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Muscle for life

The Definitive Guide to Whey Protein

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The Definitive Guide to Whey Protein

Protein powder is the #1 bestselling type of supplement, and whey protein leads the pack. Why? Is it worth it?

 

Whey protein is a staple in most athletes’ diets for a good reason: it’s digested quickly, absorbed efficiently, and easy on the taste buds.

Prices are all over the place, however, ranging from less than $10 per pound, to over $20 per pound, and marketing claims used to justify various price points range from sensible to ludicrous.

So what gives? Well, let’s lift the veil of mystery on whey so you can make an informed choice, and get the right product for the right price.

What is Whey Protein, Anyway, and What is the Big Deal?

Whey is a byproduct of cheese production. It’s a relatively clear liquid left over after milk has been curdled and strained and it used to be disposed of as waste.

It was later discovered that it contains an impressive array of complete proteins necessary for protein synthesis and hypertrophy, and thus, the whey protein supplement was born.

But why is whey so big in the health and fitness world? Does it warrant all the attention and use?

Well, whey is especially popular with athletes and bodybuilders because of its amino profile, which is high in leucine. Leucine is an essential amino acid that plays a key role in initiating protein synthesis.

Whey is particularly effective when eaten after training, due to its rapid digestion and abundance of leucine. Simply put, the faster protein is digested and the more leucine it has, the more muscle growth it stimulates. This is why research has proven that whey is a highly effective form of post-workout protein.

So yes, there’s a good reason why most protein supplements sold are whey. But not all whey powders are equal.

Whey Concentrates, Isolates, Hydrolysates, Oh My!

The three forms of whey protein sold are whey concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate.

Whey concentrate is the least processed form and cheapest to manufacture, and it contains some fat and lactose. Whey concentrates range from 35 – 80% protein by weight, depending on quality.

Whey isolate is a form of whey protein processed to remove the fat and lactose. Isolates are 90%+ protein by weight, and as they’re more expensive to manufacture than whey concentrate, they’re more expensive for consumers too.

Whey hydrolysate is a predigested form of whey protein that’s very easily absorbed by the body and free of allergenic substances found in milk products. Research also indicates that the hydrolysis process improves solubility and digestibility. Whey hydrolysate is the most expensive of the three options.

So which should you buy? Well, when choosing a whey, you have a few things to consider.

While isolates and hydrolysates are pushed as superior to concentrates due to purity and higher protein concentrations per scoop, there’s insufficient evidence to support claims that they are superior to concentrates when used as a part of a mixed diet.

That said, choosing the cheapest whey you can find, which will always be a concentrate, isn’t always a good idea, either. A quality whey concentrate is somewhere around 80% protein by weight, but inferior concentrates can have as little as 30% protein by weight.

If a low-quality whey concentrate is only 30% protein by weight, what else is in there? Well, unfortunately we can only wonder, as adulteration (the addition of fillers like maltodextrin and flour) is startlingly rampant in this industry.

Another significant benefit of a pure whey isolate is the removal of the lactose, which means better digestibility and less upset stomachs. (I hear this quite often from customers of mine that like my 100% whey protein isolate product.)

The general rule with whey protein is you’ll get what you pay for–if the product costs a lot less than the going rate for whey, it’s probably because it’s made with inferior ingredients. (And I can tell you firsthand that producing a high-quality whey protein isn’t cheap!)

High prices aren’t always indicative of high-quality, either. Disreputable supplement companies pull other tricks, such as starting with a low-quality concentrate, adding small amounts of isolate and hydrolysate to create a “blend,” and then calling attention to the isolate and hydrolysate in their marketing and packaging.

To protect yourself as a consumer, always check ingredient lists and serving sizes and amounts of protein per serving before buying protein powder.

Specifically, you’re going to want to look at the order in which the ingredients are listed (ingredients are listed in descending order according to predominance by weight), and the amount of protein per scoop relative to the scoop size.

For instance…

  • If a product has maltodextrin (a filler), or any other ingredient, listed before the protein powder, don’t buy it. That means there’s more maltodextrin, creatine, or other fillers in it than protein powder.

  • If a scoop is 40 grams but there is only 22 grams of protein per serving, don’t buy it unless you know that the other 18 grams are made up of stuff you want.  Weight gainers have quite a few carbs per scoop, for instance.

