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What is it? Protein is a naturally-occurring organic compound that is essential to the structural components of body tissue, especially muscle and collagen. English? These bad boys help build and repair cells that are damaged and need to be rebuilt/replaced (i.e. after a killer workout!)
Where does it come from? Little Miss Muffet knew a thing about health and fitness. She was getting her protein on even if it was (essentially) cottage cheese! The “curds” are a dairy product that come from the coagulating milk and other substances; the “whey” is the liquid (milk plasma) that is left over after the curds have been removed. Whey protein that we buy in the stores typically comes from cow’s milk and is readily digested and absorbed by (most) humans.
And there are different types of whey protein? You betcha; and they’re not all created exactly equal! They essentially come in concentrate and isolate. Isolate is the most-pure form and usually contains >90% protein (typically you pay a little more, but it’s worth it for the purity!). Isolate usually has MUCH lower fat and cholesterol content as well. Concentrate usually varies between ~30% and 80% protein with slightly increased levels of fat and cholesterol (keep in mind that’s not a bad thing depending on what gains you’re trying to make!)
Why should I take whey protein when working out? There are numerous proven health benefits to taking whey protein.
- Because it is such a great source of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA’s) protein serves to repair body cells, muscles, and bones – especially when taken immediately after a workout.
- Some studies say that there may be some anti-inflammatory properties in protein which may ameliorate delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) (the whole “2-days-after-my-workout-and-I-can-barely-move” thing!).
- A little-known benefit of regular protein consumption is that it can actually help you to lose weight! When taken before meals it has been proven to help people drop pounds. But that’s not all – when combined with regular exercise it can actually boost metabolic rate and help you naturally burn more calories each day.
How much protein should I take? The answer to this question varies dependent on your activity level and fitness goals. As a general rule, most people need at least .4 grams of protein per pound of body weight (What’s 40% of your bodyweight? That’s how much protein you typically need). Of course your needs may vary:
- Recreational exerciser: 0.5 – 0.7 grams/pound
- Endurance exerciser and strength-training athlete: 0.5-0.8 grams/pound
Which protein do you recommend? Let’s be honest, I haven’t taken quite a bit of protein in my day. I am constantly trying to update my supplements as technologies change that make them even better. Recently, I came across a new whey protein isolate from Isopure that I am LOVING! Here’s why I recommend it:
- It’s a “whey protein isolate“… as explained above, an isolate is the purer form of whey protein. It has a lot of the fat, cholesterol, and calories removed to give your body the protein it needs without weighing you down with additives.
- Unlike every other protein powder I’ve found, there are ZERO CARBS in Isopure’s whey protein isolate. That’s unheard of; every other drink you’ll find has some carbohydrates in it.
- Each 2-scoop serving of whey protein isolate provides 50 (that’s right… 50!) grams of pure whey protein. The highest I have seen in any other brand that I have used is 40 grams/serving and you had to take almost a cup of it! This is definitely the highest amount you’ll find in a regular-sized serving.
- And finally: flavors!! Most protein powders come in chocolate, vanilla, and sometimes strawberry. Isopure’s whey protein isolate comes in Creamy Vanilla, Dutch Chocolat, Strawberries & Cream, Cookies & Cream, Banana Cream, Mint Chocolate Chip, Toasted Coconut, Mango Peach, Alpine Punch, Apple Melon and Pineapple Orange Banana. Talk about something for everyone! My personal favorites are Vanilla, Mango Peach, and Pineapple Orange Banana as I usually blend them up in my post-workout fruit smoothies.
Here’s the other thing you have to know about. Isopure makes a pre-made protein drink called “Cocotein“. This stuff is THE REAL DEAL!! They’ve combined coconut water with whey protein isolate into one incredible post-workout recovery drink! It comes in three delicious flavors including fruit punch, tropical, and original, and there are 20 grams of protein isolate per bottle! I keep one in my gym bag or I’ve been known to add this to my fruit smoothies, also! Check out more information on Cocotein here.
Taking whey protein after your workout provides your body with the necessary building blocks it needs to repair, recover, and come back stronger the next day. Try it out – and see how far you can take your gains!
Questions or comments for Jared? I can be reached by leaving a comment below or email me at ToneandTightenFitness@gmail.com
Make it happen,
By Jared Beckstrand
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Isopure.