Seasoned athletes know that the highest quality protein products consist of whey protein. Whey is a form of milk, and has the highest bio availability of any protein powder there is, which means that your body will absorb more of it and use it for building muscle. Whey protein consists of either Whey Isolate – the purest type of Whey, or Whey Concentrate – also a highly bio available protein source which is a little less pure than isolate. The best whey product for you will hinge entirely on your exercise and dietary needs – do you need it for strictly post workout, or do you require one for any time of the day?
Whey Protein Isolate
Whey Isolate is a form of whey where the impurities such as fat and lactose have been separated from the powder through the treatment process. Therefore, it is a purified, or ‘isolated’ whey product. The outcome of this is a protein powder with an exceptionally high protein percentage (usually 80-90%), which is fast-digesting and is ideal for building muscle and boosting nitrogen levels in the blood stream rapidly. Whey isolate is the best whey source to use first thing in the morning, or immediately pre or post workout, due to the purity of the product, and the super-fast absorption time.
Whey Protein Concentrate
The next purest form of protein to WPI is WPC, or whey concentrate. This is generally a little lower in protein content to whey isolate (usually 70-80% ) but certainly has its’ uses for weight trainers and athletes. Whey concentrate is a perfect ‘all round’ protein, as it digests at a fairly fast rate (approximately one – three hours digestion time), but not so fast that you need to take multiple servings to feel satiated. Whey concentrate is the best whey powder to take during the day, or when there are a few hours until the next meal.
Hydrolysed Whey Protein
This is the purest form of protein on the market currently, and is the quickest absorbing full-spectrum protein powder there is. The fractions of protein in whey isolate are pre-digested – meaning there are additives during processing that breakdown the links between the amino acids even further, making the rate of digestion increase rapidly! By weight, hydrolysed whey proteins are usually over 90% protein, which means you need less in each serve to get the same amounts of protein into your bloodstream. You can expect whey protein hydrolysate to be digested within one hour, making it the best whey source for around your workouts. This is not a great protein to be had away from workouts, though, as the super-fast absorption rate means that you will be continuously peckish!
Which is the Best Whey product for me?
· If you are only using a whey product for around your workouts – go for a WPI or Hydrolysed Whey (budget permitting). This will ensure your nitrogen levels are at their highest levels, providing your body the ideal situation in which to grow muscle!
· If you are looking for a whey powder to replace meals – go for a mainly WPC product. This will ensure your nitrogen levels are kept high for longer periods of time, meaning that your body stays anabolic.
· If you are looking for a whey protein that covers all bases – why not look for a blend of all three types of whey? This will ensure that you receive fast and medium absorbing protein to power your post-workout recovery, curb hunger, preserve nitrogen levels and build new lean muscle.
There you have a short rundown of whey protein and which whey proteins are best for you. In summary, you should look for a whey powder that suits your needs – Whey Isolate or Hydrolysed WPI for workout nourishment, Whey Concentrate for all-day protein consumption, or a whey protein blend to cover all bases.
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