What Is Whey?

A glass of milk is about 88% water, 5% carbohydrates, 4% fat and 3% protein. Whey makes up around 20% of that protein with another milk protein, casein, providing the remaining 80%.

Whey is a fast digesting complete protein containing all of the Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) that your body can’t make on its own. These EAAs include the Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. All play an important role in muscle building and recovery. These qualities make whey protein a popular choice for before or after exercise.

History of Whey

You can trace the use of whey all the way back to ancient times, where the father of medicine, Hippocrates, recommended its consumption for health. Drinking whey to support health was also a popular practice at European spas during the 1800s. Then during the 1960s, bodybuilders discovered whey’s muscle building potential. Driven by athlete demand and modern dairy processing technologies, whey went from mostly unwanted waste product to sports nutrition gold.

Different Forms of Whey Powder

Whey is a byproduct of cheese making. Liquid whey is separated from the curds, which are solid casein. Using different processing techniques, this liquid whey can be made into Whey Concentrate (34% to 80% protein), Whey Isolate (up to 90% protein) and Hydrolyzed Whey (“cut” into smaller pieces) powders.Wrap Up

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Whey Shakes For All Goals & Tastes

Supplement companies provide so many options for whey protein, selecting the right one for your needs can be confusing. If taste is your preference, a powder made mostly with Whey Concentrate can be a good choice. You’ll get more calories, carbohydrates and fat per serving, but also more milkshake-like flavor. If you’re trying to build muscle while losing body fat, Whey Isolate will likely have fewer calories, carbohydrates and fat.

Combinations of these two types of whey offer a balance of both flavor and attractive macros, so check the label Facts Panel for details. For pure performance, hydrolyzed whey protein isolate is another great option. Choose the whey that is ideally suited to meet your goals.

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