Your Definitive Guide to Use Whey Protein for Building Muscle Mass

Although there is no replacement for natural muscle building foods, whey protein powder/bars are an excellent way to add quality proteins to your diet. Use these whey protein recipes, shakes and smoothie ideas for optimal lean muscle gains.

Bodybuilders of the yesteryears sure had a tough time. They drank gallons of milk, drank whole eggs and basically made bodybuilding a tough chore. Average people had an uphill task. Not any more.

Although there is no exception for hard work, you can certainly make things easier.

Effective muscle building supplements are one way to do it and whey protein is the king of all muscle building supplements.

I can confidently say that the biggest reason {after steroids} that todays bodybuilders look monstrous is high quality supplements like whey, creatine and BCAAs.

Training and nutrition apart, proper supplementation can make a real difference, both in the gym and on the stage.

Its time you realise the try potential of whey protein for building muscle mass.

Inside This Article:

The Need for High Quality Muscle Building Proteins

Your search for Effective High Quality Muscle Building Proteins

Muscle building is a balance between protein synthesis {anabolism} and protein breakdown {catabolism}. More anabolism means more muscle growth and thats exactly what we are looking for.

Secondly, just like the quality of a building is determined by the quality of brick/mortar uses, the quality of muscles depend on the quality of the proteins used to build them.

Higher quality first class proteins are very different from low quality, denatured proteins. Even high quality proteins can be spoiled by over-processing like shown below.

Want Proteins? Always Think Quality !

What does it tell you?

To build hard, dense & thick muscles you need high quality proteins. You already knew that but did you know that Poor quality proteins means smaller and flabby muscles?

And just as it will take eternity to eat the overcooked chicken above, it will take a hard time for your body to digest, absorb and incorporate low quality proteins into muscle mass.

High quality, natural muscle building foods provide proteins and calories essential for building muscle mass. But what times when you cannot get real food?

You turn to high quality supplements like whey isolates. Why whey? Read more to find out...

Benefits of Whey: Why Whey Protein

Why is whey protein regarded so highly?

Simple: Whey proteins contains the highest bio-available proteins in the world. {1}

That means your body can use more protein from whey than any other source. Why provides proteins that can be easily incorporated into muscle fibers for muscle protein synthesis.

Gram to gram, whey protein provides maximum usable proteins. This means more value for every cent spent.

Secondly, the amino acid composition of whey is very similar to that of human skeletal muscle 

Thirdly, whey has high content of BCAAs. 

Fourthly, whey is high in glutathione, an anti-oxidant substance that improves immunity and prevents infections

Lastly, Whey is high in amino acid leucine, the key nutrient for protein synthesis the research world is raving about.

Leucine: The key to muscle growth?

Recent research {2} is increasingly supporting the role of amino acid leucine in protein synthesis. This branched chain amino acid stimulates the mTOR pathway which is one of the ky mechanism for muscle protein synthesis. 

And guess what? Whey is high in leucine. Consuming whey regularly is superior to other supplements in stimulating muscle growth. 

The 3 Major Types of Whey

Although we use whey as a catch-all supplement, it can be processed in different ways - this gives at least 3 types of whey

  1. Whey Concentrate
  2. Whey Isolate
  3. Whey hydrosylate

1. Whey Concentrate

Whey concentrate {Biological value 104}  is the simplest form of whey. It:

  • is the cheapest form
  • has little taste
  • mixes well with water BUT
  • contains lot of junk like lactose which we bodybuilders don't want

Want to avoid the useless lactose? Read on...

2. Whey Isolate

Whey isolate has biological value of 110 - 159.

When you take the whey concentrate, process little more to remove the lactose and you will greater concentration of actual proteins with less lactose.

Whey protein isolate is considered the best protein on earth. 

It is a moderate speed protein, meaning it release amino acids into the blood at a moderate rate, not too slow {like casein} and not too fast either.

3. Whey Hydrolysate

If you continue to process and breakdown whey, you get smaller fractions and smaller groups of amino acids that are even better for digestion and absorption. 

Also hydroxylates have even less lactose and therefore are great for people with lactose intolerance.

But whey hydrolysates have 2 drawbacks:

  1. Horrible taste: Hydrosylates case horrible, maybe due to small peptide size and
  2. It doesn't mix easily with water

I have found whey hydrosylates are bad proteins for meal replacements. But used as a protein drink its still very promising.

How to use Whey Protein for best Gains

The purpose of Whey protein is to fill the nutrition gaps created by a diet that lacks quality proteins either in quality or quantity {Supplements supplement your diet, not replace}.

There are 3 times when you whey protein supplements can help you:

  1. As a meal replacement
  2. Before/after Workout
  3. Breakfast add-on 

But before that lets identify the weak areas in your diet.

  • Are you eating 3 muscle meals a day? Yes? Great!
  • Can you add an extra meal or 2 muscle snacks? Yes? Great!

If not, then its time to add quality whey to your diet.

Whey Protein as a Meal Replacement Shake

The best meal replacement is the one you create that matches your caloric intake for the meal in question.

Do not blindly drink a pre-made MRP {meal replacement powder}.

Whey proteins combined with real fruits/oats/other carb sources is the perfect way to make a meal when in a hurry.

Add variety. Try the many flavours whey protein powders come in. Chocolate, vanilla, double choco, peppermint etc offer you many options for tasty meal replacement shakes.

