The majority of American consumers are aware of protein powder.
Whether they're using it to increase their protein intake, lose weight, support their recovery, or build muscle, a protein supplement can be found for everyone.
However, the best protein powders to build lean muscle mass include whey.
WHEY PROTEIN FOR MUSCLE GAIN
Here's why whey protein is superior for muscle gain:
- Contains essential amino acids
- Absorbs quicker than other protein powders
- Promotes fat loss and increases lean muscle mass
- Stimulate anabolic hormones
Keep reading to learn more...
CONTAINS ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS
Whey protein provides your body with a complete profile of essential amino acids for muscle synthesis.
The key ingredient to look for in muscle-building protein powders is leucine.
Whey protein has the highest concentration of leucine compared to other protein sources like rice, soy, and pea protein.
This table compares the leucine concentration in common protein sources:
|TYPE OF PROTEIN||LEUCINE CONCENTRATION|
Leucine is a type of branch chain amino acid (BCAAs) that helps your body build new muscle, as well as reduce muscle breakdown after exercise.
Whey is also loaded with other amino acids like cysteine, but according to a scientific study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, leucine outranks all the other amino acids when it comes to promoting muscle protein synthesis because:
- Leucine impacts your muscles’ ability to breakdown and use protein more than other amino acids
- It’s the most growth-promoting (anabolic) amino acid
- It enables your muscles to process higher amounts of protein
Supplementing with whey protein powder, along with resistance training, can help improve strength and body mass, decrease fat, and generally improve body composition.
Summary: Due to its high concentration of leucine, whey protein powders are the best for muscle gain.
Quick digestion of protein is best for building muscle.
Because the faster you recover from a workout, the more frequently you can train.
Whey is absorbed into the body quickly to help in muscle repair after exercise, providing you with the essential amino acids necessary to stimulate the production of new muscle.
Remember that recovery is just as important as exercise when you are trying to build muscle mass.
After working out, you need time to heal from fatigue and to prepare your body for the next session.
Consuming whey protein powder before exercise will also help you build strength and endurance so you can push yourself harder.
PROMOTES FAT LOSS AND INCREASES LEAN MUSCLE MASS
Yes, you can lose fat and gain muscle at the same time.
However, most people tend to lose muscle as they move towards their weight-loss goals.
There are three ways to build muscle as you lose weight with whey protein:
1. SUPPLEMENT A CALORIC DEFICIT WITH PROTEIN
First, to lose fat, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn.
However, a drastic drop in your caloric intake might also reduce your muscle mass. And, it could deprive your body of essential nutrients.
Replace some of your regular calorie sources with whey protein to retain muscle mass as you lose weight.
Because it satiates your hunger pangs, whey protein is useful for boosting metabolism and reducing appetite. One protein shake will keep you full and prevent you from eating unhealthy snacks.
2. EXERCISE REGULARLY
Resistance training helps to simultaneously build muscle and lose fat.
Kettlebell exercises are great to incorporate into your training as they are known to:
- Improve Strength, Power, and Explosiveness
- Build Muscle
- Lose Fat
You can use kettlebell exercises to build cardio and get your heart rate pumping, which will help with fat loss.
3. INCREASE PROTEIN INTAKE
Without enough protein to repair broken tissue after exercise, your body will struggle to build muscle.
Whey protein will supply your muscles with the essential building blocks they need, enabling you to build lean muscle as you lose fat.
Remember to distribute your protein intake evenly throughout the day.
STIMULATES THE PRODUCTION OF ANABOLIC HORMONES
Ingesting whey protein stimulates the production of growth-promoting hormones like insulin.
Insulin is an anabolic hormone that prevents cell breakdown and enhances nutrient storage.
People typically use insulin to regulate their blood sugar levels, but bodybuilders also use it to enhance muscle growth. By consuming whey protein, you can increase the natural production of this hormone within your body.
However, it’s common knowledge that insulin makes the body retain fat.
Yet a lot of bodybuilders go as far as injecting exogenous sources of insulin to help with muscle gain.
So who’s right?
If whey protein powder stimulates insulin secretion, can it really help you gain muscle?
Well, insulin promotes muscle protein synthesis in three ways:
- It increases the amount of blood flow to muscles. This means more nutrients reach your muscles, aiding in muscle growth
- It enhances the absorption of amino acids into your muscle cells
- It reduces muscle protein breakdown and helps you retain muscle
Whey protein powders are the best protein powder for muscle gain because:
- It improves performance and enhances recovery so you can train longer and more frequently to build muscle.
- Whey floods the bloodstream with essential amino acids which trigger muscle synthesis.
- Even on a weight loss diet, whey protein helps your body retain and even increase muscle mass.
- Being a high-quality protein source, whey protein powder pairs well with resistance training as they both promote muscle synthesis.