What is the difference between whey and protein?
In the market there are different sources of protein which are protein powders like whey but also proteins in solid form that we find in our diet: meat, fish, eggs or vegetable proteins for example. According to scientific studies, it has been shown that proteins can contribute to the maintenance and development of muscle mass (1). We will therefore differentiate whey protein as well as protein in solid form from our diet in order to assist you with future consumption options.
What is whey protein?
Whey protein is one of the most widely used and appreciated nutritional supplements by bodybuilders. It is a highly bioavailable protein powder rich in Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), consisting of leucine, isoleucine and valine. According to a scientific study, BCAA supplementation before and after exercise had beneficial effects in reducing exercise-induced muscle damage and enhancing muscle protein synthesis (2). This protein powder can be available in several forms such as whey concentrate, whey isolate, original whey, hydrolyzed whey, lactose-free whey or even natural whey (unflavored).
When should you consume whey?
Whey is considered the "star" protein in bodybuilding because it is undoubtedly the most widely used nutritional supplement by practitioners. It is mainly characterized by its rapid absorption speed which allows it to be quickly digested by the body and thus directly available to your muscles. Therefore, it is an excellent choice when used before, during or after your training sessions in order to quickly supply proteins and amino acids to your muscles. So it is a protein called "fast" because of how quickly it is absorbed.
Whey can also be eaten as a snack and will be an excellent alternative to healthy and balanced snacks. It will fill your protein intake and can be added to your preparations such as pancakes or protein pancakes, as they are so easy to cook!
What is the common denominator between whey and protein?
In fact, whey and protein have a lot in common and have in common. The protein in our diet as in red meat, chicken, fish, eggs...helps improve muscle recovery and development, just like whey protein. However, it is always advisable to prefer solid proteins to powdered ones, which will be more saturated and better assimilated by the body. It will be easier to consume around training as you just have to mix it with water and consume it directly due to its super fast assimilation. Plus it will cost less in the long run. A study demonstrated that consuming high-quality sources of protein from meat or whey protein leads to significant body composition benefits (3).
The solid proteins in our diet are ideal for consumption during your main meals such as breakfast, lunch, dinner and even as a snack. About training, they will be more sensitive and will require more effort to be digested. Choosing these two sources of protein depends on your budget and consumer preferences. Be aware that protein powders like whey are not mandatory products for advancement but they can help supplement your diet.