What is whey? When and how to take protein powder?

In recent years, all fitness fans have been doing it: protein powder , and more particularly whey (which is a protein made from milk). We can sometimes question the “healthy” aspect of this kind of supplement (also because some of the products sold in pharmacies are just scary), but we will immediately see what whey protein is, when is it? whether or not to take, and how much. Here we go!

Already, what is whey?

It’s one of the proteins in milk (there’s whey on one side and casein on the other). Whey is extracted from milk in cheese factories, generally. It is considered a complete protein, since it contains all 9 essential amino acids (if you’re not sure what amino acids are, that’s it) and it’s very low in lactose; (perfect for the intolerant.)

It doesn’t break down in heat – like all proteins – so it can be used in cool recipes like these pancakes or this brownie.

So add protein powder to your diet, yes, no, why?

When and why to take protein:

  • > After intense physical exercises, weight training sessions for example, because they allow better muscle recovery, and better muscle creation. (Basically, after exercise, the body will look for protein reserves to meet the needs that have just arisen, and that it can draw it directly from the first thing given to it after training makes it a lot easier. task.) For maximum efficiency, take your shake within an hour of physical effort because it turns out that during violent exertion, the body blocks its assimilation of proteins, and reduces it to a minimum. Suddenly, just after the session, he wakes up and tries to assimilate as much as possible: this is the “protein window” . Your body is scrambling for protein and assimilates it very quickly. So it needs fast release protein , and that is precisely what whey is.
    That said, if you can’t consume them right after, NO WORRIES. As long as you cover your protein needs for the day, you’ll be fine.
  • > As a complement to a healthy and balanced diet, in which protein is lacking. For the body to function optimally, you need AT LEAST 2 servings of protein per day. (animal or vegetable) If you do not reach them, adding protein in this form can be a solution to overcome the deficiencies.

Warning: taking protein after cardio is useless: cardio aiming at 99% to consume calories, and the muscular effort required being reduced, take back 100kcal just behind when your body is not in a situation muscle building can slow your efforts. To be reserved for muscle strengthening sessions and other sports of the same type, so

the advantages:

  • These are natural products (Whey is made from milk proteins.). So we’re a long way from the chemical we think of in the first place. They are extracted in particular during the creation of cheese. In short, it’s like eating A LOT of yogurt all at once, without the fat.
  • They are already part of our basic diet, It is therefore only a question of increasing your protein intake, without massively increasing calorie intake. (1 intake of whey isolate is around 90 calories.) It is perfect for those who exercise, but also for those who do not eat enough protein, animal or vegetable, on a daily basis (lack of means, time , matter of taste, etc
  • They often have very nice tastes, like Chocolate or Strawberry (the full review of the tastes that I tested here), and if you mix them with milk, you feel like you’re drinking a real milkshake . Except instead of being loaded with sugar, it’s good for the muscles.


  • In some cases, the beginnings are difficult, because the digestive system is not necessarily prepared to deal with so much protein and dairy products. (therefore stomach ache, slow digestion, etc.)
  • they are of no use if your diet contains enough protein for your needs. The body does not store proteins (while it stores fats and carbohydrates.) This means that if you provide it with enough protein over a day, it will directly eliminate excess intakes (by kidneys.) So taking several shakes is not much use.

A little reminder of protein requirements depending on the activity:

Sedentary: 0.8 g / kg

As part of a light sports activity: 1.2 to 1.7 g / kg

For endurance sports: 1.2 to 1.6 g / kg

For weight gain: 1.6 to 1.8 g / kg


  • Finally, a word of advice for those who would like to get started: absolutely avoid proteins from French supermarkets: very expensive, poor quality, often not easily digestible … If it is to be sick like a dog, it is not worth it. So prefer products from specialist dealers.On the taste side, I wrote a whole article (with discount codes!) on the different tastes of whey at different brands .. So shoo!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *