What is Whey Protein and Why We Need it?

what is whey protein

Content you'll find:

What is whey protein?

How is whey protein made?

What are the different types of whey protein?

Why should I take a whey protein shake?

Why choose Kinetica whey protein?


What is Whey Protein?

Whey Protein is a high-quality protein that has been shown to aid in the growth, repair, and maintenance of muscle. Protein is made up of building blocks called amino acids. There are 20 amino acids, 11 of which are essential, which means we need to get these from the diet.

A high-quality whey protein should contain approximately 3g of leucine. Leucine is viewed as a key essential amino acid for supporting muscle protein synthesis (MPS). Kinetica Whey Protein contains 2.47g of leucine per 30g serving and it also has 5.5g of naturally occurring Branched Chain Amino Acids.

The quality of whey protein is measured in various ways, one being the protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAA) and digestible indispensable amino acid scores (DIAAS).


How is Whey Protein made?

Whey is the liquid part of milk that remains following cheese manufacturing. Bacteria, or an acid is added to the milk which turns the sugars to lactic acid. Enzymes are then added which separates the casein (curds) from the whey, which is the liquid part. The casein sits at the bottom and the whey is left on top (Renan, 2006). Filtration then takes place to increase their purity. Believe it or not, whey was once discarded by farmers as casein was viewed as more important.

Kinetica Whey which is a protein blend is filtrated by cross-flow microfiltration and ultra-micro filtration. An advantage of this means that key proteins do not become denatured, and the protein remains high quality.

Whey protein supplements may benefit Whey protein has many benefits, such as aiding recovery following exercise. It is an important macronutrient for repair when the muscle has become damaged, and it is also essential for muscle growth.

Increasing protein intake when injured is important for preventing muscle loss as insufficient protein can lead to inflammation (Arnold 2006)

The RDA for protein is set at 0.8g/kg of bodyweight (Institute of Medicine, 2005). Athletes involved in heavy training should be consuming between 1.2-1.6g /kg of bodyweight (Phillips 2016). Individuals on a weight loss programme should increase their protein intake significantly above the RDA of 0.8g per kilogram of bodyweight. In a study by Mettler 2010, consuming protein up 2.3g/kg of bodyweight meant there was more lean muscle mass retained compared to individuals who consumed 1g of protein/kg per day.

Benefits of whey protein include:

1. Helps with Recovery

When we exercise, muscles become damaged. Consuming whey protein post exercise can help with recovery by promoting muscle repair and regeneration. Studies show that protein intake may offset muscle damage and promote recovery (Jager 2017).

2. Helps Increase Lean Muscle Mass.

Consuming protein at 2-3 times above the RDA alongside resistance training can help increase lean muscle mass. Pasiakos (2013)

3. Helps maintain Lean Muscle

Protein is a key macronutrient when it comes to injury. By increasing protein intake this will help maintain lean muscle and reduce the risk of significant muscle loss. Increasing protein intake to 2-2.5g per kg of bodyweight might be needed as this will help maintain lean muscle and reduce the risk of significant muscle loss. (Tipton 2015)


What are the different types of Whey Protein?

There are various types of protein and each one would vary in quality and quantity of protein.  

Dairy is composed of two types of protein, casein, and whey. Casein makes up 80% and has a slower digestion rate compared to whey, which makes up the remaining 20%.

There are various types of whey protein, these include Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate and Hydrolysed Whey Protein Concentrate. Below is a brief overview of each one:

  • Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) has between 70-80% protein and tends to be the least processed and has small amounts of lactose and fat.
  • Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) has lower levels of lactose and has ~90% protein.
  • Whey Protein Hydrolysate (WPH) is absorbed very quickly and comes from WPC or WPI.

Kinetica Whey is a protein blend, this means it is a combination of whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and hydrolysed whey protein concentrate. 97% of the Kinetica whey protein is made up these 3 types of whey. Whey has a high biological value of 104 which means it is high quality. Whey is also fast acting with an absorption rate of 10g per hour (Bilsborough 2006)

Plant proteins are becoming increasingly popular. However, in some cases they can have lower levels of the essential amino acid leucine which is viewed as a key driver for muscle protein synthesis. It is possible to increase the biological value of a plant protein like pea protein by mixing it with sources.


When to take a whey protein shake?

A protein shake can be consumed at any time of the day. Ideally protein intake should be spread evenly across each meal at an approx. target of between 0.4-0.5g/kg of bodyweight every 3-4 hours. This will help the body remain in a state of anabolism over the course of the day.

Having a protein shake post exercise can help with muscle recovery. This window of opportunity for optimising muscle protein synthesis has been shown to last for a least 24 hours (Burd, 2011) Consuming 40g protein prior to bedtime has been recommended (Van Loon 2012) for preventing muscle breakdown as we sleep and increased strength over time (Snijders 2015).

The type of protein and the total amount of protein is also important.


Why choose Kinetica Whey Protein?

Product quality and safety is very important to us at Kinetica. That is why we batch test our whey protein, and other products within our range independently via Informed Sport. This means that there are no banned substances contained in our products.

To add further peace of mind, we are also members of ESSNA (the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance) to ensure our products comply with best practice. In fact, Kinetica Whey Protein was shortlisted as one of the best post-workout products at the ESSNA 2020 Awards.

You can be guaranteed that all our products, every batch is tested to comply to WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) exacting standards, again, giving you the confidence to put your trust in Kinetica.


About the author.

The Kinetica Nutrition Council is made up of a panel of expert nutritionists who contributed to this blog by providing up to date information based on current research within the field of sports nutrition. This panel is supported by Kinetica’s Performance Nutritionist Seán Prunty.

Seán Prunty

Written by
Seán Prunty

Seán is the Partnership Manager with Kinetica Sports. He has been working with Kinetica Sports since 2011 and is a qualified Performance Nutritionist. Seán has a keen interest in helping individuals with their health and nutrition. He likes to participate in various sports such as adventure racing, mountain running and cycling. He graduated with a Distinction in Performance Nutrition from the IOPN.