Whey is the way
A recent study from the Whey Protein Research Consortium (WPRC) shows that whey protein may be more beneficial to our diet and body composition than previously thought. Whey is a simple protein found in most dairy products, but containers of the protein in powder form can be found in almost any major food store, making it highly accessible to anyone.
According to the study, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, participants in the trial lost, on average, about nine pounds when whey was used to replace certain calories in their everyday diet. On the other hand, when whey was used as a supplement along with a resistance training plan and a normal diet, participants in the trial gained on average around five pounds of lean body mass, or muscle.
This research really interested me. Personally, I grew up a very skinny kid. I was always tall but never really seemed to gain any weight, whether it was muscle or fat. When I went to school last fall, I made it a priority of mine to work out more frequently and gain more muscle. When trying to gain muscle, you might hear a lot about steroids or creatine, which are supposed to help you gain muscle but have damaging long-term effects.
According to Michelle Remkus, a registered dietitian at the Advocate Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center in Downers Grove, Ill., “Whey protein is the best protein supplement because it is fast-acting, quickly digested and has beneficial branch chain amino acids of BCAA. BCAA are important specifically in an athlete’s diet because they fuel your muscles during exercise and improve your muscle recovery after exercise.”
A nutritionist at school also steered me towards whey protein. So I followed their instructions and it helped me gain very necessary pounds of muscle.
If you want to use it to gain muscle, experts say it’s important to take protein very shortly after working out, say no more than 15 minutes. This will give you the best results and help you get in a good habit.
If you buy one of the tubs mentioned previously, certain brands come with a shaker bottle that will help break the powder down and mix it with the liquid of your choice, normally water or milk. Try bringing the bottle with you to the gym to avoid a long wait between working out and getting protein.
You can also buy protein shake drinks at a lot of gyms to help cut down on that time. Experts says to always ensure you are consuming the recommended amount of protein, as too much can be unnecessary, as your body will not be able to digest it and use all of it to repair muscle.
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health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care sites, also including freelance or intern writers.