Whey has been around since the beginning of cheese cultivation, but it has only been in the last several decades that whey has been used as a sports supplement. A byproduct of cheese production, whey was often discarded, or used in animal feed. The main issue with whey was that it was loaded with lactose, which limits its athletic benefit. However during the early 1990s, methods were found that extracted the pure protein components of whey. Once whey was available with higher protein content and the research showed its ability to be quickly digested and absorbed by the body, whey protein became very popular among bodybuilders and athletes.
Upon consuming whey, the proteins can be in the blood stream in as little as 15 to 30 minutes. This makes it an ideal supplement to take before a workout. The infusion of proteins can significantly offset the catabolic effect working out has on muscles. If you did a really intense workout, such as weightlifting, immediately consuming whey after the workout will send a massive infusion of proteins directly to your muscles, helping both recovery and growth. You can take whey would be first thing in the morning, if time does not allow you to eat breakfast, however it is better you find a way to eat a healthy breakfast. Whey can be taken as a midmorning or mid afternoon snack provide protein so that your body does not borrow them from your muscles.
Currently, whey is prepared by three different methods, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Whey protein isolates is currently the most popular method, but the process does strip the more beneficial components. Whey protein concentrates has all the beneficial components, but also has a significant portion of lactose and fats. Some manufacturers produce whey products using a combination of methods. Unlike most supplements, whey protein has a significant amount of calories. A typical scoop weighs about 30 grams and has between 120 to 130 calories, depending on flavor (plain vanilla or unflavored has the fewest). Consuming extra whey protein will add calories, and though protein, they can be converted and stored as fat.
Your activity level should determine if you would benefit from whey protein. If your weight loss plan includes exercise, whey protein preserves muscles, supports their growth, and aids in their recovery. In return, that will allow you to sustain an increasing level of intensity that translates to increased fat loss. If you are not active, whey protein will provide no benefit that solid food provides. Speaking of which, whey protein should never substitute for real food. As stated previously, whey is most effective as either a pre workout or post workout drink or if the workout is intense - particularly weightlifting - taking it both times. Optimum Nutrition in my experience makes the best whey product on the market. They use three different methods to ensure the broadest availability of amino acids.