If you are just starting to workout and start using supplements, it can be incredibly confusing to find a whey protein for beginners. At the gym you can see others with all different shaker bottles. Online there is an overwhelming choice of which supplements to use.
For beginners at the gym, Whether looking to build muscle or lose weight, whey protein is a great initial supplement to get started with.
It’s important to understand that you don’t 100% have to use whey protein to build muscle or lose fat as a beginner. However, lots of people choose to, as its a convenient way to achieve your calorie and macro targets. You should also take a look at your diet to ensure you are getting protein from a wide range of other sources such as meats and fish.
Some like to use whey everyday, where as others will just it after a workout. Theres a lot of flexibility around when to use whey protein, but you can maximise the results by using at certain times.
What is whey protein?
Protein comes in a variety of different forms and from multiple different sources. Each type of protein has its own benefits and use cases.
It starts its life as milk, which has 2 types of protein, whey and casein. Casein protein is also very popular with gym goers. This is due to being ideal to use at night.
Whey protein is often made as a by-product of cheese production. During cheese production, the fatty parts stick together and turn partly solid. Whey is what is left over in the watery part of the milk.
Upon separation from the cheese, whey protein goes through various processes to become the supplement that we see when we open a tub.
Whey protein usually comes in a variety of flavours. This is due to not tasting very nice on its own.
Theres different types of whey protein?
Yes, whey protein comes in two varieties: Whey Concentrate & Whey Isolate.
Whey Concentrate typically contains around 80% protein per serving, the rest is generally carbs and fat. Whey concentrate is usually the most popular due to being lowest cost. This is fine for most people, unless you are really counting the macros.
whey Isolate on the other hand contains roughly 90% protein per serving. This leads to a reduction in carbs and fat. This is great if you are on calorie controlled diets or just looking to get the best protein available. Whey isolate is more expensive though and the cost can add up if you are using it daily.
Other forms – Protein also comes in a range of other powdered forms. These are popular for specific use cases but we would stick with whey protein as a beginner, unless you have a reason not to. For example there are vegan protein blends available which are formed from plant-based proteins. They can often cost more and offer less protein in each serving.
What are the benefits of whey protein?
High source of protein – Getting enough protein from your meals to put on muscle can sometimes be challenging. You often have to eat a huge mass of food to get the required protein. Due to whey protein being 80% or more of protein is very easy to consume the a decent amount of protein
Fast release – Unlike casein, which releases slowly, whey protein is absorbed quickly by the body. This makes it ideal for use after a workout. During a workout your muscles are worn out and in need of repair, which requires protein. Consuming a shake right after a workout ensures your muscles get the fuel they need at the optimum time to repair.
Low cost – Compared to trying to bulk with loads of food, whey protein is a low cost option. You can easy pick up a 1kg bag for roughly £25 or less, making it great value for money.
Further benefits – There are a full range of further scientific benefits. These include helping helping to reduce blood pressure and reduce inflammation 
How much protein should I consume?
As a general rule, 0.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight is a good guide. When focusing on building muscle a higher protein intake is often consumed. Somewhere in the region of 1.5g per kg of bodyweight is common.
You get protein from a wide range of foods in your diet. When calculating how much whey protein to use, it’s important to correctly look at how much is being consumed in the rest of your diet.
Should I choose a diet whey?
If you are considering using whey protein with a goal of losing weight, it can be tempting to use one of the diet whey blends on the market. Many of the largest supplement brands offer a diet whey.
A diet whey is usually just a standard whey protein with additional ingredients added. These ingredients are often claimed to improve weight loss but you don’t really need them in a whey protein. You could even supplement with them separately.
Shockingly, some ingredients actually make the macros of the diet versions worse. They can end up containing more carbohydrates or have a higher fat content.
If you really want to stick to weight loss a standard whey is fine or a whey isolate if you are super determined to reduce carbs and fat.
How should I take whey protein?
Whey protein is usually consumed in a shaker bottle and can be mixed with a variety of different foods and drinks.
I often like to just use water as it saves adding additional calories. This also means you get just the taste from the protein powder. However, milk is also a popular option.
Depending on when you are consuming a whey protein shake, there are plenty of options to mix with. If you are consuming whey protein for breakfast, you could choose to add in oats or fruit for example.
Best for beginners: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard whey
Out of the huge range of whey proteins on the market, our choice for beginners is Gold Standard Whey from Optimum Nutrition.
Optimum Nutrition is based out of a state of the art production facility in the UK and produces a wide range of supplements. Gold Standard is the number one best-selling whey protein and with good reason.
Per serving there is 24g of whey protein. The protein is made up of a combination of whey concentrate, whey isolate and whey peptides. This is ideal for building muscle. There is also 5.5g of BCAAs which are naturally occurring. There is also a low content of roughly 1g fat and 3g carbs per serving. This makes for a versatile whey for both building muscle and losing fat.
Gold standard is also one of the best tasting whey proteins on the market. There is a wide choice of flavours including Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla. A favourite of mine is the Mint chocolate flavour.
One of the key factors when finding the best whey for beginners is price. The price does vary from each retailer but averages around £25 for a 908g tub. This is good value for a high quality protein blend that also contains isolates. Due to being a blend, you can get some of the benefits of whey isolate, without the higher price point.
Furthermore, Gold Standard is stocked widely both online and in store. It’s easy to get hold of and you don’t need to worry about a retailer running out of stock. I have found the best place to purchase from is Discount Supplements. Their prices always come in the best and delivery is quick.
Runner Up: MyProtein Impact Whey
Choosing a running up was a difficult choice. Theres many great supplement brands on the market including Bulk Powders & The Protein Works.
Impact Whey is a whey protein supplement that I often use. As its on the MyProtein website, it’s easy to purchase at the same time as other supplements.
The price is one of the big selling points for Impact Whey. Currently the price for 1 kg is £21.99. furthermore there is regular offers on MyProtein and you can often purchase for even less. Take a look at the MyProtein homepage for their latest offers. Unlike Gold Standard, Impact Whey does not contain any Isolate and is not a blend. Impact Whey is concentrate only. This is fine for most of us and helps keep the price low.
The flavours are also great. There is a massive variety so you will be able to find a flavour you like. Some of the more unusual flavours include Sticky toffee pudding and Pineapple. I prefer to stick with the Chocolate flavours. Per serving there is 21g of whey protein and 4.5g BCAAs.
We hope you enjoyed our choice for best whey protein for beginners. Let us know which you are using as a beginner.