A high-quality whey protein is easy to spot:

  • Whey concentrate, isolate, or hydrolysate listed as the first ingredients
  • A scoop size relatively close to the amount of actual protein per scoop (it’ll never match because there is at least sweetener and flavoring along with the protein powder in every serving)

Whey Protein Processing and Denaturing

A very common method of processing whey protein is using a machine called an “ion exchange.” Whey concentrate is run through this device to create an “ion exchange whey isolate,” and this is often marketed like it’s something good or special.

While this sounds fancy, it actually has significant drawbacks.

Whey protein is a complex molecule made up of many smaller molecules called subfractions, such as beta-lactoglobulin,immuno-globulinslactoferrinlactoperoxidaseslysozyme, and others. Each of these subfractions has its own unique properties and functions in the body.

The ion exchange process selectively depletes many of these subfractions, thereby reducing the overall health value of the protein. This is known as “denaturing” the protein.

Superior (more expensive) processing methods utilize technologies known as “cold-filtration” and “micro-filtration” to produce the protein powder while still maintaining the original undenatured state of the protein.

How to Use Whey Protein

The ideal ratio between whole food and supplement protein is still an area of scientific ambiguity, but anecdotal evidence has led to the general advice of getting at least 50% of your daily protein from whole food sources.

Remember, protein supplements are meant to be just that–supplements–and not primary sources of daily protein.

Now, as you know, whey protein is a particularly good source of post-workout protein. How much should we have after a workout, though?

Well, according to one study, 20 grams of whey protein eaten as a post-workout meal stimulates maximum muscle protein synthesis. That is, eating more than 20 grams of whey protein after a workout will not increase muscle growth.

While that sounds neat and simple, it doesn’t apply to everyone equally. Protein metabolism and needs are affected by several things:

  • How much muscle you have.

The more muscular you are, the more protein your body needs to maintain its lean mass, and the larger the “reservoir” it has for storing surplus amino acids.

  • How physically active you are.

The more you exercise, the more protein your body needs.

  • Your age.

As our bodies age, they need more protein to maintain lean mass. For example, research has shown that, in the elderly, 35 – 40 grams of post-workout protein stimulates more protein synthesis than 20 grams.

  • Your hormonal profile.

Anabolic hormones like testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) stimulate muscle protein synthesis. If your body has high levels of these anabolic hormones, it will be able to make good use of higher amounts of protein than someone with lower levels.

On the other hand, elevated levels of cortisol reduces protein synthesis and accelerates the process whereby the body breaks down amino acids into glucose (gluconeogenesis), thereby reducing the amount available for tissue generation and repair. Some people have chronically elevated cortisol levels, and this impairs protein metabolism.

So, while 20 grams of protein might be enough to stimulate maximum protein synthesis under certain conditions, this won’t hold true for everyone.

Whey protein can also be used as an effective pre-workout supplement, as research has shown protein ingested 30 minutes prior to training can reduce muscle damage and soreness.

The Best Whey Protein Powder

I’ve always used 100% pure whey protein isolate products because concentrates can bother my stomach (research has shown that approximately 70% of the world’s population can’t properly digest lactose, and I guess I’m one of them).

If dairy bothers your stomach at all or gives you any symptoms of indigestion, I recommend you stick with 100% whey protein isolate products too.

I’m also picky when it comes to artificial sweeteners and food dyes, MSG, and other chemicals commonly found in whey protein powders.

I like my workout supplements naturally sweetened and as free of artificial additives as possible, and recommend the same for my readers.

These requirements have really limited me in the past, and the whey protein powders I used were particularly expensive (upwards of $25 – 30 per pound).

Fortunately, I’ve been able to leverage my success as an author to launch my own line of naturally sweetened, filler-free workout supplements, and it includes a 100% whey protein isolate product.

It’s called WHEY+, and it’s essentially the whey protein powder I’ve always wanted.

  • It’s 100% whey isolate, which means every serving is almost pure protein, with little to no carbohydrates and fat.
  • It’s made from exceptionally high-quality milk from small dairy farms in Ireland.
  • It’s created using cold microfiltration and ultrafiltration technologies to produce 100% intact, undenatured protein.
  • It tastes delicious and mixes great.
  • It’s naturally sweetened and flavored.
  • It contains no artificial food dyes or other junk additives or fillers.

The bottom line is if you want a clean, all-natural, delicious tasting whey protein isolate that’s naturally sweetened and flavored and free of chemicals, GMOs, and hormones, then you want WHEY+.

