Is whey protein good for your health? Many people use whey for various reasons such as promoting the development of lean muscle mass and improving the synthesis of muscle protein—but what is whey protein? Are there real benefits of using it?
Whey protein is a byproduct of cheese and one of the protein elements of milk apart from casein. It can also be obtained by separating it from casein in milk. You may come across the three main types of whey powder which are concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate. The protein is low in lactose content and contains all the nine essential amino acids. Due to its high nutritional benefits, it is one of the most studied proteins in the world, and scientists have identified numerous benefits associated with it. Below are the proven top benefits of whey protein.
- It is a source of high-quality protein
Apart from containing all the nine essential amino acids, the body easily and quickly digests and absorbed it into the gut. Due to its high protein content, it is popular among bodybuilders and other groups of people whose occupations require them to eat protein-rich diets.
- It promotes the growth of muscles
Muscle mass will decrease as you get older, increasing the risk of gaining weight which exposes you to chronic diseases. With proper diet and training, you can partly slow down this natural process or prevent and reverse it completely. Consumption of high-quality proteins combined with a strength training program will help grow your muscles. Whey protein is rich in leucine, the single most growth-promoting amino acid, which will improve your strength and give you a better-looking body.
- It could lower blood pressure
Various studies have linked the consumption of dairy products to a decrease in blood pressure, which is a leading cause of heart disease. Dairy contains a group of bioactive peptides called ACE inhibitors. These inhibitors are known as lactokinins in whey protein. ACE inhibitors have been proven, through several animal studies, to be beneficial to humans. In humans, the protein was shown to reduce systolic blood pressure by 4% with a daily intake of 54g/day for three months. The effects of whey protein were only seen for those who had very high blood pressure, and also for higher consumption of whey protein, more than 3.25g in a day.
- It helps reduce hunger
Whey protein is satiating, which describes a feeling of fullness after taking a meal. Proteins are more satiating than carbs and fats, but not all proteins have the same effect on fullness. Whey protein is more filling than other proteins, making it an excellent choice for those who want to cut on their calories and lose weight.
- It reduces inflammation
Inflammation is the natural response of a damaged body and is beneficial in the short-term. When it goes on for too long, however, it turns chronic and may cause diseases. Whey protein supplements have been found to reduce the C-reactive protein, which is the key source of inflammation in the body.
If you want to tap into the benefits of whey protein, you can buy it as a powder and incorporate it into your smoothies or mix it with water or milk.