Last Updated June 13th, 2021
What is whey protein?
Whey protein is a dairy product made from cow’s milk. Milk, on the whole, consists of two major proteins, casein, and whey. These proteins are segregated and formed as a byproduct in producing cheese. Whey protein is deemed as a complete protein as it constituents all 9 essential amino acids. These sophisticated mixtures of proteins are derived from the liquid part of milk which separates during cheese production and called whey. Well if you open a yogurt container and encounter water in it, don’t panic it’s just whey.
How is whey protein made from milk?
Its process starts on the dairy farm. The milk is taken freshly from the cows and packaged in relevant containers. The collected milk undergoes pasteurization (a process in which milk is treated with mild heat). Pasteurization is essential to eliminate the bacteria in the milk.
This pasteurized milk is allowed to cool and then shipped to the nearest cheese processing facility. The milk is pasteurized again and the enzymes are added to separate whey and casein. The separated whey is then processed into a machine which cools the liquid whey. The whey is then separated as a fine powder from the liquid. This powder isn’t that good in taste and hence blended with flavors to make it tastier.
Types of whey protein
There are various types of whey protein and their notable differences are as follows,
- Concentrate whey protein: In this form, whey protein accounts to about 70–80% of protein content and contains some lactose (milk sugar) and fat blended with the best flavor.
- Isolate whey protein: In this form, it consists of the highest form of protein up to 90% protein, or higher and contains less lactose and fat. In the process, the whey protein produced lacks a lot of the beneficial nutrients found in a concentrated form of whey protein.
- Hydrolysate whey protein: This whey protein is also known as hydrolyzed whey. It retains the capacity to pre-digest and thereby gets absorbed faster. It causes a 28–43% greater spike in insulin levels than isolate.
Whey protein and your muscles
The use of whey protein is popular among athletes, bodybuilders, fitness models, and people who want to have those extra healthy muscles. Whey proteins promote strength and muscle power by providing amino acids and serve as building blocks for great muscles. The combination of whey protein and strength training can be a perfect way to prevent your muscles from losing its tone and slow down metabolic activities.
It helps in muscle growth by stimulating an increased amount of anabolic hormones, such as insulin. Whey proteins consist of elevated levels of amino acid leucine. This amino acid plays a vital role in stimulating muscle protein synthesis at both molecular and generic levels. Whey protein is absorbed faster and can be utilized at a quicker pace.
The numerous benefits you can gain from whey protein
Reduces hunger pangs
The use of whey protein helps curtail your hunger pangs and controls your appetite. Whey protein increases the levels of appetite-reducing hormones and reducing the hunger hormones present in our body. Another important feature of whey protein is its feeling of making you feel full.
Helps boost metabolism
The intake of high protein can boost your metabolism and influence the burning of calories on a regular basis. In a precise study which included 158 people, published in Nutrition & Metabolism, the people who were given whey protein significantly lost a considerable amount of more body fat and showed greater preservation of lean muscle when compared to subjects consuming the control beverage.
Whey protein is a required ingredient in every weight loss diet plan. It increases the ability to gain muscle and lose fat. It consists of a thermic effect of food (TEF) as it is a protein that increases metabolism depending on the number of calories which are essential to digest and metabolize the necessary accumulated fat.
Gives you a flat belly
Proteins as such are well-known fat reducers. The several proteins shakes available in the market make it easier for avid eaters to have a control on their cravings and in substitution consume a lot of protein.
Whey protein produces a limiting amino acid cysteine which interferes with the production of intercellular glutathione (GSH). With the help of the various enzyme factors, whey protein helps in protecting the cells from free radicals, ionizing radiation, carcinogens, and reactive oxygen species. Whey proteins are feed on a dietary basis for cancer patients this helps increase levels of GSH in serum and tissues.
The intake of Whey protein in natural and supplemental forms can help reduce LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol. Whey protein is a wonderful source of beneficial amino acids. With its origin from milk whey protein has the natural feature of providing heart-boosting benefits. Whey protein helped reduce blood glucose levels and regulated insulin levels. This also paved a way for whey protein to act on the cholesterol levels and decreased the bad cholesterol levels and made the body resistant to insulin.
By reducing cholesterol levels, it helped prevent the risk of heart attacks and strokes. This significance was proved, by a study, published in The British Journal of Nutrition. They prescribed whey supplements to 70 overweight men and women for 12 weeks and measured a number of parameters. The major parameters measured were lipids and insulin levels. They found that “there was a significant decrease in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol at week 12 in the whey group compared with the casein (group).”
Helps in immune responses
Whey protein builds the immune system and helps reduce symptoms associated with asthma. Whey protein particularly acts well on children affected by asthma.
Helps in healing wounds
Whey proteins administered to people with burns and chronic wounds recovered from them. This occurs as the body is in need of amino acids on a larger amount to heal wounds. Whey proteins, with a large number of amino acids, help build and repair tissues, muscles, and skin.
Risky drug interactions
- Levodopa: Whey protein has the tendency to decrease the amount of levodopa (medication used to decrease nausea) the body absorbs. By decreasing, levodopa absorption whey protein might decrease the effectiveness of levodopa. It is therefore highly prohibited to take whey protein and levodopa at the same time.
- Albendazole: Whey protein can decrease the absorption level of albendazole in your body. Taking whey protein and albendazole at the same time can decrease the effectiveness of albendazole. It would be better to avoid consuming both albendazole and whey protein at the same time.
- Alendronate (Fosamax): Whey protein causes an adverse reaction when taken with alendronate. This drug helps in slowing bone loss and the addition of whey protein can increase metabolism in the body leading to bone deterioration. Don’t take whey protein within two hours of taking alendronate (Fosamax).
- Quinolone antibiotics: Whey protein might decrease how much antibiotic the body absorbs. Taking whey protein along with some antibiotics might decrease the effectiveness of some antibiotics. To avoid this interaction take whey protein supplements at least one hour after antibiotics. The antibiotics that are highly suspected to cause counter reactions with whey protein include ciprofloxacin (Cipro), enoxacin (Penetrex), norfloxacin (Chibroxin, Noroxin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), trovafloxacin (Trovan), and grepafloxacin (Raxar).
- Tetracycline antibiotics: Whey protein is a well-known protein that contains calcium. The calcium in whey protein attaches to the tetracyclines present in the stomach. This decreases tetracyclines absorption in the body. Taking calcium-rich whey protein supplements along with tetracyclines decreases the effectiveness of tetracyclines. To avoid this interaction, take whey protein two hours before or four hours after taking tetracyclines. The drugs that fall under tetracyclines include demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Achromycin).
The best way to consume whey proteins
Whey proteins are available by several brand names which all sum up to one big word “protein shake.” There are several health supplement products that consist of whey protein. A protein shake can be taken before a meal or substituted instead of a meal. This protein powder can be mixed with water, ice and if you’re a fruit love make a nice blend of it along with your fruits and your good to go with a lovely glass of fruit cum protein shake.
Whey protein can be used as a snack replacement and of course, could help you eat lesser carbs by curtailing your hunger. So be sure to have a protein shake before you hit a party. This could help you from overindulging in all the heavy foods. Care should be taken when choosing your whey protein powder.
Be cautious not to purchase a powder loaded with fillers and chemicals but rather opt for a powder that consists of high protein content. As it is said to have detestable taste, every whey protein powder consists of flavor but care
From a nutritional point of view, whey protein consists of varied beneficial nutrients that make it an all-rounder in contributing to an individual’s health. Several people are prone to consume proteins natural rather than protein shakes. That being said, whey proteins are amazing supplements that help you lose weight faster and a healthier manner.
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