Unless you’ve been living in a cave all your life you probably understand the importance of protein when it comes to building muscle and improving your physique.
Whey is the most popular form for bodybuilders because it’s fast acting.
It’s a by-product of cheese and yoghurt containing concentrated amounts of protein.
What Is Whey Good For?
Isolate or not, whey supplements can help us make the most of our time in the gym.
It is a fast acting protein, helping your body rebuild muscles broken down during a tough workout.
Whey is great for putting lean muscle on your frame, or burning fat, or putting on weight.
Besides helping you in the gym, whey can help you control blood glucose levels.
Whey What Is It?
We already mentioned that whey is a dairy byproduct, but not all wheys are created equal.
They are all created as concentrates first.
The further processing of whey results in 2 more types of protein.
Whey isolates and whey hydrolysates.
Here is a breakdown of the typical proteins you can buy in a supplement shop.
Whey Concentrates: A basic form of whey. Generally made up of 30%-90% protein depending on how it’s processed.
Your average concentrate is about 80%. That other 20% is by-products like vitamins, lactose, fats, and carbs.
Hydrolyzed Whey: A newer phenomenon in the fitness world hydrolysates are a form of whey broken down further than isolates.
The natural process of hydrolysis is what your body needs to do to absorb protein has already started in whey hydrolysate.
Hydrolysates are easier to digest, making them popular in baby formulas and medical supplements.
Whey Isolate: A microfiltered whey concentrate. Isolates contain 90% or more protein. In the filtration process, around 90% of the extras (fats, carbs, and lactose) are filtered out.
This gives you an ultra-pure form of whey protein. It’s a complete protein which means it still contains all the amino acids you need in your diet.
Casein Protein: Although not whey, it’s also a byproduct of dairy and is a slow digesting protein.
It’s ideal for taking before your bed to stop you from catabolising while you sleep.
However, caseins are not as good as an isolate when it comes to giving your body a fast hit of protein when you’re being active.
So What Is Whey Isolate Good For?
If you’re not sold on a faster acting purer form of whey, the low lactose levels will get you.
Some supplement manufacturers make claims about isolate being lactose-free (it usually isn’t) but it does have very low levels of lactose.
For people with any kind of lactose intolerance, this is a big bonus.
Lower levels of lactose mean isolates are less likely to trigger acne.
A gallon of milk a day is great for gains, but not so good for your skin.
When you cut out the lactose, you’ll notice a big difference in how clear your skin can be.
On the nastier side, less lactose means smoother bowel movements.
Have you ever gotten bad gas and found yourself running for the toilet after prolonged use of whey?
You might not be lactose intolerant, but most of us have some mild intolerance to milk.
Flatulence and loose stools are a result of what lactose does to your digestion process.
The easy workaround?
Whey Isolate. When you cut the lactose out of your protein you make digestion much easier for your body.
When To Use Whey Isolate?
Whey is a fast-acting protein.
Use it around your workouts to feed your hungry muscles for best results.
A dose of 30-40 grams whey isolate post workout can aid in faster muscle recovery, and help with muscle growth.
Pump things up more by taking a dose before your workout too.
This means as soon as your muscles start asking for protein, it’s there.
20 grams pre-workout can also improve your endurance.
If you like to skip breakfast, try 20 grams of isolate in a shake instead.
It’s less likely to unsettle your stomach and it’s what your body needs in the morning to keep fueling your muscles.
Just The Facts
Whey is a hard to ignore supplement.
A concentrate is great if you’re dipping your toes into the fitness world, but Isolates are superior proteins.
Your body can shuttle it to your muscles faster, absorb it better, and it’s still a complete protein.
If you suffer from the nasty side effects of lactose in your diet, then an isolate can help you improve your skin and bowel movements.
For a beginner a concentrate is great, but for a champion, an isolate can help you take things to the next level.