7 Evidence Based Health Benefits of Whey Protein

While most people know that protein is good for them, many don’t fully understand why. The protein in whey comes from a liquid byproduct of making cheese, which is then used to make protein powders and other supplements.

There are a variety of whey protein powders available, both animal- and plant-based. This whey protein powder from Transparent Labs is our top pick for several reasons:

1. Increases Muscle Mass

Increasing muscle mass with whey protein can help you build more lean muscles and lose fat. By consuming protein prior to and immediately after resistance training, you can increase muscle protein synthesis and stimulate new muscle growth. This is much easier than consuming whole protein sources like chicken breast, beef and fish that can take longer to digest.

This protein also helps to balance out ghrelin and leptin, two hormones that help control appetite. Whey proteins can decrease ghrelin and increase leptin, which helps promote a sense of satiety and reduce hunger cravings.

2. Boosts Immune System

The immune system is made up of protein, and the best source of protein to boost your immunity is whey. It’s rich in branched chain amino acids, sulfur amino acids (including cysteine), and immunoglobulins.

Adding whey protein to your diet can help prevent the loss of muscle mass that occurs naturally with age. It can also improve immune function and decrease the risk of chronic diseases.

Whey proteinis a good source of glutathione which significantly enhances the body’s natural antioxidant defenses. GSH helps fight oxidative stress and protects the heart and brain.

3. Aids in Weight Loss

Whey protein is low in carbohydrates, making it a great option for weight loss. It is satiating and helps to suppress the appetite. It also increases glycogen, which boosts energy. A high-protein diet can help to increase metabolism and burn fat.

Proteins are made from amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscles, enzymes and hormones. The body can produce some of these, but it needs to get others from food. Whey proteins are rich in amino acids, including the essential ones.

Remember, however, that more protein does not automatically equal weight loss. You still need to be mindful of your calorie intake.

4. Decreases Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Whey proteins are very high in branched-chain amino acids, especially leucine. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which in turn build muscles, hormones, enzymes and other proteins in your body. You can get some amino acids from your own body, but others you must eat to get — these are called essential amino acids.

Several studies have shown that adding whey to a low-glycemic-index meal decreases postprandial glucose excursion and stimulates insulin secretion. Taking a whey protein preload also slows gastric emptying.

Another study found that people with type 2 diabetes who ate whey protein experienced reduced blood sugar and improved glycemic control. This is important since type 2 diabetes can lead to other serious health problems, including heart disease.

5. Reduces Risk of Heart Disease

Whey protein has been shown to have a positive impact on vascular function. Longer-term ‘chronic’ studies of whey proteins have demonstrated reduced systolic blood pressure (BP) in older people with normal BP at baseline, Hodgson et al (2012).

Muscle mass naturally decreases with age, but it can be slowed, prevented or even reversed with strength training and a diet high in protein. Whey protein can help with this process, as it stimulates muscle protein synthesis.

While consuming high amounts of whey protein may cause some kidney problems in those with existing issues, moderate consumption is typically well tolerated by most. It is best to consult a physician before beginning a new supplement.

6. Decreases Risk of Cancer

Whey protein is rich in calcium, which is important for bone health. It improves the body’s absorption of calcium, which can prevent osteoporosis and keep bones strong.

Whey proteins also contain glutathione, which helps to eliminate free radicals that cause cell damage and cancer. In addition, whey proteins promote the synthesis of other antioxidants such as vitamin C, coQ10 and ALA that help to boost the immune system.

Whey protein is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. This makes it a good protein choice for people who are trying to build muscle mass and burn fat at the same time.

7. Decreases Risk of Osteoporosis

Proteins are the building blocks of every cell, tissue and organ in your body. They are made from amino acids, and the ones you cannot produce on your own, called essential amino acids, are found in foods like whey.

Whey protein contains branched-chain amino acids, which help your muscles build mass and prevent muscle breakdown during exercise. It also increases glutathione production, which is an antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress and boosts immunity.