who want to increase muscle mass. But its health benefits go far beyond.
Therefore, today there are several types of this supplement for sale. To help you choose the best option, we will show in this article what you should consider before investing in Whey Protein.
First, the most important
- Whey Protein is a supplement from whey and contains a high protein content.
- Therefore, it has proven effects on muscle hypertrophy, recovery after training and health in general.
- We will show here what are the characteristics that differentiate one type of Whey Protein from another and how to choose the ideal one for you.
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Ranking: The 6 best types of Whey Protein
Those looking for Whey Protein want the guarantee of results, efficiency and, of course, a pleasant taste. Thinking about it, every day manufacturers invest more in this supplement.
Therefore, below, we will present to you the best types of Whey Protein available on the market today.
It may seem simple to buy Whey Protein. But the fact is that it is necessary to consider your objective, your weight and needs in addition to, of course, factors characteristic of each supplement.
For this reason, we have created this Buying Guide with all the information you will need to make the best decision when investing in your Whey Protein.
What is Whey Protein?
Whey Protein is a name that was given to a protein supplement made from whey. Because of its raw material, Whey Protein has many essential amino acids, which are the molecules that make up proteins and that our bodies need, but do not manufacture.
In addition, Whey is also rich in branched-chain amino acids, such as glutamine and arginine, in addition to those known as BCAAs, formed by leucine, isoleucine and valine.
The interesting thing is that in Whey Protein the amount of this set of amino acids is generous.
In the supplement, amino acids represent between 35% and 90% of their composition. For you to have an idea, in milk this index is not more than 20%. And the fact is that proteins (made up of amino acids) are primarily responsible for muscle growth and development.
Due to its high biological value for being rich in proteins, Whey is used for muscle mass gain (muscle hypertrophy), muscle repair, increased performance and immunity, among others.
Due to its diverse properties and nutritional benefits, Whey Protein is, today, the most consumed sports supplement worldwide.
Where does Whey Protein come from?
As we have seen, the protein supplement Whey Protein is made from whey, which is extracted during cheese making.
That is, the resulting proteins are obtained through industrial processes of pasteurization, filtration and serum microfiltration.
The amount of filtrations and the size of the filters used establish the type and quality of the Whey obtained, which, as we will see later in this article, can be divided into three types: isolated, concentrated or hydrolyzed.
As a result, the final presentation of Whey Protein is that of a powder similar to powdered milk; or also in capsules.
The fact is that it takes about 2,000 liters of milk to get 1kg of good quality whey.
For you to better understand the process, we cite as an example whole milk, which is made up of 87% water and 13% solid compounds. If we analyze only the composition of these 13% solids, we will have:
- 27% protein
- 27% lactose
- 30% fat
Within that 27% of proteins it is possible, then, to extract only 20% of Whey Protein and 80% of casein (another type of protein).
That is, there is less than 1 gram of Whey in every 100 grams of whole milk. Hence the reason why Whey Protein is a not so cheap supplement, as we will see soon.
How has Whey Protein evolved to this day?
Did you know that the health benefits of Whey Protein were already known in Ancient Greece?
Of course, the formula for this supplement as we know it today has evolved a lot over time, but its basis has been researched and used for centuries. Check out the timeline of this protein supplement below:
- 420 BC : In Greece, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, already prescribed whey protein to his patients to improve their health;
- 1650 : Whey was consumed in liquid form, in Europe, as if it were a health tonic;
- 1915 : In that year, engineers created whey in powder form, for better digestion;
- 1930 : Researchers found that Whey Protein has a high mineral value and would be a treatment for rickets and tuberculosis;
- 1960 : A filter was discovered that removes lactose from Whey, leaving it purer and easier to digest;
- 1980 : The filtration process is developed, producing fat-free and high-protein whey;
- 1993 : In that year, the first instant Whey Protein was launched, with different flavors and aromas.
What is the biological value of Whey Protein?
The biological value is a measure that determines the amount of proteins found in foods that are actually absorbed by our body.
Proteins such as meat, fish, poultry and eggs are considered to be of high biological value (AVB). This is because these proteins have in their composition essential amino acids in adequate proportions.
However, many foods of high biological value do not have enough protein to meet the needs of those who train hard, for example.
In this case, Whey Protein has a similar function to the food we eat, however, in a potentiated way and, therefore, much more effective.
Therefore, to achieve satisfactory results without the use of supplements, using only food, although possible it is much more laborious and time consuming.
The biological value of chicken is 79, fish is 83, red meat is 80, eggs vary between 88 and 100, and dairy products such as milk and cheese, on average, reach 80. The biological value of Whey Protein supplement it’s 100.
How much Whey Protein should I consume?
As the nutritional demands are different for each person, it is important that you consult a nutritionist before starting to take the supplement.
Still, in general, experts indicate between 20 g and 40 g of the supplement for daily intake. However, you need to be careful not to use too much protein as your body will not be able to absorb everything.
In addition, excess Whey Protein can actually put on weight. Therefore, it is important that you consume the appropriate amount according to your weight, age and intensity of exercises that you practice.
