Whey Protein Explained

Things to know about whey protein

One thing you should all know, no matter the brand, it all comes from the same couple of dairies and all consists of the same ‘raw material’.

Don’t be caught up in the marketing hype

The usual marketing bollocks – image source

Marketing in general is all bollocks to fool you and/or make you feel insecure.  This is especially true when it comes to marketing in the fitness industry.

In fact, supplement companies could claim absolutely anything they wanted to in advertising and labels, as long as they didn’t suggest that the product could treat or diagnose a disease.


Kai Greene, doing some advertising, in between shagging melons (google it)

Whey is a byproduct of cheese production, and for UK brands, will normally come from a dairy in Ireland, or England, somewhere.

The raw material is the same, no matter the brand.

Branded products add flash packaging, and make up names like “peptide bonded” and “micellar” (all casein protein is micellar) and sell it for 3 times the price.

Don’t be fooled by the marketing and the steroid taking fitness models that share lion memes on Facebook.

Whey protein review

Beware of a bodybuilder’s shit tattoos and lion memes

Is Whey Protein Best?

Whey protein is the ‘best’, according to research.

Whey is the superior protein in terms of increasing protein synthesis.

This is thanks to its leucine content, which increases protein synthesis via the mTOR pathway.

Leucine is linked to increased protein synthesis, also prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer cells need leucine to grow, multiply and spread, determined a “Journal of the National Cancer Institute” study published in 2013.

I wouldn’t supplement with leucine for this reason, however, supplementing with whey protein doesn’t appear to carry any risks in terms of prostate cancer thanks to some of the other beneficial components of whey. In fact, thanks to its ability to increase glutathione levels, it reduces the risks.

Research for whey protein is very robust and extensive.  

Some people however criticise much of the research, as it is suggested by some that the American Dairy Association funded many of the studies.  

If you’re interested in the politics of research, there is a bit of information regarding on similar goings on here 

I WOULD recommend whey protein, post workout for bodybuilders and strength athletes.

Perhaps with creatine and alpha lipoic acid + a source of high glycemic carbs like maltodextrin if you’re a bodybuilder.

If you’re training for health / long term fitness, I would probably recommend consuming whole foods before, during and after training instead.

Diet health mma

Where should I buy Whey Protein in the UK?

I would recommend buying from:


What are the side effects of whey Protein?

Main thing – if you have whey protein concentrate, it will still contain some carbs, and you will probably fart a lot, thanks to the lactose.

Any dairy based food will increase mucous production, in theory. So avoid if you have asthma etc.

As stated above, whey protein contains high levels of leucine, which has been linked to prostate cancer.

How much Whey Protein do I need to Take?

Honestly – I don’t know.

The majority of evidence, seems to suggest that around 1.7g per KG of bodyweight are required.

However, there was a study in 2014 – Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation which concluded:

“…most but not all bodybuilders will respond best to consuming 2.3-3.1 g/kg of lean body mass per day of protein...”

So if you weight 100kg, you’ll need over 200g of protein per day, at least.

This may have been due to the fact that the subjects were all in calorie deficit, and cutting weight for a competition.

The majority of other studies suggest that a lot less protein is required.

For example –

Protein requirements and supplementation in strength sports

“Strength-trained athletes should consume protein consistent with general population guidelines, or 12% to 15% of energy from protein”

This would mean that the average male strength athlete requires under 100g a day in total.

I’ve no idea which is correct, and how much strength athletes and bodybuilders need exactly…

I would personally aim for somewhere in between.
I am just under 90kg, and aim for about 150kg

Examine.com have a very interesting, science-based article about protein intake.

They conclude that:

If you’re of healthy weight, active, and wish to build muscle, aim for 1.4–3.3 g/kg (0.64–1.50 g/lb). Eating more than 2.6 g/kg (1.18 g/lb) is probably not going to lead to greater muscle gains, but it can minimize fat gains when “bulking” — i.e., when eating above maintenance in order to gain (muscle) weight.”

They also conclude that high protein diets do not have a negative impact on healthy individuals:

Since higher protein intakes seem to have no negative effects in healthy people, one may want to err toward the higher amounts.

In fact, it may actually be unhealthy to eat a low protein diet.


What Whey Protein is Best?

Whey protein concentrate is the best value, but whey protein isolate is much ‘lighter’ and doesn’t make you do massive farts and mega-dumps.

I would use whey protein concentrate, as long as you’re not lactose intolerant.

I would recommend starting with something like Pure Whey Protein from BulkPowders.

Where can I get more information about Whey Protein?

Ask questions on forums like http://muscletalk.co.uk before investing in a protein powder or supplement.

Any other Tips about Protein?

Tip 1 – Look out for the offers on the homepage banners on MyProtein and BulkPowders

Tip 2 – Check out research for any supplement on http://examine.com

Tip 3 – Opt for whole foods whenever possible. For example hemp seeds for protein.

Too much animal protein however, has been linked to kidney stones.  Whey protein is fine in this regard.

Animal protein and kidney stones research/article by Harvard University:

“Limit animal protein: Eating too much animal protein, such as red meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood, boosts the level of uric acid and could lead to kidney stones. A high-protein diet also reduces levels of citrate, the chemical in urine that helps prevent stones from forming. If you’re prone to stones, limit your daily meat intake to a quantity that is no bigger than a pack of playing cards. This is also a heart-healthy portion.”

If you love eating animals too much…tart cherry juice is shown to reduce the amount of uric acid in the blood (or at least offset its ability to cause gout and kidney stones. It’s also great for inflammation and arthritis.