All the best trainers have always supported a curious theory: “muscles are built in the kitchen.” This particular statement refers to the importance of a balanced and healthy diet, combined with an adequate exercise routine.
If our diet does not provide the necessary nutrients, we can forget those muscles that we so much desire. For this, the supplement industry has thought of products such as protein powders, real “nutritional bombs” that facilitate muscle growth.
In this new article, we present you with Whey protein, a supplement that will provide you with all the amino acids necessary to support the growth of your muscles without having to go through the kitchen!
Right below, we had listed out the best Gnc whey protein supplements.
Things to Consider Before Buying Gnc Whey Protein Supplements
Whey protein is one of the most used supplements by athletes. Numerous studies have proven Their effectiveness in supporting muscle growth. Furthermore, their satiating power and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are beneficial in sculpting the physique we dream of.
What Are Whey Proteins?
Whey protein, or whey protein, is a protein supplement widely used by athletes all over the world. This supplement is obtained as a result of the coagulation of milk, a process that gives rise to a reliable final product, rich in casein, and to a liquid part (called Whey). The latter will then be dehydrated to form the known protein powder.
Whey includes up to 20% of the total milk protein, and this is what makes this supplement a single source of amino acids, exceeding, as far as nutritional values are concerned, even eggs, soy, and casein.
Also, Whey protein contains the nine essential amino acids (isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, valine, histidine, and arginine). Experts, therefore, consider it in nutrition as a “complete protein,” which provides the human body the following benefits.
- Muscle mass increase.
- Increased endurance during training.
- Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Improvement of immune defenses.
- Cardiovascular protection.
- Blood pressure reduction.
- Prebiotic function (promotes the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract).
- Weight control and obesity management.
- Possible preventive effect against osteoporosis.
What Role Do Whey Proteins Play in My Diet?
Their structural function makes these molecules act as “bricks” to form muscles, bones, and tendons. As if that weren’t enough, proteins also strengthen the immune system and regulate many chemical and hormonal reactions.
The consumption of an adequate amount of protein is essential for the development and maintenance of our body. In general, we recommend an intake equal to 0.8 grams of protein for each kilogram of your body weight.
This amount can increase for those who train to intend to improve their muscle mass, or who are recovering from injuries or illnesses. A balanced and healthy diet should be sufficient to meet all our protein needs.
Although this goal can also be achieved with a vegan diet, omnivorous diets (which include meat, eggs, milk, and fish) are usually considered more complete. A high-protein intake will offer us the following benefits:
- Greater Sense of Satiety: Protein-rich foods produce a feeling of satiety greater than other nutrients, such as carbohydrates. This property can promote weight loss and reduce the total amount of calories ingested during the day.
- Thermogenic Effect: The digestion of proteins is more complicated than that of carbohydrates and fats. Our body will, therefore, need to consume more calories to absorb these nutrients. Therefore the thermogenic effect necessary to start the digestive process will be higher. This property contributes to burning more calories and weight loss.
- Increased Muscle Mass: Maintaining muscle and creating new contractile fibers requires adequate protein intake. Proper protein consumption has been shown to help increase muscle mass.
- Strong Bones: High protein diets maintain bone health by helping to prevent fractures and injuries, especially for older people.
- Healthy Weight Loss: Protein-rich diets have been shown to lose fat by keeping the body’s lean body mass intact. This effect is amplified if proper nutrition is combined with exercise to lose weight.
- Reduction of Appetite at Night: High protein diets can help us decrease the unbridled desire for food that assaults some of us at night.
- Improvement in Sleep Quality: A 2016 study found that people who followed a protein-rich diet reported higher sleep quality than people who followed regular or low-protein diets.
- Improving the Appearance of Skin, Hair, and Nails: High-protein diets can enhance the appearance of the skin, hair, and nails thanks to the consumption of amino acids, which promotes skin healing and helps avoid premature hair loss and counteract the fragility of the nails.
- Cardiovascular Health Improvement: High protein intake has been reported to improve lower blood pressure and reduce triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels (more commonly known as “bad cholesterol”).
Over time, rising meat prices or a general lack of appetite, it may be challenging to achieve adequate protein intake. In this case, a Whey protein supplement is a valid alternative to traditional nutrition.