If you consume inadequate amounts of Whey Protein you may also experience digestive problems, bloating, flatulence and diarrhea.
The fact is that this supplement will only be an ally in gaining muscle mass if you consume it in the amount adequate for your needs, practice physical activities and have a balanced diet.
It is worth mentioning that, if you have kidney or liver problems, you must consult your doctor before starting supplementation with Whey Protein.
When should you use Whey Protein?
There are several options for times throughout the day to take Whey Protein. In this respect, what will count is the objective to be achieved. That is why the help of a professional is so important to identify your needs and adapt them to your goals.
Here is a brief explanation of the results to be expected depending on when you decide to use Whey Protein:
Post-workout: If your goal is muscle hypertrophy (mass gain), it is best to take Whey Protein after your workout. Some experts believe that taking the supplement up to 40 minutes after practice guarantees the amino acids and carbohydrates that cells need to form new proteins and regenerate muscle tissue.
Upon waking up: When you wake up, after a long fast, loss of lean mass occurs naturally. So at that moment, your body will be needing nutrients to continue protein synthesis more than ever. Whey Protein is the most effective way to replace these nutrients as it is a fast-absorbing supplement.
Before training: Consuming Whey Protein, for example, before going to the gym, will help reduce catabolism (loss of muscle mass) due to the action of cortisol that is released during intense physical exercises. The recommended by the experts, if you choose this option, is to take the supplement between 30 and 45 minutes before practicing the exercises.
Before you sleep: During your sleep hours your muscles will be without external nutrients. So, taking Whey Protein with milk, for example, just before going to bed, can help ensure a constant flow of amino acids to muscle tissue.
How to consume Whey Protein?
Before starting to use Whey Protein, it is worth a warning: this supplement should not replace a main meal. In addition, Whey Protein can be ingested with water, juices, fruit smoothies and other carbohydrate sources.
But, according to experts, the correct choice of the amount and type of liquid used in preparing the shake can make a difference. The Whey shake with water, for example, is the best way to consume before and after training.
This is because, in these periods, the supplement is more quickly digested. For other hours of the day, it is possible to take Whey Protein with milk. As milk has casein, this helps to delay the absorption of the supplement.
If you prefer, you can also consume Whey with omelets and even cakes. However, as proteins tend to lose their functions when exposed to temperatures above 180ºC, avoid taking the supplement over very high heat or in the oven above that temperature.
But, if you choose to use Whey Protein mixed with some liquid it is also important to note the amount of the liquid in question.
The ideal mix is made with 200 ml or 300 ml of liquid for each serving of Whey. The fact is, if you use more liquid than these, digestion will be less rapid and the effectiveness of the supplement may be reduced.
Does Whey Protein with other supplements improve results?
According to the need and training routine of each individual, Whey Protein can be combined with other supplements and helps to improve the expected results.
Some of the supplements used in combination with Whey are: Glutamine, BCCAs, carbohydrates such as Dextrose and Maltodextrin, Creatine, Leucine, Arginine, Beta-Alanine and Omega-3. In general, these combinations are indicated for those who do frequent workouts and with high loads.
For example, when consumed in conjunction with Glutamine, Whey Protein assists in cell growth. When you mix Whey with BCCA, there is a more significant muscle recovery in addition to reducing fatigue and strengthening the immune system.
Whey Protein with Creatine is another example of supplements that complement each other and are widely used by athletes to stimulate muscle mass gain.
What is Vegan Whey Protein?
Vegans, unlike vegetarians, eat a more restricted diet. They exclude from the diet not only meat, but also the consumption of any food of animal origin.
With this restriction, the consumption of ordinary Whey Protein would not be possible, since this supplement, as we have already seen, is made from whey.
However, nowadays there is a vegan version of the supplement, which is made from vegetable protein and, in general, uses grains such as rice and peas.
Vegan Whey, made with vegetable proteins, is an alternative for fans of vegan food.
In addition, Whey Protein Vegan can also benefit anyone who is lactose intolerant or allergic to soy. However, although some scientific studies have already been done, it is still not possible to say whether Vegan Whey has the same efficiency in health and training as Whey Protein.
What are the different types of Whey Protein?
The first factor that you must consider before investing in Whey is the type, which is defined according to the production process. Today there are three types of Whey: the concentrate, the isolated and the hydrolyzate.
Whey Protein Concentrate is produced from a simple filtering process and therefore has between 30% and 80% of proteins of high biological value.
In addition, this type of supplement has a small amount of lactose and fat. Therefore, Whey Concentrate has slower absorption and is indicated for those who want to increase lean mass.
Remembering that the lower the protein levels, the greater the presence of fats and lactose.
Whey Protein Isolate, which undergoes a more complete filtration process, contains up to 90% protein and is practically free of fat and lactose. This type of supplement, which is quickly absorbed, is the most suitable for those seeking muscle hypertrophy.
Hydrolyzed Whey Protein, on the other hand, has more than 99% of proteins ” broken ” into small fragments and, therefore, they are metabolized even more easily by the body.
