Anything in excess can pack on extra unwanted pounds to that six-pack you are trying to carve out. Whether it is highly nutritious like an apple or a fast food hamburger, the body doesn’t discriminate if you do not eat in moderation. So does whey protein make you fat? In short, yes, but only if you are overeating and adding a bit too much to your post-workout shake. Whey protein used correctly while weight training won’t get you fat. In fact, it has many benefits that can help you reach your fitness goals.
Proteins – The Building Blocks for Muscles
Whey protein is a by-product of cheese – the watery portion of milk that separates from the curds during production. It is a very popular supplement among bodybuilders. Why is whey protein so popular? First, proteins are an essential part of anyone’s diet and one of the three nutrients that provide calories along with carbohydrates and fats, you can read more on my Whey Protein Expert Guide 2017. Proteins are the building blocks for our bones, muscles, tissues, skin and blood. For someone that is strength training and trying to gain or maintain lean muscle, proteins are vital. Some food sources packed with proteins include salmon, chicken, peas, nuts and eggs. So you may ask, why not just stick to eating those all the time instead of using whey protein supplementation? Those food sources take longer to break down and immediately following a workout, you probably do not have the appetite to down an 8 oz. chicken breast. Here is where whey protein comes in.
Whey Protein – Providing Essential Amino Acids
Whey protein has been shown in research to increase athletic performance, promote protein synthesis, support lean muscle mass and help with muscle recovery. Whey protein is already broken down into a very refined form which allows it hit your bloodstream very quickly. Many whey proteins contain many of the essential amino acids that our body needs. Amino acids are the foundation of proteins, providing the structure of them and there are nine essential ones that must be consumed in our diet. For example, MusclePharm’s Combat Powder packs 25 g of protein per serving and has all of the essential amino acids.
The Muscle-Building Process
So how does whey protein stimulate protein synthesis and increase muscle growth? Let’s start by talking about the muscle-building process. Resistance training causes microtears to your muscle fibers. To build muscle, you must break it down. These microtears in the muscle fibers cause satellite cells to be activated in order to repair and build up the muscle tissue. These satellite cells are activated by growth hormone which is released from the pituitary gland during resistance exercise. Growth hormone also stimulates the uptake of amino acids and increases protein synthesis. Protein synthesis – the process of building new proteins – begins about two hours following exercise and can last up to a whole 24 hours. With the satellite cells activated, they begin to migrate to the damaged muscle sites and multiply – repairing, replacing and building muscle. The harder you train, the more satellite cells will be activated. The muscle-building process is happening every second, but you may not see physical changes for a few weeks as the muscles reshape themselves depending on the stress you put on them.
MusclePharm’s Combat Powder enhances the protein synthesis process. Not only does it have all the essential amino acids, it is engineered to keep supplying your muscles with protein for up to eight hours later. It contains protein that hits your muscles almost instantly, but also has a slowly-released protein that lasts up to eight hours during digestion. This 8-hour window is extremely beneficial because protein synthesis can last up to 24 hours. By feeding your muscles during that window, you will see greater results.
Is Whey Protein Right for You? Does Whey Protein Make You Fat?
Does whey protein make you fat? Whey protein is an excellent supplement when used correctly. Be smart with your supplementation. If you overload on whey protein you will gain weight and may face more serious health problems. Too much protein increases the filtering of nitrogen through the kidneys, which may lead to kidney problems. A post-workout shake with whey protein is a great way to build lean muscle, enhance workout recovery and help you reach your bodybuilding goals.