Whey protein is a popular choice among athletes, bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts or simply folks looking to get more protein in their diet. This supplement is widely regarded as a protein staple because it helps with lean muscle growth, muscle recovery, and overall health and wellness. To understand this protein and how it helps your body and well-being, here is what you need to know …
The Importance of Protein In Your Diet
Protein is a macronutrient, like fat and carbohydrates that is used in every single cell of the body. For example, hair and nails are mostly made of protein and the body uses it to build and repair tissues. Protein is also used to make hormones, enzymes, and other body chemicals.
Protein is one of the key ingredients in muscle growth, development, and overall wellness. On the smallest scale, proteins are made up of amino acids which are needed for the construction of various bodily systems and tissues as well as other physiological functions such as:
- brain metabolism
- immune system function and strength
- cardiovascular function
- energy production
Due to these dynamic building blocks, proteins are then considered important for building and maintaining strong muscles.
In short, protein is an essential building block of brain and heart function, muscles, bones, skin, cartilage, and blood. Unlike fat and carbohydrates, the body does not store protein to maintain an available reservoir, so it can only be obtained from food.
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Whey protein is a complete protein source found in cow’s milk, that provides all 9 essential amino acids, which are, in essence, the complete building blocks of life.
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How Whey Protein Is Made
Whey protein can be produced from whey through a variety of different membrane filtration methods depending upon the desired protein content. Some filtration methods include microfiltration and ultrafiltration. Once done, the whey protein is spray dried which gives it a powdery consistency.
Benefits of Whey Protein
There are a number of benefits from consuming whey protein that are all directly linked to the biological roles and properties of essential amino acids. Due to its high amount of L-leucine, whey protein is an important part of muscle protein production and other functions.
The following are some of the whey protein’s main benefits:
- It can provide anti-catabolic properties during extended periods of aerobic activities
- It is quickly and easily absorbed and digested
- It boosts insulin sensitivity which can in turn boost metabolism and result in weight loss
- Improves and enhances the immune system (especially for physically active individuals)
- Helps maintain muscle mass/prevent muscular loss as a result of aging
Is Whey Protein Powder Right For You?
Now that you have a basic understanding of what whey protein is and why it’s good for you, you may be motivated to add it to your diet. But you be the judge. Unless you are a vegan or have certain allergies, whey protein is well worth considering.
The bottomline … by combining the consumption of whey protein with proper eating habits, regular exercise, and getting enough sleep, you could begin to attain the lean, healthy body you’ve always dreamed of.