Whey protein: how to use it to build muscle

Advice Ben Ince
22 Oct 2013

Build muscle faster and more efficiently by taking whey protein

Taking whey protein will help you build muscle. Read on to find out how.

The problem

You’re recently started weight training, but you’re struggling to put on muscle.

The solution

Start taking whey protein. Consuming protein after exercise compensates for the increased breakdown of protein in the body that occurs during training, while also providing it with the stimulus for muscle growth. Whey protein is ideal for post-workout recovery because it’s easily digested and has a high concentration of essential amino acids.

Some people don’t see the effects of using whey protein. The main reason for this is simply that they’re not taking it properly. First, the protein will be most effective in the 15-20 minutes after working out because this is the time that muscles are craving protein to repair the tiny tissue tears that occur while exercising. It will still be effective if consumed later, but the longer after that initial window it’s taken, the more the protein's effect will be diminished.

Second, it is important that the right amount of whey protein is being used. Too much whey protein can result in weight gain and is therefore counter-intuitive, while not enough won't be effective enough to make a tangible difference. Aim to take 1.4-1.7g per kg of your body weight a day in no more than three servings. Using whey protein as a milk substitute with breakfast cereals is a good way to start your day, for example.

The science

A study published in the Journal Of The International Society Of Sports Nutrition found that subjects who consumed whey protein after training experienced improved blood flow to their forearm muscles, enhancing the delivery of muscle-building nutrients such as oxygen and hormones. It is also generally understood that the anabolic effects of weight training are increased through the consumption of whey protein because amino acids are rapidly driven to skeletal muscle tissue. This helps your muscles get larger and stronger in less time than if you weren’t taking whey protein.

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