All you need to know about whey protein and its health benefits – Times of India

Protein is an important nutrient for our body and plays an essential function in building muscles, promoting weight loss, aiding recovery and much more. It can be added in the diet naturally, or by supplementation.

Supplements are also often taken by gym-goers and fitness enthusiasts.

Of all, whey protein is one of the most popular and beneficial protein supplements. It’s also something which can be easily incorporated into your diet.

Commonly available in the form of powder which can be added to water, yoghurts and other drinks, experts recommend people to have 25-50 grams of whey protein in a day (1 or 2 scoopfuls). However, your needs and dosage may also vary, depending on your requirements.

Not only does it contain a high nutritional value, but there are also a lot of studies which suggest that whey protein garners a lot of health benefits for the body.

We explain to you some of the best benefits of having whey protein regularly:

1. Whey protein is an excellent form of protein

One of the best reasons why whey protein generally ranks higher above other supplements is because of its make.

Whey protein is derived from whey, that is the liquid which gets separated from milk when cheese is made.

Now, whey protein might be a milk byproduct but it is considered a high-quality protein because it contains all nine forms of amino acids needed by the body. Only a few natural sources of protein (such as fish and chicken) contain all amino acids.

Apart from this, it is also much easier to digest by the body, light on the stomach, absorbed well and cheaper to procure too.

2. Enhances and strengthens the body’s antioxidant function

Antioxidants are an important component in the body which fight off toxins, oxidative stress and promote regeneration and growth. Of all, glutathione is one of the most critical antioxidants we need.

Now, glutathione, unlike other antioxidants is made naturally by the body- which is possible when we take in all amino acids through adequate protein consumption. Thus, regular intake of whey protein may benefit glutathione production and strengthen antioxidant function in the body.

Antioxidants also help fight off diseases, keep infections at bay and eliminate harmful free radicals from spreading in the body. There are benefits for the skin and hair too.

3. Aids weight loss and eliminates toxins

For any weight watcher, it’s important to include proteins in his or her diet. Whey protein can help in promoting fat loss.

Eating whey protein can help fulfil your weight loss goal by inducing satiety, which in turn, can cut down on your calorie intake.

Apart from this, whey protein can also boost your metabolism, which will promote a healthy weight and also maintains muscle mass, after you lose weight. Proteins also serve an additional benefit of acting down on toxins, aiding elimination as well. Therefore, it’s always recommended to include some form of protein in your diet.

Studies have also shown that whey protein, of all forms of protein, is the most helpful in suppressing appetite and promoting weight loss.

4. Regulates blood sugar levels

For diabetics, cutting down on carbs and including more protein is one of the ways to manage diabetes.

Inclusion of whey protein in the diet, according to studies, can help moderate blood sugar levels in the body, by increasing insulin levels and its sensitivity too. It has also been seen that whey protein carries the most benefits for diabetics, as compared to other forms of protein, such as non-vegetarian and poultry products.

Having whey protein along with a carb-based diet has shown impressive results in stabilizing blood sugar levels for diabetes patients as well those without the comorbidity. Ensure that you supplement your diet with this rich protein source to manage and treat the condition in the long run.

5. May help IBS and inflammation

Inflammation is considered a reaction by the body to any damage or invasion. Chronic inflammation, such as the one caused to the digestive tract can be harmful.

In conditions like Crohn’s disease, colitis, adequate whey protein supplementation can have beneficial effects. It can also reverse the damage caused by bowel impairment or disease. Studies are still being done to analyze the results of the same.

Nonetheless, protein is a good nutrient to add to your diet, if you are looking to improve your gut health and act down on inflammation naturally.


6. It can help lower blood pressure levels

High blood pressure levels, which are one of the most common causes of heart disease and cardiac ailments can be managed easily by upping your protein intake.

According to nutritional experts and studies conducted worldwide, consumption of dairy-based protein, such as whey has been shown to reduce blood pressure levels.

Research has seen that whey protein contains helpful enzymes, ACE inhibitors which work to tame down blood pressure levels.

Again, moderated whey protein consumption can also cut down inflammation risk, reduce chances of blood clots and promote healthy living.

7. Helps promote muscle growth in the body

Not just for bodybuilders and athletes, protein supplementation can benefit declining muscle growth.

Muscle mass, which usually starts to deteriorate with age can also cause fat accumulation and at the same time, raises the risk of developing lifestyle diseases.

Experts believe that having rich protein sources, such as whey protein, as you start to age can slow down the effect of degeneration, promote muscle growth and prevent other risk factors from flaring up too.

One of the prime reasons why whey protein, specifically is beneficial for people is because of the presence of leucine, which is an anabolic, growth-promoting amino acid. Men and women over 40 should have it in moderated quantities.

Is too much of whey protein bad for you? Are there any side-effects?

Protein may have a lot of impressive health benefits, but do remember, too much of protein can be dangerous and cause health problems.

Whey protein requirements can differ from person to person. However, overdoing your daily need may not be well-digested, or cause trouble.

Side-effects of having too much whey protein can wreak havoc on your digestion, leading to problems like cramps, bloating, diarrhoea, flatulence.
If you have a dairy allergy or are lactose intolerant, having whey protein may not be much suitable for you. Risks also exist for those with pre-existing liver and kidney problems.

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