Whey Protein: A Staple Supplement for Building Muscle
Any successful muscle-building or fat-loss exercise routine you take on should start with a quality whey protein. Whey protein should be a staple supplement for building muscle in both men and women. Whey protein is key for healthy and sustained muscle growth, and is an excellent source of calories.
When I first recommend people to add whey protein to their diet, many get intimidated about buying what seems like a massive jug of protein. Couldn’t I just eat some chicken? Some say. I tell them that yes, they should, but for the best results a whey protein should be added to any muscle building exercise routine. Whey protein is rich in amino acids, which are necessary for building lean muscle mass during training. According to a 2008 study conducted in London using whey protein during a weight loss program resulted in a greater percentage of body fat being lost and a greater retention of muscle during weight loss.
It is also a source of something I like to call a source of “clean” calories. These are calories that are high in protein and low in fat, especially unhealthy saturated fats that can cause coronary problems like heart disease later in life.
Many people, especially women, have a fear that whey protein powders will make them “bulk up” too much. This is simply not true. Whey protein is a great way to build lean muscle mass while keeping calories down at the same time. Most servings of whey powders have about the same amount of calories as a couple of slices of bread, and as any of you carb addicts know, bread does not help build muscle. Also unlike calories from carbohydrates, protein will give you the feeling of being full for a longer time, helping to cut down on unhealthy cravings or overeating at your next meal.
Whey contains a large amount of what are known as Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs). These BCAAs help to replenish muscle tissue that has been damaged during exercise and training. It might sound painful, but when you are training you are actually tearing some of your muscle tissue. This tissue then repairs itself in the minutes, hours, and days after a workout becoming denser each time. The BCAAs in whey protein help speed this process along resulting in bigger dividends on your training and faster recovery time.
There are also a number of other positive side effects associated with whey protein that are like an added bonus to the primary muscle building side effects. Whey protein has been found to help reduce various types of cancer in animals, which could also be helpful to humans as well. Also the Glutathione found in whey protein is linked to a healthier immune system. The health benefits of taking a whey protein supplement go way beyond simply building more muscle, it can help you build a better body.
For the best results it is best to drink a whey protein within two hours before exercise or within an hour after training. This helps get the protein into your body when it needs it most for maximum gains and recovery. It is best to mix it with milk or soy milk to get a greater dose of protein into the system, but water can be used if calories are an issue. A great way to get a healthy dose of whey protein in the morning can be mixing some whey protein with a banana, other fruit, and juice or milk (I usually let the flavor of the whey dictate that choice) to make a great breakfast smoothie. Depending on the goals and intensity of your training, one to three serving a day should do the trick. A general rule is one gram of protein for each pound of body weight. Just like exercise, remember to stick to your whey protein regimen, and positive results should follow.