Whey Protein: Crossfitter’s Best Friend?

Good nutrition choices, like eating complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and of course protein will help you on your way to a fitter life.

Out of those three, protein is most important when it comes to building muscles and gain strength. You can get them in many foods, for example meat, fish or eggs as well as in form of powder. The following article is about protein powders, more precisely on whey, which is known as the most convenient protein source for athletes. As many people don’t want to eat too much meat/fish or eggs, whey protein has became an attractive alternative to reach the daily recommended amount of protein.

What is Whey and how is it made?

Whey Protein (as well as Casein) is extracted from milk and has a high biological value, meaning the protein provides approximately the same proportion of essential amino acids our body requires. The process of extracting whey from casein consists of coagulation and synaeresis. In contrast to other proteins, whey is absorbed very quickly. Furthermore it has a high proportion of amino acids (for example ß-Lactoglobulin, Alpha-Lactalbumin, Bovine Serum Albumin and Immunoglobulin). Due to these reasons whey can be helpful for athletes who want to recover faster, build muscle, increase power and even lose fat.

The 3 different types of whey protein

There are 3 different types of whey: whey concentrate, whey isolate and whey hydroisolate.

The simplest form of whey, which is mainly fabricated by ultra filtration, is the concentrate with about 70-80% protein (calculated in dry matter) and with a relatively high proportion of fat and lactose. Due to the easy production it’s more favourable than isolate or hydroisolat. However, the disadvantage is that some people using whey concentrate get digestion problems or impure skin, that can caused by the combination of a high level of lactose and a high percentage of saturated fatty acids.

Whey protein isolate is different. It can be obtained from two manufacturing techniques (ion exchange and microfiltration). Whey protein isolate is characterized by high purity, a high protein content (90%) and is low on fat and carbs. Of course it’s a bit more expensive than the concentrate, but trust me, it’s worth it!

The third form is called whey protein hydrolisate and is undoubtedly the purest protein athletes can buy. It’s produced by a technique called hydrolysis. Protein components are decomposed into its individual components, also called peptides. Due to that your body can absorb the protein even faster. The only disadvantage of hydroisolate is that it’s very expensive and has a bitter tasting as opposed to the other proteins.

What happens with the consumed protein?

To get a better understanding it’s important to first explain what kind of effect sport activities have on your body. After an intensive Crossfit workout your muscle tissue tear down and needs building blocks to restore the damage: anabolic, growth processes start. At this point your body needs protein! And as stated above whey protein is the most appropriate due to the quick absorption and easy consumption. The process of digestion breaks down the protein into amino acids which then enter into the blood circulation.

How much protein is then good for me?

50 Shakes of Whey?

We hear all the time people saying too much protein is bad for your health. But the question is: Where is the line between enough and too much? That depends on many factors like your weight, age and lifestyle.

An athlete should take about 1,5-1,8 grams of protein per kilogram. This means a crossfitter who weighs 90 kg has to eat at least 150 g of protein a day. The muscle formation works best, when you eat your protein evenly distributed throughout the day. A dose of 30-40g per meal is completely sufficient for your body.

Interesting studies that show the benefits of whey

Besides the positive effects of muscle building and fat loss whey protein comes up with a lot more benefits. For example it can help to improve blood glucose control in people with diabetes. Furthermore it can lead to a lower blood pressure, too. Research has also shown that consuming high-protein breakfasts can help to maintain glucose control. These and many other reasons reflect and underline the positive effects of taking whey protein on a daily basis.

10 facts you should keep in mind

  1. Whey protein is extracted from milk.
  2. It has a high biological value.
  3. It has a high proportion of amino acids.
  4. Your body is able to absorb whey protein very fast.
  5. There are 3 different types of whey: concentrate, isolate and hydroisolate.
  6. Whey protein helps you to recover and build new muscle after training.
  7. Take in 1.5-1.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight every day.
  8. Don’t consume too much protein, it doesn’t achieve anything.
  9. Consuming whey protein has other benefits besides muscle building and fat loss.

And last but not least: Don’t lose your whey!

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Blueberry Vanilla Whey Protein Shake

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About The Author

During my high school years I was working for a big fitness club in Munich. In 2012 I decided to make my hobby into a career and started to study sports management. I love everything that has to do with sports, especially crossfit and fitness.

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