Whey protein supplements are a favorite of athletes and bodybuilders but also come with a wealth of healthy benefits. A diet rich in protein can help you manage your weight while also supporting the vital organs.
Have you ever tried whey protein? Here are some reasons it's worth adding to your diet and exercise routine.
What Makes Whey Protein Different?
Whey protein is one of the two proteins derived from milk and is a rich source of amino acids. It's the liquid portion of milk, known as the whey, that is separated from the curds when milk is used to make cheese. The other protein found within milk is casein.
This type of protein is highly digestible, which means the body is able to efficiently break down the protein into amino acids and a high amount of those amino acids are able to be absorbed into the blood stream. Digestibility is measured by how much of the protein can be absorbed by an individual compared to how much protein they ingested.
Benefits of Whey Protein
Whey protein has many reported benefits, but it's most commonly used as a pre and post-workout supplement, because of its amino acid content. Having whey protein before and/or after a workout supports the recovery and growth of the muscle tissue, which allows you to build lean muscle faster and with less soreness and recovery time. Regular use will help you develop stronger muscles to allow you to advance your fitness goals.
Whey protein can help keep blood sugar levels stabilized, which prevents spikes and crashes, making it a good choice for diabetics and those monitoring their blood sugar levels. Because of its its ability to help regulate blood sugar levels and support of lean muscle mass, whey protein is also used as an appetite suppressant. It helps you feel satiated longer between meals and snacks to prevent over-consumption of calories. Protein also supports the metabolism, to help the body burn more calories. A 2012 review of past studies of whey protein in relation to metabolic disorders published in the medical journal Lipids in Health and Disease confirmed whey protein's positive effects on glucose levels and satiety, stating the whey protein helped regulate hormones within the gut to produce these benefits.
Whey protein has also been studied for its benefits in regard to disease prevention, including heart disease and age-related bone loss. A 2010 study published in the medical journal Atherosclerosis concluded consumption of 45 g of whey protein isolate at breakfast reduced triglycerides in the blood, which can be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Hydrolyzed whey protein may also be beneficial in preventing allergy symptoms.
Further research is needed to determine whey protein's exact actions within the body in relation to these conditions.
How to Use It
Whey protein isn't recommended for individuals who are allergic to cow's milk. Otherwise, it's generally considered safe for regular use. However, over-consumption of whey protein may result in digestive issues, like nausea, pain, bloating or more frequent bowel movements. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult their doctor before adding a whey protein supplement to their routine, as should anyone diagnosed with any of the conditions mentioned above.
If you're interested in adding whey protein to your routine, the most common way is through a smoothie or shake. Whey protein is sold in a variety of flavors as a powder that easily blends with water, juice, milk or other liquids. Combine it with almond milk before exercise or blend it with coconut water, a banana and pineapple for a sweet and nourishing shake in the morning.
It should be noted protein powders simply mixed with water, juice or milk shouldn't be used as a meal replacement. Any meal replacement should contain the right blend of protein, carbohydrates and fats along with vitamins and minerals to properly nourish the body.
Some people even bake with protein powders. You can use a scoop in your next batch of muffins or combine it with oats, dried fruit and peanut butter to make your own protein bars to eat as a snack or a before a workout for fuel.
Shop our entire selection of whey protein products at eVitamins and let us know your favorite whey to use it!