Whey Protein: What is it and do I need it?

After my last post on BCAA’s I decided I would talk about some other products on the market and how I have found using them. Protein Whey is probably the most commonly associated with weight training, so you’re likely to have heard of this even if you’re just a beginner. Despite having heard of it, when I started I didn’t really get the point. I now have it most days, whether that be in a shake or recipes to help my hit my macros and make sure my body is getting what it needs.

So, what is Whey Protein? There are three common types of protein used, but whey is probably the most beneficial and is the one I use. Basically, it is a rich source of all the essential amino acids that the body needs. By having it in a powder it means you are quickly and efficiently getting a rich source of protein.

Okay, so what does it do? Protein helps to maintain your muscle mass so is great if you’re goal is to build muscle. When you start a program your body will require more protein in order to build and recover efficiently and protein whey can be a really easy way to make sure you’re getting enough of it. It’s also great if you’re recovering from an injury, as protein is going to help speed up the recovery process.

So, does it work? I guess this is more difficult to judge than it was the BCAA’s. Protein whey certainly does do what it says on the label, it gives your body more protein. This will, in turn, help you to build more muscle mass but it requires you to be putting in the effort as well. Whereas the BCAA’s can be judged pretty quickly in the sense they were helping to increase my energy and help reduce any aches and pains after working out, protein whey is more part of the process. My experience has been really positive as sometimes it can be hard to get enough protein in your diet, particularly at University.

Will I gain fat? This was a massive fear of mine before I started training. I assumed that with one sip of protein I was going to turn into Popeye. Protein shakes are not going to make you gain fat, a calorie surplus will make you gain fat and that can come from anything. Now, it is important to remember that muscle does weigh more than fat and so, if you’re building muscle and using protein, you might gain WEIGHT but gaining fat and gaining weight are too very different things.

Okay so, should I use it? It is perfectly possible to get your daily protein needs from foods such as chicken and fish. Protein powder is great for me because I very often don’t have time to cook or will not have a protein available. If you are getting your protein from elsewhere then you do not necessarily need to be using whey protein or any other protein powders to supplement your diet. However, I love my protein powder and really enjoy it. There are some great recipes out there as well so you don’t always have to be having it as a shake. If you’re not sure if you’re getting enough protein, a super easy way to check is my tracking your macros.

Okay, I’d like to give it a try. Where can I get it from? Again, just like for my BCAAs’s, I use MyProtein. It’s super reliable and they have a really wide range of flavours at pretty good prices. I play it safe and go for vanilla (it works well in recipes and well) but there are plenty to choose from if you fancy something a little different and there’s loads I want to try (Sticky toffee and cookies and cream, I’m looking at you!)

Any more questions, get in touch and let me know if you have any recipe suggestions!

Jamie x

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