If you’re currently looking for a new weight gainer that is more effective, whey protein may be an excellent choice for you. Find out the facts today.
Keyword(s): weight gainer
Looking to gain weight effectively? Whey protein might be the weight gainer you need to try.
Not all protein works the same. When it comes to weight gain, some sources work better than others. Fortunately, whey protein is a tried-and-true effective protein source.
Let’s take a look at what makes whey protein such a great weight gainer.
What is Whey Protein?
The primary protein in milk is casein, which makes up 80% of the milk’s protein. The other 20% is whey.
Whey is found in the milk liquid that separates out when cheese is made. The fat in milk separates and coagulates during cheese production, while the liquid part containing whey ends up as a byproduct.
You may have seen whey when you open up a container of yogurt and find liquid at the top. For a long time, this cheese byproduct was simply thrown out. Now its value is well-known.
Whey protein comes from whey and consists of a mix of proteins that have been isolated from the whey.
How Do You Use Whey Protein?
By the time whey protein reaches store shelves it looks very different from milk liquid. It undergoes several processing steps before it becomes the whey protein that we recognize.
Most of the time, whey protein comes in powder form. The powder can be used in protein bars, smoothies, shakes, and as a meal replacement.
Natural whey protein doesn’t taste good, so it comes in flavors like chocolate and vanilla.
Not all whey protein supplements are created equal. It’s always important to check the ingredients to make sure that your whey protein powder doesn’t contain a lot of extra refined sugar or other unhealthy additives.
A good whey protein can provide you with up to 50 extra grams of protein above your daily intake. One caveat: if you are lactose intolerant, you will probably want to avoid whey protein, since it comes from milk.
How Does Whey Protein Work?
As a weight gainer, whey protein is especially good.
To understand why it helps to know about how proteins in general work. Proteins are known as the building blocks of life. Everything from your skin to your organs is built of proteins.
Even enzymes and hormones in your body are made up of proteins. When it comes to fitness, proteins are essential for the parts of your muscles that allow contractions to happen.
Working out means creating tiny, microscopic tears in your muscle fibers. That’s why you feel sore after a workout. This is normal, but it’s important to help your body heal and strengthen by giving it what it needs to repair those tears and build new muscle.
In order to do so, you need to consume high-quality protein in the right amounts, at the right times. Since whey is a very pure and high-quality protein, it’s ideal for this purpose.
Proteins themselves have building blocks: amino acids. They’re molecules that link together in a “chain” to form the protein.
Your body’s cells produce some of the amino acids that build proteins, while you get others from the food you eat. You may have heard of “essential amino acids” before. Those are the ones that you get from food.
This is where whey protein comes in. It has all of the essential amino acids that you can get from what you eat.
It’s higher in some amino acids than others, especially the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Leucine, a BCAA, is the most growth promoting amino acid, while another one, Cysteine, gives your cells an antioxidant boost.
This could be the reason why whey has been shown to be particularly good at stimulating growth. In fact, babies get a large dose of whey from breast milk. There is 60% whey in human breast milk, while a cow’s milk has only 20%.
This makes whey protein an ideal weight gainer. It’s designed to promote the kind of growth you’re looking for.
Does Whey Always Cause Weight Gain?
It’s a misconception that whey is only a weight gainer. Whey is great for gaining weight as a fitness goal, but it’s all in how you use it.
Weight change depends not just on protein intake, but on calorie consumption. If you just add whey protein, neither weight gain nor weight loss is a given.
You can add weight by consuming both whey and calories. Eat 250-500 more calories than you’re burning in a day and you will gain weight safely, with up to one pound a week added. Similarly, if you reduce calories to below what you burn, you’ll lose weight.
Either way, whey is a great source of those calories and will also help promote healthy weight gain. If you’re seeking to lose weight, however, whey protein can still help you stay fit and healthy while you do by helping build muscle.
Different whey supplements have different calorie levels. Check the package and see if that particular supplement has higher or lower calories, and decide based on whether your goal is weight gain or loss.
Using Whey as a Weight Gainer
Add whey as part of your increased calorie intake to help your healthy weight gain plan stay on track.
This will help you bulk up with lean muscle when paired with the right kinds of exercise. Strength training is essential so that you can build muscle with the whey protein you’re consuming.
A 2012 review by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that whey was the ideal protein source during post-workout recovery periods.
That’s because it has such high quality as a protein and is easily processed by your body. For this purpose, check your whey supplements to see that they have at least three grams of Leucine, which is the ideal amount for building muscle.
Healthy Additives to Whey
It’s important to keep your whole diet in mind. Adding whey is not enough. You can still sabotage your weight gain goals by mixing it with the wrong additives.
One of the best ways to consume whey is by blending it into a smoothie or shake with fruit and almond or another nut butter. The fruit is healthy, but the nut butter adds an extra dose of calories to help with your weight gain goals.
You can also add green vegetables like kale or spinach, or use coconut or almond milk instead of water. Both calories and nutrition are important, so make sure not to lose sight of either.
Eating Right to Gain Weight
What kind of diet works best with whey protein?
You can maximize the effectiveness of this weight gainer by combining it with the right diet.
As mentioned before, you need both calories and nutrition. Don’t just go for calorie-packed fried foods. Choose healthy options that pack a major calorie punch. Think eggs, whole wheat products, peanut butter, and nuts.
Remember, whey protein will help add some of your daily calories, so make sure to factor that in so you don’t overdo it.
Another crucial tactic is eating more than three meals a day. Try five or six for optimum weight gain benefits.
Major meals like breakfast, lunch, and dinner can stay, but factor in meal-like snacks in between. Your whey protein shakes or smoothies can count as those hefty snacks.
These extra “meals” will help you reach your surplus calorie goals in a healthy way. Whey protein has extremely low fat, so you won’t be adding unnecessary bulk this way.
Should You Use a Weight Gainer?
There are many products on the market that are sold as “weight gainers.” Whey protein is not among them since it can be used for multiple purposes.
Whey protein, however, is a much better option than those “weight gainers” when it comes to actually gaining healthy weight. The weight gainers on the market do have a lot of calories, but they’re also packed with more carbs than you really need.
Consuming so many “fast” carbs at one time can cause an insulin spike in your body.
The body responds to this spike by only using some of it as energy and storing the rest as fat. You’re sabotaging yourself by consuming more energy than you need and causing your body to store the excess as fat instead of muscle.
The Best Choice Is Whey
Once you understand a bit about how your body uses protein to build muscle, it’s clear why whey protein is such a good choice.
Although it doesn’t necessarily cause weight gain, this can be used as a means of adding weight the healthy way. With whey protein plus a healthy diet and a great exercise regimen, it’s easy to gain clean mass at the rate you want.
Once you’ve met your weight goals, whey protein can still help you maintain and build muscle without putting on more weight. It’s all about how you adjust your diet.
Step away from the unhealthy, unnatural “weight gainer” products and give your body whey protein, a substance that’s been tested and proven to work time and again.
Have you tried whey protein as a weight gainer or are you considering trying it? Leave a comment below!
Alex Rogers is a supplement manufacturing expert. He has been formulating, consulting, & manufacturing dietary supplements since 1998. Alex invented protein customization in 1998 & was the first company to allow consumers to create their own protein blends. He helped create the first supplement to contain natural follistatin, invented whey protein with egg lecithin, & recently imported the world’s first 100% hydrolyzed whey.