 

What did you think of this definitive guide to whey protein powder? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • Lee Tyrrell

    Liked this article, I’d often wondered about all the different types of whey.
    Is Legion available in the UK Mike?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Lee! Yes we can ship to you!

  • António

    What do you think is better:
    1 scoop pre, 1 scoop post, or 2 scoops post? I prefer the first option because then I don’t need to find another protein source for my pre-workout so it is more convenient. Is it ok?

    Thanks!

    • Michael Matthews

      I do 1 scoop pre and 1 post every day I train. 🙂

      • Hossein Yaghoobi

        hey mike, if i work out afternoon you recommend to have the first shake in morning or pre workout?

  • António

    Hi, I’ve though of another question.
    In the legion website, it says that you guys are setting something in Europe to make it inexpensive(I assume like same shipping costs as in the US after this) that would take a few weeks. Is this really going to happen and when is your prediction for it to be up and running?
    Thanks!

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah we will be setting up proper fulfillment but it will take a few months because of the logistics. It’s on the list though!

  • balaga

    Mike I am looking to buy this but it seems the shipping cost to India is high and it is not allowing me to take decision on this..

    • Michael Matthews

      Ah yeah, well look for Optimum Nutrition’s products. They make good stuff as well.

  • MsJadensDad .

    Completely unrelated, but in phase 4 of BLS the deadlift is not part of the back routine:

    T-Bar Row – Warm up and 3 sets
    Close-Grip Pulldown – 3 Sets
    Pull-Up (weighted if possible) – 3 sets
    Leg Press Calf Raise – 6 sets

    Is this to give the joints & CNS an extra break from the torment of the deadlift? I thought I’d ask just because it seems unlike you to recommend a posterior chain workout and not include the deadlift as part of it. Thanks.

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah exactly that was the thought but I’ve reconsidered this and will be adding it back in on the next update. In actual practice people do fine with deadlifting every phase.

      • Joe Koecheler

        Do you know what the new routine will be?

        • Michael Matthews

          Almost identical deads will just be back in that’s all. I’ll have to look at what I’m having people do before and after, but if you do…

          Deads
          T-Bar
          Close-Grip

          You’ll be good to go.

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  • BennyB

    Hey Mike, I’m trying to find information on the amount of calories per scoop in your protein powder, but I can’t find it. Right now I’m doing HIIT while on a 1500-1800 calorie per day diet, trying to cut from 220 to 195(at 6’2”). I’m trying to get around 200 grams of protein per day, so it’s incredibly hard to hit one number while staying under the other.

    The most efficient one I’ve found so far is a Muscle Milk isolate sold in individual bottles that has 40 grams at 220 calories, but this is prohibitively expensive as a long-term solution. Do you have any recommendations?

    • BennyB

      Never mind, found it! Looks like two scoops would net 52 grams at 204 calories. That’s perfect, it leaves around 700-1000 calories I can spend how I like. I’ve already lost around 100 pounds and maintained such for a year, now it’s time to push through that last chunk.

      • Michael Matthews

        Ah I’m glad you found it! Great job on what you’ve accomplished so far! Keep me posted on how everything goes!

  • skyap

    The Protein Works in the UK do some pretty good protein with not much else in it (some natural flavouring and sucralose to sweeten), and the best flavours on the market – will keep me going until Legion is available here! I recommend the Isolate 90 (90% protein per scoop). If anyone is thinking of ordering, if you use this code kh13238 and spend £10, you’ll get a free pouch to try!

    • Michael Matthews

      I’m not a fan of sucralose but I have heard good things about PW.

  • Jason

    What are your thought on Bioplex whey? I never hear anyone mention their products yet their whey has the smallest ingredient list I can find. The only unfortunate thing is the inclusion of sucralose..

    • Michael Matthews

      Not sure of this product. I’ll have to check it out.

  • James Conedera

    Looking at your article and the different whey powders that I’ve tried, it seems like my whey is passing the test but i have been seriously backed up in the digestive region since I’ve started using whey. I’ve halved the amount I’ve been using and still… Like lead pellets at the best of times. What do you think of the pea/brown rice supplements?

  • Yashwant

    I’m looking for Whey Isolate in India and I’m confused which brand should I go for. Any Suggestions.

    • Michael Matthews

      Hmm see if Optimum Nutrition is available in your country.