And although it may contain traces of fats and carbohydrates, Hydrolyzed Whey may be the best option for lactose intolerants.
In addition to the three types of Whey Protein, you can also opt for Protein Blends, which are supplements that combine the different types of Whey Protein.
Check out the main differences between the three types of Whey Protein below:
|Process||Minimum filtration||Deeper filtration||Complex filtering|
|Composition||Proteins, carbohydrates and fats||High protein level||High level of protein and carbohydrates|
|Lactose||Yes||Depends on the brand||Very little|
|Protein content||30% to 80%||Above 90%||Above 99%|
What are the advantages and disadvantages of Whey Protein?
As we have seen, this supplement is super beneficial for health in general and, especially for those who train hard and want to gain muscle mass.
The fact is that Whey Protein is a fast-absorbing supplement and a rich source of proteins and essential amino acids.
In addition to strengthening the immune system as a whole, this supplement has proteins of high biological value and helps to repair muscles after exercise.
Still, there are some disadvantages to Whey Protein. When used incorrectly and in excessive doses, it can cause unwanted side effects, can put on weight, and, in more severe cases, can lead to kidney and liver problems.
The following are the main advantages and disadvantages of Whey Protein:
- Rich source of proteins and amino acids
- Low amount of fat and carbohydrates
- Fast absorption
- Gain muscle mass
- Helps in muscle recovery
- Strengthens the immune system
- Extends the satiety effect
- Too much can make you fat or cause liver and kidney complications
- Use must be accompanied by a doctor or nutritionist
The price of Whey Protein varies a lot depending on the manufacturer’s brand, the size of the packaging, and the quality of the protein.
But in general, Whey Protein costs between R $ 10 and R $ 7,000. Of course, you don’t have to buy the most expensive of all. However, the very cheap ones, generally, do not have proof of the quality and purity of the protein and usually come in a single dose. In this article, we show great products ranging from R $ 90 to R $ 300.
Where to buy?
You will find Whey Protein in supplements, sports, department stores, and hypermarkets such as Lojas Americanas and Carrefour.
But we recommend that you make your purchase at online stores such as Amazon Brazil. This way, you not only guarantee more brand options but also purchase your supplement from the comfort of your home.
Purchase criteria: What to consider before choosing Whey Protein
As we have seen, the first step is to be accompanied by your doctor or nutritionist. In addition, you need to understand what differentiates one product from another.
Therefore, we have selected for you the main factors that must be observed before purchasing Whey Protein:
- Amino Acids
Next, we’ll explain each of these factors in detail so that you can make the best decision and purchase the ideal Whey Protein.
It is also essential that you check the composition of the supplement through the nutritional table.
It is where you will find the protein content that is offered in each serving that will be consumed, in addition to the value of other nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, sodium, calories and etc.
In general, you will find Whey that offers between 20 g and 25 g of protein per serving. As for the other ingredients, the variation is large and will depend on your needs and goals.
When searching for the best Whey Protein to buy, you should also be aware of two amino acid classifications: BCAAs and EAAs.
BCAAs are the amino acids that act in the transport of nitrogen, helping the muscle to produce other amino acids. EAAs are essential amino acids, that is, they are not manufactured by our body and must be obtained through food or supplements.
There are nine types of essential amino acids. A complete protein is one that has an adequate proportion of these nine amino acids.
Thus, a quality Whey must contain most of the amino acids (BCAAs + EAAs) in good concentration and in the right proportion.
When buying your Whey Protein, stay tuned to some recommendations from the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) on additions to the formula:
- Whey protein supplements can be added to other nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals.
- It must contain at least 10 g of protein in the portion and meet the minimum of 50% of the total energy value from the proteins.
In addition, some brands add more glutamine and BCAA, in addition to what is already naturally present in the supplement.
It is also possible to find some options with the addition of digestive enzymes, which enhance the breakdown of proteins and, consequently, optimize the absorption and use of amino acids. Your choice, again, will depend on your nutritional needs and goals.
Supplements can be found in powder or capsules. Capsules have the advantage of being more convenient to carry and use anywhere. In terms of absorption, the supplement in capsules provides a slightly slower absorption than the powder.
But while a 1-teaspoon protein dose is ideal for an average glass of water, the same dose in capsules would involve a larger amount of pills. That’s because each tablet usually contains between 1 g and 3 g of protein.
It is also important that you consider the size of the package before purchasing Whey Protein. To choose the best one, you must take your usage planning into account.
In general, the larger the package of the supplement the greater the cost-benefit. To give you an idea, you can find Whey Protein containing between 30 g and 2 kg.
It may not seem important, but you should consider the taste before deciding on the best Whey Protein. For those who are going to take it every day, whey with almost 100% protein can taste sickening.
Chocolate, dulce de leche, vanilla, banana and strawberry are just some of the flavors available, in addition to the natural flavor.
However, some of the flavors offer synthetic elements, such as food additives, which can produce unwanted health effects.
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