We all know that whey is a great source of protein, and a staple part of many an athlete’s diet. But do you know what whey is made of, or where it comes from?
What is Whey?
Whey is a protein source derived from milk. It is the liquid, leftover after milk has been manufactured into cheese.
You may remember Little Miss Muffet’s ‘curds and whey’? Well, the curds are the solid part of coagulated milk, removed for cheesemaking, and the whey is the translucent liquid.
Whey is commonly used as a source of protein, particularly for athletes.
How Is Whey Made?
As mentioned, whey is derived from milk.
When milk is manufactured into cheese, it goes through a process of coagulation - essentially heating it up until it curdles. The solid curdled parts (the curds) are taken away to form into cheese, and the whey is the liquid left behind.
That liquid is then usually dried and milled into the fine powder you normally see when you buy a package of whey.
How Should I Use Whey?
Whey is usually sold as a fine powder, with a naturally neutral flavor.
By far the most common way to use whey protein is to zap it into a protein shake in the blender, by adding milk, juice water. Protein-shake fans usually add something to give a little flavor and make their shake more interesting, like fresh fruit, coffee, chocolate or peanut butter. You can even get pre-flavoured whey protein powders.
Whey protein can also be added to recipes like pancakes, oatmeal or homemade bars, to get your daily fix.
Whey protein is most effective for muscle gain and recovery when taken immediately before or after a workout.
Why use Whey as a Protein Source?
Whey is a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids. It has been shown to offer better results in muscle-growth than other protein sources, as well as having positive effect on digestion, immunity and cardiovascular health.
Whey is also an easy and convenient source of protein. Its naturally palatable flavor and versatility make it easy to add whey protein to meals and shakes, and products like OnWhyWhey mean that you can always have a portion of whey handy when you need a kick of protein.
By Zoe Pickburn
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