Whey protein is an incredibly nutritious way to add more protein to your diet. It is a source of high-quality protein that the human body absorbs and utilizes efficiently, making it especially beneficial for athletes, bodybuilders, or people who need to build muscle mass and strength while losing fat. Whey protein has an extremely high nutritional value and is one of the best dietary sources of top-notch protein. It is highly digestible and quickly absorbed compared to other proteins.
If you have lactose intolerance, whey isolate is a better choice than whey concentrate, as much of the lactose and sugars are removed from whey isolate during processing. However, if you are allergic to dairy products, both whey and whey isolate can cause stomach discomfort. In that case, look for plant-based proteins instead. Whey protein has a reputation for helping bodybuilders increase their muscle mass, but this popular supplement can do more than just increase muscle mass.
In fact, whey protein can help you lose weight and optimize your overall health, for example by reducing high cholesterol. Hydrolyzed whey protein is often the version used in sports drinks, medical protein supplements and infant formula. During separation, enzymes help start the cheese-making process, in which the curd and liquid whey are separated. In very rare cases, people with pre-existing kidney problems can suffer kidney damage and dehydration from taking too much whey protein.
Whey protein has been found to be effective in moderating blood sugar, increasing both insulin levels and sensitivity to its effects (17, 20, 21, 2). The great thing about most whey protein supplements is that they come in powder form, so you can add them to your drinks at home. A limited number of human studies have investigated the effect of serum proteins on blood pressure, and many experts believe that the evidence is inconclusive. However, generally speaking, a single large dose of whey is unlikely to cause any immediate life-threatening problems other than gastrointestinal distress.
If you're using a powdered form of whey protein for a quick shake, simply follow the instructions on the product. Whey protein is excellent for promoting muscle growth and maintenance when combined with strength training. Taking a whey protein supplement before or with a high-carbohydrate meal has been shown to moderate blood sugar in both healthy people and people with type 2 diabetes (20). You should discuss your individual protein needs with your doctor before adding whey protein to your diet.
In fact, whey supplementation may contribute to weight gain for people trying to lose weight, notes the Cleveland Clinic. Read on to learn more about the origin of whey protein, as well as the potential advantages and risks of incorporating this milk-based ingredient into your own diet. In both rodents and humans, whey protein supplementation has been found to have beneficial effects on IBD (27, 2). For muscle growth, some studies show that whey protein may be slightly better than other types of proteins, such as casein or soy (4, 5). The caveat is that whey protein isn't more effective than other forms of the macronutrient when you're trying to lose weight.