29 Sep

Understanding Protein-Based Bodybuilding Supplements

For bodybuilders, bulking up is a key goal that pushes many to look for products that could help them gain weight and boost muscle growth fast. Fortunately, protein-based supplements are quite effective and most produce notable results in less than two months.

An Overview

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), protein is a substance found in every cell and its functions include building and maintaining bones, muscles, cartilage, and the skin. Common protein sources include meat, pulses, dairy products, eggs. Take note proteins from animal products are complete (provide all the amino acids the body requires) while proteins from plant products are incomplete. As such, it is advisable to include both protein forms in your diet. Unlike carbohydrates or fats, the body does not store proteins meaning you must eat enough dietary protein regularly. In addition, bodybuilders require more dietary proteins due to their higher levels of physical activity.

Whey Protein

This is basically the powder form of proteins extracted from the residue leftover during the processing of cheese. Its ingredients include immunoglobins, beta-lactoglobulin, bovine serum albumin, and alph-lactalbumin. In the US, there are three main types of whey protein available to consumers: protein concentrate (WPC), protein hydrolysate (WPH), and protein isolate (WPI).

WPC Concentrate

WPC is the most common form of protein used by bodybuilders. It is produced by removing a substantial percentage of non-protein constituents from whey liquid. However, WPC must contain no less than 25% protein according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A scientific paper published in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine states that WPC contains more biologically active components making it ideal for boosting athletic performance.

Whey Protein Hydrolysate

WPH is extracted from purified protein sources via use of proteolytic enzymes and heating with acid among other processes. Although WPH is more expensive than WPC, it is popular with professional bodybuilders because it contains dipeptides and tripeptides that are absorbed faster by the body than “intact proteins,” according to a publication in the journal of Nutrition & Metabolism. The same publication recommends consuming WPH during exercise to keep muscles well fueled.

Whey Protein Isolate

WPI is the purest form of bodybuilding protein commercially available to bodybuilders. More specifically, WPI contains 90% or higher levels of protein content. It also has lower levels of lactose and fat making it safe for lactose intolerant bodybuilders to consume.

Whey Protein Safety

Whey protein is relatively safe to consume provided you stick to the recommended dosage. Luckily, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has not prohibited the use of amino acid rich supplements.


If you are looking for a bodybuilding supplement for bulking up, whey protein is a good choice. Common variants include WPH, WPC, and WPI. The amino acids in these supplements can improve athletic performance significantly according to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (JISSN).