What Is Whey Protein and its Effects on Building Muscle

Whey protein has long been a staple for people looking to build muscle.  However, there was a study done and published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism that states otherwise.  This study found that why protein consumed before and after training did not help the participants build muscle. Deciding-Which-Whey-Protein-Is-BestThis has been met with a fair bit of scepticism because of the standing of the protein in muscle building.  The question that people ask is: what is the truth behind using protein to build muscle?  Should you be consuming protein in order to gain muscle or is this a futile exercise? The aforementioned study looked at muscle building in young adults who had no prior training.  The conclusion of the study was that protein did not help the participants gain muscle mass.  However, some flaws in the study have been identified including:
  • The total caloric intake of the participants.
  • The low number of participants.
  • The lack of additional studies to back up the findings.
  • The lack of peer review so far for the study.

Does Protein Help Build Muscle?

Whey protein has been used in muscle building with vary degrees of success.  This is due to the amount of protein people are ingesting and when they ingest it.  According to additional research eating too much protein can harm the body and limit the amount of muscle you are able to gain.  The adverse effects of excessive protein include:
  • Adding protein without any caloric value will put the body under stress.
  • Adding protein with high caloric value will increase the fat the body needs to burn.
According to dietician and athletic trainer Andrea Rudser-Ruskin protein can do more harm than good when not part of a balanced diet.  Ruskin states that a balanced diet will have 15 to 20 percent protein coming from a range of sources.

The Right Amount of Protein

whey_protein_price_chart_aTo build muscle using protein you need to know the correct amount you need to have.  There are many ways that you can determine the amount of protein you need including the use of online calculators. The calculators require two pieces of information including:
  • The type of training you will be doing.
  • Your current weight.
Once this information is received the calculator can determine the amount of protein you should ingest.

The Impact of the Media

Many studies have been done regarding the impact of media on nutrition information and research.  Media speculation on research often leads to snippets of the research being looked at.  By taking the whey protein study alone and not looking at the larger body of work leads to misinterpretation. After the publishing of the whey protein study the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reviewed 22 clinical trials that looked at muscle building and protein use.  The review find that prolonged use of protein and resistance exercise will lead to muscle mass.

The Conclusion

The conclusion that can be gathered from the study and the reviews is that you should not be ditching the protein shake just yet.  Instead you should be looking at how protein can help you and how much you need.