some time ago, bodybuilders and other sportsmen thought that eggs and milk were the best sources of protein, but views have changed, due to the awareness of protein supplements and in particular, whey protein. Nowadays, the powder form of whey protein in is considered the single most important of all bodybuilding supplements, as it has an abundance of essential amino acids, with the highest known levels of any natural food source. These amino acids are important to sports competitors and bodybuilders alike due to the way they help with the growth of muscle tissue, building muscle, strengthening and recovery of the muscles. It can therefore help you to increase size, strength and recovery times after training.
Whey itself is made during the process of cheese making using cow's milk. It's left over when the cheese coagulates; the curds are set and cooked or piled on one another and then cut to allow the whey to released. The protein is the collection of globular proteins isolated from the whey. This whey protein is then turned into whey powder, which will become the protein supplement you see online and in stores.
Whey protein comes in 3 different forms: Concentrate, Isolate and Hydrolysate, although in many products you will only see concentrate or isolate. This is due to these being the major whey proteins and hydrolysate much less common. Whey protein concentrate generally tends to have a lower level of protein than isolate but it does have the highest biological value. This is because the isolate whey is processed further than the concentrate during the manufacturing process which results in a more pure protein being produced with lower levels of fat and lactose. In fact, you will normally find that over 90% of whey protein isolate is protein compared to as little as 30% in whey protein concentrate.
When choosing which whey protein powder to use, it all depends what you wish to use it for. Bodybuilders tend to opt for the isolate as it has much lower fat levels. Lower lactose levels help to reduce the bloated feeling that some can suffer from when taking whey. It is recommended to have your whey protein after your workout due to fast sources of protein being needed and it digesting pretty rapidly. It does however come at a cost. Because of its higher quality of protein, isolates tend to be more expensive than concentrate. And remember, different brands offer different products. You may therefore want to look at online reviews before choosing. When choosing which whey protein powder to use it is always important to take dietary and medical conditions into consideration. This is especially important if you are lactose intolerant.