Six Reasons You Should Consume Whey Protein
Anyone who’s interested in living a fit lifestyle or conscious about weight gain has probably heard of whey protein. Widely available today, this supplement has a strong nutritional profile and offers a number of powerful health benefits. In fact, it’s a protein that contains all nine essential amino acids. So what does whey protein do and where does it come from? More importantly, what benefits could it offer you? Here’s a look.
What Is Whey Protein?
Whey is one of two proteins found in milk. It can be separated from the other protein, casein, and is naturally separated as part of the cheesemaking process. A complete protein, whey is also low in lactose.
There are three main types of whey protein supplements available — whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate and whey protein hydrolysate. What’s the difference? What is whey protein isolate, for example? The concentrate has low fat and carbs, and the amount of protein depends on the level of concentration. The isolate gets processed to remove all lactose and fat, making it good for anyone who’s lactose intolerant. The hydrolysate is processed to make it easier to digest and the protein more easily absorbed, which is why it’s often used in baby formulas or medical supplements.
Most commonly, people supplement with whey protein when they’re trying to build muscle and/or lose weight. In these cases, it is often added to smoothies or drinks, which is a convenient way to include the supplement in your diet.
Six Key Benefits of Consuming Whey Protein
When you look at the many whey protein benefits, it’s easy to see why this supplement is so popular among health enthusiasts. Consider these six major benefits available to you when you consume whey protein:
Weight loss — Research has shown that people who add whey protein to their diet may lose more body fat than those who do not. Like other proteins, it can reduce appetite by making you feel full, jump-start your metabolism and preserve muscle mass. However, it’s even more effective at aiding the body in fat reduction.
Muscle building — When combined with resistance exercises, whey protein has been shown to help the body develop lean muscle and gain more strength.
Lower cholesterol — Whey protein also has been associated with a decrease in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, in particular.
Lower blood pressure — Consuming whey protein can help reduce blood pressure in patients with hypertension. It also may reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.
Benefits for asthma — According to some studies, kids who consumed whey protein had improved immune responses compared to those who did not. This may indicate a connection between whey protein and improved lung function in children with asthma.
- Benefits for fighting disease — Whey protein can reduce inflammation in the body, which means it may be helpful for inflammatory diseases, such as asthma, sinusitis and rheumatoid arthritis. It’s also linked to improved blood sugar and insulin levels in diabetics. And while more research is needed, there is evidence that whey protein concentrate could have cancer-fighting properties.
Sold as a powder, whey protein is easy to add to smoothies, shakes, drinks, yogurts and many other foods. The convenience of adding a simple scoop to a beverage makes it possible to benefit from this healthy protein no matter what your lifestyle or routines.
While moderate amounts of whey protein are both safe and healthy for most individuals, there are some potential whey protein side effects. Higher doses can cause nausea, stomach pain, fatigue and headaches. If you experience any of these when consuming the supplement, you may wish to stop.
The bottom line is, for most people looking for a simple supplement with excellent nutritional value and major benefits for weight loss and building muscle, whey protein is a good choice. Try adding it to your diet daily, and see what it does for you.