Pure whey protein powder is a uniquely powerful part of a weight loss, muscle building or fitness routine. Whether your goal is to lose weight or simply live a healthier, more active lifestyle, consider adding it to your tool kit.
According to recent studies, it may also provide several added health benefits.
What is whey protein?
Milk contains two main types of protein: casein and whey. As part of the process of making cheese, whey is separated from casein. In the past, it would have been simply discarded. Today, we know it as a potent health food with great possibilities.
Whey is found in the liquid part of milk products. In fact, whey can often be seen as a layer of milky or clear liquid at the top of unstirred yoghurt.
Pure whey protein powder is a concentration of the proteins found in whey. Whey protein is usually found in one of three varieties: whey protein concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate.
It doesn’t taste great by itself, so you will usually find it in flavoured powders – often chocolate or vanilla.
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6 Benefits of using pure whey protein powder
1. It’s a high quality protein
Whey protein is one of the best forms of protein available on the market today. As it contains several important amino acids, the health benefits are numerous. It is also a very digestible form of protein – meaning our bodies can access and put it to good use very easily.
There are nine critical amino acids that our bodies cannot synthesize. Like soy protein, whey protein contains all nine, so it is known as a “complete” protein.
2. It reduces appetite
When we don’t feel full, we get the urge to eat. Overeating – and eating the wrong foods – causes weight gain and a variety of other health problems. Consuming protein helps us reach satiety, a feeling of satisfaction and fullness. Protein increases satiety better than carbohydrates and fats.
Unlike casein and soy proteins, whey protein appears to be the best at producing the feeling of fullness, making it a powerful ally in the war against overeating. This is especially helpful for those who need to reduce their daily calorie intake without feeling hungry.
3. Protein burns fat and sustains muscle
The study divided 158 participants into two groups. Both groups reduced their daily calorie consumption by 500 calories. As a result, both groups lost weight. However, those who also used whey protein lost “significantly” more fat and lost less muscle than those who did not receive whey protein.
Muscle loss is a risk of any diet or weight loss plan. Building and keeping lean muscle is an important part of overall fitness.
When muscles are not used or are not provided with the correct nutrients, they are reabsorbed as fuel. This is a real risk when calorie intake is restricted. Feeding muscles with whey protein keeps them strong and happy as you burn fat.
A 2013 study concluded that whey protein has a significant advantage over soy protein for those wanting to build muscle mass. Because whey protein contains more leucine than soy, it is superior for building and sustaining muscles.
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4. It may help prevent cancer
Whey protein has shown exciting potential in the fight against cancer. In a 2000 study, concentrated whey protein showed cancer-fighting properties. It is believed whey protein restores needed glutathione (GSH), a cellular antioxidant, to cells that have been depleted.
This process protects cells, keeping them healthy and therefore less likely to fall victim to cancer.
More study is needed of course, but the possibility is very exciting.
5. It may improve cholesterol and blood pressure
Those suffering from high cholesterol or high blood pressure may find some relief from whey protein. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that whey protein lowered total cholesterol.
Those given calcium caseinate also had improved cholesterol, but those in the whey group had the best results.
Participants also saw a notable improvement in blood pressure, indicating whey protein may be a viable supplement to treatment for high blood pressure.
Consuming dairy products may help reduce blood pressure due to the action of “angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors” – also known as ACE-inhibitors.
Studies of the effects of whey protein on hypertension did not all agree, so more research is needed. The difference in results, however, may be due to how the studies were conducted. More data is needed.
6. It may help with asthma
Whey protein may have an effect on atopic asthma. One study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition suggests that whey protein may be useful in regulating the immune response associated with atopic asthma. More study is needed.
Who shouldn’t use whey protein?
Pure whey protein powder is a fantastic tool and shows great promise for improved overall health. However, it isn’t for everyone.
Those who are unable to consume cow milk or cow milk products should avoid whey protein as it is a dairy product and may cause an allergic reaction or adverse effect.
If you are currently taking medication or have a medical condition, please consult your doctor prior to trying whey protein as it can interfere with how some medications work and aggravate some medical conditions. If in doubt, talk to your doctor.
Cautions regarding pure whey protein
In high to extreme doses, whey protein may cause unusual thirst, bloating, nausea, cramps, tiredness and headaches. Moderation is important. Too much of a good thing is still too much.
Always follow the instructions accompanying your whey protein, and if you have questions or concerns, please consult your doctor.
Whey protein powder is a uniquely powerful ingredient and a potentially helpful part of a healthy diet and exercise plan.
While it isn’t for everyone, the potential benefits are certainly worthy of consideration. More study is needed to fully understand the benefits of whey protein.
However, the apparent benefits for weight loss, muscle mass, blood pressure, cholesterol and more should have each of us seriously thinking about incorporating pure whey protein powder into our routines.
You can get some pure whey protein by clicking this link
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