  • Anthony Nash

    Hi Mike, I avoid whey protein as, being from dairy, it’s somewhat acidic. Remember how finally Kre-alkalyn was developed and said to work better because this form of creatine is now alkaline, not acidic, well surely the same argument holds true for protein? I use 100% hemp protein, nothing added, no sweetener, that’s for babies and soft jobs! I know I know, there’s the all important window that we need to utilise as soon as poss, banging that protein down BUT, I’d rather put up with a little slower assimilation of a much better protein food, rather than product. Hemp is a plant based protein with superior digestibility, our bodies recognise it, it contains plenty of Leucine btw, and also Globular Edestein, which is present in mothers milk, very rich in proper nutrients AND, it contains wonderful healthy omega fats. So health is promoted when consuming hemp and the muscle’s are put in to an alkaline state – good for growth as you’d know. What’s think of that Mike?

    • Michael Matthews

      Don’t fall too much for the pH quackery. I should write an article on this actually but research has shown that the body is MUCH better at maintaining pH than the “acidic vs. alkalyn” food gurus claim.

      Hemp isn’t a great source of protein actually. I talk about it here:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com/the-best-protein-powder-for-women/

      • Anthony Nash

        Hi Mike, Thanks loads for replying when you’ve so many to give! Your link was very interesting and I’m going to have to re-read it again before I would comment, anyway – in the blog at the bottom of that article, a chap called Russ posted about ‘The China Study’. I’ve read that book and cited info from it many times. Geez, talk about a smack in the face. Just when you’ve settled in to thinking one way, you have to start again! It’s your blog and reply which led me to this and I just want to say you’ve surprised me positively so far…I’m starting to feel rather interested in what you have to say, so a big thanks from me.

        Back to your quote: ” Don’t fall too much for the pH quackery. Research has shown that the body is MUCH better at maintaining pH than the “acidic vs. alkalyn” food gurus claim.” It was my belief that an acidic blood pH caused the body to leech alkalinity from the bone’s calcium reserves, dumping it in to our bloodstream to balance our blood pH back to around 7.365.

        Isn’t that all the case then Mike?

        • Michael Matthews

          My pleasure!

          Watch out on the China Study–it’s deeply flawed research:

          http://rawfoodsos.com/the-china-study/

          Yes if your body is too acidic that is bad, but the quackery is more related to the belief that certain foods, even healthy foods like certain fruits and proteins, “make our bodies acidic” and thus should be avoided.

          I’ll have to write a whole article on this and cite the research.

  • Trevor Jay

    Hello Michael, I am from Melbourne,Australia. I have just read you post about protein powders. I am using MAX’S protein powders. Not sure if you know of them. I use CELL REPAIR and SUPER WHEY,both in the banana flavour. It has been the best protein i have used so far. I started with MAX’S nearly 20 years ago. I have been on and off with protein and training over that time. I have not been able to find another protein that stacks up to MAX’S. The flavours are the best i have tried to date. I use banana,because it is not as sweet as the others, Dutch choc,cookies and cream etc. Why would this be the case. The other matter I would like to know is ,stimulants and caffeine,natural or otherwise in protein powders, Why do they do this? and what should i look out for ? as I can not use these at all due to my medication.I had a stroke less than 12 months ago and can not risk usage due to high chances of heart attack or another stroke. Thank you for your time with this, as i know you may have to do a little research. Thanks Michael, regards Trevor. “Catch you lata mate!”

    • Michael Matthews

      Hey Trevor!

      Cool on what you’re using. I don’t know about them.

      I’ve never seen a protein powder with a stimulant?

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  • Hi Mike, my question is actually not about Whey, but about casein. Me and my wife are taking casein daily before bed and someone recommended us Syntha-6. Have you heard about it? Do you recommend it as a casein substitute?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah I’ve heard of it but am sketched out by the amount of chemicals and junk in the ingredients. Not a fan.

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  • Mike P.

    Mike – when will you have more Whey+ available to order?

    • Michael Matthews

      Next week!

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  • Stefan

    Hi Mike,
    tried to order your products, but shipping to Germany seems not possible.. neither through your site nor via amazon. Why is that and when will we be able to order some? Also, would be awsome if you could ship directly from within Europe in the near future. My best regards!

    • Michael Matthews

      We can definitely ship to you but it’s kind of expensive. That said, we will be working out international distribution later this year.

