Why Should I Use Whey Protein to Build Muscle?
In the world of bodybuilding it’s a well-known fact that protein is key for both growing muscle tissue and repairing it. There are, however, several different kinds of proteins. One of the best complex proteins available is that derived from whey, which is a by-product of cheese. Whey protein is considered to be the highest quality protein, with a biological value (BV) of 100. This means it contains all the amino acids necessary to be considered a complete protein. It been shown to possess a myriad of health benefits including reduced risk of cancer, increased heart health, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, increased serotonin levels and decreased cortisol. It also works with your body to give you that competitive bodybuilding edge and boost your overall health, which is why whey is a staple supplement for those of you who regularly exercise using resistance training.
There are four major types of whey protein. Whey protein concentrates (WPC) are lower in cholesterol and fat but have high levels of lactose. Whey protein isolates, or WPI, are processed for the removal of lactose and fat and have the highest percentage of protein by weight. Whey protein hydrolysates (WPH) are predigested and partially hydrolyzed so they are more easily metabolized. The more they are processed, or hydrolyzed, the less allergenic they are than other forms. Then there is native whey, which is the purest whey protein. It has been extracted from skim milk as opposed to cheese.
3 Major Muscle Building Benefits of Whey Protein
Whey protein works so well because it is easily digested, increases blood flow to the muscles and delivers amino acids to your muscles quickly. This rapid absorption helps your muscles get the vitamins and minerals they need for repair and growth after a workout.
Builds Muscle While Dumping the Fat
Not only does whey protein help build muscle mass, but it also aids in reducing body fat. Because whey is such a high quality protein, it allows you to more easily maintain nitrogen levels (learn more about nitrogen balance) without increasing your carbohydrate intake, thus losing more fat and producing more lean muscle. Leucine, an essential amino acid, is the only amino acid that can stimulate protein synthesis and slow muscle breakdown. It also aids in burning up calories and building muscle mass. As an added plus, the peptides in whey also stimulate intestinal hormones, creating that “full” feeling that prevents hunger pangs.
Increases Muscle Size and Strength
Regular use of whey protein powder before and after working out has shown a solid increase in fat-free muscle mass and strength. Studies consistently show whey protein produces increased muscle strength, lean body mass, and an increase in muscle fiber – even more so than other type of protein supplements (click here for protein supplements). Further, the amino acids found in whey help to reduce muscle damage from overexertion.
So if you’re a serious bodybuilder, and want to really pack on some lean muscle without radically changing your diet, you really should look into whey protein as your primary supplement. Whether you want to use it as a meal replacement or just after workouts, you’re sure to see a solid difference.