For anyone who’s trying to transform their body, alterations to diet and exercise need to be made – whether you want to trim down or bulk up there are a number of methods that are suited to different people in those different circumstances.
Finally science has caught up with the gym bunnies and body builders that have increased in numbers over the years.
There are now several fields of research showing how whey protein can aid various changes. Including losing fat, gaining muscle and increasing training recovery, to the human body.
A by-product of milk production, it contains essential amino acids and other nutrients that the body can use quickly and effectively.
What whey protein do you take?
How is protein used in the body?
The body needs to take in protein every day to assist in the growth and repair of its cells.
As one of the major food groups, protein is found at its highest concentration in certain foods such as eggs, fish and red meat.
They supply the building blocks needed for the body to keep building cells, and burning fuel as part of a balanced diet.
They are the fastest-acting way to rebuild cells – which is why it is so popular with athletes and can now be found in a range of health supplements.
Once protein is inside the body, enzymes in the digestive system begin to break it down as soon as it enters the stomach.
The digestive juices begin to split it into amino acids that are absorbed into the blood stream to be used as the body requires
What is whey protein?
Whey protein is the ‘purest’ form of protein; a concentrated source of branched chain amino acids.
It is one of two types of protein – the other being casein protein – and is a by-product of cow’s milk turning to cheese.
Its high natural value means that whey protein can be absorbed into the body faster than other sources of protein like cheese or beef.
Why should I use whey protein?
Taking a protein supplement such as whey protein is beneficial to just about anyone. For example, it can be extremely useful as part of a weight loss diet.
The complex structure of protein means that the body finds it harder to break down into calories to be burned.
In the absence of anything easier to break down.
It will begin to absorb the body’s stored fat instead. While also signalling a feeling of fullness to the brain sooner than on a regular diet. Meaning that a high-protein diet will involve the intake of less calories.
For those undergoing training of any sort the rate of absorption is extremely important for muscle building and recovery.
It absorbs at a rate of 8 -10g per hour, meaning the average time taken to complete the digestion process is 1.5 hours.
This makes it ideal for athletes, body builders and the health conscious as a supplement to a balanced diet.
Health Benefits of Whey Protein
Source Of All Nine Essential Amino Acids
Your body is incapable of producing essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. As a result, if you aren’t getting enough essential amino acids in your diet. Then the proteins in your body will start to break down.
This process leads to decreased muscle mass, among other problems.
Finding foods with essential amino acids – preferably foods that provide all nine essential amino acids at once – is a must to keep your muscles robust and maintain your body’s overall health.
Whey protein is one of the food types that provides all nine amino acids – a distinction that earns it a place in the category known as “complete proteins.”
Other complete proteins include meat (including fish and poultry), eggs and – as you might expect – dairy. Other sources of protein, meanwhile – like nuts, beans, tofu or lentils – are known as “incomplete proteins” because they do not provide all nine essential amino acids.
Thus, whey protein will be especially beneficial in your diet if you don’t eat much or any meat, eggs or dairy. It is one of the only true substitutes for those complete proteins.
Helps You Shed Body Fat and Gain Muscle
As you can surmise from its amino acid content. Whey protein is an effective dietary supplement for building or retaining muscle mass.
This benefit is probably the number one reason that whey protein has become so popular among bodybuilders. Gym enthusiasts and athletes – as well as one of the top reasons to add it to your diet.
Increasing your protein intake and getting those essential amino acids will protect your muscles and prepare your body for more muscle growth.
In most cases, combining a daily whey protein shake with strength training at the gym will increase your muscle mass and strength faster than gym training could do by itself.
What’s less known is that studies have also shown that whey protein helps athletes lose body fat even as they gain muscle.
Higher protein intake kicks your metabolism into high gear and helps you burn more calories faster.
As a result, if you are trying to achieve the leanest and fittest body possible. Having whey protein somewhere in your pantry will almost certainly help you get there.
Studies have also shown that whey protein is more effective than other types of protein supplements – such as soy – at promoting muscle growth.
Helps To Keep The Immune System Strong
Are you one of those people who gets a cold or two every fall and catches the flu every winter without fail? If so, then adding whey protein to your diet might help.
Indeed, while whey protein has a reputation for its fitness and muscle-building capabilities, it is also a powerful immune booster.
The reason that whey protein can help you improve your immune system is essentially the same explanation for how it helps prevent cancer.
The antioxidant glutathione, which whey protein helps the body build, is essential for fighting free radicals.
Free radicals can become cancerous cells, but they can also just damage or destroy your healthy cells. Which hurts your immune system and makes your body more vulnerable to threats.
Whey protein isn’t only important because it helps give you more glutathione. But also because many people use it to replenish the glutathione they’ve lost.
Intense exercise can significantly lower your body’s levels of glutathione. To exercise well without risking impairing your immune system. Then, it’s important to replenish your antioxidants through dietary means.
What better way to do that than by drinking a post-exercise whey protein shake?
Side effects of whey
If muscle growth is your goal, a study done on rats showed that exercise, when supplemented with whey protein.
Resulted in higher weight and muscle gain when compared to exercise without whey protein supplementation. This can be seen as negative or positive depending upon your goals.
Whey protein has also been linked to stomach discomfort including bloating.
You can pair whey protein with a digestive enzyme. Which will assist in breaking it down further so that your body is better able to digest and absorb the necessary nutrients and naturally occurring amino acids.
Which may help reduce bloating.
It’s important to remember, regardless of supplementing with whey or another form of protein. That unless you are lacking in protein in your diet or are recovering from a workout and need a quick source of protein, the supplement may not have benefits.
When choosing a whey protein, look for products made with organic, grass-fed whey. Think about it: Whey comes from milk. So just like you’d choose milk from happy, healthy cows, you want your whey to come from a quality source.