Lean muscle is somewhat a misnomer, commonly used to refer to muscles in the absence of body fat. All muscles do not have fat, hence the ‘lean’ bit. The muscle mass may have been derived from lean body mass, which refers to the total body weight minus the fat. Nevertheless, to avoid being a stick in the mud, we will confine ourselves to scrutinizing how whey protein grows LMS, leaving out the trivial discussion on misnomers. Whey, the watery portion of milk, is a by-product of the cheese-making process. Whey protein is, therefore, a protein isolated from whey.
Whey proteins promote lean muscle mass gain in four ways and they include the following:
Provision of proteins and amino acids which are building blocks for lean muscle growth
Protein and amino acids are essential for the growth and repair of muscles. Notably, strategized intake of whey proteins can promote LMS acceleration and prevent LMS loss over the long term. The whey protein dosage and timing of the intake are critical in moderating the anabolic sequels of amino acids on skeletal muscles, thus must be evaluated for efficacy. For instance, according to Wilson Supplements, a whey protein shake is a good option around your workout times, especially within 30 minutes of exercise, commonly referred to as the anabolic window. Within that short period, the muscles effectively utilize protein for growth.
Whey protein increases the release on anabolic hormones
Anabolic hormones accelerate the transportation of amino acids into muscles and the synthesis of proteins in muscles. Insulin is an example of an anabolic hormone, whose sensitivity is increased when engaging in short aerobic or resistance workouts. Testosterone is also a powerful anabolic hormone responsible for protein synthesis and muscle growth. When consumed, whey proteins boost the release of anabolic hormones, which in turn stimulate muscle growth and strength. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that insulin levels in the blood are slightly decreased during prolonged aerobic and resistance exercise.
Whey protein is high in leucine
Leucine is among the 3-branched chain amino acids, responsible for activating the mTOR protein that induces protein synthesis in muscles. According to various studies, leucine reliably boosts the breakdown and absorption of protein in muscles, which results in more LMS. Whey protein is high in leucine, making it one of the best dietary options for stimulating muscle protein synthesis.
Fast digestion, absorption, and utilization by the body
The digestion process of whey protein is relatively fast, taking close to 1.5 hours in the gastrointestinal tract. Nevertheless, the digestion can take longer when the protein is consumed with milk or casein. As the digestion process, whey protein absorption is much faster compared with other types of protein. Studies cite the absorption rate of whey at approximately 8 grams/hour to 10 grams/hour, a much higher rate than casein absorbed at approximately 5 grams/hour.
In summa, compared to other proteins, whey proteins perform much better in increasing the lean muscle mass. However, strategized intake of the protein is advisable to optimize results.