Proteins are vital cellular building blocks for every single cell in the human body, and have particular impact and importance on the cells of skeletal muscle (which is contracted voluntarily), organs, skin and hair. Proteins are in fact the second most widespread molecules in the human body, after water. They can normally be attained through a normal omnivorous or vegetarian diet; since complete proteins are likely to be animal based, vegetarians and vegans will have to practice careful protein combining to make sure that they get all nine vital amino acids in their diet.
A number of individuals, such as athletes and particularly bodybuilders have such elevated protein requirements that it would be unwise for them to get their protein exclusively from dietary sources; doing so would lead to dangerously unbalanced and unhealthy diets, particularly if the extra proteins are acquired from animal sources, which tend to be rich in fat and in cholesterol.
Whey is a derivative of the cheese manufacturing process, and is animal-based. Whey protein is complete, containing all nine essential amino acids, and is available in several concentrations.
Whey Concentrate is the least concentrated form of whey; it typically contains 29% to 89% of protein per weight, and still contains lactose (a carbohydrate), fat and some cholesterol.
Whey Isolate is most common form of processed whey available as a supplement. It contains a minimum of 90% of protein per weight and has been processed to remove all lactose and most fat and cholesterol.
Whey Hydrolysate is the most bioavailable and least allergenic type of whey supplements, as it is partially hydrolyzed and predigested. This type of whey protein is significantly more expensive than the other types due to its more complex processing and concentration method.
Skeletal muscle cells need the amino acid contained in whey protein during and after exercise, to prevent protein catabolism and encourage growth and recovery. Some recommend taking whey supplements either before, during or immediately after a workout, but in reality all approaches are correct. What is required is a complete amino acid saturation of the muscle cells as they recuperate, so taking whey supplements at any point before or soon after a workout is appropriate for this purpose.
Whey protein is the choice of athletes and bodybuilders looking to supplement their nutritional protein ingestion with a complete, highly bioavailable protein supplement. Whey is a loaded source of branched-chain amino acids useful in stimulating protein synthesis. While it can be offered in protein bar form, whey protein is regularly sold in powder form, and can be mixed with water, milk or juice to create a tasty shake.