Whey protein | Its Benefits You Might Not Know!

The food choices we have today are influenced by our different cravings and wrong eating habits which has been a very huge hindrance in building strong immunity.

The best way to increase immunity is protein intake along with exercise, staying hydrated, a good amount of sleep on time, and a balanced diet.

Protein has been found really helpful for the growth and maintenance of cells while making the building blocks of organs, hormones, skin, and muscles.

Just like we want our life to be balanced, our organs in our body also want the body to be balanced. Thus, the body requires protein to maintain and repair tissues for growth.

The best example of protein is milk.

Milk is made of two types of protein- casein and whey

The whey protein can be separated from the casein protein and it is considered to be the only protein that is completed and contains 9 amino acids in it as well as low in lactose content.

What is whey protein?

-Whey protein is a mixture of proteins isolated, when cheese is made, the water gets separated by it and that is what we call whey protein. Whey is present in the water portion of milk, during the process of cheese, the fatty portion of the milk coagulates and the whey is separated from it as a by-product. It is then processed into more concentrated forms.

Protein supplement powders are gaining huge popularity these days, by having several health benefits. Adding whey is a preferred way to boost protein intake on top of the regular diet.

Mostly taken by bodybuilders, people on a weight loss diet, and ones who are lacking protein in their diet.

So, the people who are lactose intolerant, prefer whey protein because it is beneficial for them.

The people who have a high cholesterol problem and weight management prefer whey protein in their balanced diet on a moderate basis. There was research done that whey protein is also helpful in cancer treatment because of its anti-cancer properties. Whey protein has numerous reasons to be considered as really beneficial for a lot of people. Those are: -

1. Hypertension is a problem for many people. Nowadays due to a lot of reasons people are suffering from hypertension which is one of the leading risk factors for heart disease. Whey protein has bioactive peptides called Lactokenin which can lower blood pressure in people who have elevated blood pressure.

2. Type 2 diabetes, a chronic illness/disease that involves impaired functions of insulin along with high blood pressure and protein may play a very crucial role in being effective at moderating blood sugar and increasing the level of insulin. It can be used as a supplementary treatment for type 2 diabetes.

3. When there is some internal damage, it is natural to have body responses in the form of inflammation, but sometimes these inflammations can be chronic followed by being harmful. C- reactive protein (CRP) is a key marker of inflammation in the body which can be reduced by taking a high dosage of protein supplements which indicates that it can help reduce inflammation.

4. Some people may have high cholesterol problems, which becomes a risk factor for heart disease as well. High cholesterol also may lead to being an overweight problem, but recently a study was done in overweight individuals which say that 54 grams of whey protein per day for 12 weeks led to a reduction in bad cholesterol of the body. This makes us believe that a high dose of protein supplements may lower cholesterol levels.

5. COVID 19 led us all to work from home and now work from home means more hunger, we are prone to eating anything at any point of time, there is no routine. Whey protein has been found to reduce hunger as well. It gives you a kind of fullness and suppresses the craving for desired food and hence this adds to a weight loss diet as well.

6. It may also help in malnutrition with weight gain in people who have trouble gaining for example- older adults or those with HIV/AIDS

7. People who are fitness-oriented and do exercise on a daily basis to maintain themselves can also opt for whey protein to help speed muscle recovery after an intense workout.

8. It can be helpful for infants as well in the form of hydrolyzed protein to reduce the risk of developing allergies like eczema.

9. It has shown improvement in decreasing the signs of aging as well.

10. Promotes healthy skin, hair, and nails as well. It has been indicated that collagen and amino acids found in whey protein help in maintaining firmness.

11. Increased consumption of whey protein is a well known weight loss solution, it has been found that the more protein you add to your daily diet, the more fat you will lose.

12. Researchers have also found that it also helps with wound healing (bruises and burns)

13. Reductions in liver fat have been noted with whey protein supplementation, which is thought to be more effective than other protein sources due to the high L-cysteine content.

14. For vegetarians, whey protein is a boon. There are very few vegetarian foods that offer lean protein (high protein, low carb, and low fat). For this reason, whey protein becomes highly important for them.

15. It has been proven that whey protein has been an excellent source of high-quality protein as it contains all the amino acids required by the body and in an addition, it is digestible and in- comparison to other proteins it is easily absorbed as well.

16. As we grow older our muscle mass declines with age and leads to fat gain and raises the risk for many chronic illnesses to happen to ourselves. But the consumption of whey protein, it has been proven that whey is an effective preventive strategy. And hence been really good for the prevention of age-related muscle loss and as well as adds value in the better-looking body.