      • Stefan

        Sorry to bother you again, Mike, but I tried again today and it says “Invalid shipping method.” after entering all my data and hitting “place your order”. Tried it on mac and win and different browsers.. pls check yourself with any address in Germany. I’m aware of the costs, I just would rather not wait till the end of te year:) Could there be some German restriction with regard to one of the ingredients (like “yohimbine” which is not approved here, for example)?

        • Michael Matthews

          Ahhh shit yeah sorry about that we actually had to stop shipping to Germany because your customs office is horrendous. They’ve rejected every product for various reasons.

  • brittany

    Is the whey protein above free or heavy metals?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yes

      • P Mort

        Can we listen to heavy metal while consuming the whey protein?

        • Michael Matthews

          Yes… 🙂

  • Pas0

    Hey Mike- great site and tons of useful information.

    The protein works in the UK allow you to create custom protein blends. Based on your article i take it I should go for 100% isolate and forget concentrate or hydrolysed. What about other supplements to potentially add? e.g. MCT or creatine or essential amino acids?

    Thanks.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Yeah that’s a cool company. Yes I would do 100% iso and wouldn’t bother with MCT (https://www.muscleforlife.com/medium-chain-triglycerides-weight-loss/) but creatine could be wortwhile unless you’d rather have separately.

      • Pas0

        Great- so if i’ve done the maths correctly going with 4% creatine monohydrate and 96% isolate yields 51.82g of protein per double scoop (60g) and 2.5g of creatine according to them.

        Would you consider that a good post work out mix?

        Also I’ve purchased and am reading BLS- love the clarity and no bullshit approach, Its really helped me to better structure my workouts and nutrition so thanks!

        • Michael Matthews

          Yeah that’s good. You’ll want another 2.5 grams of creatine though.

          Thanks man! I really appreciate it. 🙂

  • Mandi

    When will more be available to order? And do you have a recommendation in the meantime? Thanks!

    • Michael Matthews

      Very soon! About 2 weeks! Yeah I like ON’s natural whey.

  • Anita Hall

    I am curious about the statement above about Whey+ not having ‘no artificial junk like maltodextrin’. On the label it’s the 4th ingredient. With the scoop at 32g protein at 22g and L-Leucine at 4g, i assuming you mean there’s very little, but maybe it should be clarified so there’s no misconceptions.

    • Michael Matthews

      Oops! Yeah I need to update this. Thanks for mentioning. The original formulation had no malto but it turns out we need a little (less than 1 g per serving) to mask the bitter flavor of the leucine.

      The key is there it isn’t being used as a filler, which would mean much larger amounts.

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  • Dylan Didiano

    Great article! I have written a list of whey proteins that I’ve tried and loved, mind checking it out and leaving me some feedback? http://supplementbodybuilding.com/the-best-whey-protein-powders/

  • Gina Johnson

    I am very keen on bodybuilding. I am doing it for four years now. During these four years I realised that the best supplements you can find are here https://www.synthetek.com/products/synthepure-whey-protein-isolate/
    I use almost all of their products and I see bigger results that I have expected.

  • Thanks for stopping by and checking out my article! I hope you enjoyed it.

    Feel free to comment below if you have any questions. I do my best to check and reply to every comment left on my blog, so don’t be shy!

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    You can sign up here:

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  • I also try to buy only naturally sweetened supplements and as free of artificial additives as possible. And those lactose problems… Aah… Also i heard that not all of the labels of cheap whey protein writes the truth, so we have to check if the information and manufacturer is notificated by health and supplements centers.

  • Curious Guy

    Hey Mike. I know you have your own product (Legion) but due to inconvenience, sadly, i wont be able to try your product. But what other products would you suggest? How about ON’s 100% Gold Standard? I heard that it’s the best out there in the market right now? Would you agree to that? Thanks jn advance! 🙂

  • Himanshu Mendiratta

    Hey mike ….do u have any idea about Dymatize elite 100% whey protein isolate…I mean is it safe and how can I ensure dat it is not adulterated..??

    • Yeah I’ve heard of it but don’t know if it’s a good product or not.

  • Ben Menton

    I just started working out and lifting weights and I want to try whey protein. See if it works for me. How will you know if a product you’re buying is a whey concentrate, isolate and hydrolysates? Thanks!

    • Ben Menton

      *hydrolysate I mean

    • It’ll specify what kind of whey protein it is in the ingredient list below the supplements facts.

