Whey is one of the most popular protein supplements on the market right now and there are so many variations to choose from.
Whether to use whey protein concentrate, ion exchanged whey protein isolate, cross-flow micro-filtered whey protein isolate, or hydrolysed whey protein is just the first choice you have to make.
Here are some of the basics of whey to help you decide which one of them is right for you.
1. Immune System Boosting
The immune system is comprised mainly from protein and all amino acids are help it function on a daily basis.
Studies have shown than easily accessible protein, i.e. can efficiently be broken down into amino acids, results in a healthier immune system.
It is thought that whey enhances glutathione which maintains up the muscle glutamine system.
Muscle glutamine is your immune systems favourite food.
The protein bioavailability scale is based on the egg, which scores 100.
This is a fantastic score, as it means the protein is readily available to your body.
Whey protein blends can score as high as 159 on the BI and whey concentrates score around 104.
3. Fat Burning
Generally, you hear that you should limit calories before bed if you are going to sleep well and lose weight.
However, this doesn’t always hold true.
In a study in 2014, they found that active men who take whey protein before bed get a boost in metabolism that lasts through to the next morning.
DOMS is delayed onset muscle weakness. This is the strain that you feel in your muscles 24-48 hours after exercising.
While we aren’t sure exactly why we get this pain, the theory is that there are micro-tears in your muscles that need to be repaired.
What rebuilds and repairs muscles? Protein, specifically Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA), have been shown to be the most effective.
Good quality whey is packed with muscle repairing BCAA.
One of the biggest obstacles to overcome while dieting is the feeling of constant hunger from calorie restriction.
Eat food that fills you up.
That’s where whey comes in.
Foods high in protein are more filing than carbs & fats and whey has been shown to be more satiating than soy or casein.
6. Blood Pressure-Lowering
Whey protein contains lactokinins, which are angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors).
These molecules have been shown to be beneficial for blood pressure in animal studies and some human studies.
One study found that whey supplementation reduced blood pressure by 4% over a 12 week period.
7. Bloating, Cramping
There’s no denying the benefits and sheer convenience of whey, it’s not without some downsides, especially when over consumed.
Taking in too much whey is associated with bloating, cramping, and diarrhea. Best approach is to vary your sources of protein and not rely too heavily on whey alone.
The exact mechanism that makes people break out in unwanted spots & pimples isn’t fully understood, but it’s generally accepted to be a combination of genetics, stress and diet.
Studies have shown a correlation with high protein diets and severe acne.
They key point is moderation and a balanced diet.
If you’ve ever made your own cheese or Greek yogurt, you may be familiar with the creamy liquid that remains.
You can use it to make your morning shakes, to Lacto-ferment vegetables with it, or bake with it to give your bread a sourdough-like tang.
10. Not All Whey is Equal
The quality of the whey will be based on the source of the milk that it was made from (the dairy cows, and their lifestyle), how it was made, which kind of cheese it is the product of, and the specifications set forth by the company that produced it.
Naturally, higher quality protein is usually reflected by a higher price but sometimes it can be advertising costs that bumps up the costs for some brands.
Check the ingredients, all else being equal, high quality whey has a higher protein content (90+g per 100g).
There’s no denying the positive effects and sheer convenience of a good quality whey supplement.
Used in the appropriate amounts, it can help you maintain a positive protein balance, keeping you anabolic throughout the entire day.