There are two reasons why bodybuilders and weight trainers commonly use whey protein to supplement their regular diets.
- It promotes lean muscle mass growth
- It helps with muscle protein synthesis
Whey protein consists of essential amino acids which are quickly absorbed by the body. It has low lactose content and many other health benefits. The powder might help you meet your fitness goals.
What is Whey Protein?
Milk mainly contains two types of protein, casein, and whey. A mixture of proteins is isolated from whey during cheese production from milk. This protein mixture is known as whey protein.
The fatty substance in milk coagulates during cheese production and separates the whey as a by-product. For a long time, cheese makers would get rid of the whey, but not anymore. Now, whey protein is recognized for its nutritional value.
Whey protein powder is often flavored, as it has a very bland taste. Although whey protein powder can be beneficial, be sure to check that it doesn’t have added sugar.
This product contains enough protein to make up 25-50 g of your total protein intake for the day. It’s an easy way for people who are looking to get fit or lose weight and don’t have enough protein in their diet to consume it. If you have tried flavored whey protein, you will not want to miss out on this protein source. Adding casein powder to protein bars and shakes or having it as a meal replacement are both options.
Most people can consume whey protein without any problem. However, some people with conditions like lactose intolerance or allergies may need to be careful.
Nutrition Facts of Whey Protein
One scoop of the average whey protein powder contains 113 calories, of which 4.5% comes from fat content.
- Total fat content is 0.5 g, of which saturated fat is 0.3 g. Trans Fat is 0 g.
- Polyunsaturated Fat and Monounsaturated Fat are 0.1 g each.
- Cholesterol is 5.1 mg, which would make up for 2% of your daily requirement.
- Sodium contained is 50 mg, which makes up for 2% of your daily nutritional value.
- Potassium content is 160 mg, so you can expect 5% of your daily potassium requirement to be met from a scoop of whey protein.
- The total carb content is 2 g, out of which dietary fiber makes up 1%.
- The protein content is 25 g. You will find 2% Iron and 12% Calcium in the measured amount of whey protein powder.
5 Proven Health Benefits of Whey Protein
1. Increases Muscle Mass and Strength
As you age, you tend to lose muscle mass and strength. This is a serious health problem that can reduce your physical abilities and lead to addiction.
Studies show that whey protein increases muscle mass and strength by releasing anabolic hormones such as insulin. Insulin is responsible for our muscle growth. Leucine is an amino acid that is found in the substance. It promotes muscle protein synthesis, which is the process of building muscle mass. Its protein and amino acids spur muscle growth. Whey protein is different from other protein sources because it builds muscle faster.
2. Whey and Cancer
Other research has been conducted on animals to determine the impact of whey protein concentrate on cancer prevention or treatment. After feeding rats different types of proteins, scientists exposed them to the cancer-causing agent dimethylhydrazine.
The rats fed whey protein concentrate had fewer tumors and reduced overall tumor size. The researchers found that whey protein offered more protection to the host than other proteins, including soy. (McIntosh G.H. et al., Journal of Nutrition, 1995)
In a 1996 study, it was shown that whey protein concentrate can inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells at low concentrations. A recent clinical study with cancer patients showed that some patients’ tumors regressed when they were given 30 grams of whey protein concentrate per day. The study found that whey protein had an anti-cancer effect. A study found that whey protein may help protect against cancer.
3. Whey and Glutathione
The new study found that whey protein concentrate can increase the levels of glutathione in cancerous cells, which in turn may help to kill the cancer cells. The researchers discovered that whey protein concentrate can help to make cancer cells more vulnerable to treatments like radiation and chemotherapy. This is because it can reduce the levels of glutathione in cancer cells.
Different types of cells respond differently to nutrients and drugs that affect glutathione levels. The most interesting thing to note is that the concentration of glutathione in tumor cells is higher than in the normal cells that surround it. The fact that cancer cells have lower levels of glutathione is thought to be why they are able to resist chemotherapy better than other cells.
The researchers state that the concentration of a certain substance in tumor cells may play a role in how poisonous certain chemotherapeutic agents and radiation are to cells. They also mention that an increase in the concentration of this substance appears to be one of the ways that tumor cells develop resistance to drugs used in chemotherapy.
The researchers say that it is well known that cancer cells grow rapidly when they have high levels of glutathione. Tumor growth is decreased and cellular proliferation is inhibited when GSH is depleted in vivo.
The problem with reducing glutathione in tumor cells is that it also affects healthy tissue and makes the cancer patient’s condition worse. We need a substance that can selectively remove glutathione from cancer cells while keeping glutathione levels the same or higher in healthy cells.
This is exactly what whey protein appears to do. The new research found that cancer cells subjected to whey proteins had their growth inhibited, while normal cells had increased cellular growth.
These effects were not seen with other proteins. The researchers found that cancer cells are more vulnerable to the effects of chemotherapy when there is less glutathione present. They believe that whey protein may interfere with the feedback mechanism that regulates glutathione in cancer cells, although the exact mechanism is not known.
