Health Benefits - Whey protein has many proven benefits...
- Five "wheys" to incorporate whey protein into your daily routine:
Whey before exercise
Recent scientific research has shown that pre-workout supplementation with protein or amino acids reduce the amount of muscle damage experienced during the workout and accelerates post-workout muscle building. For example, a Japanese study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that athletes experienced significantly less soreness two days after a set of heavy squats when they took branched chain amino acids before the workout.
Whey protein is an excellent pre-workout protein supplement because it is quickly absorbed and contains a large amount of branched chain amino acids.
Whey during exercise
Consuming whey protein during exercise has been shown to reduce muscle damage, increase endurance, and promote faster muscle recovery. In a study from James Madison University, a whey protein-enhanced sports drink reduced markers of muscle damage by 83% and increased endurance by 29% compared to Gatorade (which has no protein) when used during an exhaustive stationary bike workout.
Whey after exercise
The one-hour period immediately following exercise is known as the “muscle recovery window” because muscle recovery proceeds much faster when nutrition is consumed within this window than when it is consumed later. Water is beneficial for rehydration during the muscle recovery window and carbohydrate helps replenish muscle fuel stores, but the protein is the most important post-workout nutrient.
By consistently consuming protein during the muscle recovery window after each workout you will build muscle and gain strength faster. In a study reported in the Journal of Physiology, subjects were given a carbohydrate-protein supplement either immediately after exercise or two hours later while participating in a 12-week strength-training program. The authors reported that when a carbohydrate-protein mixture was given immediately after each exercise session, muscle size increased eight percent and strength improved 15 percent. When the supplement was given two hours later, there was no muscle growth or improvement in strength.
Whey between meals
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard that eating small meals—or "grazing" throughout the day—is a good idea. While some such dietary maxims have little evidence to support them, this one does. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that those who ate most frequently (five or more times a day) were thinner and had lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels than those who ate least often. The reason is simple - more frequent eating reduces appetite, so you eat less at meals and fewer total calories throughout the day, and increases activity levels by keeping your energy level more consistent.
Whey as a bedtime supplement
Human growth hormone, as the name implies, is a potent muscle-building hormone in the human body. Circulating levels of growth hormone follow a circadian rhythm, peaking while you sleep and ebbing in the morning. This is important information for those who are trying to add lean muscle mass. High levels of circulating growth hormone are not sufficient for muscle building. There must also be an adequate supply of amino acids with which to build muscle proteins. Eating a small, high-protein snack before going to bed is the perfect way to provide these raw materials, allowing your body to become a little better while you dream.