On the market, there are different sources of protein which are protein powder like whey but also protein in solid form that we find in our food: meat, fish, eggs or even vegetable proteins for example. Based on scientific studies, it has been proven that protein can help maintain and develop muscle mass (1). We are therefore going to differentiate whey protein as well as protein in solid form from our diet in order to help you in your future consumption choices.
What is whey protein?
Whey protein is one of the most popular and popular food supplements for bodybuilders. It is characterized as being a highly bioavailable protein powder rich in branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), composed of leucine, isoleucine and valine. BCAA supplementation before and after exercise has been shown to have beneficial effects in decreasing exercise-induced muscle damage and promoting muscle protein synthesis (2), according to a scientific study. This powdered protein can be available in several forms such as concentrated whey, whey isolate, native whey, hydrolyzed whey, lactose-free whey or plain whey (without flavoring).
When to consume whey?
Whey is considered the “star” protein in bodybuilding since it is undoubtedly the most used dietary supplement by practitioners. It is mainly distinguished by its rapid assimilation speed, which allows it to be quickly digested by the body and therefore available directly to your muscles. It is therefore an excellent option when used before, during or after your workouts to quickly supply proteins and amino acids to your muscles. It is therefore a so-called “fast” protein due to its speed of assimilation.
Whey can also be eaten as a snack and will be an excellent alternative for healthy and balanced snacks. It will fill your protein intake and can be added to your preparations as waffles or protein pancakes, since it is easy to cook!
Common points between whey and protein
In fact, whey and protein have a lot in common and few differences. The protein that we find in our diet such as red meats, chicken, fish, eggs… help optimize recovery and muscle development, just like whey protein. However, it is always advisable to favor solid proteins over powdered proteins which will be much more satiating and better assimilated by the body. These will be easier to consume around training since you just need to mix them with water and consume them directly due to their ultra-fast absorption rate. In addition, they will be cheaper in the long run. One study has proven that consuming quality protein sources from meat or whey protein leads to significant benefits in body composition (3).
The solid proteins in our diet are perfect to consume with your main meals such as breakfast, lunch, dinner and even afternoon tea. Around training, they will be more delicate and will take more effort to digest. The choice of these two sources of protein will depend on your budget and your consumption preferences. Be aware that protein powders like whey are not mandatory products for progression but can help supplement your diet.