Athletes know the benefit of having a protein shake before or after an intense weight-training session. Supplementing that workout with whey protein is an asset to muscle strengthening, growth, and recovery, but you don’t have to be a muscle man to imbibe. Anyone regardless of age or level of athleticism can reap the rewards of this efficient powder.
What is whey protein?
Whey is the liquid that remains after separating curds from milk during the cheesemaking process. No need to blanch at the dreaded “D” word. Though whey is derived from dairy, most of the lactose is removed via the casein when separated, which makes whey low in lactose and high in protein. This is a dream come true for those lactose intolerant people who are looking for a supplement. Not only that, but whey has the added benefit of being a complete protein which contains all 9 essential amino acids.
How much should you consume?
The amount of protein you eat should be proportional to your body weight and physical activity level. For those searching for a simple guide to help measure, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has a handy protein-intake calculator. However, even with this cheat sheet, it seems that many people still lack protein in their daily diet. Vegetarians are often lacking the nutrients found in protein-rich foods and may benefit from giving whey protein a fair shake. Kids can also be protein deficient. Children who are picky eaters may not be getting an adequate amount of protein in their diet. Whey shakes might be the solution as they often come in tantalizing flavors like SFH’s strawberry cream, coconut, vanilla, and chocolate. An easy way to make sure the young’uns are meeting their quota is a morning shake or afternoon smoothie in their daily diet. Another group who may be protein deficient is pregnant mothers. They may not be going hard at the gym doing deadlifts but they may need to sip on protein drinks just like bodybuilders. That’s because women who are with child need more protein than the average person. If a pregnant woman is having a hard time getting enough protein in her diet, then a special protein supplement might be the whey to go. Of course, anyone pregnant or nursing should consult with their physician before adding any dietary supplements.
What are the benefits of whey protein?
You may be asking “What has whey done for me lately?” Well, there is a list of benefits to using this powder as your protein source. One is weight management. If you are looking to gain muscle and not fat, or even just maintain your current lbs., whey is your friend. Reports have shown it keep you from overeating. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity served four different types of beverages to a test group of very overweight men to determine which curbed their appetite. The drink with 50 grams of whey protein reduced levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and kept the men satiated for four hours.
If you are still weighing the pros and cons, consider the Medical News Today report that whey can lower your cholesterol. They state that The British Journal of Nutrition study found “there was a significant decrease in total cholesterol” in a group study of men and women who took whey protein as opposed to casein. In addition, the International Dairy Journal found it can reduce blood pressure and risk of heart disease. Of course, more definitive clinical trials are necessary to substantiate these claims.
Could whey be the answer to all of our problems in one delicious shake? It does have a lot going for it. Of course, those who have an allergy to milk might have trouble digesting whey and should use the powder with caution. As always, everything should be consumed in moderation as overdoing it with very high doses of whey could cause nausea, fatigue, and headaches. So slow your roll when pouring lots of powder. Add it to your diet in reasonable amounts and profit from this power protein.