Jun 1, 2011

Protein Powder: Whey Good Stuff For Muscles

BILL: I am totally bummin' about my muscles bro.
TED: What's the problem dude?
BILL: Well ya' know how I have like, been, at the gym, liftin' weights n' all?
TED: Ya' dude, you spend more time pumpin' iron than I do playin' air guitar.
BILL:I know right? But bro, you can't even tell. I still couldn't snag a bodacious babe with these biceps.
TED: Dude, I totally know what you need?
BILL: No way!
TED: Whey!
BILL: Okay, whatcha got bro? Lay it on me.
TED: Whey dude!
BILL: Well come on bro, spew some knowledge on me!
TED: I'm tryin' dude. It's Whey!

First of all, why is protein important in building muscle?
Protein is made up of the nutrients needed to support muscle growth and strength after the muscles have been overexerted beyond their common use. For a better description, there is a great summery at LiveStrong.com.

Why protein powder?
"The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day—that's about 64 grams for a 160 pound adult. In the U.S., adults get an average of 15 percent of their calories from protein; for a person who requires a 2,000-calorie-per-day-diet, that's about 75 grams of protein." - Harvard School of Public Health

The idea behind protein shakes is to pack all the protein you could get from normal foods like fish, eggs & other meats without the added calories and fat content that is common in protein rich foods. Basically, it helps you build muscle effectively without destroying your caloric intake goals.

What makes up a good protein powder?
There are innumerable supplement companies that are pushing their protein shakes. In the end, here are the 3 things I am looking for in my protein shakes.
  1. Proven (hype free and highly recommended)
  2. Minimal calories for protein benefit
  3. Taste
  4. Cost
I have become familiar with EAS's Myoplex but their prices are dumb. I just picked up some Optimum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard Hydro Whey. I suggest finding a reputable brand with a track record of quality products and a flavor you like. While there are many opinions, the overall consensus from everything I have read is that whey protein is the most effective and popular form of powder but egg or soy based powders are legitimate alternatives.

Bottom line
You will build muscle faster and repair muscles more effectively than you could with a regular diet I have been using protein shakes as part of a 1500-1600 calorie diet and I have been able to have steady gains weekly at the gym. Heal faster, gain muscle....pretty much, you get Hulk powers without the gama-rays n' such.I have not noticed any change in how I feel other than I am able to lift more weight without getting super sore or fatigued. It's a "whey" awesome part of my supplement routine going forward.

FYI - GNC had a special on Optimum Nutrition so I picked these up at the store for $22 each. It was as good of a deal as any I could find online but without the shipping costs.

More info on protein:
Harvard School of Public Health: How much protein do I need?
LiveStrong.com: Benefits of Drinking a Protein Drink
Protein Toxicity Info


  1. For a girl, I do a TON of lifting, but I do have to wait longer for my muscles to recover. I'm going to have to check into this. I mean, I've read about it---but you're right, I've read THE HYPE. Thanks for the info! Keep rockin'!

    Sarah @ Thinfluenced

  2. Your blog posts are like Protein Advertisements now. What happened?

  3. Anonymous, I replied here. Nothin but love.

  4. You need to add #4 to your concern: The QUALITY and lack of TOXICITY in the protein chosen.

    I like whey protein as an aide for days when I simply am too busy to eat sufficient protein (running around a lot, etc) or when I'm just not hungry and don't want food but want to get protein. I have used the Solgar (Consumer Reports summer 2010 report on heavy metals in whey proteins gave that one the thumbs up for being CLEAN. EAS scored badly as did Muscle Milk, the Jillian Michaels one, and some other popular ones).

    I recently ordered a very pricey Paleo Whey, and though I haven't tried it, I liked the quality of the ingredients. Hopefully, my body and taste buds agree.

    Please make sure you check on whatever brand you get. Ideally, get one that's been tested as clean for heavy metals, particularly as you will be drinking loads of this stuff. Toxicity you don't need.

    later, M!

  5. Great point Mir. I am updating the post to include an article I found on that exact subject under "More info on protein" at the end of the post.

    I would be interested to know what the toxicity rating on the protein I am using is. I used to use EAS stuff. I think the supplement line suffered when they sold to Abbot Nutrition.

    If you still have access to that Consumer Reports, could you do me a favor and look up "Optimum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard" and see how it ranks? I didn't realize this was a problem.

  6. I think I got my answer. I saw this review on Amazon. I think I am using good stuff. Thanks again though. I was using EAS stuff before.

    Go here to see the review.

  7. It aides in muscle building as long as you also pair it with intense workouts.

  8. Protein powder is sooooo important! You need to give your body what it needs to rebuild the muscles you just got done breaking down! Make sure your on a good multi vitamin and you will start getting results just make sure you stay consistent!

  9. I LOVE my protein power--more specifically, Optimum Nutrition's!! I saw this pic and I'm like, HEY that's my stuff! I talk about them so much they're sending me a free t-shirt, lol. But hey, when something works, you like it, the price it great--stick with it, right? It is WHEY cool!