Whey Protein: The Best Weight Gain Supplement?
The bodybuilding supplement wars have been raging on for years now. Any trip to a local nutrition store will leave you all but blinded with the multitude of choices. The facts are clear though and there are only a few weight gain supplements that are proven to work. Of those that have shown promise, whey protein is probably the supplement of choice for most folks who are looking to pack on pure muscle weight.
Supplementing with protein makes sense as, after all, your muscles need protein to build and repair themselves. If you are hitting the weights hard like you should be, your body will need a good supply of protein to make sure your efforts aren’t wasted.
You can get much of the protein you need through your regular diet, but in some cases, especially when trying to gain muscle weight, you’ll need to supplement your diet.
Most health and fitness experts agree that in order to produce significant gains in muscle mass, you should be taking in about 1-2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. An average man weighing 175 pounds would have to ingest more than 175 grams of protein per day… this can be a good amount of meat, eggs, and fish and may be hard for some to do with diet alone.
So, what’s so special about whey protein? Well, whey is one of the two proteins found in milk, the other being casein, simply provides a very digestible source of protein and is easily utilized by your muscles for growth and repair… it is that simple.
The more digestible the protein, the more efficient it will be utilized and through technological advancements, separating whey from milk and packaging it as a powder has been a veritable holy grail for bodybuilding and weight training enthusiasts.
To get an idea of how valuable whey is in terms of protein value, there is a scale known as biological value, or BV which measures how easily certain proteins can be utilized by the body. Everyone’s favorite protein for the grill, beef, comes in with a bv of 75. Eggs, which were the number one rating by which the scale was created, are at a solid 100.
Whey protein, however, now clearly leads the pack with a bv of 104 and with the advent of whey isolates (a more pure form of whey in packaged form) the bv can reach as high as 170. It is easy to see why whey is the king of supplements… your body needs protein, and whey is perhaps THE most efficient form.
A quick note about purchasing the protein powder whey as referenced above. While isolates represent a much more pure form and therefore much more easily digested and utilized form, the cost per gram is about twice as much as whey concentrates. Whey concentrates contain isolates as well as ion-exchanged hydrolyzed proteins which provide a very efficient form of protein. Many don’t believe the cost of isolates is justified and that the more common concentrate variety is more than sufficient for muscle and weight gaining needs.
There you have it… whey protein crowned king of all the supplements! Now the choices loom large in the marketplace. Make sure to do your research and choose one that contains a sufficient amount of protein, is fairly low in sugar, and is cost effective for the amount of protein it delivers per serving. Adding whey protein to your weight gain program is one of the best ways to help you pack on pounds. Good luck and happy lifting!