Whey protein is an easy and convenient way to boost your intake of protein. It also provides you with other nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It is a source of protein naturally found in milk. When mixed with rennant, a substance used to break the solid particles in milk away from the water content to form a solid mass, milk curdles and separates into two different components. One is the liquid form of whey, and the other is curds used to make cheese and casein. The liquid whey is then pasteurized and dried out to create the familiar powdery product you can find pretty much everywhere.
The question remains, why is whey so special? First off, the protein content. It has a diverse amino acid profile. It also contains the ever crucial branch-chained amino acids (BCAA's) for building muscle. BCAA's, especially leucine and resistance training, insanely improves protein synthesis. With about 3g of leucine per serving, you will be on the gains train at the gym.
Whey is a high-quality protein-rich source in the amino acid cysteine, which can bolster the body's antioxidant defences, and glutamine, which can benefit intestinal health. There may also be an anti-cancer benefit with undenatured whey maintaining its bioactive peptide contents.
The two most common types of whey protein are:
Whey concentrate, which is typically cheaper than isolate because it includes more water and lactose. It has a higher carbohydrate content as well.
Whey isolate protein has little to no lactose and much more protein per serving. If you have issues digesting lactose foods, Max Protein or any Isolate protein will be beneficial for you to try.
In the end, do you actually need to take whey protein? Well, our answer is it depends. Flimsy answer... we know. However, we highly recommend sourcing the majority of your protein from whole foods first.