Whey Protein Is One of the Most
Important Supplements You Can Buy
Whey protein is one of the proteins found in milk, and back in the old days it was just tossed aside and deemed a useless byproduct when people were manufacturing cheese.Today, whey is seen as one of the most important nutritional supplements in the world. Whey protein is the absolute BEST sources of protein that you can buy.
A benefit of whey protein is that it increases your overall protein intake. Higher-protein diets have continually shown to improve your body composition, enhance bone density, increase satiety, and support better blood sugar regulation.
However, whey can be more than just a source of protein.
What Makes Whey Special?
Whey protein is a dairy product, just like milk, cheese, and yogurt. But not all dairy products are the same.
When someone mentions “dairy,” the first thing most people think of is Milk. Milk contains two different kinds of protein, which are casein and whey. Milk is also used to make cheese, and cheese is made mostly of the casein. So after making cheese you have whey left over.
For hundreds of years we didn’t use the whey that was left over, and we just wasted it. But today it might be the most important nutritional component of dairy.
Nutritional supplement manufacturers figured out that whey could be made into a powder, and that it could be mixed with water to provide a source of “cheap” protein. Whey was just thought to be an easy way to supplement your diet with protein. What no one knew in the beginning was that whey actually provided some very important health benefits.
The quality of the whey protein used in Optimum Nutrtion contains milk from cows that have NO artificial growth hormones are treated properly (unlike other protein powders).
Whey has its nutritional advantages because of its unique amino acid profile. Whey has essential amino acids your body needs, especially the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Whey also contains proteins like beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, immunoglobulin, lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, and gilcomacropeptide.
The large amounts of BCAAs in whey, especially leucine, has the greatest impact on protein synthesis and anabolism (how your muscles re-build).
I’m going to get a little “sciency” so stay with me.
There was a study that tested people who consumed 25 grams of whey protein compared to people who consumed about 4-5 grams of whey protein with supplemented leucine or essential amino acids.
When they were at rest the muscle protein response in both groups were similar. However, after they exercised, the people who had the full whey protein dose had a more significant effect on muscle growth than the people who had the smaller dose supplemented with leucine or essential amino acids. Having all the BCAAs in the whey protein together helped people build more muscle than just having the amino acids supplemented in without the whey.
A 20 gram dose of whey protein is often recommended, but your body can absorb up to 30-35 grams of protein at a time. If you consume any more than that, your body will not absorb all of it. Older adults usually don’t consume a quality level of protein.
The Benefits of Whey
Body composition can improve when you gain muscle or lose some fat. Whey aids in the development of lean body mass,and it helps improve body composition.
In the body, whey has not only been shown to increase protein synthesis and decrease protein breakdown (unlike any other protein), but it can also help reduce fat mass.
The amino acids in whey can improve blood sugar levels and improve insulin function, which allows your body to use fat as a fuel source (instead of carbs or sugar).
Since whey protein supports muscle growth, the additional lean body mass you have can create a way for incoming carbs to be stored as glycogen (for energy) instead of converting to fat.
Bodybuilders usually supplement with either whey or casein. But the ones who supplement with whey have greater increase in muscle mass and more fat loss, than those who supplement with casein.
When you compare the use of whey, casein, and soy proteins, people who use casein and whey see better improvements in their lean muscle than the ones who use soy. You can just keep eating as healthy as you can, and ad a shake or two of whey protein a day. It will help with your weight loss and body composition, as well as potentially reduce your overall food intake and fat mass by decreasing your hunger-stimulating hormone (ghrelin).
Whey protein has also been proven to help improve triglyceride levels in people with a high-fat diet, and support a healthy blood pressure!
Isolate or Concentrate?
There have been MANY studies on whey isolate and whey concentrate from MANY different researchers.
Grass-fed whey concentrate is the perfect source of protein for people who are not lactose intolerant, and who are looking for a good snack to have in-between meals or in place of a meal. It has more functional properties that support the immune system.
However, those who are sensitive to lactose have a hard time with whey concentrate and may need whey isolate. But if you can’t handle dairy products at all you need dairy-free or vegan protein powder, and the brand Vega is my favorite.
Since whey isolate has little or no fat and little carbs, artificial ingredients are used to enhance the flavor of most protein powders. Lifetime does not allow artificial ingredients in our products.
Should You Take Whey Protein or Just The Essential Amino Acids?
People use essential amino acid supplements because sometimes it can be difficult to tolerate intact sources of protein. Essential amino acids get into the bloodstream quickly where they are metabolized, and aid in your recovery after a workout.
Determining whether one is better than the other depends on what the supplement is being used for. You usually want to consume essential amino acids right before a workout or during a workout. You want to consume whey protein like an hour or 2 before your workout or after your workout.
Essential amino acids aid in muscle development, support fat metabolism, and help with longer workouts. But they are not a meal replacement like whey protein.
They’re both valuable and can both be used in your nutrition program.
Should You Even Use Supplements?
Most people would benefit from whey protein, but everyone is unique.
It won’t hurt to try and improve your body composition, reduce your appetite, improve your immune and metabolic function, and recover from your workouts faster with whey protein. But you still need to eat well and exercise to get the best results.
The only way to know if whey will have a positive affect on you is if you give it a try. Try having a shake every now and then, and making whey protein a part of your diet. You may be surprised at how it can make you feel.
If you have a medical condition, make sure it is OK with your doctor.
If you have any questions please leave a comment below!
Live Well and Live On,