The Importance of Whey Protein

Protein is an important building block of your bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood.

By Strength Editorial Team July 14, 2019
Posted in  Nutrition Supplement Knowledge

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Are you dissatisfied with the results you’re seeing in the gym? Why aren’t the extra hours and impressive discipline to your workout regimen paying off?

This is common. You will naturally see results when you start from zero, but when you are at the point where you feel you have peaked, it’s time to identify the ways to get you out of the plateau.

Sometimes you can get past your limits by simple routine changes. Maybe you should lift heavier, but with two or three fewer reps per set. Maybe you need to include an extra set or two, or perhaps it’s time you add an extra and totally different exercise routine altogether.

And sometimes you need nutritional modifications, which admittedly is perhaps the most critical part of strength training.

Protein as the missing link

Nutrition can be such a complicated subject, it’s no surprise so many people hit their plateaus and never get out of it. Ask any athlete and they’ll tell you they’d rather add one more set to their regular training than adjust their macros.

When it comes to improving results, many would agree that the one missing ingredient to the recipe that is your overall peak physical performance is protein. Protein is described as a “macronutrient,” meaning that you need large amounts of it for optimal health. You break down your muscles in the gym and now comes the part where you feed your muscles and revitalize them before your next session.

Protein is an important building block of your bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. It is an intricate component of every cell in your body where your body will use it to build and repair tissue. Now unlike carbohydrates and fat, your body does not store protein – so you aren’t able to draw from the tank when your energy is depleted.

More often than not, improving workout performance (and therefore getting better results in the long term) means adjusting protein consumption. The fastest and most practical way to do that is to supplement whey protein. That’s why protein bars and shakes are a phenomenal way to supplement your diet and ensure you’re getting the proper amount of protein daily.

Going all the way with Whey

Whey protein has been a staple gym supplement as long as the whole idea of taking gym supplements was conceived. With the abundance of studies as well as notable athletes with tremendous physiques as proof that whey supplementation actually works.

It all started when sports scientists found out the body takes a while to actually metabolize protein, and this “gap” between digestion and actual utilization is a huge factor when it comes to muscle growth. Solid foods typically take a longer amount of time to digest and break down the protein and send it to the muscles – which is why protein shakes are an integral piece to your arsenal.

BuiltByStrength by Strength.com’s Grass Fed Whey Protein offers the right combination.

The isolate is hormone free and lactose removed meaning its low in sugar and more rapidly absorbed. Typically you want to aim for .8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. However, if you really want to take advantage of that post-workout window, you might want to consider upping the dose all the way to 1.8 grams.

You can up your protein levels at any time throughout the day, but especially immediately after a workout because protein shakes only take half an hour to reach the muscle. This will help you speed up the recovery process after exercise, helps reduce your muscle loss while adding lean muscle, and helps you maintain a healthy body weight.

Why Grass-Fed
Conventional farming practices advocate for grain-fed cows which produce grain-fed whey protein. However, this doesn’t fully optimize the nutrients in whey protein the way grass-feeding does.

Grain-feeding was primarily used to let the cows produce milk en masse. After all, the dairy industry relies a lot on cow’s milk. However, this opens up the risks of pesticide contamination as well as other chemicals used to preserve (or artificially enhance) the grains in any form possible.

Grass-feeding significantly improves the fatty acid composition in whey. Grass-fed protein contains more omega 3 fatty acids while grain-fed whey tends to have more omega 6. Omega 6 isn’t bad, but it’s abundant in most of the foods we eat while omega 3 sources aren’t as common, with the majority of food sources being fish.

Grass-fed whey is also richer in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a nutrient that displays lean muscle mass benefits. The content ranges anywhere from three to five times as much as grain-fed whey.

On top of omega 3 and CLA, grass-fed whey has also been shown to have more polyunsaturated fats, B vitamins, vitamin E, and minerals like calcium and magnesium.

So while grass-fed whey may come off as more expensive, it does convey better nutrient content than conventional, grain-fed varieties.

Better protein, better results

Protein is absolutely vital for athletes and health enthusiasts alike. Strong dietary proteins are crucial throughout all stages of life as they regulate healthy muscle and bone maintenance. Strong muscles will help protect your skeletal system – and ingesting enough daily protein will help protect against progressive muscle loss with age.

When you do go out and buy whey protein, make sure every gram counts. And the best way to do that is to buy high quality and high purity grass-fed whey protein powder.

Remember: we break down our muscles at the gym, we feed them in the kitchen – and we grow them at night!

References:

• Stark M, Lukaszuk J, Prawitz A, Salacinski A. Protein timing and its effects on muscular hypertrophy and strength in individuals engaged in weight-training. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012;9(1):54. Published 2012 Dec 14. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-54
• Smedman A, Vessby B. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation in humans–metabolic effects. Lipids. 2001;36(8):773-81.
• Daley CA, Abbott A, Doyle PS, Nader GA, Larson S. A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutr J. 2010;9:10. Published 2010 Mar 10. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-9-10
• Cintineo HP, Arent MA, Antonio J, Arent SM. Effects of Protein Supplementation on Performance and Recovery in Resistance and Endurance Training. Front Nutr. 2018;5:83. Published 2018 Sep 11. doi:10.3389/fnut.2018.00083
• Phillips SM, Van loon LJ. Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation. J Sports Sci. 2011;29 Suppl 1:S29-38.

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