You don’t have to be a bodybuilder, a weight-lifter, or an athlete to need a protein supplement. You can be a casual gym-goer or just want to shed some weight and you’ll still greatly benefit from added protein to your diet.
Why, you ask? Because protein is a macronutrient that is essential to your overall health. If you’re looking to become fitter and to lose weight, making sure that your muscles are getting enough protein will not only support muscle strength and growth; it will also boost your weight loss. And while you can get most of your protein needs from food, supplementing with protein – particularly, whey protein – will give you added health and fitness benefits.
What is whey protein isolate?
Whey protein is the liquid that is left over after cheese is processed from milk. To make whey protein isolate, the liquid is dried into a powder with at least 90% protein by weight and 10% fats and carbohydrates. (In comparison, whey protein concentrate has 80% protein and 20% fats and carbohydrates.)
Whey is a high-quality protein that contains all the amino acids needed by the body, and is especially helpful in increasing protein production in the muscles. Taking a whey protein supplement is a great way to meet your daily protein intake requirements, especially if you are very active.
Whey protein isolate is a fast-digesting protein, which means that it is quickly absorbed by the muscles – this makes it an ideal workout drink, both during and after. Indeed, whey protein isolate is highly recommended by most trainers and registered dietitians.
Which whey protein isolate is best?
The Best Whey Protein Isolate Powder for Overall Benefits – Cellucor Whey Protein Isolate & Concentrate Blend Powder
Overall, Cellucor Whey Protein Isolate & Concentrate has the best taste and texture; is the most versatile when it comes to options for mixing with food and beverages; and is one of the most affordable in the market. Each serving contains 24 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbohydrates, and 120 calories.
It comes in seven flavors, including molten chocolate, whipped vanilla, and cinnamon swirl. The powder can be easily mixed with yogurt, oatmeal, and pancakes, among others. Some may find it sweet, and the product does contain an artificial sweetener; it also has 130 mg of sodium per serving.
The Best Sugar-Free Whey Protein Powder – Optimum Nutrition’s Platinum HydroWhey
Platinum Hydrowhey is made of hydrolyzed whey protein, which makes the protein more easily digested and absorbed. Each serving contains 30 grams of protein, one gram of fat, 3 grams of carbohydrates, 140 calories, and zero sugar.
There are seven flavors to choose from: chocolate mint, turbo chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, velocity vanilla, cookies and cream overdrive, supercharged strawberry; and red velvet cake. The product does contain artificial sweeteners. The powder mixes well with almost anything, and you can just use a spoon to do it (most protein powders require a blender or shaker).
The Best Fat-Free Whey Protein Powder – Myprotein Impact Whey Isolate Protein
Myprotein Impact Whey Isolate Protein has up to 22 grams of protein, 25 mg of sodium, 90 calories, and with little to zero fat and sugar per serving. The product has excellent purity and uses safe ingredients. It is rated by most consumers as a great value for their money. Some customer reviews, however, did mention quality control issues with the product they received. So be sure to only purchase from a reputable online store/seller.
The Best Digestion-Friendly Whey Protein Isolate Powder – Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder
For lactose-intolerant consumers, the best option that also uses hydrolyzed isolate protein for better digestion and absorption is Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder. Each serving contains 25 grams of protein, less than a gram of fat, 2 grams of carbohydrates, less than one gram of sugar, and 120 calories. It also contains 160 mg of sodium per serving.
You can choose from 13 delicious flavors, which include gourmet chocolate, fudge brownie, chocolate coconut, cookies and cream, and cinnamon bun. Most consumers found the taste great, although some also complained about quality control problems.
The Best Tasting Whey Protein – Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder is the favorite pick by experts and consumers when it comes to taste. Each serving contains 24 grams of protein, one gram of fat, 3 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of sugar, and 120 calories. It is relatively affordable.
Whey Protein Isolate – Final Thoughts
Whey protein has been shown to be extremely beneficial in increasing muscle strength, supporting muscle growth, and boosting fat loss. Fitness trainers and experts, as well as dietitians, consider whey protein as one of the best health supplements anybody can take.
Whey protein powder is widely used by athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness models and enthusiasts. While it is mostly consumed to increase muscle mass and strength, it also offers weight-loss benefits.
Studies have established that working the muscles burns more calories than any other exercise. When you exercise your muscles, you have to make sure that they are getting all the protein they need to recover, grow, and become stronger. Taking a whey protein powder supplement is a great way to to do this, and supporting muscle recovery, growth, and strength translates not only to increased muscle mass and/or improved muscle tone, but also to greater weight loss.
Whey protein isolate also has the added benefit of being easily digested and absorbed so that the protein is readily available for the muscles to use. This is why it is best to take whey protein immediately before, during, or immediately after a workout.
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