Top Benefits of Whey Protein

There is more to whey than building muscles. Find more about top benefits of whey protein.

Derived from milk and the watery remnant of the cheese making process, whey protein triggers new muscle synthesis post your workout. Whey protein is a complete protein, as it contains nine essential amino acids, a biomarker of protein quality. Since whey is a quick-acting protein it metabolises at a faster rate than casein, another milk protein and speeds up recovery after a workout.

Whey protein is a mixture of the following:

  • Beta-lactoglobulin
  •  Alpha-lactalbumin
  • Bovine serum albumin
  • Immunoglobins

There are no doubts about the utility of whey protein for recovery and muscle building, but there is more to whey beyond the obvious. Keep reading to know about little-known health benefits of whey and the reasons you should be using whey protein in your diet every day.

1.      ENHANCE MUSCLE RECOVERY WITH WHEY PROTEIN

An intense workout causes microscopic tears in your muscle fibers. This necessitates the intake of amino acids to stimulate new muscle synthesis.  The good thing about whey protein is that it digests quickly, as compared to casein and for this reason you should drink whey protein after a workout, as it allows the body to absorb the nutrients at a quicker pace. Research studies have found that drinking whey protein leads to increase in blood amino acids levels in under an hour, with peak levels at just under 90 minutes.  Moreover, whey protein is rich in branched-chain amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine.

As pre-workout shake whey protein skips liver-processing route and directly hits the blood stream to be absorbed by muscles, where they are needed the most.  When you have a whey shake before a workout your muscle protein synthesis rate increases for three hours. These amino acids play a significant role in muscle recovery not only because they encourage protein synthesis but also in the way they decrease the rate of protein breakdown. One of the main effects of whey protein stems from its rapid absorption rate, which shows in improved recovery post training.

2.      WEIGHT MANAGEMENT WITH WHEY PROTEIN

When it comes to weight loss whey protein has an edge over soy protein, shows a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition. The study group of overweight and obese adults was divided into three groups. The first group added whey protein to their normal diet, the second group had soy protein in place of whey and the third group drank carbohydrate drink. During the six month long study, all three groups had 2,200 calories and were equally active physically. At the end of the study, the soy group remained unchanged, the carb group gained fat (around 2 pounds) whey group weighed lighter (lost 2 pounds) and had even reduced their waist size by an inch.

Researchers have found that the whey group had significantly lower level of ghrelin, a hormone that regulates food intake. A higher concentration of this hormone intensifies hunger signals and at a lower concentration people feel full. Moreover, the whey study group cut back their carb intake. Even though all three groups had more or less the same number of calories the whey group enjoyed the benefit of supplementation that reflected in increased weight loss.

3.       IMPROVE BLOOD SUGAR WITH WHEY PROTEIN

One of the little-known health benefits of whey protein powder is its role in improving blood sugar response. In a controlled research study whey protein has been found useful in improving body's insulin response and helps regulate glucose levels after the meal. In this small study group, the research subjects with controlled diabetes consumed 50g of whey protein mixed in 250ml of water or a placebo. 30 minutes later, they ate a standard high-glycemic index breakfast (3 slices of white bread with sweet jelly). Two weeks later the study was repeated. The finding of the study was that the insulin response within the first 30 minutes after the breakfast was 96 percent higher in the whey protein group. The study was published in the journal Diabetologia.

4.      LOWER CHOLESTEROL WITH WHEY PROTEIN

A 12-week long study evaluated the effect of whey protein supplementation on lipid profile in comparison to casein protein. Though both are milk-based proteins, subjects supplemented with whey protein experienced an improvement in their blood lipid profile. Six weeks into the whey protein supplementation, the participants experienced reduced level of triglycerides, a vital step required to improve leptin resistance and reduce cardiovascular risk. 12 weeks later the subjects experienced a substantial decrease in their level of triglycerides, along with a significant reduction in their total cholesterol and LDL (Low-Density Cholesterol) at week 12. 

5.      WHEY PROTEIN IMPROVES IMMUNITY

Whey protein contains high amounts of amino acids needed for the production of glutathione, a potent antioxidant and it is closely linked to your immunity. The body manufactures glutathione to fight free radicals.  In certain diseases, like cataracts, HIV, diabetes glutathione levels may fall below normal levels. Scientific studies go on to prove that whey protein improves the production of glutathione.  Moreover, whey protein boosts the production of neutrophils. The researchers concluded that whey protein extract has immunomodulatory properties.

6.       WHEY PROTEIN LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE

In a recent scientific experiment young adults suffering from high blood pressure were made to include 28g whey protein in their diet, every day for 6 weeks. At the end of the study, it was found that their blood pressure went down, particularly systolic (top) number. The study was published in November, 2010 issue of International Dairy Journal highlights the role of whey protein

TYPES OF WHEY PROTEIN

  • Whey Protein Concentrate contains about 70-80% protein including some lactose.  
  • Whey Protein Isolate has 90 percent protein content or higher with negligible lactose or fat.
  • Whey Protein Hydrolysate is also known as hydrolyzed whey. It is predigested, therefore it absorbs at a faster pace than both the proteins.

Whey protein is an exceptionally healthy way to add more protein to your diet. It gets absorbed quickly and is efficiently utilized by the human body, which is especially important for athletes, bodybuilders and people who need to gain muscle mass and strength while losing fat. The only side effect of whey protein is experienced in terms of bloating and gas for few people. To tide over such discomfort, you should buy a whey protein that is enriched with digestive enzymes, like MuscleBlaze Whey Protein.