Protein can be sourced from both plants and animals. As such, it should be a cornerstone of every diet, especially for individuals interested in maintaining or increasing lean mass. Supplementing with protein also ensures that needed daily intake is met and positive net protein balance can be achieved.
Whey protein is one of the most tried and true ingredients for building and maintaining muscle mass. It is one of the few ingredients that helps promote muscle mass from all angles. First, whey has been shown to boost muscle-building pathways within resting muscle cells.1 Every time whey protein is ingested, it pushes the body back toward an anabolic state.
It has also been shown to enhance muscle-building pathways that are already activated by resistance training.2 Resistance training is a sure-fire way to increase muscle mass. Research suggests that drinking whey protein after a workout can further stimulate those processes and potentially lead to greater muscle mass than with resistance training alone.3
Finally, whey protein has been shown to protect muscle mass when added to hypo-caloric diets, a state in which lean mass is often lost.4 When dieting, the goal is often not to lose mass in general but fat mass. In turn, sparing as much lean mass ensures desired body composition. In many dieting schemes, calories count. Consuming protein from meats can come at the price of calories from fat. Whey protein supplementation allows for a large dose of protein, helping individuals achieve their protein requirements, without many of the unwanted calories.
This is an abridged version of an article found in INSIDER’s Sports nutrition: Muscle Building digital magazine. Download the digital magazine to read the full article.
Vince Kreipke received his doctorate in exercise physiology with a focus in sports nutrition in 2016. During this time, he worked to determine the efficacy of many ingredients with a potential to benefit exercise performance and subsequent outcomes. Since then, he has been able to expand his focus to enhancing other aspects of daily living, such as cognitive performance and general health. Currently, Kreipke holds the position of scientific advisor at Onnit Labs Inc., where he continues his research into optimal human health and performance.