Getting Whey-sted?

Getting Whey-sted?

Getting Whey-sted?

whey stedI am asked about protein powder all of the time. Specifically whey protein. My goal here is to briefly explain what whey protein is and not give my personal opinion. Here are the facts…

What is Whey?

Two proteins are in milk, casein and whey. Whey is separated from casein during cheese production and is considered a complete protein (other complete proteins include meat, dairy, eggs, hemp and quinoa).

     There are three types:

  • Whey protein concentrate- most common and cheapest. It contains low levels of fat and carbs (lactose) but the level of protein varies between 30-90% depending on how concentrated it is.
  • Whey protein isolate- more expensive as it is a more processed form that removes all of the fat and carbs and is usually about 90% protein.
  • Whey protein hydrolysate- most expensive and typically tastes horrible as it is the “predigested” form commonly used in infant formulas due to its reduced allergen potential and its being easy to digest. It is 99% protein.


Many studies have been published by the  International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism among other peer reviewed journals that suggest that one benefit of consuming whey protein in addition to resistance training is increased muscle mass. There are many other benefits that have been reported as well including weight loss and increased recovery time for athletes.


Most complications from Whey is with the concentrate form (which is most commonly used) because it is a milk derivative and contains lactose, a common allergen that may cause bloating, gas, cramps, headaches, fatigue, among other digestive problems. The quality is also of great concern as you want to avoid a protein powder with a bunch of fillers like artificial flavoring and sweeteners.

Which Whey?

Choose a high quality whey ISOLATE that has been cold processed. It’s more expensive for a reason.

Keep it natural with minimal fillers. Blue Bonnet 100% Whey Protein Isolate, Bullet Proof Upgraded Whey or Tera’s Whey are a few good ones out there but here is a comparison chart that may be helpful to you.

When to Whey?

Since it absorbs quickly you should consume it 30-60 minutes following a strength training workout. If you are just looking to add more protein into your diet, you should combine it with other foods to slow down the digestion. You could add it to oatmeal or use it to make pancakes like this recipe Protein Pow has tons of protein powder based recipes

No Whey? Other Protein Powder Options.

There are other sources of protein powder out there such as pea, egg white, brown rice, casein, soy, collagen and hemp which may work better for your body. I HIGHLY recommend that you first choose actual food as your protein source rather than supplements. If you live an on the go lifestyle or have dietary restrictions, a protein powder may be a choice that works for you.

Do you need more protein in your diet? You may actually be getting plenty in your diet already. The general consensus of how much you need is anywhere between .4g per pound of body weight to 1g per pound of body weight. It really depends on how active you are and what your goals are.

Live Well.

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