Best Whey Protein?

Choosing the best whey protein in the sea full of supplements can be quite a challenge. If you visit a GNC or any bodybuilding website you will probably find at least 20 different whey products all claiming to be the best whey protein supplement on the market. Surely they can't all be the best and there has to be a way to choose between them.

At its core all protein is basically the same and impacts your body in about the same but there are really only two major types of protein supplements that are worth even exploring. Both whey protein and casein protein are made during the process of converting milk into cheese. The whey protein is the fast acting version of the protein and the casein is the slow acting. By fast and slow I'm referring to the rate of digestion. You drink some whey and it digest very quickly, you drink some casein and it slowly releases over a longer period of time. Some bodybuilders like to consume casein protein late at night so that they get protein while they sleep but this practice doesn't really have much scientific support behind it. The reality is you get enough casein protein from your food and most supplements put some in just to keep you feeling full longer. Whey is by far the most popular so let's focus on that.

Main Forms of Whey Protein

The three main forms of the best whey protein include hydrolysate, isolate and concentrate. Hydrolysates are partly hydrolyzed, predigested proteins of whey that are easier to absorb but cost a little bit more than the other types of protein from whey.

Isolates undergo processing to remove the lactose and fat content. These are normally lower in compounds that are bio-activated as well. These are ninety percent protein in terms of weight and are mildly milky in taste.

Concentrates have a low level of cholesterol and fat but have higher bioactive compound levels and lactose carbohydrates. These are between thirty and eight percent in weight.

Effects on Health

Whey protein has been shown in numerous clinical studies to have no adverse effect on health. The only caveat is those that are allergic to dairy should avoid it as it is made from dairy. Although you can get all the nutrients provided from whey in other foods you would have to consume large quantities of food to get the volume of protein provided in the best whey protein supplements in a single scoop. No natural foods actually contain whey protein as it is a man-made creation designed to pull the best parts of the protein out. The most common types of high protein foods are:

  • Lean red meat (20% protein)
  • Chicken/turkey (20% protein)
  • Fish (20% protein)
  • Eggs (6-8% protein)
  • Cheese (10-30% protein, but high in fat)

Consuming whey protein has been shown to increase muscle mass, burn body fat, and suppress appetite. That being said there is always the concept of too much of a good thing so don't think you can just drink whey all day long. The best whey protein usage is to consume one scoop (normally about 20 grams of protein) 30-45 prior to a weight lifting workout () and one to two scoops immediately following a workout. This primes your body for building muscle and gives you an extra 60 grams of protein a day. A beginner picking up this habit will notice rapid muscle growth due to the increase calories, higher protein levels, and consistent weight training.

Whey Protein and Lifting Weights

Since the best whey protein is very easy to digest, it is essential I the world of bodybuilding these days. This is due to the fact that muscles are able to access protein very quickly. Generally, whey is utilized after working out to increase blood amino acid levels, which are brought to the muscles to increase mass.

The stress that bodybuilding, weight lifting, and strength training put on the body needs to be countered nutritionally. After a workout, protein ingested in the form of a liquid supplemental shake will give you the fastest muscle refueling source. No other source of protein can bring amino acids to the blood and affect the synthesis of protein as quickly as whey.

For this reason, whey is the most important protein used for building muscles. Keep in mind that slow-absorption proteins are also valuable for building muscles as well. Proteins that are absorbed slowly give your body time to absorb greater amounts of nutrients. The main supplement for slow absorption is casein, like mentioned earlier, but we will hit on that more in another article.

Biological Value (BV)

BV or biological value is a term you will hear often when it comes to protein powder. A measure of how efficiently protein is used and absorbed in the body for the growth of tissues, a higher BV value means more efficiency.

The standard of BV is the protein of eggs. This is because eggs scored highest when the scale for BV's became invented. Thus, egg protein has a BV of 100. Beef protein has a BV of 75 and milk, which is whey and casein, has a BV of 85. In its concentrated form, supplements of the best whey protein have a BV rating of 104. In isolated formulations, whey has a BV rating of almost 170.

For this reason, you will probably understand what all the fuss is about whey derived protein. This is due mainly to its efficiency. Keep in mind that you should not get too obsessed with BV values however, since this is not the bottom line and is subject to a lot of misrepresentation and exploitation by manufacturers.

 

The bottom line is that the best whey protein on the market today is a mixture of isolate, concentrate and whey peptides. You will see all kinds of marketing like ion-exchanged, micro-filtered, all natural, etc… I like to keep my protein simple and avoid those products that have proprietary blends and throw in a little bit of all kinds of other stuff like NO, creatine, extra BCAAs, recovery formula, and so on. In my opinion the best whey protein meets the following conditions.

  1. Has been around for awhile: Jumping on every new supplement that comes out is at best a waste of time and at worse very dangerous. Remember that supplements don't require clinical testing or FDA approval and new ones come out every single day.
  2. Has positive reviews online: Check the big sites and look at their reviews. If a product doesn't have hundreds of positive reviews then it is either new in the market (fail on rule 1) or doesn't live up to its claims.
  3. Is just protein: Like I said above don't go mixing your protein with other supplements and not know what you are putting in your body. If you want to take creatine then buy creatine separate and mix them yourself.
  4. Is reasonably priced: There is not a whole lot of difference between micro-filtered protein and Ion-Exchange other than a little bit of fat in the latter. The only thing that really separates one brand from another is the flavors available and the cost so don't feel like you need to have this special protein for twice the cost.
  5. Taste Good: Some will disagree with me here and say that they will just drink anything as long as it has the ingredients they are looking for. Me personally I'd rather have my drink taste good as long as I'm getting the same quality. Flavors like ice cream, chocolate cake, cake batter, root beer float, and many more make you feel like you are having a snack but you are really eating healthy.

So without further ado, here are what I think are the best whey protein supplements on the market.

gain 41 lbs of muscle in 24 weeks