What Types of Whey Protein Are There?
One of the main problems with Whey proteins is their origin. Being a supplement derived directly from milk, it also contains lactose and fat. These elements make them difficult to take for people who are allergic to lactose, or for those who wish to decrease their fat intake.
Fortunately, there are various types of processes for extracting Whey proteins, which gives rise to three different formats that can adapt to different individual needs. Some of these can even be consumed by lactose intolerant! In the following lines, we explain in detail what it is:
- Concentrated Whey Protein: In this case, the buttermilk obtained from the coagulation process necessary to produce the cheese is dehydrated and concentrated in a powder with an amount of protein ranging from 30 to 80%. What remains is made up of fats and carbohydrates, including lactose.
- Whey Protein Isolates: The processing of this supplement was more exhaustive and eliminated during the process, fats, and carbohydrates, generating a powder with a protein content equal to 90% (or even more).
- Hydrolyzed Whey Protein: In this format, the protein (concentrated or isolated) has been partially hydrolyzed or “broken,” which facilitates its digestion and absorption, making sure that the essential amino acids can be incorporated into our muscle tissues in a faster way. This formula is the most expensive of the three mentioned.
How to Use My Whey Protein Supplement?
Whey protein is one of the most natural supplements to use. Unfortunately, however, there is a great deal of incorrect information in circulation, which could confuse you and prevent you from taking advantage of your nutritional supplement.
In the following paragraphs, we will teach you how to use your Whey proteins as effectively as possible:
- Adequate Dosage: Generally, it is recommended to consume 20-25 grams of Whey protein per day. The dose can also be established according to our body weight (0.5 g / kg of Whey for sedentary people, 1.5 g / kg for people who want to increase muscle mass and up to 3 g / kg for those who follow a restrictive diet and practice sports).
- Time of Administration: For many years, the need to take Whey protein within a few hours after training has been sustained to stimulate muscle growth. Nowadays, we know that we can make this supplement up to 6 hours before or after training and still get all the benefits. A much more convenient alternative!
- Break Down Your Intake: Exercise has been shown to increase the muscle’s ability to accommodate proteins and increase within 24 hours after the training session. We can further maximize the anabolic effect by taking Whey protein in two doses, one before training and another after.
- Time of Administration: Whey proteins will have a different impact on each one, depending on their starting fitness level, their nutrition, and their level of exercise. Some see immediate results after only a week of use, while others have to wait for two or more months before they notice any effects.
- With or Without Food: Whey proteins are best absorbed when accompanied by carbohydrates. You can mix them with water, yogurt, or milk and accompany them with a small snack, or fruit, to get the maximum benefit.
Finally, remember that Whey proteins can be added to drinks or hot dishes. High temperatures, however, will subject the amino acids present in the supplement to a denaturation process that will have no impact on the effectiveness of the product but will determine its solubility.
You could, therefore, find yourself with unpleasant lumps of Whey in case you overheat the food preparation to which you mix the proteins.
What Are the Benefits of Whey Protein Supplementation?
Numerous studies have shown that Whey proteins are a safe and effective form of supplementation. If we use this product correctly and combine it with some healthy habits (a healthy diet, daily exercise, and proper rest), we can enjoy one or more of the following benefits:
- Appetite Control: It has been proven that the consumption of proteins (such as those of Whey-based supplements) reduces appetite, thus facilitating a reduction in the daily calories consumed.
- Weight Reduction: The sense of satiety caused by Whey proteins can help reduce caloric intake, thus contributing to weight loss.
- Increased Muscle Mass: Whey protein is a complete protein source that promotes muscle growth in people on a low protein diet.
- Possible Improvement of The Cardiovascular System: Hypertensive or pre-hypertensive subjects who took Whey proteins reported better blood pressure control. Also, this product is believed to decrease “bad” (or LDL) cholesterol.
- Possible Improvement in The Glycemic Index: Various studies have linked the consumption of Whey proteins to an increase in sensitivity to insulin. This hormone allows sugar to penetrate the cells so that they can use it, thus decreasing blood glucose levels.
- Possible Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Effect: Some research has found that Whey protein supplementation can reduce the body’s inflammation and oxidation, helping to improve overall body health and keeping us healthy longer.
