By: Kayla Adams
For many of us, losing weight doesn’t stop at shedding the pounds and inches around our waistline. It’s likely that building lean muscle mass is necessary and, sure, the gym makes a difference – but not if you’re not following it up with proper nutrition! Do you know the importance of whey for building muscle?
Sure, you can go to the gym and do exercises to target various parts of your body, but it’s important to supplement with protein to build and repair tissue during exercise. Protein plays a vital role in helping your body to gain strength and build lean muscle mass.
Importance of Whey for Building Muscle
Whey protein shakes are a great option for adding additional protein to your diet, and they’re especially helpful for those of us that have busy lifestyles. Preparing a protein shake takes only minutes and they can be enjoyed on-the-go as a snack or a meal replacement—perfect or those of us that often skip breakfast or work through lunches!
Types of Protein Shake
There are many types of protein powder including soy, pea, and whey, but more and more types of protein powders are showing up on shelves each year. Now, you can find options like hemp, goat’s milk, pumpkin, and collagen protein powders as well! Each has various appeals depending on your personal goals and preferences, but studies have shown that whey protein is among the most effective in building lean muscle mass due to its rich makeup of branched-chain amino acids.*
What is Whey?
Whey protein accounts for about 20% of the protein that is naturally found in cow’s milk. It’s first extracted from the cow’s milk and, once it has been extracted and isolated, it’s filtered to remove fat and carbohydrates. The more stringent the filtering process is, the less fat and carbohydrates will be found inside the finished product. When selecting your protein powder, it’s important to pay attention to the balance of these macronutrients. A good whey protein shake should be lower in fats & carbs while being high in protein. Oh, and it should have a healthy balance and amount of essential amino acids!
BCAAs and EAAs
There are 20 amino acids that help the body in the protein-building process. Of those 20, there are 11 non-essential amino acids that are produced naturally by the body and 9 essential amino acids that are not. These 8 need to be sourced externally through protein sources in our diet, such as meat, fish, and eggs but can also be supplemented.
BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) are made up of three specific essential amino acids which help promote muscle growth and recovery after resistance and endurance exercise: leucine, isoleucine and valine. They are different from the other essential amino acids because of their ‘branched-chain’ structure.
EAAs (essential amino acids) refer to all 9 amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
The importance of whey for building muscle is based in the fact that is a one-stop-shop, containing all 9 essential amino acids that your body needs to properly operate and build muscle. If your goal is building lean muscle mass, this means that whey protein has many of the building blocks that are necessary to help you reach your goals all in one convenient shake which makes whey protein a must-have in your health and wellness journey.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.