In recent years, we have started to understand the countless benefits of whey protein for overall health and wellness, but many people in the fitness world have been singing its praises for a long time… and for good reason. If you are someone who enjoys lifting weights, playing sports or working out, you may be interested to know how incorporating a high quality whey protein supplement into your fitness routine and diet can help you achieve your goals.
Including Whey Protein in Your Fitness Routine
Multiple studies have shown that supplementing your diet with a high quality whey protein can help provide muscles with the building blocks they need to repair and speed up muscle recovery time. A statement published by the ADA, DOC and ACSM recommends that endurance and strength-trained athletes need between 1.2 and 1.7 g/kg (0.5 – 0.8 grams per pound) of protein to support their physical activity and muscle strength.
You can use this handy tool below to help calculate your protein needs:
|Your body weight in pounds x 0.4-0.7 grams = protein (grams)|
When calculating your protein needs it’s important that you take into consideration your activity level. Two people that weigh the same, one with a somewhat active lifestyle and one with an extremely active lifestyle will have different protein requirements. The more active you are the more protein your muscles require to repair themselves, so consider your level of fitness routine training when calculating your protein needs.alculating your protein needs it’s important that you take into consideration your activity level. Two people that weigh the same, one with a somewhat active lifestyle and one with an extremely active lifestyle will have different protein requirements. The more active you are the more protein your muscles require to repair themselves, so consider your level of fitness routine training when calculating your protein needs.
When Do You Need Protein?
Do you need protein after a workout? Or protein before a workout? The timing of your protein depends on your personal goals and lifestyle. Here are a few tips afor optimizing your protein intake.
Protein – First Thing in the Morning
Multiple studies have shown that consuming a breakfast that is high in protein as opposed to high in sugar and/or carbohydrate will help you feel fuller and more satiated throughout the day.
Typically foods that are high in carbohydrates will spike your blood sugar and leave you feeling hungry again in a short amount of time, thus sending you on a roller coaster of cravings. If you start your day without enough protein, you may find yourself struggling with cravings and hunger all day long.
Research has found that protein physically changes certain areas of the brain related to cravings. A 2011 study from the University of Missouri found that eating a healthy breakfast, especially one high in protein, increases satiety and reduces hunger. In addition, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) the researchers found that eating a protein-rich breakfast reduces the brain signals controlling food motivation and reward-driven eating behavior. This means that with a high protein diet, you will be more easily able to control emotional eating or cravings for less than healthy foods.
Whey is an excellent source of protein for breakfast. Not to mention whey has the highest biological value of any protein available. This means that not only does it provide all nine essential amino acids; it also is readily digested and absorbed.
A protein shake made with whey is fast and very convenient, making it a quick and easy breakfast on the go. It can also help you reach you fitness goals, making it easier to stick with your diet plan.
Whey Protein Before or After a Workout
You may be surprised to know that there has only been one study on whether one should take protein before a workout or to take protein after a workout. The 2017 study aimed to test the impact of pre- versus post-workout protein consumption on 21 well-trained subjects. The subjects were given either 25 grams of protein before exercise or immediately after. They then worked out three times a week for 10 weeks. There was no difference in muscle gain or strength. This study supports the new theory that the timing of protein intake with your workout really doesn’t matter, as long as you are getting enough protein throughout the day.
When deciding if you want to take your whey protein before or after a workout, do what’s best for you. If taking protein before your workout makes you feel “heavy”, then take it after. The important thing is to be sure you are getting enough protein to support your muscles and promote recovery.
How to Take Whey Protein
Whey protein can be mixed with almost any beverage of your choice; milk, water, almond milk, coconut milk and some juices that are low in citric acid (i.e., apple, pear or grape). You want to avoid mixing with any juice that is high in citric acid or any hot liquids, as this could potentially damage the proteins.
Give your Protein an Extra Boost!
Take your whey protein to the next level by adding other beneficial nutrients. Easy additions that can make a big difference in your health and energy levels are: probiotics, MCT’s, glutamine and colostrum.
Probiotics – live bacteria that are beneficial or ‘friendly’ to our gut. They encourage good bacteria growth and restore the microflora in our gut. They are now available in many powdered forms and can easily be added to any whey protein shake. (Warning: yogurt and fermented dairy products may damage the fragile whey proteins due to high acid content.)
MCT’s – stand for medium chain triglycerides (90% of what we consume are long-chain triglycerides) and are unique in that they are absorbed directly by the digestive system and transported to the liver, where they are used as a fuel source. This unique quality makes MCT’s a potentially valuable health supplement for athletes, people with digestive issues, and people training to improve their body composition. Coconut oil and coconut water are both rich sources of MCT’s.
Glutamine – an amino acid found in the body, which is quickly used and depleted during exercise and strenuous physical activity. It is also a key amino acid for the maintenance and repair of the digestive system, a problem are for many serious athletes. Our GlutImmune is a covalent bonded glutamine which has been shown to deliver 10 times more glutamine to the bloodstream than L-glutamine.
Colostrum – it’s the first milk produced by mammals late in pregnancy and was the first known immune system enhancer before we had antibiotics. Athletes often find themselves with compromised immune systems due to the added stress on the body, and our Bioactive Colostrum can accelerate healing of all body tissues, help with weight management, increase lean muscle mass and support a healthy immune system.
Choosing a High Quality Whey Protein
You want to make sure that you are consuming the highest quality whey protein you can get your hands on. You really do get what you pay for when it comes to whey, and sometimes buying the more expensive isolates with more grams of protein/ serving doesn’t matter, because the proteins are ‘dead’ from extensive processing.
Also, seek to find out where the manufacturer is sourcing their milk and how those cows are being fed. You want to read the ingredient label. Does the whey protein contain a list of ingredients a mile long, including additives and artificial sweeteners? These are all things to consider when choosing a whey protein.
Our Proserum® grass fed whey protein concentrate found in our Vital Whey line has all the advantages of natural grass pasture-fed cows. They are disease free, pesticide free, chemical free, hormone treatment free and GMO free. Our products are also minimally processed to maintain the highest quality, biologically active whey proteins with no preservatives or artificial sweeteners. Vital Whey can help you meet your daily protein needs with the highest quality protein available