The benefits of Whey proteins are numerous and proven by a significant amount of clinical studies. This fantastic supplement can help you healthily lose weight while maintaining enough muscle mass to allow you to stay active and dynamic. Furthermore, its antioxidant effect can counteract premature aging.
What Precautions Should I Take when Taking Whey Protein?
Typically, Whey protein is considered a safe supplement, even when taken in high doses. However, they do have side effects, such as gastrointestinal complaints, flatulence, and diarrhea. These unpleasant consequences can be avoided by using isolated or hydrolyzed Whey proteins. Other contraindications can be:
- A more excellent feeling of thirst
- Muscle cramps
- Loss of appetite
Unfortunately, Whey proteins can cause interactions with some drugs, reducing their effectiveness or increasing the time of disposal of substances from our bodies. If you take any of these medicines, do not use them, unless you have received the approval of your trusted doctor:
- Levodopa (treatment for Parkinson’s disease)
- Alendronate (drug against osteoporosis)
- Antibiotics (quinolones and tetracyclines)
If you suffer from any condition that affects kidney function, Whey protein supplementation may worsen your condition. Do not use the product without making sure before the pros and cons of its use, by consulting a professional. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should also refrain from taking Whey protein supplements.
Finally, avoid this supplement if you are allergic to cow’s milk protein. Don’t confuse this allergy with lactose intolerance, which is milk sugar. The consumption of cow’s milk protein can be hazardous for allergy sufferers. Serious consequences include angioedema, inflammation of the respiratory tract.
As you know, Whey proteins are the secondary result of milk coagulation during the cheese production process. As a result, this supplement is out of the reach of people allergic to cow’s milk protein (i.e., the main component of Whey). And instead, as regards the subjects intolerant to milk sugar (lactose)?
Lactose intolerance is an inability of our body to digest this sugar, which ferments in our digestive tract and can cause nausea, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal discomfort. The formulas of Whey proteins isolated or idolized contain a minimum amount of lactose and are therefore better tolerated. Orient yourself on these if you suffer from this allergy.
Other Food Intolerances
Concentrated Whey protein formulas can cause gastrointestinal discomfort in sensitive people. The process that isolated or hydrolyzed Whey proteins are subjected to will decrease the likelihood of these discomforts appearing.
So, for those with a more sensitive than average stomach, these two specific formulas remain the most recommended. On the other hand, although there are Whey proteins suitable for vegetarians, there are none suitable for vegans, since they are made from cow’s milk.
Vegans will be able to choose from the various commercially available plant-based protein options, i.e., from beans, soybeans, or peas. Usually, these supplements do not contain gluten and are also suitable for coeliacs.
All supplements sold in large retailers must be correctly labeled and packaged, clearly indicating the ingredients, nutritional values, possible allergens, the quantity of product net, the name and location of the manufacturer. Even your Whey proteins must meet these requirements, which guarantee their quality.
Combination with Other Supplements
Some studies argue that the consumption of Whey protein combined with other nutritional sources could be even more beneficial to be able to achieve the change we so much desire on our body.
The following paragraph gives the primary information to know about the most popular supplements to combine with Whey proteins:
- Casein: This protein, derived from milk, just like Whey, absorbs more slowly and continuously, increasing the levels of amino acids in the blood when the Whey proteins have finished their effect. Some studies indicate that by combining these two supplements, muscle growth is more significant than when only one is used individually.
- Caffeine: The most famous stimulant in the world. It has a thermogenic function (increases the caloric expenditure of the body) and can promote weight loss. Contraindications include anxiety and nervousness in already irritable individuals.
- Creatine: Creatine is a substance that increases the transport of energy to cells, also improving resistance to exercise. The combination of Whey and creatine is safe and well known, although current studies have not shown any particular efficacy.
- Β-Alanine: This amino acid could increase strength and reduce the feeling of fatigue during training, thus leading to a growth in muscle mass. Although experts are still hesitant, the results obtained so far seem to indicate that the combination of this supplement and Whey proteins may lead to muscle growth.
- Glutamine: Glutamine is an essential amino acid for creating new muscle fibers. The combination with Whey could help you feel less tired after exercise, without having a real impact on muscle composition.