Approximately 20% of the protein in milk is whey. Whey protein is the undisputed king of proteins. Here’s why: Whey proteins are easily digested in the stomach. It is very important to provide a fast delivery of amino acids to support muscle growth, especially immediately after training. Whey protein is also loaded with EAAs, including the three BCAAs. Whey is superior to other protein sources at supporting the growth of muscle as it delivers a much higher leucine content (one of the BCAAs). Leucine is proven to kick start the muscle building process after exercise.
Whey proteins are available in several forms, which are dependent on the way they are processed. The most basic is whey concentrate, which is the most abundant ingredient found in many whey protein powders. Whey concentrate is around 29-89% pure as it contains a number of additional ingredients found in milk. This large variation inpurity affects the overall quality of the protein. Additional reﬁnement is required to remove more of the lactose and fat to produce the purest form of whey known as Whey Protein Isolates (WPI). Rated at 90+% pure protein, WPI is recognised as the highest quality whey ingredient.
Hydrolysing the whey protein isolates breaks the larger proteins down into smaller pieces. This removes even more of the fat and sugar so that it can be more readily digested. Hydrolysed whey protein isolate is the most advanced and purest protein. It’s absorbed fast, and compared to concentrate, is broken down further to enhance digestion when you need it most. The more the protein has been ‘isolated’ or ‘hydrolysed’ also means a lower calorie content, which is a key beneﬁt for those looking to achieve lean gains.
About 80% of the protein in milk is casein, often referred to as a “slower-acting” or “time-released” protein. This is because once casein hits the stomach it forms a globule structure which means it is absorbed slowly. You may be thinking “why would I want a slow releasing protein?” Well, casein protein is perfect for those periods when food cannot be consumed. For most athletes, this is during the night while asleep. Consuming casein before bedtime will deliver amino acids to the muscles to continue the muscle building & repair process even hours after exercise.