Whey Protein – Types, Benefits, Dosage And Side-Effects

Whey protein is a wonder supplement because it is a one stop solution to your needs of burning fat, building lean muscles, boosting our body’s immune system and preventing certain diseases. 

Whey Protein is extremely effective in performing all the above said functions because when compared to any other food or supplement, the protein provided by Whey Protein is much more readily absorbed in our body and it is much easier to digest. This is exactly why Whey Protein has emerged as one of the most popular and used protein supplements in the current times.

If you are still wondering why do you need to supplement your diet with Protein, then you should know that Protein are also known as the building blocks of our Human body because protein helps in building and repairing various cells and tissues in our body. 

It maintains the balance of fluids in our body, it protects the functions of our enzymes, supports our nerves, supports the contraction of our muscles, and boosts the health of our body’s skin, nails and hair. 

Thus it is extremely important to include the recommended levels of Protein in our diet and using supplements like Whey are a great way to add additional healthy proteins in your body without adding a lot of harmful additional calories to our diet.

Because of the various muscle enhancing effects of Whey protein, it is a very popular protein supplement amongst athletes and bodybuilders because not only does it help in building muscles and enhancing the composition of our body, it also helps in quick recovery of muscles which are stressed or are broken down after a workout session.

According to a research study published in the “Journal of Food Science”, Whey Protein is one of the highest ranked quality protein supplements because of its ability to digest very quickly in our body and various amino acids present in it which are required for our body’s healthy functioning. It also helps your muscles to recover quickly so that they can heal and grow rapidly.

Milk is considered to be one of the best natural sources of protein and there are two different types of proteins which are usually found in milk: Whey Protein and Casein Protein.

Whey Protein is the part of milk which is a translucent liquid and remains after the process of manufacturing of cheese, and also after coagulation and removal of curd.

The term “Whey” refers to a very complex substance and not just protein which is separated from the translucent liquid and is made up from a combination protein with lactose, minerals, immunoglobulins and very little amount of fat. 

However, it is mainly just proteins and a few bioactive peptides which make Whey protein a superfood which is extremely effective for fat loss and building of lean muscle mass.

Whey Protein

Types of Whey Protein

There are three main varieties of Whey Protein and they are: Concentrate, Isolate and Hydrolysate. Let’s have a detailed look at all the three different types:

  1. Whey Protein Concentrate

    Whey Protein Concentrate is considered to be the best form of Whey Protein because it is the least processed form and it contains low levels of both Fats and Cholesterols and has higher concentration of many bioactive compounds mainly in the form of lactose. It is able to retain a majority of its naturally found health boosting nutrients because it is processed very little. Because of the Lactose and Fat content in Whey Protein Concentrate, it is the best tasting Whey variety from all the three variants.
  1. Whey Protein Isolate

    Whey Protein Isolate is a more concentrated form of Whey Protein when compared to Whey Protein Concentrate and it is processed to remove the majority of Carbohydrates and fats which are normally present in the Concentrate form of Whey. The concentration of Protein in Isolate form is more than 90% and the lactose content is quite less.
  1. Whey Protein Hydrolysate

    The Hydrolysate form of Whey Protein is developed when the isolate form is Hydrolyzed. It means that larger proteins are broken down into much smaller pieces which are much easily digestible. The proteins found in Hydrolysate can be broken down by the action of enzymes, heat or various acids. Hydrolysate form of Whey gets absorbed much more quickly in our body and helps in increasing the blood insulin levels. It is very helpful for those athletes who want to grow lean muscle mass.

How to use Whey Protein?

Whey Protein is generally dried and then made available in powder form because it can be reconstituted very easily just by adding liquid to the powder. 

The easiest way to use whey protein is to add one scoop(about 30 grams) of Whey Protein to a shake or a smoothie. For example, you can have a whey protein smoothie with your breakfast and you can have another smoothie after your workout. If you are looking for a delicious Whey Protein smoothie recipe, there are tons of recipes available over the net.

What is Isolate Whey Protein?

The Isolate form of Whey Protein is obtained when excess fat has been removed from the Concentrate Whey Protein. Isolate Whey Protein also has a lower amount of certain bioactivated compounds and the Siolate form of Whey is considered to be the purest protein source in the market as the concentration of Protein is more than 90%. 

However, there is a problem associated with the Isolate Whey Protein because during its manufacturing, the protein is often denatured which makes it hard on your body’s digestive tract. This process of denaturation involves the breaking down of protein structures which causes them to lose their peptide bonds and it reduces the effectiveness of Proteins.

How is Whey Protein different from Casein Protein?

Whey and Casein proteins are both found in Milk and they are present in the ratio of 4:1 in Cow’s milk. It is estimated that 100 millimeters of Cow’s milk contains about 3.5 grams of Protein and out of this 3.5 grams of Protein, 80% is Casein while Whey is present in just 20%. 

However, Whey protein is considered to be much better than Casein Protein because the percentage of branched chain amino acids is much more in Whey when compared to Casein and it allows Whey protein to synthesis faster than Casein protein.

