If you are into fitness at any level, chances are you have heard about whey protein. You may have a general understanding that whey protein is good for you, but do you fully understand how and why?
7 Health Benefits of Whey Protein
Here are 7 health benefits of whey protein that are supported by actual science.
1. Whey is a Top Notch High-Quality Protein
During the production of cheese a liquid separates from the milk, which is called whey. Part of the whey is pure protein and that is what is used to create the protein powders and other whey protein supplements you have seen on the market.
Whey protein is considered to be a complete source of protein containing essential amino acids. It is widely considered to be one of the best sources of protein available for the human body.
The three main types are:
Concentrate (WPC). The amount of protein in this type ranges from 25-89% depending on the brand with the remainder of the product consisting of lactose, fat, minerals and moisture.
Isolate (WPI). The purest form of whey protein, this type contains zero lactose, low fat content and is 90-95% protein.
Hydrolysate (WPH). Commonly used in infant formula and medical nutrition, this type of whey is more easily absorbed and contains 80-90% protein.
Whey protein is popular among fitness enthusiasts, particularly bodybuilders, power lifters, and athletes.
2. Whey Protein May Reduce Inflammation
Anyone who pushes their fitness level to the limit understands that inflammation is part of the body's normal response to damage. Short-term inflammation can be beneficial, but inflammation can also become chronic.
A large study conducted by the Department of Nutrition and Food Hygeine concluded that ingesting high doses of whey protein reduces a key marker of inflammation (C-reactive protein) in people experiencing chronic inflammation.
3. Muscles Love Whey Protein
Whether you are at your peak fitness level or battling to maintain, age naturally causes a decline in muscle mass. There is no need to be discouraged because strength training accompanied by consumption of high-protein, like whey protein, has proven to slow muscle mass decline.
High-quality protein, such as whey protein, contains branched chain amino acid called leucine which is the most anabolic (growth promoting) of all the amino acids. Whey protein not only prevents muscle loss associated with aging, but it also improves strength and tone.
4. Whey Protein Helps Lower Blood Pressure
Chronic high blood pressure commonly leads to heart disease. A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health linked dairy product consumption with reduced blood pressure. It is believed that ACE-inhibitors found in dairy products are conducive to healthy blood pressure.
Lactokinins are the ACE-inhibitors found in whey protein. When whey protein is consumed on a daily basis, blood pressure tends to reduce in people who experience high blood pressure. Results are found to be more dramatic in overweight individuals.
5. Whey Protein Moderates Blood Sugar Levels
Research conducted by the National Institutes of Health determined that whey protein is effective at moderating blood sugar. The high-quality protein increases insulin levels in the blood and normalizes the effectiveness of insulin in the body.
As a result, whey protein is effectively used as a supplement to treat those with type 2 diabetes much like sulfonylurea, a common diabetic drug. Both healthy people and diabetics can moderate blood sugar levels by incorporating whey protein into a high-carb meal.
6. Lose Weight with Whey Protein
The positive role of dietary protein, like whey, has been established as a contributor to weight loss in several studies conducted by the National Institutes for Health. Whey protein outperforms other proteins when it comes to fat loss:
- Boosts metabolism
- Maintains and supports muscle mass
- Suppresses appetite
Incorporate whey protein into your weight loss meal plan to improve results.
7. Whey Protein Promotes Overall Health
Antioxidants are naturally present in the body and work to minimize the risk of chronic illness. Whey protein and other high-cysteine foods boost natural antioxidants, helping to keep chronic illness at bay.
One study found that whey protein supplements lead to improvements in liver function in those with chronic illness.
Now that you understand the numerous benefits of whey protein, how can you incorporate it into your daily diet? It's easy and delicious. Check out these recipes to get started.