Whey protein powder is a mixture composed of globular proteins that have been isolated from whey. Whey itself is a high-quality protein that occurs naturally in milk. Milk is composed of two types of protein; casein (80%) and whey (20%). Whey is the liquid byproduct created from cheese production, which is then pasteurized and dried into whey protein powder to be used in a number of ways.
It is considered a complete protein containing all the essential amino acids the body requires, and is also very easy to digest. In addition, whey protein powder is among the best sources of branched chain amino acids (BCAA), with the inclusion of leucine.
Whey protein powder composition might vary depending on the source of the milk, method of production, type of cheese being made, and individual manufacturing specifications. However, whey protein powder essentially consists of beta-lactoglobuli, alpha-lactoglobulin, bovine serum albumin, and immunoglobulins.
There are three types of whey protein, namely: whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and whey protein hydrolysate. Whey protein powder does not taste very good on its own and is therefore flavored to make it easy to consume. It comes in flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, and many others. Quality whey protein powder has a number of health benefits for individuals of all ages, and we’ll go over a few of them below.
Benefits Of High Quality Whey Protein Powder
1. Antioxidant Benefits
Antioxidants are substances which act against the body’s oxidation, reducing oxidative stress as well as keeping in check the risk of developing chronic illnesses. They do this by eliminating damaging free radicals in the body, mostly produced during metabolism or after exposure to toxins, heavy metals, or radiation.
Glutathione is one of the most important intracellular antioxidants which are produced in our bodies. Whey protein powder is an important source of precursors of glutathione, which exhibits the unique ability of maximizing the activity of all other antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables we consume almost on a daily basis.
In addition, glutathione production in the body depends on the availability of certain amino acids, such as cysteine, which may be in limited supply at times. Cysteine rich foods such as whey protein are capable of boosting the natural antioxidant defense of the body.
2. Weight Control, Obesity, And Satiety
One study published in Nutrition and Metabolism observed that individuals who took a specialized whey protein lost body fat significantly and exhibited greater preservation of lean muscle as compared to the subjects in the experiment who took the control beverage.
In addition, when you drink a whey protein shake in the morning, the initial fullness will thwart the urge to consume more food and therefore fewer calories in terms of intake. To add to that, whey protein contains glycomacropeptides that help regulate appetite and stimulate the release of the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK). CCK stimulates the pancreas and gall bladder to improve digestion and emptying of the stomach.
It also promotes bowel movement, preventing constipation. Glycomacropeptides increase the levels of CCK by over 400%, which relays to the brain that the body is full and therefore suppresses appetite. Whey fits as an excellent low-fat, low-carbohydrate source of nutritional protein, and as a powder it can be included in a number of meal replacement drinks for weight loss and programs aimed at muscle enhancement.
3. Type 2 Diabetes
This chronic condition is characterized by high blood sugar levels and impaired insulin function. According to research, whey protein that comes in the form of powder has been found to effectively moderate blood sugar levels, increasing both the level of insulin as well as the sensitivity to its effects, which is comparable to diabetic drugs such as sulfonylurea.
Taking whey protein supplements before or with a high carbohydrate meal has been found effective in regulating blood glucose levels both in healthy individuals and type 2 diabetic patients. In essence, whey protein can be used as a supplementary treatment for type 2 diabetes.
4. Muscle Mass And Strength
The most popular use of whey protein supplements is in increasing muscle mass and strength. In addition to all the essential amino acids your body requires, whey protein of high quality obtained from organically raised pastured cows contains leucine, glutathione, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
Leucine and CLA are important in weight loss, while glutathione boosts your overall health by protecting your mitochondria and cells from oxidative and peroxidative damage.
On muscle mass and strength, whey protein provides the required amino acids to serve as building blocks for increased muscle growth. It increases the release of anabolic hormones such as insulin that stimulate muscle growth, while the whey protein itself is absorbed and utilized far more efficiently than other proteins.
