How Does Whey Protein Affect Your Body?

For people who are interested in improving their fitness, protein supplements, such as whey protein, are an important tool for reaching their goals. 

Protein plays a vital role in building and repairing muscles along with other connective tissues. However, building muscle isn’t the only benefit of supplementing with whey protein.

What Is Whey Protein?

As its name suggests, whey protein is derived from whey, the watery portion of milk that becomes separated during cheese production. Once it’s been processed into powder, whey protein can provide up to 25 grams of protein, which is similar to the amount of protein in a serving of chicken breast. Unlike chicken, whey protein is also very low in sodium, cholesterol, and fat, so it can be especially useful for individuals on specialized, high-protein diets.

Benefits of Whey Protein

Aids Weight Loss

Whey protein is particularly high in leucine, the best amino acid for promoting muscle growth. It also helps reduce hunger by promoting satiety while being naturally low in calories. 

Supplementing an exercise program with whey protein can maintain muscle mass, which boosts metabolism by burning more calories when the body’s at rest. This, combined with whey protein’s tendency to promote fullness, can help someone lose weight faster than if they weren’t taking a protein supplement.

Can Lower Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar

Whey is high in alpha-lactorphin, an ACE-inhibitor that’s been shown to lower blood pressure in rats. The digestion of whey protein also helps the body regulate its blood glucose levels. People who must follow a high-protein, low-carb diet, such as those diagnosed with hypertension or type 2 diabetes, may find whey protein to be useful in slowing the progress of their conditions.

Reduces Inflammation

Once ingested, whey protein is synthesized into amino acids. One of these aminos is cysteine, which has been shown to improve the body’s reaction to oxidative stress. Whey protein can lower inflammation, which is one way the body reacts to cell damage from oxidative stress. As a consequence, whey protein can play a role in treating chronic inflammatory conditions ranging from irritable bowel syndrome to cancer.

Is a Clean Source of Quality Protein

Essentially, whey is largely composed of highly digestible proteins once it’s separated from the fatty, lactose-dense portion of milk. According to the experts at Legion Athletics, whey protein isolate is the “highest quality you can buy” thanks to being naturally lactose-free with very few carbohydrates and fat. Therefore, plain whey isolate protein powder can be an excellent source of pure protein without the fat, sodium, or carbohydrate content of foods with similar amounts of protein. 

This is beneficial for anyone who is on a restrictive diet, such as diabetics or those actively trying to lose weight.

Whey protein has been demonstrated to be an effective source of clean protein without posing many risks to your health. It’s particularly important for athletes and bodybuilders, but its benefits aren’t limited to fitness. If you’re considering a protein supplement for health benefits, be sure to consult your primary care physician before incorporating whey protein into your routine.