Guest Post: The History of Whey Protein for Bodybuilding


If there is perhaps one supplement that is synonymous with bodybuilding, it’s whey protein.

Whey protein is an important element in any bodybuilder’s regimen. To achieve serious muscle gains, many bodybuilders turn to whey protein as a crucial post-workout supplement. Whey provides the necessary building blocks in the building and retention of muscle.

After all, the role of any bodybuilder is to generate more muscle mass.

This article looks at whey protein and its supplementary purpose for a bodybuilding program. It will examine the history of whey as well as beneficial ways of integrating whey into your workout program if you haven’t already done so.

A brief history on whey

Whey, like casein, is one of the two major sources of protein that can be derived from milk. Discovered accidentally in ancient times, whey has evolved through the years, going from strength to strength, until it has become what is traditionally known as whey protein powder. But even back then, whey was recognized for its immune and muscle-boosting value.

Hippocrates, the “Father of Modern Medicine,” was one of the first to start understanding the benefits of whey. In fact, Hippocrates would prescribe whey to his patients to serve as an immunity booster. From there, physicians and scientists alike began to explore the many medicinal benefits of whey.

It wouldn’t be until the mid-18th century that the manufacturing process of whey would evolve. And whey protein wouldn’t take hold and become popular until the first half of the 20th century. This was the period when athletes and bodybuilders began employing whey protein as an integral part of their training program. At this point, advanced techniques to processing whey didn’t exist, meaning most whey protein consumed had inconsistent quality and poor taste.

Modern whey, the type most of us are accustomed to, is subjected to sophisticated processing and manufacturing techniques. This enables the industry to develop desirable protein concentrations, creating a whey protein powder that’s optimally designed not only to be an excellent source of protein but also have a full profile of amino acids.

Whey protein and bodybuilding

When it comes to bodybuilding and protein supplements, whey protein contains up to 90 percent protein concentration. And as bodybuilders require a recommended 0.8-1.1 grams per pound of body weight, whey protein is the perfect dietary supplement to aid in the growth and sustenance of building muscle. Whey protein enables bodybuilders to derive the appropriate amount of protein consumption for optimum muscle gains.

But whey protein powders are not the only way to acquire the necessary protein to remain in an anabolic state. As whey is a byproduct of milk, many food sources can serve to be complete sources of protein. This includes cheeses, yogurts and, of course, milk.

So why would bodybuilders opt for whey powder over protein-rich food sources?

Well, the most significant benefit of consuming whey protein powder over whey protein-rich food lies in its convenience. It is considerably more efficient to drink a protein shake than to prepare, cook and consume a full meal. Whey powder is also the perfect supplement for bodybuilders on a low-calorie diet for fat loss.

A “whey” to start

Whey protein isn’t only beneficial for gaining muscle strength. Many other benefits of protein include fat loss, better weight control, stronger immunity, and stress relief. So how can you start integrating whey protein to enhance your diet and workouts?

First of all, it’s important to note that whey protein powder comes in four variations: whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, hydrolyzed whey protein, and undenatured whey concentrate.

Many bodybuilders opt for whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate due to their protein concentrations. Beginners looking to supplement their diet and workout with whey protein will definitely benefit from employing whey protein isolate due to its total protein content and low level of lactose.

There are also many great online tools to calculate recommended protein intake according to age, gender, height, weight, goal, and activity level. Calculating your recommended protein intake is crucial to ensuring your body remains in a constant anabolic state. A protein intake calculator also helps ensure you consume enough protein when your bodybuilding program goes through its cutting phase, the stage in which you limit calories to achieve your fat loss goals.

Protein timing is also essential but to a certain degree. It’s important to ingest protein as part of a pre- and post-workout regimen. This will ensure your body is primed to maximize performance during training. 


Every bodybuilder, from the less experienced to the more seasoned, have ambitious fitness goals. Whey protein is essential to supporting and, ultimately, achieving those fitness goals. Whey is an important building block for increasing muscle strength, size, and recovery, as well as for providing a performance edge, and for enhancing overall health.

It’s important to note, though, that whey alone isn’t enough. To achieve peak physical fitness, whey supplementation must be supported by a protein-rich diet. While whey protein may be a major part of any bodybuilding diet, it’s just one piece of the bigger muscle-building puzzle.


 Gehana Kennedy is the owner of, the go-to source for high-quality wellness products including a range of step-by-step formulated vitamins, fitness supplements and natural skin care products. With innovative ideas and implementation of new technologies, she was able to establish a platform that offers not only quality products but also valuable information for customers.

13 thoughts on “Guest Post: The History of Whey Protein for Bodybuilding

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  1. You’ve written some great stuff here on your blog. I have to disagree on this article however. You don’t need to take any protein supplementation at all unless you are not able to eat enough protein. 99% of people could eat their protein requirements with a little more effort and not resort to drinking it. My advice to all novice body builders is don’t waste your money.

    1. You know, I’m happy to see something like this posted. I’ll admit that I use protein shakes too much as a convenient food when a cooked meal would provide far more nutrients to me.

      I think novices should be weary of relying too much on supplementation – it’s not a panacea. Now for those in a rush its good but the basics, as you rightly point out, are far more important for overall requirements.

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