Is anabolic whey a steroid?

Bodybuilders use anabolic whey protein to make their muscles bigger. So many people take it that it may help them build muscle, lose weight or recover from weightlifting workouts more quickly. But does anabolic whey protein work?

While consuming more protein is necessary when one starts lifting weights, taking more than one’s body’s daily requirements for protein is not likely to translate into bigger muscles. Arguably, if one is in a caloric deficit to lose weight, he might experience additional muscle loss during his workouts. Evidence suggests that anabolic whey will not make up for this lost muscle unless one eats enough calories to stretch beyond the amount necessary to lose fat.

This product contains a combination of whey proteins and branched-chain amino acids, which boost lean muscle mass when supplemented with weightlifting workouts. Though these supplements can be found in various forms, from shakes to capsules, most users add them to water or milk for a drinkable supplement. In general, effective use of anabolic whey protein requires a caloric surplus.

Though research on the efficacy of using anabolic whey as a bodybuilding supplement is primarily limited to animal studies and those involving men who regularly weightlift, it appears that the amino acids in this product may benefit those regularly engaged in workouts. In one study from 2005, those who supplemented with branched-chain amino acids during a cycle of “intense training” experienced less muscle loss than those who did not take these supplements. This suggests that perhaps taking anabolic whey and other proteins might help prevent muscle loss due to intense workouts. It should also be noted that no long-term or placebo-controlled studies exist at this time to confirm this.

In terms of anabolic whey versus other brands, the amino acids might provide a slight performance boost when combined with a workout program focused on building muscle and losing fat. Still, it will likely work no better than similar products. If one is interested in gaining strength by supplementing with proteins, many options are available that may be effective without being expensive or containing unnecessary ingredients.

It should also be noted that consuming appropriate amounts of protein from various sources throughout the day has been shown to help build lean muscle without supplementation.