Whey Protein Supplements – Build Muscle with Amino Acids

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When you start shopping around and begin reading every bit of information on protein, you will see that just about every product will say it contains the “best amino mix”. What’s the difference? Which ones are the best? What’s inside the prime bodybuilding macronutrient protein that makes it so special? The specific amino acids that you consume are extremely important for making gains in building muscle and increasing strength!

The nutritional value of a food’s protein is determined by the mix of amino acids that it contains. In old days, scientists found that egg protein was the best, so they used it as a ‘gold standard’ for comparison and gave egg the maximum rating, known as Biological Value (BV) of 100, indicating that 100% of the nitrogen found in egg is absorbed in your system.

Producers of the most popular bodybuilding supplement, or protein, refer to other ways to measure protein quality, including Amino Acid Scoring, Net Protein Utilization (NPU), Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER), and Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS). But regardless of how you calculate your amino acids, the reference point stays the same – a product of reproduction from chicks, known as egg. Everything else was inferior until whey was discovered, or so they say.

When comparing different protein sources like milk, eggs, soy, rice, beans, poultry, fish, meat and whey, the amino acid compilation contained in whey is said to be a uniquely superior source of protein. Just compare the numbers:

Protein TypeBV (Biological Value)PER (Protein Efficiency Ratio)NPU (Net Protein Utilization)PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score)
Whey1043.2921.14
Soy742.1611.00
Soy1003.8941.00
Cow's Milk913.1821.00
Casein772.9761.00
Beef802.9731.00

Whey To Go!

What is Whey Protein? It is made from milk which contains protein (20% from whey and 80% from casein), fat and carbohydrates mainly from milk sugar lactose. Whey is the fluid that remains after the fatty milk curd has formed in the process of cheesemaking. At this point, whey contains high quality amino acids and also lactose. Removing this milk sugar was a huge step in achieving the optimal nutritional supplement. The result – purest complete protein containing all eight essential and seven non-essential, and three conditionally essential amino acids.

Whey features the highest concentration of BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) found in nature, growth factors and modulators, gut-friendly bifidobacteria and other microflora needed for strong immunity, disease protection and support of all new cell development.

So, you’ve got Whey Protein. Now it’s time to split hairs – which kind? Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) and Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) are the two main commercial forms of Whey Protein. Both have extremely high protein quality and digestibility. The big difference between these two is their work in the body. WPCs vary in protein content from 34-80% depending on how it is processed, usually through ultrafiltration and diafiltration. Unless it is pretreated, a WPC will contain almost all protein components of whey. WPI booms with 90% protein or more derived from ion-exchange or membrane processing, two superior methods.

Most of the whey protein powders you find will contain mostly WPC with some WPI mixed in. WPI is the highest yield of protein you can find. It is more expensive than concentrate because it is more pure and contains more protein with less fat and lactose per serving, usually 90-98% protein (BV 106) compared to 70-85% (BV 80) found in Whey Protein Concentrate.

Even though whey protein is no doubt the best protein you can get, you shouldn’t take too much of it. Too much of a good thing can be harmful. Extremely high consumption of whey protein could overload your liver and cause some serious damages.

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About Author

Elena Voropay

Elena Voropay is a Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Instructor and Certified Nutritionist. She also holds accreditations for her knowledge in Iridology and Herbal Medicine. Elena has conducted presentations and lectured on various health, fitness and science-related topics. See my profile page for more information!

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