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What is Whey Protein?


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If you're interested in fitness and protein-rich nutrition, you'll quickly come across the term Whey in fitness forums or on the fitness food product shelf. Whey is one of the most popular supplements among athletes and fitness fans. Even the term Whey itself comes from the English language, where the dairy product whey is called so. Whey protein is therefore whey protein. But why is Whey Protein so popular with fitness fans? Here you can learn more about the special features of whey protein Whey.

Where you can buy Whey Protein

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Whey Protein from the Food Index


Muscles are subjected to a great deal of stress during sports and especially during strength training. The body needs protein both for muscle recovery after training and for targeted muscle growth or for maintaining muscle mass. This is because muscles consist largely of protein. In order to be able to form protein, amino acids are necessary. However, our body cannot form indispensable amino acids itself, but must absorb them through protein-rich food. Here, the whey protein Whey convinces with a high biological value, because the dietary protein can be converted very efficiently into the body's own protein. Since Whey is very easily digestible, the amino acids are available to the body after a short absorption time for muscle building, muscle regeneration and muscle maintenance.


Whey protein contains all the indispensable amino acids that the body cannot produce itself. These essential amino acids must be ingested through food:

  • Isoleucin
  • Leucin
  • Lysin
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanin
  • Threonin
  • Tryptophan
  • Valin

Whey Protein contains not only all essential amino acids for humans, but also the semi-essential amino acid histidine, which is particularly important in growth phases or injuries. The amino acid profile of Whey Protein is considered particularly high quality, since all amino acids necessary for protein formation are present and can be quickly absorbed by the body.


The amino acid profile of Whey Protein also contains the so-called BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids), which are also offered as a supplement for athletes. BCAAs are the three essential amino acids valine, leucine and isoleucine, which are also called branched-chain amino acids. Unlike other amino acids, BCAAs are not metabolized by the liver, but are absorbed directly through the intestines. Fitness enthusiasts appreciate BCAAs mainly because of their importance for muscle protein synthesis. Here, the amino acid leucine plays an important role, as it promotes the biosynthesis of proteins.


The protein powder Whey is available as Whey concentrate and Whey isolate. Whey concentrate has an approximate protein purity level of 80%. Higher quality Whey Isolate has a protein purity grade of about 90%. Due to the higher degree of purity Whey Isolate contains only few carbohydrates and fats. Even the content of lactose is very low.


Whey protein is of course not only available in the concentrated powder form of Whey Concentrate and Whey Isolate. Since it is a natural protein, Whey is also found in food:

  • Whey: Since Whey Protein is derived from whey, Whey is naturally also found in the dairy product. But the protein content is low: in 100 grams of whey are only about 0.9 grams of protein.
  • Milk: Milk also contains protein, but about 80 percent of it is the milk protein casein. In contrast to Whey, which is easily digestible and quickly utilized, casein is a protein with a slow metabolism. Casein is therefore more suitable for a medium and long-lasting protein supply, while Whey provides a quick protein kick.
  • Quark: Of all dairy products, quark contains by far the highest protein content and is therefore extremely popular with athletes and anyone who wants to eat a healthy diet rich in protein. Low-fat quark contains a full 13.5 grams of protein per 100 grams, of which about 80 percent is casein protein and 20 percent is Whey.
  • Yogurt: Easier and faster digestible than milk is yogurt. By the way, the Whey concentration is particularly high in Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is filtered several times and contains less water than other types of yogurt. As a result, the proportion of whey protein Whey is also higher.
  • Cheese: The dairy product cheese naturally also contains a lot of protein. However, depending on the type of cheese and the production process, this is mainly the milk protein casein. Italian ricotta is a special case, because this fresh cheese is not made from milk but from whey. As a result, the concentration of whey protein in ricotta cream cheese is particularly high.
  • Conclusion: Dairy products such as quark, yogurt, milk and cheese also contain whey protein to a certain extent. However, the protein content of casein, which can be utilized much more slowly than Whey, predominates in most dairy products.

Therefore, if you want to supply your body with protein quickly and efficiently in the morning or after training, you are well advised to use a high-quality Whey Protein Shake. A tip: Whey protein powder is easily soluble and can be prepared in hot and cold liquids such as water, milk or vegan milk alternatives. Milk and soy protein are slower to digest and have a longer absorption time than Whey.

Finally, the question arises: How much protein does the body need? Excess protein that is not used for muscle regeneration or muscle building is converted by the body into energy. Therefore, it is important to know your personal protein requirements. The DGE (German Nutrition Society) recommends at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day for adults. However, your individual protein requirement depends not only on your body weight, but also on your personal fitness goals and training habits. Do you want to specifically build muscle and do you train daily? Or do you want to shapen a body and train about three times a week?

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