Why Whey is Way the Weigh to Go

Written by lesleyls (lesley) on 1/13/2011 9:44 AM | COMMENTS (17)

...okay, so I'm in love with homophones & alliteration...indulge me - and be sure to indulge in some whey protein powder as well.

Really, the stuff is like a nutritional gift from Ye Olde Diet & Workout Gods, especially if you're trying to keep your metabolism high & build muscle tissue while losing fat - and, probably most importantly, prevent your body from cannibalizing any precious muscle tissue you've been working so hard to build in the first place.

Mixing or blending up some high-quality whey with icy-cold water (& maybe a few ice cubes for better taste) before an early morning workout not only doesn't feel like you're eating (a bonus if you're just not that into breakfast), but it has been shown to keep your metabolism revved up on high for a number of hours afterward.  Have 10-20g about half an hour before a workout, and then 10-20 g after a workout:
  • ...if you've just done cardio: wait 45 minutes before you have any so you don't cut short the fat-burning wave you just created
  • ...if you've worked out with weights: have your whey protein shake within 15-30 minutes paired with something high in easily-digestible carbs, like a banana, to create a mini insulin spike which helps drive the protein straight into your muscles to help them recover & rebuild
  • (Confused? Here's the link to a post I researched on what exactly to eat WHEN after a workout.)
But which is better: isolate or concentrate? First, though, how the two primarily differ:
  • Whey Isolate: contains between 90-94% protein, has less fat & is more expensive
  • Whey Concentrate: made up of 70-85% protein & contains more alpha lactoglobulins & lactoferrins (valuable immune-boosting protein subfractions) which are removed from the whey isolate when it gets filtered
"In the long run, I don’t think it makes much difference whether you use concentrate or isolate," opines Tom Venuto, a natural bodybuilder, personal trainer, gym owner & author of Burn The Fat, Feed  The Muscle: Fat Burning Secrets of the World’s Best Bodybuilders and Fitness Models. "Whether it comes from whey isolate, whey concentrate, egg whites, chicken, fish, lean red meat or whatever – I just don’t think it matters that much...Nutrition companies will surely bicker back and forth forever over whose protein powder is the best, but choosing your protein isn’t something you should lose sleep over."

Good to know, no?

(image: source)

Categories: FitnessFoodHealth


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  • Post Image mapendo

    9/10/2013 3:29 PM
    Trader Joe's sells a brand called Aria Women's Protein Powder - Vanilla which is pretty good. One serving is 2 points. (You can also find it on Amazon) For this brand, here are the relevant nutritional details for a 22g serving: Calories: 90 Fat: 1g Carbs: 6g Fiber: 3g Protein: 14g My question: would this be considered a power food?


  • Post Image adakaye (amanda)

    3/12/2013 9:57 AM
    Is protein powder just for before/after you workout? Or should you still have some, say for breakfast, if you are not working out but just headed to work?


  • Post Image frostypenn (sarah)

    2/20/2012 11:33 AM
    yes! good to know.


  • Post Image hhllmm05

    1/20/2011 2:16 PM
    I always wondered what the best time to drink it would be. Good info. I buy the brown rice protein powder because a few of us here can't have dairy. And, I really like it that my kids will have a shake for breakfast instead of a sugary cereal. It seems like a good supplement to have in the house.


  • Post Image marjiellen

    1/16/2011 4:22 PM
    I like: "Really, the stuff is like a nutritional gift from Ye Olde Diet & Workout Gods." OK, I'll try it.


  • Post Image janblat46 (jan)

    1/13/2011 7:59 PM
    Interesting as usual. Something to think about!


  • Post Image stradczola (maryann)

    1/13/2011 5:13 PM
    Hmmm.... this may explain why I'm hooked on Eggplant Parmesan lately... Is there one brand that tastes better than the others? I like a nice, smooth shake with good taste. Sue me, but I love to eat things that taste and feel good along with being good for me. And I know you'll know which ones are the best!


  • Post Image lesleyls (lesley)

    1/13/2011 4:46 PM
    Ctonie: what I've been doing is "spending" one of my planned snacks on a quickie pre-workout whey drink half an hour before I work out - I've been using the one by Jay Robb 25g Protein 0gFat 1g Carbs & only 2PP+ - and then having my protein-rich (w/veggies galore) lunch or dinner after my workout; if it was cardio, I wait 45-50 minutes & if it was a weights workout, then I eat within 15-30 minutes after.


  • Post Image rebek18

    1/13/2011 3:58 PM
    (continued) Pour it through a strainer lined with a tea towel or a heavy paper towel - let it drip into a bowl for a bit. The curds in the strainer you can add salt and pepper to and eat fresh, or wedge between paper towels on a plate with a plate on top to drain more. The whey is full of good protein and vitamins - you can add it to drinks, bake with it, use it as stock, etc. It keeps very well in the freezer!


  • Post Image rebek18

    1/13/2011 3:56 PM
    You can also make your own liquid whey at home by making pot cheese (cottage cheese) from whole milk. A very easy way to do this is to warm up some whole milk in the microwave or a pot - hot but not so hot you can't stick your finger in it. Then add a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar and wait a couple minutes. If nothing happens, add another teaspoon. After a few minutes, the milk will "break" into cheese and whey! (continued next post)


  • Post Image charrowe

    1/13/2011 1:39 PM
    This explains why lasagne is so healthy! No, really, what I mean is that ricotta cheese is made from whey. I learned that from one of my cheesemaking books. Just an interesting tidbit :)


  • Post Image iwantedtobearockstar

    1/13/2011 12:10 PM
    That's good to know about when to have your whey, I didn't know you were supposed to have some before a workout too!


  • Post Image ctonie

    1/13/2011 12:02 PM
    So how many of your points are you generally using in the course of your day for whey products?


  • Post Image sampalmer52

    1/13/2011 11:11 AM
    Again, Thank you.


  • Post Image bearhill07

    1/13/2011 10:59 AM
    I would rather have the egg. The protein shakes leave me hungry, but an egg takes the hunger pains away and gives me protein. I eat one to two a day.


  • Post Image suz608

    1/13/2011 10:17 AM
    good to know - yes! I have protein mix and used to make shakes in the morning adding yogurt and fresh fruit. I just can't seem to do it in the winter...it seems so summery-light! I do however, make sure I have a protein-packed lunch with is usually a chix breast on mixed greens. Thanks for the great info. Now my lack of power shakes seems somehow okay.


  • Post Image melissa lishner

    1/13/2011 10:06 AM
    Excellent post - as always - I'm ready to give up buying Womens Health and just checking your blog everyday! Stay Strong!




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