Is Whey Protein Necessary?

By | June 16, 2015

Is Whey Protein Necessary?

A common topic that comes up quite frequently within the fitness industry and there are dozens of articles and videos all around internet speaking against whey protein or praising it. Is whey protein really as important as it is made to be for muscle growth and recovery?

I’m going to try and help you to understand is it as vital for building muscle as it is made to be within this article. So keep reading and find out the truth of the matter down below.

Let’s first look a bit of the basic stuff of how whey is made and what it really is.

What Is Whey Protein?

So Whey protein is a side product of cheese production. When the milk is curdled and turned into cheese the leftover yellowish liquid is manufactured into Whey.whey_protein_production

For quite some time it was just a yellow liquid that nobody was interested. But then some genius came along and said that I could make something out of that “waste” and so the Whey was born.

I’ve heard a story stating that originally Whey was manufactured for astronauts since it is very biologically available for human digestion, it’s compact sized and has a long shelf life. Although I’m not sure if this is really the case it is an interesting bit of information.

Here is a clip of Whey production:

Whey Protein Nutritional Profile

Like stated above Whey protein is very biologically available for our bodies to use. It has all the 9 essentialON_Gold amino acids and so it is categorized as a “complete protein” in a same way as meat, dairy or eggs.

Along with the Essential amino acids whey has a good amount of BCAA’s known as Branched Chain Amino Acids. These amino acids are important for muscle repair and preservation.

Whey Protein Positives

Studies have found many positive health benefits of consuming Whey protein. Here is a simple list for different health benefits associated with Whey protein:

There are even more possible health benefits of Whey protein but I listed the ones that seemed quite interesting to me and hopefully you.

Whey Protein Negatives

Although whey is a great source of protein some people may find negative reactions to it when consumed.

But usually the side-effects are result of poor quality product. Some folks might be allergic to certain components of the whey formula such as preservatives, artificial coloring, artifical sweeteners or just bad quality of whey.

Common side-effects can include:

  • Loose stool / diarrhea
  • “Protein farts”
  • Acne

There are reported a bit more severe side-effects although they are very very rare. In general if you’re taking whey as instructed from a quality brand you will not have to worry about any serious side-effects.

Different Types Of Whey Protein

There are three different Whey protein powders available which are:

  • Concentrate
  • Isolate
  • Hydrolysate
  • (different mixes between all three)

You can take a look a bit more in-depth them in my other article at HERE!

Is Whey Protein Necessary To Build Muscle?

So now that we got the basics “out of the whey” let me give you some insight.powder

Whey protein is the golden child for the whole supplement industry. And the supplement companies like to praise whey as a must have supplement for any serious athlete or bodybuilder who wants to enhance their recovery and muscle mass.

There is pile upon pile of research which most come to a conclusion that whey protein has dozens of different benefits that will contribute to your muscle growth.

But to be honest with you, although they are valid points they have been blown way out of propotion. Some of the studies even are funded by the companies that sell whey protein so there definately is some bias towards the conclusion they draw.

In the big picture these things really do not mean anything. As long as you’re diet is well thought you will not be missing anything by not taking whey protein.


If your diet is decent whey protein will not give you anything magical that will increase your recovery or build more muscle mass.

The only thing that Whey does is that it is a convenient way to top up your daily protein intake if you find it hard to eat enough protein on a daily basis. Nothing more nothing less!

Is Whey Protein Necessary After Workout?

This has been one of the biggest myths around the whole fitness industry. You have to be chugging down your whey mixed with water the second you finish your workout so you get off from the catabolic state where you end up after your workout.whey_post_Workout

Let me tell you something. Yes Whey gets absorbed really fast that is true. But did you know that 1-3 hours after you’re done with your workout the protein synthesis kicks in and it will stay elevated about 24-48 hours (in some studies up to 72 hours).

So if you’re taking your Whey immediately after your workout to just to get 20-50 grams more protein absorbed quickly, in the big picture it doesn’t mean ANYTHING. The whole “catabolic window” after training is nothing you have to worry about.

It makes absolutely NO difference if you will eat a real meal 2 hours after your workout compared to chugging one or two scoops of whey for post workout shake right after your last set.

Stop overcomplicating and worrying about these nitty-gritty details that will not make any real difference to your big picture.

Instead of worrying about your post-workout shakes worry about your training intensity & aim for progressive overload over time and eat enough and rest accordingly. These are the things you should be putting your attention!

I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions in mind, drop me a line down below and I’ll get back at you!

24 thoughts on “Is Whey Protein Necessary?

  1. Dan

    Do you agree with/recommend the 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight claims? It seems excessive to me. Is the science legit or is filled with possible self serving interest backed research such as you refer to here? I think improving absorption may be more important, no? Any recommendations there? Just a good probiotic or …?

    I understand that in part this a just a good content created affiliate blog, but I believe you are right about the information you have posted thus far (but are the exercise programs recommended since they carry high affiliate commissions, no?), so I would still like to hear your opinions and I will be following.

