Whey protein is a natural by-product of cheese production boasting numerous health and fitness benefits. It is often used as a value-added ingredient in many food products such as sports nutrition foods and beverages. Whey can help to increase muscle mass and strength and also improve athletic performance. Due to its fast absorption time, whey protein is ideal for consuming pre-, during, or post-workout. Taking whey protein after exercising can improve protein oxidation and blood levels of essential amino acids.
Protein yield determines how much protein you end up with
Whey protein isolate (WPI) has the highest protein yield, resulting in at least 90% protein. That means for 100 grams of protein power, you get 90 grams of protein. It provides essential amino acids, which act as building blocks for muscle development. It helps in the release of anabolic hormone which is responsible for muscle growth and controls blood sugar.
More than muscles
Moreover, people who have been diagnosed with diabetes will benefit from adding products containing whey protein to their daily food consumption. Studies have found that whey protein reduced blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. Specifically, studies conducted in Sweden, Israel, and the United States determined that diabetics who consumed a whey protein shake 15 to 20 minutes before a meal lower their chance of hyperglycemia (a spike in blood sugar immediately following a meal or snack). Some of the participants were even able to skip an insulin shot because the whey protein shake improved their body’s natural insulin response.
Bulk up and trim down
Diabetics must also maintain a healthy weight to prevent further health complications and adding whey protein to their diet can have a very positive effect. Researchers found that individuals who consume whey protein weighed less and have less body fat. They also determined that whey protein can help reduce levels of ghrelin (a hormone that tells your brain that you’re hungry), reducing short-term food intake. Results from studies for weight loss and appetite regulation suggest that whey protein can promote more efficient weight loss in comparison to lower-protein diets.
Additional benefits of whey protein
- Improves cardiovascular performance: Milk proteins such as whey protein can help lower high blood pressure. Moreover, it has been found that overweight and obese individuals can improve blood pressure and vascular function by consuming whey protein.
- Promotes healthy and strong bone formation: The milk basic protein in whey is an active protein that helps in bone formation by activating osteoblasts.
- Enhances immune function: Whey contains three peptides that increase the production of glutathione, boosting the immune system.