Author: Greg Yau
The most popular supplement on the market right now is undoubtedly whey protein powder.
What is it? How does it work?
Nowadays, many people add whey protein powder to their oatmeal or smoothie. It is the most popular form of protein, followed by casein and pea protein. Whey protein comes from milk and is digested very quickly while being rich in branched-chain amino acids, more commonly known as BCAAs. Those amino acids help build muscle and decrease muscle soreness and fatigue. When absorbed into the bloodstream, amino acids aid in performing muscle protein synthesis (MPS), the creation of new muscle cells. Many people supplement their diets with protein powder to hit the recommended daily protein intake (~0.8-1g per pound of bodyweight) to maximize MPS and increase muscle strength, and specifically whey protein due to its faster absorption and wider range of amino acids compared to other protein sources. According to a study in young men, whey protein increased MPS 132% more than casein protein and 31% more than soy protein after weight training (1).
My Opinion: Is it worth the money?
Well, it depends. If you are having trouble hitting the recommended daily protein intake (~0.8-1g per pound of body weight), then whey protein powder is definitely worth the money. However, if you have no problem getting enough protein in your diet, you might not need it. Get your protein from whole foods instead. For me, I stopped taking protein powder once I calculated the macros of my diet and found out that I am already hitting 160g of protein per day from whole foods without trouble. It all depends on your diet.
- Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey
- NAKED Nutrition Naked Whey
- Dymatize ISO100 Whey Protein Powder