Try any of the shakes here.

Recommended Type: Whey protein isolates

Pre and Post Workout Whey Protein Shake

The biggest advantage of whey proteins is fast digestibility and absorption. Whey isolates release proteins within 15 minutes of drinking the shake and keep your blood filled with anabolic muscle building proteins.

Pre-workout: Take whey shake 30 minutes before workout. If you feel full, drink the shake 45 - 60 mins before workout.

Within 30 mins of consumption, your blood amino acid pool is filled and ready for use. During workout, your muscle proteins break down and catabolism begins. Without pre workout drink, the breakdown starts and continues for longer period.

Whey prevents the protein breakdown and helps muscle protein synthesis too.

Post Workout: After workout your muscles are hungry for high quality proteins to kickstart the repair and growth process.

Whey protein isolates, with their fast digestibility releases amino acids faster and thus start muscle repair and growth in as little as 10 minutes.

Breakfast Whey Protein Shakes

8 hours of overnight fasting makes breakfast the most important meals of the day {after post workout shake}.

Add to this the hurried way we make/eat breakfasts, your protein intake takes a beating.

Although I prefer eggs as the breakfast food of choice, whey helps in 2 conditions:

1. Most people complain of less appetite during mornings. 

2. Lack of time in the mornings means your breakfasts suffer.

Add a whey shake to make a complete muscle building breakfast.

Lets make protein better

Proteins works very well with carbohydrates as combined from gives a more anabolic hormone kick.

Studies show that adding creatine post workout shows more strength gains that taking creatine alone. {3}

Qualities of The Best Whey Protein Powders

Avoid Bad Smelling Proteins - They are Garbage!

When buying whey, make sure you get the best quality. Here are few tips to select the best whey powder:

1. Don't up the gas: Lactose in cheap whey protein powders are difficult to digest and give you explosive intestines. Avoid them.

2. Use proteins processed by modern methods: Older methods that used acids and high heat denatured the proteins such that the integrity of the protein molecule is shot to hell {see the difference between well cooked and burnt chicek above}.

3. Avoid free form amino acid blends as most of them contains damaged bonds between pairs and trios of amino acids. 

4. Rotate your whey protein source to avoid protein allergies. Same goes for protein foods. Rotate them too. I have given 3 products at the end of this article.

5. Don't compromise on taste. The best brands ensure great taste too.

Whey Protein Limitations or Drawbacks

For building muscle mass, food should be your No.1 choice. Real, natural foods provide the most anabolic nutrients for fast muscle growth.

No supplement, not even whey, contains the thousands of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and phytonutrients present in food.

So make sure you don't miss on these vital nutrients and eat real food 3 - 4 times a day.

There is one more limitation to whey: Faster digestion and absorption

Since all types of whey are absorbed faster than foods, pay more attention to meal timing, especially proteins. Since whey is cleared faster from blood, for optimal blood protein profile, time your meal perfectly to avoid catabolism.

  • Whey Isolate: Consume a protein meal within 2 - 2.5 hours
  • Whey Concentrate: Consume a protein meal within 2 - 3 hours
  • Whey Hydroxylate: Consume a protein meal within 1 - 1.5 hours

What about Casein Protein Powders

Remember the muscle building toolbox? Best tool at the right times.

Casein is a low quality protein for immediate usability but come bed time meal, this slow release protein source becomes your no.1 choice.


Sleep is an 8 hour fast. Slow digesting protein source before bedtime ensures a slow and sustained release of amino acids into the blood stream.

Casein is a slow digestion/absorption protein source. It is released very slowly into the blood. A solid 60g of casein can release amino acids well into the night so that you build muscle while sleeping.

Casein is NOT a good source during other times. A whey/casein mix is also a good option for the rest of the day.

Where can you buy high quality whey proteins

The bigger the tub, the smaller the brain. 

Do not go for cheap whey proteins. Just check the brunt chicken above, thats what you get for low price.

A recent study by Canadian health protection branch revealed that many supplement companies exaggerate the protein quality in their products.  Many contained only cheap gelatine, few had only 30 - 82% of actual protein mentioned and other lacked essential amino acids.

You get what you pay for. The bigger the tub, the bigger the scam.

I recommend 3 brands that ensure highest quality whey protein supplement and are yet reasonable. 

  1. Biotrust Whey Protein
  2. Prograde Whey Protein
  3. Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein

Summary and Action Plan

You have the latest electronic gadget but your muscle building efforts are from the stone age.

Why not add the best of technology help you build muscle? Use high quality muscle building supplement like whey protein isolates and concentrates to build dense, thick and ripped muscles.


1.The effect of whey isolate and resistance training on strength, body composition, and plasma glutamine. Cribb PJ1, Williams AD, Carey MF, Hayes A.  Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006 Oct;16(5):494-509.

2. Rheb binding to mammalian target of rapamy- cin (mTOR) is regulated by amino acid sufficiency. Long, X., S. Ortiz-Vega, Y. Lin et al. 2005. J Biol Chem 280 (25) (June 24): 23433–6. 

 3. The effect of whey protein supplementation with and without creatine monohydrate combined with resistance training on lean tissue mass and muscle strength. Burke DG1, Chilibeck PD, Davidson KS, Candow DG, Farthing J, Smith-Palmer T, Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab.

› Whey Protein Muscle Building

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