Whey Protein is a by-product of cheese manufactured from cow’s milk.It has the highest biological value of any protein. Meaning that it crosses the stomach quickly and is rapidly absorbed by the intestines. For years it has been the staple of many athletes/bodybuilders supplement program. Why is this particular type of protein important?
Well the protein fraction in whey (approximately 10% of the total dry solids within whey) comprises four major protein fractions and six minor protein fractions. The major protein fractions in whey are beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, bovine serum albumin and immunoglobulins. Each of these components has important body strengthening effects thanks to:
• A high protein efficiency ratio o One study showed that milk protein elicits greater increase in branched chain amino acid concentrations in peripheral tissues as compared to soy.
• Lactose (found in whey but not whey concentrate) which is broken down into galacto-oligosaccharides that are used by intestinal bacteria leading to better functioning of the digestive tract.
• Calcium (a minimal component of whey protein) decreases accumulation of body fat and accelerates weight and fat loss. The proposed mechanism is thought to be that parathyroid hormone and 1,25-(OH)2-D respond to low calcium diets and promote fat storage. High calcium diets inhibit these hormones and thus inhibit fat storage and promote increased fat breakdown and energy partitioning from fat to lean.
• Cystine: a conditionally essential amino acid, which is the rate-limiting factor for the body’s production of glutathione an important antioxidant.
• An excellent source of branched-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, valine) o Leucine is a both a key signal molecule for initiation and an important substrate for new protein synthesis.
• It’s usage as a source of glutamine
• In one study it was found that whey supplements may prevent blood sugar spikes after high-carbohydrate meals.
Why should you care? Simple, the body is highly sensitive to insulin after exercise and shuttles carbohydrates and proteins into muscle cells instead of fat cells. This sensitivity declines post-workout until ~2 hours at which point it reaches baseline. Furthermore, the anabolic effects of insulin are synergistic with amino acids.11 Given the rapid absorption of whey, it is the ideal choice for post-workout to take advantage of the insulin-amino acid synergistic effect. This means that whey protein is going to rebuild the damage and replenish the muscle that your body has been using up as you constantly CRUSH yourself with daily WODS. Basically reversing the catabolic state that your body is in after a tough workout, meaning that you start to make the necessary adaptations to the overload that you submit your body to in your quest to become fit (and look better naked).