Leucine signals the mTOR mechanism to increase protein synthesis and build muscle growth. Whey protein contains far more leucine than any other food, and you would need to eat large volumes of other sources before attaining the amount produced from high quality whey protein powder.
Research studies on lab animals on this subject matter have established that dietary supplemented with whey protein provide protection against cancers of the esophagus, lungs, colon, bladder, breasts, and liver induced as a result of toxins. It also appears that the earlier the whey protein is initiated, the greater the protective effects.
The same results have been replicated on human patients suffering from different stage five cancers, where those on whey protein survived with high glutathione levels while the others did not in the absence of treatment.
Sphingomyelin, a component of whey protein, has been shown to prevent development of colon cancer as well as prevent the spread of others forms of cancer. CLA has also been shown to inhibit a number of human cancer cell lines as well as confer immunity or prevent against chemically-induced cancers emanating from environmental toxins.
Possible Side Effects Of Using Cheap Whey Protein Powder!
1. Kidney Stones And Kidney Failure
The development of kidney stones is supposedly the worst consequence of a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. While there is no conclusive evidence to suggest a high protein diet causes kidney stones, whey protein does not seem to prevent them and as such can make the condition worse if present.
Kidney stones are deposits of calcium in your kidneys, and sometimes they come out through the urethra, which is a painful experience. Individuals at risk of developing kidney stones are probably those who are affected or are likely to be affected when drinking whey protein shakes. It is advised to eat a balanced diet in addition to taking whey proteins and limit your protein intake to your requirements.
2. Risk Of Gout
Gout is a risk when one has shown signs and symptoms of it or when there is familial history of the disease. It is not likely that you would suffer from gout by taking whey protein shakes unless you fall into the above categories or you are using low quality whey products. Along with the protein contained in whey protein powder, there is also a large amount of amino acids.
In the case where your body cannot handle or process these protein constituents effectively, they’ll build up in your system and destroy major organs such as the liver and other organs, which are supposed to filter and metabolize these substances.
For this, one might have to go for a high quality whey protein powder containing low concentrations of protein to keep within one’s healthy daily protein range.
3. Weight Gain
One of the reasons individuals use whey protein powder is to develop lean muscles. This is not always the case when dealing with cheap whey protein powder, since some of them may come with added sugars, carbohydrates, and fats.
There is also the possibility of overeating while on whey protein, since it provides added calories and carbohydrates in liquid form that may not be enough to sustain you as a meal replacement, therefore not achieving the intended results.
4. Digestive Problems
Whey protein powder is sourced from dairy products and therefore might end up giving individuals with lactose intolerance digestive problems. You don’t really have to be lactose sensitive to feel the effects, though most of the adults who do are sensitive to lactose to some degree. High quality protein concentrate solves this issue.
Even though a high protein, low carbohydrate diet has been proven beyond doubt to aid in the quest to shed off some weight in the short term, a prolonged use of this diet will eventually lead to ketosis.
This is the metabolic state where the body breaks down more fat as a source of energy due to the absence of carbohydrates. This causes damage to the liver and muscle tissue. Prolonged ketosis can also cause kidney stones and eventually kidney failure.
Top Whey Protein Products
- Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder, Double Rich Chocolate, 5 Pound @ $57.99.
- Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein Powder, Chocolate, 2 Pounds @ $16.98.
- EAS 100% Pure Whey Protein Powder, Vanilla, 2lb (Packaging May Vary) @ $16.98.
- Jarrow Formulas Whey Protein, Supports Muscle Development, Unflavoured, 32 oz @ $20.24.
Cheap Whey Protein Powder Side Effects Final Words
Whey protein powder is a great dietary supplement when taken in the right proportions as it provides the essential amino acid necessary for normal growth and development.
It should be noted, however, that it is important to get the required dosage from a specialized health practitioner, depending on the intended use of the product, as well as seek information from them before use. One must by all means, try as much as possible to get the best quality of whey protein powder for best results.