  • Carla

    Hey Mike,
    I was extremely hesitant to try using whey protein and determined to get all my protein from food sources. But i am finding it way too hard to meet my protein requirement this way. Not a big fan of a lot of the high protein foods. I am 122 pounds, 20 years old and do 3 weight training workouts a week. Calorie goal is 1200 a day, 100 grams protein, 33 grams fat and 127 grams of carbs. I am thinking of having a daily protein shake (one scoop, 24 grams protein) to bump up my protein or am I best ditching it all together? You say 50% minimum protein should come from whole food sources so I’m guessing it’s ok? I am pretty sure these macros are right but not 100% :/
    Thankyou so so much!

    • Carla

      Oh and my TDEE is 1499 so 1200 would make that roughly a 20% calorie deficit to lose weight while trying to preserve muscle, I think that’s right haha 🙂 thanks again

  • Tyler

    Hi, does consuming a post workout meal consisting of egg whites and chicken breasts work as well as whey post workout for maximum protein synthesis? (assuming it’s 40g of protein for both)

    • It’s not as effective as whey protein, but it still works.

      Make sure you get your carbs in post-workout too!

  • Jenny Hudson

    See here for very quick and successful weight loss. http://www.amazingaus.com/best-foods-to-eat-when-losing-weight/

  • Mohamed Ismath

    Hi Mike, I’m 34 years old and do 3 weight training workouts a week. 5.6″ Height and 69Kgs Weight. I already has uric acid problem if i consume red meet (cz it contains protein). My question is i just want to build my muscle. Is there any capsules to grow my muscle? Thanks in advance.

    • Hey there!

      The only supplements that really directly help with muscle growth are creatine and beta-alanine, but run these by your doctor before taking them to ensure it won’t cause any health issues.

  • Lefteris Geo

    Hello Mike…!! Really like you work..!! Your products are awesome and i was about to order the whole package from Legion but the transfer cost is kinda expensive..!! I dont know if that has to do that i am from Greece but it was about 40 or 50 + dollars.. So i wanted to ask you if you recommend any good company or product which i can trust and also if you could tell me what to be aware and check in protein powders.. Any thoughts about Myprotein and Bulk Powders ? Greetings from Greece..!!

    Looking forward for your reply..!!
    Thanks very much..!!

    • Thanks! Happy to hear it.

      Sorry about the shipping cost. International shipping is a pain.

      I plan on having distribution set up in the EU this year. 🙂

      In the meantime, I recommend Optimum Nutrition over those.

      My pleasure. Hope this helps! Talk soon!

      • Lefteris Geo

        Yeah a lot of pain 😝..!! So excited to hear that..!! Cant wait for them to be in EU..!! But you didn’t tell me your thoughts about MyProtein and BulkPowders products.. Anything about them ? Thanks for your reply..!!

  • ariel

    I started using whey protein powder and i started getting rashes on my back. I am not lactose but if i have too much dairy (usually milk) i will have to go to the bathroom and fast! I think the rashes r from the whey isolate. What should i take instead cuz i dont want pimples on my back and rashes(might be hives but i dony know)?

    • Hmm. That’s odd. Definitely a good idea to stop taking it.

      Have you seen a doc or nutritionist on it?

      Instead you can do egg protein.

      Thoughts?

      • ariel

        no but i will. thanks. would it be fine to take egg protein after a workout or is that bad?

        • Welcome! Yep, it’s fine.

          • ariel

            So would there be a difference if i had steak or chicken after a workout or egg protein powder cuz i cant have whey. Tnks.

          • Whey protein is ideal for post-workout protein synthesis, but what matters most is that you get the protein in. Meat or egg protein is fine.

            YW!

          • ariel

            Alright thanks! Just got the shredded chef in the mail! So many great recipes!!! One more question. I looked at the nutritional value of whole wheat pasta vs regular and brown rice vs white and i noticed no differences. Is there a benefit to eating whole wheats if im getting a lot of fiber from fruits and oats and other nutritious foods? Thanks.

          • Thanks! Really glad you liked it!

            Whole grains are more nutritious.

          • ariel

            Not really understanding how? Could u please explain? Thanks appreciate it! Also if im 10 grams of fat over but im still with in my calorie deficit, is that okay?

          • ariel

            Last question lol. Im going to washington dc with my school in may and i do not know how im going to measure my protein carbs and fat while there. Should i just eat healthy? Cuz i wont have access to any stores or fridge.

          • Yeah just try to get in enough protein and keep your carbs and fats in a reasonable range.

