Whey protein is a popular sports supplement that is high in protein and amino acids. In our article, you will learn how to take it to gain muscle mass when playing sports.


The source of raw materials for whey protein is natural cow’s milk, purified from impurities, water and fat. A concentrated protein mixture is obtained from whey, which is a by-product of curdling milk in cheese making.

The percentage of protein in the composition depends on the price of the product. The lower the cost of protein, the more sugar, flavor enhancers and other artificial additives it contains.


There are 3 main forms of whey protein: concentrate, isolate, and hydrolyzate. The main difference between them is the method of receiving and processing.

  • The concentrate contains 70–80% protein. It includes a varied amino acid composition, fats and lactose (milk sugar). It is absorbed most quickly by the body. People with individual lactose intolerance should choose a different form of whey protein.
  • The isolate contains over 90% protein. It is lower in nutrients, fat and lactose than concentrate.
  • Hydrolyzed protein (hydrolyzate) is the most refined form of protein. It is absorbed by the body faster than others. Strongly raises insulin levels: 25-40% more than isolate.

Fast and Slow Protein

The forms of protein discussed above are quickly absorbed by the body. Casein is derived from the “waste” of whey isolate production. It is a complex protein found in cow’s milk. Its absorption rate is 15–20% slower.

There is an opinion that casein is recommended to be taken before bed for maximum effect. However, at the moment this is not supported by scientific research and is a publicity stunt for marketers.


Whey protein is a healthy and natural product that people around the world consume. It helps build muscle mass, energy, physical strength and endurance with regular exercise.

What is the mechanism of action of whey on muscle growth?

  • The composition contains a large percentage of proteins and amino acids, which are necessary for muscle growth.
  • The amino acid leucine is part of the protein. It regulates muscle protein synthesis at the genetic and molecular level.
  • The release of anabolic hormones (in particular, insulin) is enhanced, which stimulates muscle growth.
  • The cells of the body metabolize the isolate much faster than other types of protein.

Whey protein consumption also has beneficial effects on health. It lowers blood pressure and blood sugar levels and helps cope with stress and depression.

Whey protein contains the amino acid cysteine, which increases the level of the antioxidant glutathione in the body. Experiments by scientists have shown an increase in the lifespan of laboratory mice with regular use of whey protein. The isolate strengthens the immune system, reduces symptoms in patients with hepatitis, increases the mineral density of skeletal tissue.

Side effects

High dosage of whey protein can cause digestive upset, such as nausea, intestinal cramps, flatulence and diarrhea.

Whey Protein Slimming

Protein speeds up the body’s metabolism, which can help you lose weight. When whey protein is consumed, metabolism increases by 70-100 calories per day, and appetite decreases. Low calorie content and a feeling of fullness are associated with the fact that proteins in the body are broken down much longer than carbohydrates and fats.

Scientific studies have shown that protein consumption in combination with exercise can help you lose weight and build muscle. Eating protein at 25% of your total calories in a day reduces food cravings by 60%.

Contraindications for use

If you are diagnosed with diseases of the digestive system, you should consult your doctor before using.

Some people may develop a serum allergy. If you feel unwell after taking whey protein concentrate, you should reduce the dosage, try the isolate and hydrolyzate, or stop using it. Replace protein with foods with a high protein concentration.

You should completely stop taking whey protein:

  • With kidney failure or other kidney disease.
  • Individual intolerance to certain components of whey concentrate (for example, lactose).
  • Genetic predisposition to kidney disease.


For optimal muscle gain, whey protein must be taken in the correct dosage and according to the established rules. The average dose is 1–2 tablespoons (approximately 25–50 grams) per day. Whey protein intake may not work well if your diet is high in protein.

Whey protein is most effective when consumed during exercise. Fitness instructors advise taking it a few minutes before or immediately after your workout.


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