Whey protein is a popular dietary supplement among not just athletes but also people looking to meet their fitness goals, be it building muscle or losing weight. But before you sign up for a gym and blindly buy supplements, get to know more about this protein. Here are 10 things you should know about whey protein.
#1. What is it?
Whey protein is a by-product in the cheese making process. It is made from the watery portion of the milk. Even though it is a by-product, it is highly nutritious.
#2. Not for lactose intolerant
Since it is a dairy product, it is not recommended for people with milk allergies or who are lactose intolerant. Also, different supplements have different calories and lactose content. While whey protein isolate has 90 percent protein, it has very little fat and lactose but whey protein concentrate can have protein amount somewhere between 29 to 90 percent.
#3. Complete protein
It contains all the nine essential amino acids that are needed for muscle repair. These are essential amino acids because they cannot be produced by the body on its own unlike the other 13 non-essential amino acids.
#4. High biological value
The quality and effectiveness of any protein can be measured based on its Biological Value (BV) and Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS). While the former measures how effectively it can be utilized while the latter tells you about the quantity of amino acids in it. Whey protein ranks well in both.
#5. Natural sources
By Peggy Greb, USDA ARS [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Though there are supplements available for people who workout, there are natural sources as well. These include dairy butter and cream, cottage and ricotta cheese and yogurt.
#6. Preferable quantity
Its is recommended that you only take 1-2 scoops (25-50 grams) of whey in a day after your workouts.
#7. More than one function
It is primarily taken for developing muscles but it has a host of other benefits too. It can also be helpful in regulating blood sugar levels thereby controlling diabetes and avoiding digestive problems.
#8. Weight loss
Though it is a favorite of body builders to gain muscle, it is also popular in fitness models as it helps in building lean muscle and weight loss.
#9. Avoid too much
People with medications for certain diseases such as Parkinson’s, kidney or liver diseases and osteoporosis should preferably stay away from this protein. Eating too much of whey can also lead to diarrhea, cramps and nausea.
Whey protein supplements are advised when seeking a fitness goal and only in certain doses. Excess protein is not good for the body and can be stored as fat which can also increase the risk of dehydration. Too much protein can also increase chances of calcium loss and lead to osteoporosis. It is safe for athletes to have a high-protein diet but an average person should talk to a medical professional first before taking supplements.