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Weightlifting and Supplements (Part 3)

by Jacob P. | May 15th, 2013 | Teen Perspective, Teens

drink mixToday, we venture into the world of weightlifting supplements.  In essence, they are products that make your muscles grow faster (and ultimately bigger).  Now, that’s immediately associated with steroids, but there is much more out there.  In fact, there are multiple different categories of supplements.  Today, we ‘ll look at protein!

Protein ingested after a workout helps your muscles rebuild, by providing extra amino acids and protein to repair muscles.  The biggest difference between the types of protein is what they are made from and how they are intended to be used.

  • Whey Protein.  Isolated from whey (a byproduct of cheese production), this is the most commonly found form of protein supplements.  It’s a fast absorbing protein which will enhance the development of muscle.  It’s usually the cheapest form of protein, making it very popular and good for starters.  Whey protein is best used immediately after your workout, in order to start rebuilding muscle quickly.  It can also be consumed throughout the day, in order to maximize results.  Be careful not to consume too much, though.  It is not digested well by the large intestine, leading to constipation.  This is my protein of choice.  I use 100% whey protein (meaning it’s pure, so slightly better).  I drink it immediately after weightlifting and when I wake up the morning after.  There are also two variations on it.
    • Whey Protein Isolate.  This is simply whey protein which has been processed to remove most of the fat and lactose.  This makes it slightly quicker to absorb and better for gaining lean muscle.  Otherwise, it’s the same.  I’ve used it before, but thought it was nothing special.
    • Hydrolyzed Whey Protein.  This is whey protein that has been partially hydrolyzed (digested), making it quicker to absorb.  This is best used immediately after a workout.
  • Casein Protein.  Casein is a slow absorbing source of protein, made from milk.  It naturally gels (or clots) after entering your digestive system, slowing absorption.  This allows it to slowly feed your body with protein, enhancing recovery.  It’s best used before you go to bed, so that your body can repair its muscles with extra protein and amino acids while you sleep.
  • Soy Protein.  This is not nearly as popular, except with vegans, vegetarians, and the lactose intolerant.  The biggest upsides are that it is both low in cholesterol and calories.  This makes it a healthy option for building lean muscle.
  • Egg Protein.  Much like Soy Protein, Egg Protein is a popular option for building lean muscle.  It’s also lactose free, making it popular with the lactose intolerant.
  • Other proteins, such as plant and beef protein. These are relatively new to the market and not used by many, so I’m not going to discuss them.

For those with knowledge of weightlifting supplements, you may have noticed I didn’t mention Mass Gainers.  Due to their unique nature, I will discuss them later on.

(Remember, I’m not an expert.  If you or your child has some serious questions, talk to an athletic trainer, weightlifting coach, or doctor.   My advice should not be used in place of that of a trained professional.)

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