Whey protein is the most commonly consumed protein supplement, yet a number of people seem to have apprehensions about it based on misconceptions swirling around the internet. Whether you’re a diehard protein lover or a sometimes-post-workout protein shake drinker, you’ve probably wondered if the whey protein myths you’ve heard are true. We're here to set the record straight and bust some of the most common myths surrounding whey protein supplements. Let’s get into it!
Myth #1: Whey protein is unnatural
One common claim is that whey protein supplements are unnatural and artificial. This is completely false! Whey protein is the natural protein derived from cow’s milk. Cow’s milk has two main protein components, casein and whey. Whey is the watery liquid that’s leftover after casein (cottage cheese) is separated from cow’s milk.
Whey protein contains all of the essential amino acids, which are required for the muscle-building process. Consisting of PDCAAs (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid), whey protein is the best and fastest absorbing protein source available.
Myth #2: Consuming whey protein can help you build muscle without working out
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could simply drink a whey protein shake and get fit without ever having to set foot inside a gym? While it doesn’t hurt to dream, that’s simply not the reality. Whey protein is packed with branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which your body needs to build muscle, but without working out, don’t expect to bulk up. Whey protein helps your body prepare for and recover from exercise, but it’s not magical. You have to, you know, actually move and put in the work to get the toned body you seek.
Myth #3: Consuming whey protein can make women bulky
Much like any form of weight training, there’s a real fear amongst some women that protein powder will make them bulk up. In reality, a daily whey protein shake will not miraculously give you huge shoulders and oversized arms. A specific kind of weight training is required to build muscles, along with substantial protein. Whey protein is simply a protein source just like any other protein-rich food, such as chicken or beans. Women don’t walk around worrying that chicken is going to bulk them up, right?
Plus, women have lower levels of testosterone and higher levels of estrogen, which prevents them from bulking up in the same way as men. It’s a lot harder than you may think for women to get bulky, so you definitely don’t have to worry about whey protein turning you into the Hulk.
Myth #4: Whey protein should only be consumed after a workout
Your body needs adequate protein whether you regularly work out or not. While whey protein is especially beneficial at preparing your body for exercise and helping it recover, a protein shake is merely a convenient way to get a substantial boost of protein. If you’re a casual exerciser, you probably don’t think about the creatine or BCAAs in whey protein that are useful for exercise recovery. However, protein is essential regardless of your activity level and whey protein supplements are an easy way to get it.
Myth #5: Runners don’t need whey protein powder
There’s a common misconception that whey protein powder is only useful to weight lifters. That can leave those who engage in cardio-based activities wondering if whey could benefit them or not. The truth is, protein is just as important for runners as it is for weightlifters. In both cases, whey protein supplements can aid in tissue repair, exercise recovery, injury prevention, and the production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells.
The bottom line
We hope that this article helped to clear your doubts about whey protein. Don’t let unsubstantiated claims on the internet prevent you from using this incredible supplement. When it comes to supporting muscle recovery, whey protein should be at the top of your list.
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