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Whey Protein … Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

 

I get asked a lot if having a protein powder post workout is beneficial.

 

The answer is a big fat yes!

 

I would firstly recommend that your protein powder be a whey protein, unless you have any intolerances to products derived from milk, in which case soy, pea or rice protein may be of benefit to you. However, whey protein is superior to any of the others on the market, and I will go into more detail as to why that is throughout the course of this article.

 

There are three main reasons as to why you should always follow a resistance training session by consuming a whey protein drink

 

 1. For increased strength and hypertrophy gains

 

Resistance training is a potent stimulus to increase muscle protein synthesis and to stimulate positive net protein balance.

 

Over time, positive protein balance achieved through resistance training and adequate protein intake will result in hypertrophy (increase of size of muscle cells) and strength gains.

 

In a recent study, 56 young healthy men were recruited to train 5 days a week for 12 weeks. They were divided into three groups, and each group assigned a different post workout drink that was to be consumed immediately after training, and then again 1 hour after exercise.

 

One group was assigned a fat-free milk protein, the other a fat-free soy protein, and one a carbohydrate only maltodextrin drink with identical energy properties to the others.

 

Type II muscle fiber area increased in all groups due to training although the greatest increases were in the milk group, than in both the soy and control group. Type I muscle fiber area increased after training only in the milk and soy groups.

 

Fat and bone-free mass (aka lean mass) increased in all groups, with the greatest increase in the milk group (6.2% increase), followed by soy (4.4%), and then finally the control group (3.7%).

 

It is therefor clear that consumption of milk protein in close proximity to your resistance training session can enhance training induced increases in muscle mass and strength.

 

2. Recovery

 

Whey protein is sufficiently rich in essential amino acids, BCAAs and leucine. It is understood that taking whey protein after resistance training increases delivery of amino acids to the muscle, which increases muscle protein synthesis and minimizes protein degradation of the muscle.

 

Your recovery from a resistance training session will be faster, and there is a possibility you will experience less DOMs (delayed onset muscle soreness) post training session if you consume a milk protein product rather then not.

 

Faster recovery = you back in the gym sooner for another intense training session = more resistance training induced gains. Woo hoo!

 

 3. Fat loss

 

In a related study to the one I just mentioned, a group of young healthy women were recruited for a 12-week study to measure body composition and strength changes with milk and resistance exercise.

 

The women were divided into two groups: Milk, and Control. Both groups were taken through a 12-week resistance-training program. Subjects were asked to consume either 500ml of milk or a carbohydrate only control drink containing identical energy properties immediately after, and then again 1 hour after training.

 

The results showed that lean mass increased with both training groups, with a greater net increase seen in the milk group. But perhaps even more interesting to note is that fat mass only declined in the milk group, with fat mass remaining constant in the control group.

 

In another study a group of overweight people were given either a carbohydrate or protein (either whey-based or soy-based) supplement to consume daily, and changes in body composition were monitored. Participants of the study continued to eat normally, and did not exercise for the duration of the study.

 

The study found that the whey-supplement group decreased body mass, fat mass, and waist circumference significantly more than the carb-supplement group, and slightly more than the soy-supplement group – and this was without any dietary or lifestyle changes!

 

It is not completely understood why supplementing with whey protein results in fat loss, although researchers suggest that the high protein levels from the whey may decrease hunger levels slightly and thereby lower total caloric intake throughout the day.

 

Fasting ghrelin was lower in participants consuming whey protein compared with soy of carbs. This is interesting to note, as ghrelin is a hormone affecting appetite. Higher levels of ghrelin generally equate to higher hunger levels, which would lead to increase food intake.

 

Additionally it was hypothesized that protein consumption stimulated the release of hormones affecting the metabolic rate leading to fat reduction or that the property of dairy proteins themselves accelerate loss of adipose tissue mass during energy restriction.

 

So, if you aren’t supplementing your training regime with whey protein, then it’s clearly time to get into it! Enjoy a post workout shake with 25g of high quality protein within 30 minutes of each and every resistance training session.

 

So is it really the best thing since sliced bread?

 

Well, considering I don’t suggest daily indulgence in bread… and the introduction of pre-sliced bread probably made eating it more popularized and accessible and encourages you to eat more of it – I’m going to go right ahead and say that whey protein is not only the best thing since sliced bread … It’s far better.

 

-V xx

 

 

Hartman, J. Tang, J. Wilkinson, S. Tarnopolsky, Mark. Lawrence, R. Fullerton, A. Phillips, S. Consumption of fat-free fluid milk after resistance exercise promotes greater lean mass accretion than does consumption of soy or carbohydrate in young, novice, male weightlifters. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Josse, A. Tang, J. Tarnopolsky, M. Phillips, S. Body Composition and Strength Changes in Women with Milk and Resistance Exercise. Official Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21092368

http://www.charlespoliquin.com/Blog/tabid/130/EntryId/577/Tip-148-Lose-Fat-Another-Reason-to-Make-Sure-Whey-Protein-is-Part-of-Your-Nutrition-Plan.aspx

 

 

4 Responses to “Whey Protein … Best Thing Since Sliced Bread”

  • Henrietta says:

    Great article!
    Is there any whey protein supplement you recommend? (there seem to be many on the market).

    • Yes your right .. there are SO many on the market! I’d be on the lookout for one without nasty sugars and additives to enhance colour and taste, and with a high content of BCAA’s .. Always carefully read the labels before you purchase – and ask the shop assistant to help you out too! 🙂 This is the whey I’m currently using, and would recommend it: http://www.myopure.com.au/mf-whey-protein-isolate.html .. Hope that helps! 🙂 x

  • Mungo says:

    Just wondering if this applies to other forms of exercise as well? I currently have a post workout no-carb amino acid recovery drink after boxing -do you think a protein shake would be better?

    • Amino acid is very broad term – there are so many of them! Adequate amino acid intake is vital for your recovery and performance, and general wellbeing .. A good quality whey protein contains amino acids. Generally there is enough in there without having to add more.. but this depends completely on the quality of the product you buy. But either way, both amino acid and whey supplementation would be beneficial for you after boxing. 🙂 I hope this answers your question!

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