The process of making whey protein creates three main products: concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate (or hydrolyzed whey). The main difference between the three is protein content, the protein's amino acid length, and cost. Does this added cost lead to additional benefits?
Whey protein is a byproduct of cheese production. Milk is made up of two proteins: whey and casein. To make cheese, the proteins are separated. The protein powder we take after a workout starts its journey as a thin, watery liquid. This liquid is processed, and eventually turns into the powder we all love. The amount of processing dictates its final form.
Over the years, whey has become the goto protein for athletes, dieters, and fitness enthusiasts. This series will focus on whey and its ability to deliver on a assortment of claims. We'll discuss whether whey helps with performance, weight loss, muscle building, recovery, and more!
We don't think of protein as a way to improve cardiovascular performance in the same light as we do with strength gains. If protein improves strength, does it also do the same with cardio? More specifically, does soy protein improve cardiovascular performance?
Creatine is a somewhat rare supplement in that there is plenty of evidence that backs its use. It improves strength, enhances recovery, and increases muscle mass. It does not however, work on every activity. The evidence on creatine use to improve aerobic activity, high intensity exercise, sprints, and decrease body fat is at best, mixed.
For a long time, animal sourced protein supplements have been seen as superior to plant based ones. With an increased focused on health, plant proteins are getting a second look. There is plenty of research showing the health benefits of replacing animal proteins with plant options. Even so, many are worried about the possibility plant proteins decrease performance.
Cycling creatine on and off is unnecessary. There is no good research indicating that long term creatine use has any negative effects. The ISSN’s stance states that use of up to 30 grams per day for periods as long as 5 years is safe. Most research indicates as little as 3-5 grams per day is enough to see benefits.
There is research demonstrating that consuming 20-30 grams of creatine per day for up to a week increases muscle creatine stores, enhances recovery, and improves performance. Research also shows that small doses of creatine, as low as 2-3 grams per day, can maintain or even increase levels of muscle creatine.
Soy protein is both praised and loathed for its supposed health benefits and risks. Some claim it protects against various cancers while others say it upends hormonal balance. Is soy a superfood or does it create more issues than it solves?
In the previous article, we learned the evidence paints a mixed, but positive picture on whether creatine decreases muscle damage. The next question is, if creatine has a moderate ability to decrease muscle damage, can it also speed up the post exercise recovery period?