If you’re a bodybuilder, someone who is planning to get into fitness or have started going to the gym, then you’ve pretty much heard about whey protein and its benefits.
However, we are not here to talk about whey protein brands and which one to choose from but rather, more on whey protein as a whole. Its definition, how it works, and why you should or should not be taking it.
What is whey protein
Over the years, since the rise of the fitness and healthy living trends, health and fitness products, including whey have become in demand in the market.
Many people, most especially fitness gurus and health enthusiasts use whey as a supplement alongside their diet plans and exercise due to its benefits such as the growth of lean muscles and muscle improvement, and this is only to name a few, we’ll dig more into the benefits of whey protein later on.
Let’s start with what and where does whey protein come from.
Whey protein is extracted from whey which comes from milk. There are two types of protein that come from milk and those are casein and whey.
Whey is either separated from casein in milk or sometimes is a byproduct of cheese in the process of cheese making. Whey can be usually seen as the excess liquid portion of cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products.
This can also indicate that people who are lactose intolerant should be more vigilant before considering taking whey protein.
If you have already tried whey then you probably know that it’s taste is not really that great, that is why you would find that it is usually sold and in a variety of ways and flavors, such as powders, shakes, vanilla flavored, chocolate flavor, and etc.
Although, whey is not the only place we can get protein, why is it the most popular.
Different sources of protein also mean different servings and portions of it, with this said, it means that some sources of proteins provide more than others, where in this case whey offers the most.
Whey completely consists of the nine essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of a healthy body and is low in content of lactose.
The benefits of whey protein
We have established that whey protein’s benefit is most likely found in the category of fitness and health. Now, let’s go further into details as to what these benefits are.
Protein plays an important part in weight loss as with enough or just the right amount of proteins, you will be able to increase your metabolism, reduce your hunger, and lose fat but not muscle.
A high-protein diet can help you build muscle, this is most especially true when combined with proper training and exercise, and this can aid in your metabolism because more calories are burned by the muscle than fat.
Also, protein reduces hunger by means of decreasing ghrelin, the hormone which is responsible for hunger, in short protein makes you feel full longer.
Other than being the ultimate source of protein, whey also offers the benefit of muscle growth due to the mass number of other nutrients found in it.
It seems that the amino acids found in high-quality protein (which in this case, whey has nine), activates a certain cellular mechanism which helps in muscle and thyroid growth while preventing the decrease of testosterone levels after a workout or exercise.
One way or another, cancer causes deterioration of the human body. Sometimes, the only difference is what type it is, and where the main deterioration is located.
This is why protein is a necessity for cancer patients because it in a way helps in the maintenance, growth, and repair of the body.
There are also other benefits as to why cancer patients require a good source of protein, some are, it can help with maintaining balance to the body’s natural fluid, it can boost the immune system, and it helps in the transfer of other needed compounds, like medicine throughout the body.
May help in cholesterol control
There are two types of cholesterol found in the body.
The first one is LDL or Low-density lipoprotein which is the bad one and causes heart-related complications. LDL comes when you take in saturated fats.
The Second one is HDL or High-density lipoprotein which is the good one and is responsible for getting rid of contaminants LDL included. Unlike LDL, HDL comes from consumed unsaturated fats.
Having too little LDL can cause risk factors such as depression, hemorrhagic stroke, and even cancer. If you’re on this side, taking in whey protein is something you should consider.
However, if you want to prevent too much LDL, you can take in a soy-based whey protein.
Blood pressure and cardiovascular disease
Along with its other benefits, whey also can help in maintaining normal blood pressure, and this is caused by whey’s impact on nitric oxide production.
Nitric oxide, helps in maintaining the elasticity of your vessels, and lack of this can lead to an increase in blood pressure.
Also, in a research conducted by Harvard Health Publishing, people who took whey regularly showed not only better blood vessel function but also improvements on their cholesterol levels.
Types of whey
There are three types of whey protein: Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC), Whey Protein Isolate (WPI), and Whey Protein Hydrolysate (WPH).
Whey protein concentrate (WPC)
This is the cheapest type of whey protein you can consume, also it is the one which can be flavored. There is the less concentrated (29 percent), which mostly found and used for processed food and the high concentrated (89 percent), which is more on the nutritional side.
Whey protein isolate (WPI)
This is a more concentrated version of the WPC (it reaches about 90 percent) and is less in lactose and fat content. With that said, it also means its more expensive and less in taste as it has been through further processing.
Whey protein hydrolysate (WPH)
This is the most process and expensive type of whey protein. Also, it’s the most tasteless. However, since it’s the most process you can guarantee that it will show more of the results you are expecting from whey protein.
Whey consumption: best time to take whey
Preference is a huge factor in whey protein consumption, no one can really dictate you on what time you should take in your whey protein.
Although it is advised that the best time to take whey protein is within one hour (1 hour) after finishing your workout.
There are many factors to consider before you can determine the amount of whey protein you should take in per day.
A few of the factors are, how much protein your body needs a day and what type of exercise or training you are doing.
However, it is typical that a person should have one scoop per serving, and for bodybuilders, they usually drink protein shakes 2-5 times a day. Again this is dependant on your body type, goal, and training.
Whey definitely has a multitude of perks and benefits, however, it is crucial that we be attentive to what we consume and put in our bodies. After all not everyone has the same health conditions and needs.
Were you inspired by the health benefits of whey or know a friend or loved one who needs to read this?
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