The Scoop on Whey Protein for Physical Performance
Written by John E. Ejeh, MS, BS
John holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from Long Island University Post, with a concentration in Clinical Nutrition. John also holds his first undergraduate degree in Human Physiology from Nigeria, where he acquired an in-depth knowledge of the human anatomy, pathophysiology, human physiological functions, and the metabolic processes associated with dietary intake. He is a Certified Personal Trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Email John: JEjeh@invitehealth.com
Adequate nutrition, such as protein, is essential for a healthy body. Protein is a complete molecule, or a “perfect protein”, as it contains all nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot make and must get from dietary sources. It forms the basic building blocks for your body’s growth, repair and immune system health. An individual’s protein needs may vary with age, sex and physical activity level. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the current daily requirement for protein intake is about 0.8g/kg/body weight (60 grams per day for an individual weighing 165lbs.).
Whey Protein vs. Casein
Whey Protein and casein are two of the most popular protein supplements on the market – they both come from milk, are highly bioavailable, and are complete proteins. But Whey Protein reigns supreme due to its rapid digestion abilities and being more anabolic, or muscle-building.
Whey Protein digests faster than casein and it contains about 26% branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) and 14% leucine (an amino acid used by the body to build muscle and for energy). Casein contains 23% BCAA and 10% leucine.
Benefits of Whey Protein
Whey Protein, in combination with resistance training, has been shown in numerous clinical studies to increase lean body mass and strength. It has also been shown to promote muscle repair and recovery after exercise, due to its high biological value and rapid digestion rate. Whey Protein also increases glutathione levels, “the mother antioxidant”, which supports the immune system and decreases oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is a process caused by free radicals, unstable molecules that disrupt the normal physiological mechanisms of cellular signaling in the human body. Oxidative stress predisposes your body to muscle pain, fatigue, wrinkles, grey hair, memory loss and susceptibility to infections.
What is Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate?
Whey isolate is simply whey protein that has been filtered to remove lactose from the powder itself, creating a leaner, lower fat protein source. For those who are lactose intolerant or have issues with digesting dairy products, whey protein isolate can be a great alternative.
Hydrolyzed whey protein has been broken down into smaller peptides, resulting in efficient and quick absorption.
The research on Whey Protein is quite extensive. For example, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the muscle-building effects of dairy-based proteins, including whey, casein and casein hydrolysate. The study examined the effect of the proteins on a group of 48 men with an average age of 74, who did not exercise regularly and did not have Type 2 Diabetes. Participants were divided into three groups and given 20g of one of the three research proteins. It was found that whey protein stimulated muscle growth significantly more effectively than casein or casein hydrolysate. Whey was also shown to increase blood and muscle concentrations of leucine more effectively than the other casein proteins.
Assisting Jerry Hickey, R.Ph is a team of nutritional professionals - a group of hand chosen, dedicated experts, available at each and every InVite® Health retail location - there to provide you with a FREE, personalized, and professional nutritional consultation. Visit an InVite® Health retail location near you for assistance in selecting the correct nutrients to address your health concerns.
You can also e-mail an InVite® Nutritionist or call us directly with any of your nutritional questions. The InVite® Health team is always available to assist you.