17. It also enhances the body’s antioxidant defense system. Glutathione is considered to be the most important antioxidant in humans and it is produced by the body. However, its production depends on the supply of amino acids and for this reason, whey protein is meant to be the most effective because it boosts the body’s natural antioxidant defenses.

18. Some studies also have shown that whey protein is quite helpful in reducing symptoms of stress and depression.

19. Just because it is high in amino acid cysteine, it increases the bone mineral density and also reduces the symptom of hepatitis.

20. May also increase the lifespan of mice.

21. It is helpful in boosting energy by 80-100 calories per day.

How can we use whey protein in our diets?

As the whey protein is very accessible and easily available in markets, it can be added to yogurts, or simple with water or milk.

25-50 grams per day is enough, but it is important to follow the dosage instructions written on the packaging of the protein powder.

Delicious home-made protein shakes can be made for weight loss.

Supplement companies will always push you towards consuming protein powder with water because they know if you take it with milk which has its own protein and this may result in the long-lasting effect of protein in your body but they want you to buy another tub of it, ASAP! So, choose wisely! Milk or water.

A mixture of slow and fast-acting protein or blend has been proven to be more effective.

Most of us think this way that the more we take protein powder, the more early we see the results but the reality is that at a time our body can only take the required amount of protein at a given time. Excessive consumption may lead to many problems like pain, nausea, etc.

Whey protein has 3 primary classifications-

PROTEIN CONCENTRATE (low-level fat and low-level carbohydrate with 30 percent protein value)

PROTEIN ISOLATE (processed to remove all the lactose and fat and contains 90 percent of the protein value

PROTEIN HYDROLYSATE (doesn’t require as much digestion by the body and better digestibility)

Now the question is which whey protein is right for us?

In this modern world, every supplement company offers so many types of proteins, and selecting them can be confusing sometimes. And if we focus on natural things which have protein already, they don't contain that much amount of protein which is needed by the body and this is the reason that we should choose protein which is accessible in the market easily but has comparatively more amount of fat and carbohydrate.

It’s good for people who don’t mind if it has slightly more calories and carbohydrates.

However, the people who prefer fewer calories can actually opt for protein isolate which is free from lactose and has comparatively more protein value.

Also, the best way to choose whey protein is to look for the supplements fact label that can meet your protein needs.

Everything in this world has its good sides and side-effects as well, whey protein has it too.

No doubt that it is an effective way for good metabolism but it may have some serious side effects as well and those are: -

1. If someone is suffering from kidney problems, one should not consume whey protein, it may worsen and can cause kidney stones too

2. Many whey powders have added sugar as well which may contribute to unwanted fat gain.

3. Including whey protein in your diet when someone is suffering from gout can also worsen the condition.

4. If someone has heart disease then one should make sure that he or she is having protein powder in a limited amount, exceeding the dosage may cause cardiac arrest and complete loss of cardiac functions.

5. Whey protein may increase the PH level in our blood followed by that our kidneys may find it difficult to metabolize this excess protein and as a result, it causes acid in our blood.

6. Difficulty in breathing can be seen in people who are lactose intolerant.

When it comes to losing weight, a lot of people may have this question in their mind that which protein is better? Soy or whey protein?

Whey protein stimulates muscle protein synthesis rates more than soy protein, but supplementing with 25 grams per day of either has similar effects on body composition over two weeks of dieting.

Some of the best whey protein powders are-

My-protein Pro THE Whey+- Each 32gms servings of it contain 26gms of protein and it is a high-quality mix of concentrate, isolate, and hydrolyzed whey.

My-protein Pro THE Whey+- packs of 31gm protein into a 40g serving. Made purely from an isolate.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey- 24gms of protein in each serving and mix blend of hydrolyzed whey My-protein Clear Whey Isolate- 20 grams of protein in a 25g serving.

Supreme Nutrition Diet Whey- 23.4 grams protein every 30 grams serving including green tea extract as well and it is designed to help you burn a little bit more fat.

Maxi-muscle Max Whey- 30 grams serving contains 23.5grams of protein and a mixture of concentrate and isolate protein.

While choosing the protein powder which is best for you, it is important to read the ingredient list as some of them may have unhealthy additives called unrefined sugar. Otherwise, it is very safe, the recommended dose is not more than 1-2 scoops per day.

What is the best time to take whey protein?

It completely depends on the goals and the schedule you have for your workout. Like for example- protein for muscle gain should be consumed right away (within 30 minutes after your workout. On the other hand, if you want to take it for weight loss, you can mix it into oatmeal for a satisfying breakfast or even in something baked.