Do You Really Need Whey Protein?

Do You Really Need Whey Protein?

Posted by Jake Babcock on Jun 28th 2018

The most popular nutritional supplement EVER is whey protein. You can even buy some of the worst, cheapest whey protein out there at literally any store.


Now that’s when you KNOW it’s popular.

But here’s the truth: Whey protein, even the “high quality” stuff that you’d pay an arm and a leg to buy from your local Vitamin Shop or could very likely be stalling your fat loss progress and, even WORSE, causing you to GAIN weight. Even more, here are the WORST times to consume whey protein:
1. During the day
2. In the evening.

Scratching your head? Don’t. You understood it perfectly. Whey protein simply isn’t a great protein to consume at any time of day, and for specific reasons.

Whey Protein Absorption

A review on the rate of protein absorption published in 2006 in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism reported that whey protein isolate absorbs at a rate of about 8g/hour. This is in large part due to the fact that whey is not broken down into small enough peptides by our body’s natural enzymes in time to be absorbed.Couple that with the fact that the window of opportunity for whey protein to be absorbed is 1.5 hours, your body at maximum will be able to absorb 12 grams of whey protein from a single serving.

Kind of makes those 40g whey protein shakes seem silly, right? Well, they are.

A 2012 study published in Nutrition & Metabolism identified that the specific amino acids in whey protein stimulate beta cells to secrete more insulin than a similar amount of carbohydrate from white bread.

It is all about Insulin

In the presence of insulin, fat burning essentially stops. So spiking insulin through the day by taking whey in theory is prematurely ageing yourself. Insulin is the hormone of ageing after all.

This makes a whey-protein-only supplement a big-time no-no for evening use, especially pre-bedtime when avoiding spikes in insulin are paramount as metabolism is already slowing down in preparation for its normal, much slower sleep rhythm.

Yes body builders do take lots of whey protein and they are huge and ripped, but many of these are also taking anabolics. In theory they could eat anything and still increase muscle mass.

The truth is, whey protein simply isn’t an ideal protein to use at any other time other than immediately following exercise, and even then the amount you’re able to absorb on a per serving basis is extremely limited.

What are the differences between traditional whey protein and plant-based protein?

Whey protein is a by-product of the cheese manufacturing process and is the liquid that is left behind after milk is curdled and strained. Since whey protein is derived from milk, lactose intolerance is one of the most common side effects from consuming whey protein. Whey protein is a common allergen and can affect the immune system of individuals who may be allergic to it. Whey proteins are also notorious for causing bloating which is a symptom of the body’s inability to digest it. Symptoms related to digestive issues include abdominal pain, gas, bloating and diarrhea.

Health Risks Associated

Whey protein is high in sulphur-based amino acids. This means that whey protein is acid forming which can cause significant calcium loss and weakening of the bones known as osteoporosis. Since over-consumption of whey protein leads to increased acidity and lowered pH of the blood, it is believed that this may give rise to various kidney disorders.

If you are experiencing discomfort or just all around weight gain, or worse NO GAINS. you should be rethinking your protein choices! Just because that big fancy tub sitting on the shelf at GNC promises HUGE MASS Gains with fancy graphs and charts, doesn't mean a thing if it is not metabolized correctly. Consider plant-based or meat-based protein sources.