Whey protein is the best-selling protein powder, but many people are satisfied to use it without knowing what makes it so great.
We’re going to breakdown the effects whey protein has on your body, and what to look for when shopping for a quality whey protein.
Number 1: Whey Supports Fat Loss
Whey protein supports fat loss in two major ways:
1. It improves metabolism through muscle building
2. It boosts an antioxidant called glutathione that protects cells and speeds muscular repair.
Studies have shown that whey protein is an ideal supplement to increase metabolism, and also has been shown to cause a significant reduction in appetite.
These two effects combined aid in fat loss and the promotion of lean muscle mass (more on this later).
To back this up, in another study, scientists tracked animals that exercised for two hours daily for more than five weeks. One group of the animals exercised in the fasting state while the others had sugar, whole milk, or whey protein.
The group who fasted lost muscle, the group who had sugar gained fat and the whole milk group saw small improvements in building muscle. But the group that supplemented with whey protein saw both a decrease in body fat and an increase in lean muscle.
Number 2: Most Efficient Protein Source
Whey protein is the most efficient way to add protein to the diet without fat or high calories.
Whey protein typically contains 80-90% protein compared to lean red meat (20%), chicken (20%), fish (20%), eggs (6-8%) or cheese (10-30%). It provides the body with the necessary nutrients to build muscle, strength, and to recover quickly after a workout or injury.
Also, whey protein is fast ingesting so the body can break it down and use it fast. The best way to take whey protein is just before and again just after a workout.
After resistance exercise the body needs a quickly assimilated source of protein and uses it to build muscle and recover the energy expended.
Number 3: Builds Lean Muscle
Research shows that taking a supplement of whey protein along with resistance training helps build muscle compared to just exercise.
Studies carried out by Laurentian University Ontario concluded “protein supplementation during resistance training, independent of source, increased lean tissue mass and strength over isocaloric placebo and resistance training.”
Number 4: Protects and Repairs Your Body’s Cells from Deterioration and Damage
Whey protein is also a powerful antioxidant, boosting the immune system – another health advantage. It helps repair muscle fast and allows the body to promote muscle growth safely and naturally.
One of the main reasons for this is whey protein’s ability to help the human body produce glutathione. Glutathione’s main function is to protect your cells and mitochondria from oxidative and peroxidative damage.
As might be expected, the aging process reduces your body’s ability to produce glutathione. As people age, their bodies gradually loses their ability to produce critical amino acids – the essential proteins needed for energy production, immune actions and protein buildup in the muscle.
Thus, the need to supplement with these amino acids increases as you get older and increases even more in times of high physical stress, like after a workout, or when recovering from injury or illness.
Glutathione is a very molecule that is produced naturally all the time in your body. It is a combination of three simple building blocks of protein or amino acids — cysteine, glycine and glutamine.
Whey protein is one of the best sources for these building blocks, but there a few warnings. The whey protein MUST be bioactive and made from non-denatured proteins (“denaturing” refers to the breakdown of the normal protein structure).
Choose non-industrially produced milk that contains no pesticides, hormones, or antibiotics. It must be cold processed whey protein derived from pasture-fed cows, and free of GMOs, chemicals, and sugar.