What is Whey Protein?
What is whey protein – whey protein is a liquid byproduct of cheese production that is sold as a dietary supplement in protein powders and shakes. Whey protein used to be discarded by cheese manufacturers as a waste product.
Whey protein is also a “complete protein” that is fast and easy to digest. Whenever we eat a protein source, our body uses the 20 amino acids (which are the individual components of “protein”) to repair our bones, muscles, organs and virtually every body part and tissue in the human body. When a source of protein has all 9 essential amino acids, which are amino acids your body needs to get from food, that food is said to be a complete protein. Foods like meats, dairy, eggs and rare vegetable proteins such as quinoa are complete proteins. On the other hand, most vegetables, rice and starches are not complete proteins because they are missing one or more of the essential amino acids.
Not only do foods have different amino acid profiles, but the rate at which the protein is absorbed by your body can vary. Of the different measures of protein absorption, one of the most popular is Biological Value (BV). Whey protein just so happens to have the highest score possible with a Biological Value of 100. This means that whey protein contains all the amino acids needed to make a complete protein and is very easily digested by your body.