Whey protein is a complete source of protein used for muscle growth. It is the liquid by product of cheese, sold as a dietary supplement. Earlier, whey protein was discarded by cheese and dairy product manufacturers as a waste product, but now it’s being used by body builders as a dietary supplement. Normally, milk has two types of protein-a) casein and b) whey. Whey protein can be separated from the casein in milk or extracted as a by-product of cheese making.
Whey protein significantly reduces the need for carbohydrates and fats in excess, it is a main diet component of people who are looking to build up lean muscle mass and muscle growth. If you’ve come across body builders and weight lifters with beefed up bodies, then there’s a possibility that they have a good intake of whey protein.
Since whey protein is a by-product of animals, it produces amino acids that your body cannot produce itself. Hence, it promotes various vital body functions, including skin and connective tissue growth, and body resistance. Contrary to popular belief, whey protein does not contain just protein, but also a composition of lactose, fats and minerals which are helpful for muscle growth and body metabolism.
Which is the Best Type of Whey Protein?
There are basically three different types of whey protein which undergo different degrees of filtering.
Whey protein concentrate (WPC) is the cheapest of all forms as it undergoes minimum processing. WPC follows a micro-filtration process, which retains around 70 to 80% of protein.
Whey isolate (WPI) is fine as it undergoes further processing through a cross-flow microfiltration or ion exchange chromatography. It has protein content higher than 95% due to which it is easily absorbed in the blood stream and is a great source of protein for dieters, and as post and pre-workout supplements.
Whey protein hydrolysate (WPH) is considered to be the “pre-digested” form of whey protein. WPH doesn’t require as much digestion as the other two forms of whey protein. In addition, it is commonly used in medical protein supplements and infant formulas because of its improved digestibility and reduced allergen potential.
Benefits of Whey Protein
Let’s scoop up some benefits of whey protein
1. Maintains Healthy Weight-
Due to its high protein content, whey protein has positive effects on weight control. If you maintain a high protein diet after weight loss, you will gain weight only as lean muscle mass. Whey protein promotes weight loss through blood sugar balance, thermogenesis and increasing satiety.
2. Helps Building Lean Muscle-
With the help of regular resistance exercise, whey protein increases the amount of lean muscle. It has a wonder group of BCAA (Branched Chain of Amino Acids) which steps up the body’s tendency to make lean muscle. It is a great source of leucine, one of the most prominent amino acids of the BCAA chain which helps in lean muscle growth.
3. Lowers Blood Pressure-
Research has linked consumption of dairy products to low blood pressure. In whey protein, there is an ACE inhibitor called lactokinin which helps control blood pressure.
4. Supports a Healthy Cardiovascular System-
Research shows that whey protein contains numerous bioactive peptides which helps lower hypertension. Whey peptides control cholesterol levels in blood and formation of plaque, which may lead to atherosclerosis. We just need to keep in mind that excessive protein consumption may also cause digestive problems, such as nausea, pain, bloating, cramping, flatulence, and diarrhea.
If you are lactose intolerant, whey protein hydrolysate or isolate may be more suitable than concentrate. If you have ever had liver or kidney problems, then consult a doctor before taking a protein supplement. To wrap it up, whey protein is not just a convenient way to boost your protein intake, it may have some powerful health benefits as well. The high nutritive value and fast absorption are good reasons to make it a part of our daily diets.