What is whey protein and its health benefits and risk

What is whey protein: Whey protein is not something new for anyone, they have been available for hundreds of years however the true benefits of whey protein have become unknown, this awareness has led to …

What is whey protein: Whey protein is not something new for anyone, they have been available for hundreds of years however the true benefits of whey protein have become unknown, this awareness has led to an increase in research activity to identify all the benefits whey protein provides to the human body.


what is whey protein,Essential and non essential amino acids

Whey protein is a type of protein derived from milk. It is a byproduct of the cheese-making process, where whey is separated from the curds.

Whey protein is considered a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids that the body needs but cannot produce on its own. It is highly bioavailable, meaning it is easily absorbed and utilized by the body.

Whey protein is popular among athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts due to its numerous benefits. Here are some key points about whey protein:

1. Muscle Building and Recovery: 
Whey protein is rich in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), particularly leucine, which plays a crucial role in muscle protein synthesis.
Consuming whey protein after a workout can help promote muscle growth and aid in muscle recovery.


2. Weight Management: 

Whey protein can help with weight management as it is satiating, meaning it can make you feel fuller for longer.

It can be used as a convenient and low-calorie option to supplement a balanced diet and support weight loss or weight maintenance goals.


3. Nutrient Profile:

Besides being a source of high-quality protein, whey protein also contains essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It is typically low in lactose, making it suitable for many individuals with lactose intolerance.

4. Convenience:

Whey protein is available in various forms, including powder, bars, and ready-to-drink shakes, making it a convenient option for those looking to increase their protein intake.

5. Different Types: 

Whey protein is available in different forms, primarily classified as whey protein concentrate (WPC), whey protein isolate (WPI), and whey protein hydrolysate (WPH).

WPC contains varying levels of protein, carbohydrates, and fat, while WPI is further processed to remove most of the lactose, fat, and carbohydrates.

WPH is pre-digested or hydrolyzed, resulting in faster absorption.

Note- It’s important to note that while whey protein is generally safe for consumption, individuals with specific medical conditions or allergies should consult with a healthcare professional before adding it to their diet.

Additionally, the appropriate amount of protein intake varies depending on factors such as age, weight, activity level, and overall health goals.

Milk contains two primary protein:


  • Whey protein
  • Casein protein


1. Whey protein:

whey is derived from milk and is a popular choice among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. It is quickly absorbed by the body and rich in essential amino acids, making it ideal for muscle building and recovery.

Dairy products as well as eggs, cottage cheese, soy, and vegetable protein sources such as beans also have a good amount of protein.


2. Casein Protein:

Like whey, casein protein is also derived from milk. However, it is digested more slowly, providing a sustained release of amino acids. It is often consumed before bedtime to support overnight muscle repair and growth.

3. Soy Protein: Soy protein is derived from soybeans and is a suitable option for vegetarians and vegans.

It is a complete protein and contains all essential amino acids. Soy protein may also offer additional health benefits, such as supporting heart health.

Nevertheless, none of these sources compares in quality or ease of use like whey protein, whey protein has the highest value in providing branched-chain amino acids which result in building muscles and retaining muscle tissue.


Essential and non-essential amino acids 

Protein is a nutrient made up of amino acids. There are two types of amino acids essential amino acids and non-essential amino acids.


Essential amino acids:

They not synthesized by the human body, you must take it from the daily foods you eat like chicken fish and beef, tuna seeds, quinoa always read labels for protein content of every food you eat.
There are nine essential amino acids:
  • Histidine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine

Nonessential amino acids 

Nonessential amino acids can usually be synthesized by the healthy human body from the foods that we eat each day. The essential amino acids, however, must be obtained through the daily diet.
There are eleven non-essential amino acids-
  • Arginine
  • Glutamine
  • Tyrosine
  • Cysteine,
  • Glycine
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Ornithine
  • Alanine
  • Asparagine
  • Aspartate

Conditional amino acids

  • Arginine
  • Glutamine
  • Tyrosine
  • Cysteine
  • Glycine
  • Proline
  • Serine,
  • Ornithine


Role of protein in the body

Protein has several important roles in the human body including-
  • Repair of body cells
  • Build and repair muscles and bones
  • Provide a source of energy
  • Regulate many important metabolic processes in the body
On the other hand, sports nutrition products and infant formulas often use hydrolyzed whey protein for these reasons. a recent clinical study has also found that a specific type of hydrolyzed whey protein helped lower blood pressure.


Symptoms of protein deficiency

Protein is very important for bodybuilders and infant and adult dieters and for everybody since athletes and bodybuilders work out often protein levels become depleted. By being a direct precursor to building muscles and essential amino acids such as glutamine (a muscle enhancer, endurance builder and muscle deterioration reducer).

The content from high-quality protein not only can, but will helps one muscle recover and grow faster by bringing up the level of protein deficiency.

With dieting and those wishing to lose some extra fat, whey protein can be very useful because a good intake of protein balances blood sugar levels, while carbohydrates cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate.

When the blood sugar levels stay balanced one is not as prone to rampant eating and has more energy and greater and fat loss. Protein allows a person to control his or her diet effectively, most people who want to change their body could benefit from whey protein supplementation.

However, since protein is naturally found in many food items deficiency is not a problem.

How much protein do I need?

Training athletes often consume 24 grams of protein per day bodybuilders who want serious gains and burning serious calories, bodybuilders generally consume 150 grams of protein per day according to height and weight and calories need.

Extremely high doses of protein whey supplements are not recommended as this will cause the body liver to be overloaded and you won’t get the same benefits as with a consistent lower amount taken three to five times per day.

Consuming protein supplements can help deter the effects of the overtraining-protein intake of approx. 0.88 grams per pound of body-weight resulted in increased prevention of overtraining. 

This study was conducted at ball state university on 16 weight-trained men, they were put on 4 weeks overtraining program where they did 8-12 reps max for three sets, eight exercises for the first two weeks, then five sets, five exercises for 3-5 reps max for the next two weeks.

The men have chosen to receive either an amino acid supplement or a placebo for the duration of the four weeks (0.88 grams/lb body weight/day), those that were given the amino acids had measurable positive changes in total testosterone, the ratio of testosterone to the protein that transport it, and hemoglobin compared to those given a placebo.

This appears to prove adequate protein consumption is the key to making gains. Be sure to get enough protein (approx 1 gram per lb of body weight).

Protein taken with carbohydrates is better than protein alone for muscle building, as you know the post-workout meal shake is the most important meal to increase anabolism.

Make sure next time you are getting some carbs in your post-workout shakes for the best results.

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