What is whey protein?
Whey protein is a general term given to the protein found in whey, a byproduct of cheesemaking. Whey is the watery part of milk that separates from curds when making cheese. It is usually sold in the form of dry powders as protein supplements. The general use is for muscle gain and fat loss. Different whey supplement powders are processed differently, and they can vary in how concentrated the protein in them are and how fast they are absorbed by the body. These are usually indicated on the supplement bottle.
Features of Whey protein supplements
Whey protein is considered a high-quality protein supplement that can help people attain their targeted daily protein goals as well as improve their health. The health benefits of whey protein are associated with the increased intake of the protein itself. Increased high-quality protein intake is associated with muscle gain, lower muscle loss with reduced calorie intake and lower fat gain. It is generally considered to be more effective than other forms of protein, but more research is needed to be certain. It may also provide an additional source of energy as it is such a rich source of protein. Usually, whey protein powder supplements have an unpleasant taste. For this reason, it is often flavoured when sold so people can have it as a shake or add it to their usual diet shakes.
Health benefits of Whey protein supplements
Whey protein has the ability to scavenge free radicals and eliminate them, reducing oxidative stress (1). Oxidative stress is detrimental to health as it causes premature aging that can lead to other disease conditions. There is more research needed to prove that it is effective after being digested and that the benefit is seen in the organs and tissue.
Increased Fat loss
Obese individuals taking whey protein supplements were found to lose more weight than the control group (2) They also lost less lean muscle in the process and more fat. In this study, whey supplements were combined with reduced caloric intake. In general, eating more protein can promote fat loss by suppressing appetite, boosting metabolism and helping maintain muscle mass. It is generally thought to be most effective by having supplements before a meal. The amount taken can depend on the weight of the individual as discussed in the dose section below. To be safe, a professional can help with dosing of whey protein supplements.
It was found that people who ingested whey protein supplements for 12 weeks had a significant decrease in their levels of total and LDL cholesterol as compared to the control group (3). Lowering cholesterol is beneficial for heart disease and diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
It has been found that whey protein supplements are effective at moderating blood sugar and can also increase the levels of insulin in the body (4 – 6). The patients in this study also had increased sensitivity to insulin. The overall therapeutic effect of whey protein supplements needs to be researched more.
It has been found that whey protein may improve intestinal permeability and morphology in patients with Crohn’s disease (7). It is unknown if this is effective against all intestinal disorders. More work is needed to see if whey protein can be used therapeutically for Crohn’s disease.
It has been found that when patients with hypertension ingested whey protein, there was a significant reduction in their blood pressure (8). Thus, whey protein supplements may have actually reduced their risk of developing heart disease and having stroke occurrences. More research needs to be conducted to see if there is a therapeutic effect of whey protein supplements on heart disease.
General health benefits and dose
The main benefit of whey protein supplements is its use in increasing muscle gain during exercise or strategized weight loss. The amount you should invest depends on your level of athletic ability and your goals. While athletes might ingest 1.5 – 2.2 g/kg of their body weight per day, an active person looking to lose body fat could ingest 1 – 1.5 g/kg of their body weight per day. The same rules do not apply to overweight or obese people as this dose might be harmful to their health. One should consult a professional to be sure the right doses of whey protein are being used and that this is not harmful to their health.
Whey protein supplements can exacerbate existing liver or kidney problems. People with existing kidney and liver problems should consult a doctor before taking whey protein supplements. If you have an allergy to cow’s milk, please avoid taking whey protein supplements as you might have a reaction. There is not enough information regarding the safety of whey protein supplements for pregnant or breastfeeding women. If you are on any existing medication, consult a doctor regarding any interactions these might have with whey protein before taking whey protein supplements.
MapleLife Whey Protein supplements
MapleLife is highly reputable in Canada and the world for developing quality and effective supplements at a great price. The MapleLife Whey protein supplements are 100% protein and are absorbed fast by the body. It has very low levels of fat and lactose and comes in a chocolate milk flavor that is delicious. There are many benefits to taking whey protein supplements as discussed in this article. It is especially useful for overweight and obese individuals considering lowering their body mass index by decreasing their fat and increasing their muscle. If you are considering using this to improve your health, work with a professional to get optimized results. It is highly effective with some discipline and has been used successfully both in research and with athletes and gyms.
- Corrochano, A. R., Buckin, V., Kelly, P. M., & Giblin, L. (2018). Invited review: Whey proteins as antioxidants and promoters of cellular antioxidant pathways. Journal of Dairy Science, 101(6), 4747–4761. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2017-13618
- Frestedt, J. L., Zenk, J. L., Kuskowski, M. A., Ward, L. S., & Bastian, E. D. (2008). A whey-protein supplement increases fat loss and spares lean muscle in obese subjects: a randomized human clinical study. Nutrition & Metabolism, 5, 8. https://doi.org/10.1186/1743-7075-5-8
- Pal, S., Ellis, V., & Dhaliwal, S. (2010). Effects of whey protein isolate on body composition, lipids, insulin and glucose in overweight and obese individuals. British Journal of Nutrition, 104(5), 716–723. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114510000991
- Frid, A. H., Nilsson, M., Holst, J. J., & Björck, I. M. (2005). Effect of whey on blood glucose and insulin responses to composite breakfast and lunch meals in type 2 diabetic subjects. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 82(1), 69–75. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn.82.1.69
- Lan-Pidhainy, X., & Wolever, T. M. (2010). The hypoglycemic effect of fat and protein is not attenuated by insulin resistance. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 91(1), 98–105. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.2009.28125
- Mortensen, L. S., Holmer-Jensen, J., Hartvigsen, M. L., Jensen, V. K., Astrup, A., de Vrese, M., … Hermansen, K. (2012). Effects of different fractions of whey protein on postprandial lipid and hormone responses in type 2 diabetes. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 66(7), 799–805. https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2012.48
- Benjamin, J., Makharia, G., Ahuja, V., Anand Rajan, K. D., Kalaivani, M., Gupta, S. D., & Joshi, Y. K. (2012). Glutamine and Whey Protein Improve Intestinal Permeability and Morphology in Patients with Crohn’s Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 57(4), 1000–1012. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10620-011-1947-9
Fluegel, S. M., Shultz, T. D., Powers, J. R., Clark, S., Barbosa-Leiker, C., Wright, B. R., … Di Filippo, M. M. (2010). Whey beverages decrease blood pressure in prehypertensive and hypertensive young men and women. International Dairy Journal, 20(11), 753–760. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.IDAIRYJ.2010.06.005