Several research studies have also proved that the solubility of Whey Protein is much more than Casein which results in better digestivity.

Nutritional Facts

According to the USDA, one scoop or about 28 grams of Whey Protein contains about:

  • 100 calories
  • 20 grams of Proteins
  • 5 grams of Carbohydrates
  • 1.5 grams of fat
  • 1 gram of Fiber
  • 3.5 grams of Sugar
  • 94 milligrams of Calcium
  • 140 milligrams of Sodium

Whey protein is high in essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids because of these constituents and the beneficial qualities of Whey Protein is because of the bioactivity of these proteins. 

Whey Protein is quite rich in Cysteine amino acid and it is extremely important for humans because it enhances the levels of Glutathione which is a very important antioxidant and is known to reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases caused by oxidative stress. 

Branched chain amino acids are equally important because they help in the prevention of Muscle breakdown during exercise as well as repair the damage done to tissues.

Whey Protein benefits

Health benefits

  1. Increases strength and helps in building muscles

    Whey Protein is considered to be one of the most efficient ways to add proteins to your diet without adding any extra calories, fats or carbohydrates.

    Whey Protein contains nearly 80-90 % of protein and it is enough to fulfill the daily protein requirements of the body, building muscle mass and reducing fatigue after a workout. Therefore, it is used as an ingredient in D-Bal Max.

  1. Burns Fat

    A research study was published in the “Journal of American College of Nutrition” and it studied the effects of Whey Protein on the human body with and without resistance training and also has an effect on the overall body weight and composition.

    It was discovered that those adults who supplemented their diet with Whey Protein experienced a significant decrease in the levels of Fat in their body as well as their body weight and this result was much more prominent in those adults who did resistance training.

  1. Reduces Cravings

    Ghrelin and Leptin are two hormones which help in regulating your appetite and it is believed that Whey Protein is able to affect both of these hormones. Leptin mainly affects the balance of energy in your body which helps in suppressing the intake of food whereas Ghrelin is known to regulate hunger and helps in meal initiation.

    These hormones work in sync with each other whenever your body has to eat and several research studies conducted on obese patients show that in obese people, the levels of Leptin is generally higher than Ghrelin. It was also found that the consumption of Whey Protein helps in balancing the levels of leptin and Ghrelin which are secreted by the body which helps in reducing the cravings and hunger and prevents overeating.

  1. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

    Research studies have shown that when Whey is consumed just before having meals which are high in Glycemic Index, it helps in stabilizing the blood sugar levels because it prevents the dramatic rise in blood sugar levels by stimulating the production of insulin in your body.
  1. Increases Energy Levels

    Whey Protein helps in the increment of energy levels in your body by increasing the levels of Glycogen. GLycogen acts as an energy source for your body during exercise or workouts and it is known to enhance the effects of Leptin which is a hormone responsible for affecting the energy balance.

    Whey is also converted into energy in our body really quickly because of its ability to digest easily and be accessed in our body.

  1. Boosts Glutathione

    Whey Protein helps in the production and increases the level of Glutathione in our body which is one of the most important antioxidants ever discovered and it is found in nearly every cell of our body.

    Research studies have shown that Cysteine, which is an essential amino acid, is required for the synthesis of Glutathione and it has been proved that Whey Protein is quite rich in Cysteine.

    Researchers at the Ohio State University discovered that users who supplemented their diet with Hydrolyzed Whey Protein supplement witnessed an increase in the concentration of intracellular Glutathione by upto 64%.

  1. Boosts Immunity

    Whey protein increases the concentration of Glutathione in the human body and this is why it is also able to boost the functioning of your body’s immune system.

    It is also known to boost the efficiency of various antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, ALA and CoQ10. It also contains other essential vitamins and minerals like Vitamin D which have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.

  1. Improves Heart Health

    Research studies have proved that Whey Protein is very beneficial for your heart’s health as it regulates blood pressure in your body, reduces the stiffness of arteries and also improves the lipid profile. It helps in decreasing various cardiovascular risks by promoting weight loss and protecting your muscles.
  1. Extends LifeSpan

    Whey Protein has been proven to increase the lifespan of your body because it reduces the wasting of muscles which is accompanied with aging and it also increases the absorption of nutrients without increasing the hunger.

    This is quite important because humans lose muscle mass and the bone mass, cellular functions as well as digestive functions of our body decrease with age and Whey protein has been found to reduce these symptoms of aging.

Side Effects

Whey Protein is considered to be safe for human consumption for both children and adults when taken in appropriate amounts, However, when taken in excess, it can lead to various side effects like an increased bowel movement, thirst, nausea, bloating, cramps, reduction in appetite, tiredness and headache.

Precautions for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women

There is no conclusive evidence yet which can prove the side effects of Whey Protein on Pregnant and Breastfeeding women but it is still recommended to stay on the safer side and avoid its use.

Dosage and How to use it?

Whey Protein is really simple to use because you just need to add one scoop or about 28 grams of Whey Protein powder in any liquid like water, almond milk, shakes or smoothies.

The best time to take Whey Protein is either with Breakfast or right after a workout because it helps in the recovery of muscles.

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