Whey Protein: The Benefits Explained

Author: Herbalife Nutrition
Fit And Active Man

You may have seen whey protein shakes being consumed by fatigued athletes following a strenuous training session.

It’s a pretty familiar sight.

An athlete or fitness enthusiast after a tough workout; that vigorous shake of the bottle as the whey protein powder mixes with water.

This usually signals the session is over. 

But why after the session? And why whey protein? 

To understand the intake of whey protein, you first need to understand the concept of ‘recovery’.

You may have heard athletes talk about ‘doing a proper recovery’ after training, or ‘needing to recover’ as they have another game in a few days. [i]

This is a key part of understanding what whey protein does in relation to strenuous physical activity and nutrition.

Why whey protein?

After a training session, your muscles are usually fatigued.

It doesn’t matter which level of sport you’re at – whether you’re a regular at your local gym or a pro athlete – when your body is drained, you need to have a cool down stretch.

You also need to:

  1.  Refuel what you just burnt off in the session, and
  2. Prepare your body for the next workout or game[ii]

Whey protein is important because it contains a large range of essential amino acids which, handily, are also absorbed into your body super-fast. [iii]

In fact, whey protein has all nine amino acids including leucine, isoleucine and valine, known for their importance in building muscle.[iv]

For immediate and sustained muscle recovery, protein shakes with whey help to rebuild muscles[v].

And they are handy to consume at the gym: this is why you probably see so many athletes and fitness enthusiasts drinking these shakes after a session.

‘If choosing a protein powder supplement, whey protein and plant-based proteins such as soy or pea have been shown to most effectively promote muscle growth and recovery,’ says Dr Dana Ryan, PhD, MBA, M.A. Director, Sport Performance and Education at Herbalife.

‘Protein forms the main building blocks of your tissues and organs. Eating a high-protein diet can help your body repair quicker after injury,’ she adds.

And the great news is, Herbalife has a range of whey protein shakes all ready to go, such as these chocolate whey protein shakes,[vi] which are ideal for post-workout recovery.

And for female athletes, Dr Ryan has this good advice.

‘For maximum benefit, female athletes should consume between 20 to 40 grams of high-quality protein within 30 to 45 minutes after a workout.’

So, for female athletes, keen on using whey to help recover, try one of these tasty whey protein shakes.[vii]

What is whey protein?

Have you ever noticed when you open a tub of yoghurt, there’s a watery- looking liquid on top of the yoghurt?

That is whey.

In fact, whey is a by-product of cheese-making production.[viii]

Milk is made up from two types of protein, mainly casein but also, around 20% whey.[ix]

So, when you make cheese from milk, casein is the protein element that naturally congeals, while the whey liquid drains away.[x]

Interestingly, for years cheesemakers did not realise what this by-product actually was. And as a result, simply discarded it before its benefits were understood and used. [xi]

And did you know this other whey protein fact?

It is very effective at stimulating growth in humans. In fact, human breast milk is 60% whey, compared to 20% in cows’ milk. [xii]

Luckily it was discovered, as whey protein is providing vital sports nutrition [xiii]for those sweating it out in gyms and sporting arenas everywhere.

References

[i] https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/what-to-do-after-working-out

Author: Jake Tipane, CPT

Date: June 15, 2020

Title: 11 steps to follow for a post-workout routine that gets results

Publisher: https://www.healthline.com

Date accessed: July 4, 2021

[ii] https://www.herbalife.com.au/articles/workout-supplements/

Author: Dr Dana Ryan

Title: Workout Supplements: What to Take Before, During and After Exercise

Publisher:  https://www.herbalife.com.au

Date accessed: July 4, 2021

[iii] https://www.peaknutritionals.com.au/blog/how-whey-protein-isolate-works/

Author: Peak Nutritionals

Date: July 9, 2020

Title: HOW WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE WORKS IN YOUR BODY

Publisher: https://www.peaknutritionals.com.au/

Date accessed: July 4, 2021

[iv] https://www.peaknutritionals.com.au/blog/9-essential-amino-acids/

Author: Peak Nutritionals

Date: Jan 12, 2021

Title: 9 essential amino acids: everything you need to know

Publisher: https://www.peaknutritionals.com.au/

Date accessed: July 4, 2021

[v] https://www.herbalife.com.au/articles/workout-supplements/

Author: Dr Dana Ryan

Title: Workout Supplements: What to Take Before, During and After Exercise

Publisher:  https://www.herbalife.com.au

Date accessed: July 4, 2021

[vi] https://www.herbalife.com.au/products/herbalife24-rebuild-strength-chocolate-1010g-1459/

Author: n/a

Date: n/a

Title: Herbalife24 Rebuild Strength Chocolate 1010g

publisher: https://www.herbalife.com.au/

Date accessed: July 4, 2021

[vii] https://www.herbalife.com.au/articles/what-female-athletes-really-need-for-optimal-sports-performance/

Author: Dr Dana Ryan

Date: n/a

Title: What female athlete really need for optimal sports performance

Publisher: https://www.herbalife.com.au/

Date accessed: July 4, 2021

[viii] https://www.farmcurious.com/blogs/farmcurious/17599408-cheesemaking-what-to-do-with-all-that-whey

Author: Nicole Easterday

Date: Apr 1, 2020

Title: Cheesemaking - what to do with all that whey

Publisher: https://www.farmcurious.com

Date accessed: July 4, 2021

[ix] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5149046/

Author: National Centre for Biotechnology Information

Title: Health-related aspects of Milk Proteins

Publisher: National Centre for Biotechnology Information

Date accessed: July 4, 2021

[x] https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/827-the-science-of-cheese

Author: Science Learning Hub Pokapu Akoranga Putaiao

Title: The Science of Cheese

Publisher: Science Learning Hub Pokapu Akoranga Putaiao

Date accessed: July 4, 2021

[xi] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/whey-protein-101

Author: Kris Gunnars, BSc

Date: June 29, 2018

Title: Whey Protein 101: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

Publisher: www.healthline.com

Date accessed: July 4, 2021

[xii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4882692/

Author: Camilla R. Martin, Pei-Ra Ling, George L. Blackburn

Date: May 11, 2016

Title: Review of Infant Feeding: key features of breast milk and infant formula.

Publisher: National Centre for Biotechnology Information

Date accessed: July 4, 2021

[xiii] https://www.herbalife.com.au/product-range/sports-nutrition/

Author: n/a

Date: n/a

Title: sports nutrition

Publisher: https://www.herbalife.com.au/

Date accessed: July 4, 2021