The production of glutathione is inhibited by its own synthesis. Since cancer cells have higher baseline glutathione levels than normal cells, it is likely easier to reach the level of negative feedback inhibition in cancer cells than in normal cells.
4. Whey and LDL Cholesterol
There are more positive health benefits to whey protein concentrate than just immunity and cancer prevention and treatment. Whey protein was found to be effective at reducing levels of oxidized low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. The current research suggests that the trigger that leads to atherogenesis is the conversion of LDL to oxidized LDL. Atherogenesis is the formation of plaque and lesions associated with atherosclerosis.
This means that LDL oxidation prevention is thought to stop the buildup of fatty deposits in arteries. While animal-based proteins have been traditionally associated with promoting atherosclerosis, whey proteins seem to be an exception. Whey protein is made up of several minor and major fractions, such as beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, albumin, lactoferrin and immunoglobulin. The reason whey protein concentrate is able to prevent the oxidation of LDL is because of the lactoferrin fraction of the protein. (M. Kajikawa et al. Biochemica et Biophysica Acta, 1994)
5. Whey and Bone Growth
Whey protein plays a role in bone growth. The researchers found that the rats that were fed the whey protein concentrate showed increased bone strength and increased levels of bone proteins, such as collagen. The discovery that whey protein stimulated osteoblast growth led researchers to test whether or not whey protein directly caused osteoblast growth in a controlled environment outside of the body.
The amount of whey protein you consume affects how much total protein your body produces, as well as the DNA and hydroxyproline content in your bone cells. A research team has found that a certain protein is essential for the proper development of the eye. A research team has discovered that a specific protein is vital for the eye to develop properly.
There is a difference between whey protein concentrates. To process whey protein without losing its biological activity, the manufacturer must take special care to remove the lactose and fats. The protein must be processed at a low temperature and under low acid conditions so as not to “denature” the protein. To keep the protein’s biological activity working, it is important to maintain its natural state.
The research findings, combined with the previous decade of study on whey protein, indicate that whey protein concentrate could help to extend life.
Side Effects of Whey Protein
However, whey protein can cause some side effects in a small number of people, including gastrointestinal discomfort, headache, and tiredness. The intake of whey protein is usually safe for most adults, but there are a few side effects that have been reported, such as gastrointestinal discomfort, headaches, and tiredness. However, consuming too much of the mixture may cause digestive complaints such as bloating, hyperactive bowel movements, and diarrhea.
The following are also symptoms you may experience: nausea, headaches, thirst, cramps, fatigue, and a reduced appetite. Ending up with an acne problem is a possibility if you are not mindful of how much whey protein you consume over time. Most people should be able to safely consume 1-2 scoops of the powder.
There is not enough research to know how it affects pregnant women. You should not consume whey protein if you are pregnant or nursing. If you’re allergic to dairy, you shouldn’t consume it.
Apart from the above, here are some other whey protein side effects:
1. Kidney Problems
If you suffer from kidney issues, whey protein is not recommended. It could worsen your renal problems. It can cause kidney stones too.
In order to counteract this side effect, it is advised that you eat enough dietary fiber and drink plenty of water as part of your diet.
2. Unwanted Fat Gain
Many whey protein powder products have added sugar, which will increase your carbohydrate intake.
Some of them may also have fat added. If you eat more protein in an attempt to burn more calories, you may end up consuming more calories than you need.
Research has not found any direct link between gout and whey protein consumption. However, it has been noticed that including whey protein in your diet when you suffer from gout, worsens your condition further.
If you have a family history of gout, it’s safest to consult a physician before using whey protein.
4. Increase Cardiovascular Risks
If you have heart disease, make sure you eat whey protein according to the directions.
If you take more than the recommended amount, you might have an irregular heartbeat, heart failure, or a heart attack. You could also lose all heart function.
Too much whey protein could prevent your bones from getting the right amount of minerals they need.
An imbalance of calcium intake could lead to depletion of bone density, which could lead to osteoporosis.
Protein powders and supplements made from whey are a great way to add protein to your diet. This food is an excellent source of protein that is easily absorbed by our bodies.
This protein is most beneficial for people who work out often, athletes, and those who don’t consume enough protein naturally. This can help with increasing muscle mass and strength while reducing body fat.
There is no better nutrient for encouraging muscle gain and fat loss than protein. It is a great source of protein. If you want to increase your intake of protein, whey protein powder is a good option. Concentrate is the most popular form of whey protein because people like the taste. You can mix it in your food or drink, or take it as is.
If you want to lose weight, the best course of action is to start a weight training program and supplement your diet with whey protein. Regular physical activity can help increase your metabolism, preserve your lean muscle mass, and help you lose extra weight.
Whey protein powder is a meal supplement that helps you feel full and prevents hunger. We often overeat because of hunger pangs.