Whey protein is a very good protein source. It is easily digestible and has a high content of essential amino acids. For this reason, many athletes drink a whey protein shake or eat a protein bar that contains whey before or after training.
Together with casein, whey protein is one of the components of the protein found in milk. Whey protein is probably the best known and most used dietary supplement. It is produced under several production steps from cow's milk. There are vegan alternatives to whey, such as protein powders made from soy or peas.
The supplement comes in different forms. These include whey concentrate, whey isolate, and whey hydrolysate.
Whey concentrates usually have a higher lactose and fat content. This has a positive effect on the taste of the protein powder. In isolates and hydrolysates, on the other hand, the milk fat and lactose contents are minimized.
Whey isolates have fewer calories and more protein than whey concentrates, but are not as flavorful.
Hydrolysates are a form of whey protein that are made even easier to digest with further production steps. Certain enzymes are added to hydrolysates to break down the protein contained therein into smaller components, the so-called peptides. This enables the body to absorb the proteins even faster.
Which form of whey protein you choose is not generally that important. All forms provide your body with the amino acids that are important for building muscle. However, if you are on a diet and want to save calories, it is recommended that you use whey isolate or whey hydrolysate.
However, especially for those who are new to training, it is important to emphasize that protein powder is only a supplement. Whey protein is not a miracle cure that allows you to build significantly more muscle at a significantly faster pace. Therefore, you should focus mainly on eating a diet that is rich in protein and essential nutrients overall.
If ever you don't have that much time to eat or your diet isn't letting you hit your protein goals, whey protein makes a lot of sense.