If you’ve asked, do you need whey protein? You’ve come to the right place. There still seems to be a lot of confusion about protein in general, and what place – if any – whey protein has in the equation.
This podcast will help to shed some light on the issue, and if it’s necessary to build muscle, get fit, and be healthy.
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This episode will look at some of the issues surrounding protein including:
- How much do you really need
- How can you get enough if you don’t eat meat
- incomplete vs complete proteins
- What biological value is and why it’s so important
- Is whey protein actually a food or just a supplement
- How can you get more protein in each day
Why Do You Need Whey Protein For Fitness & Exercise?
This is a good question, and I go more in-depth into this in the podcast above. The real answer is that you definitely don’t need it to build muscle, train, and get fit – but it certainly can help.
When you are done a workout, your muscles are like a sponge ready to absorb all the nutrients you can throw at them – and this includes whey protein. Since it is a refined isolated powder (whether it’s concentrate or isolate, or a blend) it means you don’t have to spend a lot of time digesting and absorbing it.
The protein is better utilized and can be absorbed much more rapidly for muscle tissue repair and growth. The next big thing regarding whey and exercise is that concept of biological value or BV that I cover in the show.
This is the rate at which protein is absorbed and utilized by the body. The standard is the egg white at a BV score of 100. Various foods like beef, legumes, or nuts have scores that are well below this gold standard – whey protein is a 104.
Can You Rely On Whey Protein Alone?
If you’re skimming this post and looking for quick takeaways regarding if you need it or not, I would suggest not depending on it as your sole protein source.
Your diet needs to be made up of real whole foods. You want to focus on double-digit servings of non-starchy vegetables each day, citrus fruits, nuts and seeds, healthy fats like olive oil and avocado, and the cleanest proteins you can find. When these are all in place, whey protein may make a great addition to the whole situation.
As you heard in the show, whey protein goes beyond just building and repairing muscle but has a lot of very interesting health benefits to go with it.
Protein shakes (whether it’s whey, pea protein, soy, hemp, isolate, grass-fed whey, or casein) are all great options when you’re in a pinch and need some quick nutrition. The secret is to not depend on them and still make it a point to get your nutrition from those whole food sources.
So if you’ve ever asked “Do you need whey protein to be healthy and build muscle?” you can see the answer is the classic yes and no response. Of all supplements, it may be the closest to a food source so it can have a real place in your diet and training program.
It can be fair to classify whey protein as a food due to its high biological value and utilization by the body – but you just don’t want to depend on it. It makes a great addition to your diet just make sure everything else is in place first.
If you want to check out some more in depth articles I have all about protein, take a gander at: