What Is Whey Protein? - Discount Supplements

Whey Protein is the ultimate protein supplement that can help you bulk up, gain weight and muscle or simply supplement your daily protein intake. But have you ever wondered what it is and how it works?

In this handy guide, we’re breaking down everything you’ll ever need to know about this protein hero before you start bulking up! From what it’s made from to how it can enhance your workout, get ready for a whole host of whey protein facts explained!

Table Of Contents 

What is whey protein for?

What is whey protein made from?

Is whey a good source of protein?

Is whey protein good for runners?

Is it good to take whey protein before a workout?

What is whey protein for? 

Whey protein is a supplement that, when taken alongside a healthy diet and muscle resistance training, can boost muscle protein synthesis, aiding muscle mass growth. It contains all nine essential amino acids that help with muscle growth and is considered a whole protein.

The main reason gym-goers and fitness enthusiasts use whey protein powder is to gain muscle mass and aid muscle repair while training. Whey protein is also a great addition for those struggling to get enough protein.

 A scoop of whey protein powder on top of a pile of protein powder

Is whey protein good for you?

Whey protein is known to be one of the more effective forms of protein in that the human body easily absorbs it. 

As it contains all nine essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein, it is considered a good protein source. Amino acids and, in particular, branched-chain amino acids (small molecules linked together in a similar way to beads on a string) are used to form tendons, the skin and organs, so it’s important to meet your daily protein intake for your body to build and repair muscle. 

As whey protein contains branched chains such as leucine, it can be used as a reliable source of good protein to supplement your daily protein intake, ensuring that your body gets exactly what it needs.

What is whey protein made from?

Whey protein is derived from milk.

 A scoop of whey protein powder next to a glass of milk

Milk consists of two proteins: whey and casein. The whey can be separated from the casein to form whey protein; it is extracted and processed to remove the lactose and fat and dried into protein powder. Whey can also be found as a byproduct of cheesemaking.   

Although associated with dairy, whey protein is relatively low in its lactose content. However, those who are lactose intolerant should still avoid it.

What is whey protein isolate?

Whey protein isolate is a purer form of whey protein; it has been further processed to remove fat and lactose and usually consists of 90% protein.

What is whey protein hydrolysate?

Sometimes referred to as predigested protein, whey protein hydrolysate has undergone partial hydrolysis, a necessary process for the body to absorb protein. Because of this, it is generally easier to digest than other forms of whey protein. 

Is whey protein a good source of protein? 

As previously mentioned, whey protein is considered a good source of protein because it contains nine essential amino acids vital for muscle growth and repair. It is easy for the body to absorb and is generally tolerated by the stomach. 

Because of this, whey protein powders are a great way to enhance your protein intake. Most adults need roughly 0.75 grams of protein per kilo of their body weight per day; usually around 45g for women and 55g for men, and whey protein is a safe way to supplement this if you’re falling short of this target. 


A berry shake with added whey protein powder 

However, protein powder shouldn’t be your only protein source; it’s important to include protein-rich foods like fish, beans and lentils to enable your body to get what it needs.

Is vegan protein as good as whey?

Vegan protein powder is an excellent source for those with lactose intolerance or who follow a meat and dairy-free diet. 

Most vegan-friendly plant proteins contain proteins derived from plant sources such as hemp, soya beans and peas. Although both types usually contain around 20 to 30 grams of protein, most plant proteins aren’t considered whole proteins as they don’t contain all of the essential amino acids required for muscle growth and repair. 

 Vegan protein powder being added to a smoothie

If you want a vegan protein powder that offers all the essential amino acids, soy protein is the only plant-based protein with similar benefits to whey. However, mixed plant proteins are the solution to this problem, specifically combined to ensure they contain all the essential amino acids and BCAAs needed to promote healthy muscle growth and repair.

There’s no reason why a plant-based protein powder can’t work as effectively as whey protein when it comes to muscle growth, as long as it contains 20-30g of protein per serving and all of the essential amino acids. However, if you have food intolerances, plant proteins can contain ingredients such as soy or pea proteins, which can be closely associated with stomach cramps and IBS. 

Plant protein is a much better alternative to whey for those with a lactose intolerance.

Is whey protein good for runners?

Whey protein is a great source of protein for runners that helps to aid recovery and muscle repair post long run or hard workout. 

 Two woman running down a road through some trees

It’s essential for those wanting to improve performance and recovery; it’s a high-quality protein source that is easily digested and absorbed to aid muscle repair quickly and effectively. 

Whey is a great choice for runners as it’s full of vital BCAAs that contribute to 10% of energy during any aerobic exercise, provide fuel when glycogen is depleted and prevent muscle breakdown.

Although many runners are known to take protein before running to increase energy and improve performance, the most effective time to take it is within the first 30-60 minutes post-run or workout to enhance muscle repair and recovery. 

Pre-run, ensure to opt for protein-rich foods to fuel the body from natural protein sources instead of relying on protein powders to do the work for you, giving the body all of its essential nutrients. 

Is it good to take whey protein before a workout?

Taking whey protein can benefit a workout whether it is taken before, during or after. 

Pre-workout tops up your glycogen stores to fuel your body for what’s to come, whereas during a workout, it can increase the speed at which your muscles repair. Post-workout, whey protein stimulates muscle recovery and growth to help prevent injury. 

Shop for whey protein at Discount Supplements 

So, now you know what whey protein is and its benefits, why not shop for some to enhance your workout at Discount Supplements? Including whey protein isolate powder, we offer a whole host of protein powders from some of the industry’s leading brands. Then, browse our protein snacks, perfect for that protein fix on the go! 

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