    1. Jesse Post author

      Thanks a lot for the comment Dan.

      In my opinion the 1 gram per pound of body weight is absolute maximum be it bulking or cutting. I personally advocate 1-1.5 grams per kilogram of bodyweight while bulking or 1.5-2 grams per kg of BW while cutting.

      There is some data suggesting that BCAA’s will improve the protein synthesis and making your body utilize the protein better but who knows.

      I’m personally a supplement minimalist and use whey protein sometimes out of convenience but that is about it.

      Thanks a lot for reading the blog 🙂

  2. cristo

    OMG fitness factory will kill you for break all the lies about whey protein, hahahahaha, 😀 Good one, but what about the real catabolic state? what is it? And maybe you can advice another good and cheap protein sources 😀 Greetings from mexico

    1. Jesse Post author

      You can get all the protein you need from the normal foods you eat on a daily basis. Good and cheap protein sources are chicken breast etc. Not sure what you mean by The real catabolic state. If you mean the catabolic state that people talk about regarding to muscle growth you’ll need to be in calorie deficit so that your body burns your stored fat and muscle and uses them as energy.

      Thanks a lot from the question and all the best to mexico 🙂

  3. Hamid

    U are a real man, tks 4 u article, i agree with you completely, i am working out for nearly 12 years with out consuming any suplement and i am fit and healthy , by the way i attend judo for 4 years and mixing it with working out, right now i am attending crossfit and working out, and again i dont use any supplement, no one need whey or anything else, just eat healthy and enough not too much and not less, sleep soon every night, and be hard working in gym and do not stop

    1. Jesse Post author

      Great words Hamid. 100% aggree with you. All the best and thanks for stopping by 🙂

  4. arkin

    Hey! Thanks for the information 😊. .. 1 thing though! Do i need BCAA prr work out to help me get more reps…

    1. Jesse Post author

      Nope. BCAA’s are basically over hyped in my opinion. You will get enough through your regular diet if you’re consuming adequate amounts of protein 1.2-1.6 grams per kg of body weight. All the best 🙂

  5. J

    What’s your thought on maximum protein absorbtion per meal? Is 30g of protein the most your body can absorb per meal a myth?

    1. Jesse Post author

      Thanks a lot for the question. This is an old myth that has been debunked by hard science. So rest assured, you don’t need to space your meals containing 30 grams of protein through out the day.

      All the best 🙂

  6. Abhishek Gupta

    My weight is 96kg. So i have to consume 1.6*96=150gm protein daily for body building. Can I consume this amount of protein from vegetarian sources as i am a vegetarian. I can’t over consume soya products as it will increase estrogen levels(as read from internet). I am experiencing quite difficulty regarding fulfilling my protein needs. That’s why i am thinking to moving to cheap Whey protein brands as I can’t afford good brands supplements. Kindly, help me out regarding vegetarian protein diet so that I can lose fat and develop muscle simultaneously so that I don’t have to move towards Whey protein. Please help.

    1. Jesse Post author

      Yes you can absolutely get all your protein from vegetarian or even vegan sources. There are a lot of natural vegan bodybuilders that have great physiques! Cheap Whey is ok if your stomach can handle it. There are so many options that contain nice amount of protein. Beans and lentils are great, using brown rice as your main carb choice adds up quite well. And actually the increase in estrogen levels from soy has strong research to show that while it does raise estrogen levels, it is such a minimal amount that it will not cause any adverse effects in your body. You could try soy products out and see how you respond to them.

      Thanks for the question and I hope you found this article helpful 🙂

    2. Hitesh

      Abhishek from india?m in same dilemma as you:(.
      Worried about my protein intake.btw i want to increase my body weight and planned soon to take whey proteins.
      But this guy confused me:)

      1. Jesse Post author

        Stay in calorie surplus of 10-20%. Use whey protein or any kind of supplemental protein if you cannot get 1.2-1.6 gram of protein per kg of your body weight 🙂

  7. Robin

    I have a normal body weight and size… I want increase my size.. can you suggest something…which will better for me

    1. Jesse Post author

      Eat more and lift weights. It is really that simple! Thank you for the comment 🙂

  8. Kuldeep Singh Kishnawat

    Thanks writer really helpful information you saved my money and worries 😉

  9. Hannah

    I’ve got a question
    I just want to make my butt bigger by doing workouts because genetically they are not big and round . recently i have a feeling that my workout does not make my butt better without using supplements. I think others that use that kinds of suplements improve better 🙁 should i using them in order to see result????

    1. Jesse Post author

      You do not need any supplements for your goals. Just use squat, deadlift and lunge variations and progressively overload and eat enough 🙂 Thanks for the comment and hope you got something out from this article.

  10. Debendra Manna

    Protien powder only works on a strict diet? Or it will be okay if my diet is not so strict?

    Thanks in advance.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.