  • Fernando Sanino

    Hi, Mike! Some nutricionists say that taking whey with milk impairs absorption. Any truth to that claim? Thanks.

  • Stephen Vera

    Hey Mike! Would 48g of whey in one shake be too much for the body to utilize? I read somewhere that the body can only process around 35g in one sitting (real food or whey) before it gets wasted or stored as fat, etc…..I do get over 50% from real food but sometimes when trying to meet my macros one has to supplement as you know….Thanks for everything you do! Keep up those sick pumps brah lol.

  • Laura

    Hey Mike! I’d like to know if there’s a real difference between whey concentrate/isolate absorption rates. I am in a difficult economical situation and I really need to start saving, that’s why I decided to buy whey protein in form raw material but I still want to get a quality product and the right one for my goals (more lean muscle, less fat). My two options are these:

    -100% Whey Protein Concentrate (>80%), 30g per scoop (this one is cheaper)
    Calories 121
    Total fat 2.4g
    Total Carbs 1.6g
    Protein 23g
    Sodium 42mg

    -100% Whey Protein Isolate (>90%), 30g per scoop
    Calories 114
    Total fat 0.2g
    Total carbs 0.3g
    Protein 27.9g
    Sodium 58mg

    Thank you in advance 🙂

  • Erin

    Thanks for the article! I’ve been using whey isolate the last 3 months and I’m seeing great results. Ive started taking it on a cutting meal plan as part of the TLS programme.
    I have a hormonal imbalance called polycystic ovaries and I’ve been reading a lot can be done to improve the condition through diet. Eliminating dairy is one of the suggestions. The only dairy I get is in the whey isolate and a cup of Greek yoghurt. I’d rather stick with the whey than switch to a vegan protein powder. What are your thoughts on this? From the article It sounds like there is not too much dairy in whey isolate. If you recommend going for non-dairy, what is the best vegan powder?

  • Mason McElroy

    When I was in college I used whey protein but noticed that it gave me crazy acne. As soon as I stopped using it my skin cleared up within days. I haven’t used whey since (I mostly stick to plant-based proteins), but have always heard it’s the best for building muscle and I feel like I’m missing out on its benefits.

    Do you think my acne stemmed from allergies or low quality whey? Are there any alternatives that you would recommend?

    • Hey Mason, some people do have sensitivity to milk proteins and that can cause acne. The good news is, rice/pea blends are really great too!

  • Steve Seaman

    Hey Mike,

    Great article, as always. This has really helped in terms of weeding out some of the bullshit.
    I’m curious if you’ve looked at some of the True Nutrition (truenutrition.com) whey products out there. As far as I can tell, it’s a pretty solid supplement (and available in bulk to boot), but it’d be nice to hear the opinion of someone who really knows what to look for. As far as you can tell, is there anything about their products that might be cause for hesitation?

    Thanks,
    Steve

  • Hossein Yaghoobi

    hey mike, if i work out afternoon you recommend to have the first shake in morning or pre workout?

    • You can have more than one shake every day, and do take creatine on off days as well. If you work out in the afternoon and only plan on taking one shake that day, I’d use it post-workout.

      • Hossein Yaghoobi

        tnx, i mean except post workout shake the morning shake is more important or pre workout?

  • Scott Long

    Mike- Love your books and programs. I’m a potential kidney donor for a friend, and I’m wondering if taking too much protein should be a concern for me. I’m a 160 lb male, age 50, and I’ve been consuming 240-250 grams of protein a day. Any issues with this plan? I’ve heard the kidneys have a harder time with processing protein. Thoughts?

    • Hey Scott, that’t a bit more protein than you need. I recommend around 1g/lb in general. That said, protein has never been shown to cause kidney damage. If you have a pre-existing kidney issue, though, you should restrict intake. Check this out: https://www.muscleforlife.com/high-protein-diet/

      • Scott Long

        Mike- It amazes me that you’re so engaged with us–way cool and thanks for answering so fast. My wife said you would. Perfect advice and a great article. You’ve changed my body (lost 32 pounds and starting to look like you 😊–well sort of) and my life, so thank you! I’m always sharing your book link and program with friends. Take care and keep up the great work!

        • That’s great to hear! Thanks for sharing and spreading the word! I’d love to feature you as a success story whenever you reach your goals. Just shoot me an email with before/after pics 🙂 – mike@muscleforlife.com

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