Whey protein is one of the best-studied dietary supplements in fitness. Having high nutritional value, many studies have revealed numerous benefits of this consumption. Consumed by many serious bodybuilders and professional athletes, it is key to building and recovering muscles after a workout. Consuming whey protein supplements regularly and at the right time can welcome many important health advantages. In this article, you will learn about the crucial benefits of this world-recognized supplement!
Benefits of Whey Protein
A whey protein supplement offers high-quality protein to your muscles, promotes fast recovery, reduces blood pressure, and many more! Learn about 10 important benefits below:
- It Offers High-Quality Protein
Whey is a liquid form that is separated from milk during cheese making. Thus, the protein part of why is known as whey protein. It is a high-quality protein that contains essential amino acids (EAA). It is highly digestible and easily absorbed by your gut. Moreover, these good qualities make it one of the best sources of protein available in the market!
There are 3 main types of whey protein powder namely:
Among these three, concentrate is the most common type of whey protein at the cheapest price.
- It Promotes Muscle Growth
As we know muscle mass declines naturally with age and leads to fat gain, whey protein works well in that situation. Whey is a rich source of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) like leucine. For information, Leucine is the most anabolic (growth-promoting) of all amino acids. Therefore, this powder is effective in preventing age-related muscle loss and improving overall strength.
For muscle growth, many studies show that whey protein supplements is slightly better than other protein types like casein and soy. However, it is important to take a healthy diet along with this health supplement throughout the day to expect better results.
- It May Lower Your Blood Pressure
Nowadays, high blood pressure (hypertension) is very common among individuals and leads to the risk of heart disease. Many studies have concluded that consuming dairy products reduces blood pressure. Therefore, this good effect is attributed to a family of bioactive peptides in dairy. This supplements contain ACE inhibitors called lactokinins that are linked to lowering blood pressure.
A study included overweight individuals who consumed 54 g/day for 12 weeks, of whey protein. It resulted in lowered systolic blood pressure by 4%. Another study supported that it found significant effects on participants who consumed 22 g/day of this powder concentrate for 6 weeks. However, blood pressure gradually increased only in individuals having high or slightly high blood pressure.
Advantages of Consuming Whey Protein
- It May Help Treat Type-2 Diabetes
Type-2 diabetes is a chronic disease where patients suffer from high blood sugar and impaired insulin function. Insulin is an important hormone that stimulates the uptake of blood pressure into cells to keep it within limits. Thus, whey protein supplements are found to moderate blood sugar, elevating insulin levels.
If you compare this dietary supplement with other protein sources like egg or fish, it is a better form that offers pure protein. Consuming it before or with a high-carbohydrate meal has been shown to moderate blood sugar levels in both healthy individuals and people with type-2 diabetes.
- It May Help Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s response to muscle damage. However, short-term inflammation can be beneficial, but sometimes, it becomes chronic. Thus, chronic inflammation can be harmful to your body, resulting in increased risk for many diseases. Also, it may affect your current health conditions.
Many review studies found that high doses of whey protein supplements (about 20 grams per day) reduced C-reactive protein which is responsible for body inflammation.
- It May Help in Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease is a condition which is characterized by chronic inflammation in the digestive tract lining. It is a collective term for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Whey protein powder has been found to have positive effects on inflammatory bowel disease. However, the current evidence is weak to make a strong claim for the same!
More Benefits To Know
- It May Contribute to the Body’s Antioxidant Defenses
Antioxidants act against oxidation in the body. This means antioxidants reduce oxidative stress in the body and lower chronic disease risk. In humans, Glutathione is one of the most important antioxidants. You can get most antioxidants from your diet, but glutathione is produced by the body itself.
Therefore, the production of glutathione depends on several amino acid supplies like cysteine, which is often of limited supply. Due to this reason, high cysteine foods like whey protein may boost natural antioxidant defenses in the body. Moreover, a few studies also show that whey protein supplementation may increase glutathione levels and reduce oxidative stress.
- It Reduces Hunger
The feeling of fullness you experience after consuming a meal is called satiety. Therefore, it is the opposite of hunger and appetite and it should suppress food craving. Different foods have different satiating levels.
These levels depend on macronutrient composition like carbs, fat, and protein. But, not all proteins have the same effect on satiety. This powder is more satiating than other forms of protein like casein and soy. These properties make it useful for individuals who have to eat fewer calories and lose weight!
Suggested read: Benefits of Losing Weight by Drinking Weight Loss Tea
Whey Protein Side Effects, Dosage, and How to Use it?
Using whey protein supplements is very easy and convenient. It is sold as a powder which is easily mixable in water, milk, or beverages. You can also mix this powder in yogurts and smoothies.
A commonly suggested dose of whey protein is 25-50 grams/day (1-2 scoops). However, you should always read the product label as different products have different recommendations.
Whey protein benefits are many, but excess consumption may cause some side effects on your health too. Some common digestive problems include:
However, if you use it in moderation, whey protein does not have any bad effect on your health. If you are lactose intolerant, you may choose protein hydrolysate or isolate form of protein. Equally important, if you ever had or have kidney or liver problems, you should consult a healthcare professional before consumption.