Whey protein, a protein food supplement obtained from milk, is constantly associated with bodybuilding and high physical performance. But is muscle mass gain conditioned on its consumption?
According to nutritionist and specialist in Sports Nutrition Juliana Pegorer, whey protein should be done strategically and can be an excellent ally to achieve results. And she explains in detail in her conversation with the Nutrition and Health Blog, which also had the participation of nutritionist Tahuany Caetano, from the Prodiet team.
“To maximize its benefits, the type and time of consumption of whey must be defined individually because they make all the difference,” Juliana says. She remembers the need to assess each patient’s demand for protein intake, taking into account body weight, workout routine, and goals.
Check out the full interview below
- Could you introduce yourself, telling us a little about your education and professional experience?
Juliana Pegorer: I have a degree in Nutrition from the Federal University of Paraná and I am a specialist in Sports and Functional Nutrition. I’ve been working at a gym for 19 years, which is why I also have a lot of experience assisting physical activity practitioners and athletes.
- How does whey protein interact with the body? Does your consumption make a difference in mass muscle gain? What about physical performance?
Juliana Pegorer: Whey protein is a protein source of high biological value. So it works as a facilitator of the intake of a high grammage of protein with a low concentration of carbohydrates and fat, that is, with a more controlled caloric density.
The value of whey is very much linked to making life easier for those with an increased need, such as athletes or bodybuilders who have a relatively high weight. Our protein requirement is calculated based on body weight, so heavier people have a greater demand for protein.
To define the need to use the supplement, we first calculate the energy requirement, planning the grammage of carbohydrates, protein, and fat needed to reach a goal. Then we fit that with the feed.
What often happens is that we cannot reach a goal with food alone. That’s when the supplement becomes an option as a facilitator.
- Are there differences between different brands and flavors? What to consider when choosing the best option?
Juliana Pegorer: As for the types of whey protein, we have the concentrate, the isolated, and then hydrolyzed. And it is essential to define what they are and who they are for.
Simply put, the raw material of whey is powdered milk. This milk goes through a filtering process to remove the protein part and, in this first filtering, gives rise to concentrated whey protein, which also contains lactose – the carbohydrate in milk. The taste is one of the main characteristics of this first type of whey, which is indicated for those who do not have problems with lactose or digestion.
On the other hand, Isolated whey undergoes yet another filtering process, in which the carbohydrate fraction from the milk is completely removed, leaving only the isolated protein. This type is recommended for anyone who is lactose intolerant.
Finally, the hydrolyzed whey goes through a third stage of filtration in which, in addition to removing all the carbohydrates from the milk, the protein is broken down, called hydrolysis. This process makes this type of whey easier to digest and is suitable for those who have digestion problems in general. On the other hand, it has a less pleasant taste and is also usually more expensive.
- Are there any risks associated with its consumption?
Juliana Pegorer: There are no risks associated with using whey protein.
Finally, Tahuany Caetano Leite, nutritionist, and marketing analyst at Prodiet Medical Nutrition, adds that the use of whey protein can be beneficial for those looking to maintain and gain muscle mass. Whether by practitioners of physical activity, even the elderly. Remembering that monitoring with a nutritionist is essential for adequately assessing the amount and times of use of the supplement with the daily meal.