You probably have heard at sometime in your life that protein helps to build muscle. Muscle is the most important factor when it comes to metabolism, and whether or not it will be fast or slow. So it is something you need. The opinion on how much has varied over the decades and goes beyond the scope of this article, but everyone in the health field will conclude you need protein.
Obviously there are wide arrays of whole food sources you can get protein from. Fish, eggs, chicken, beef, game, and the list goes on. But I wanted to share with you the wonderful benefits of a supplement called whey protein powder.
What is Whey Protein?
Whey is a dairy product. It comes from cow’s milk and is formed during the making of cheese. But if you are lactose intolerant don’t fret, because most people who are milk sensitive are able to still enjoy whey protein with no problems.
The benefits of whey can be many. The first one I’d like to share is weight loss. It’s been shown that whey protein has an indirect impact on hormones that influence the feeling of being full. So if your hunger is satisfied you’ll be more likely to stick with your nutrition plan, and not give in to temptation with a cheat food or meal.
Another great benefit is it boosts your immune system. It contains a building block for the antioxidant glutathione. Glutathione is known as the ‘master antioxidant’. It’s important to detoxify the body of poisons, repair DNA, block free radicals, and for producing good health and a long life. There’s a bunch more things this antioxidant can do, it didn’t get the name ‘master’ for nothing. However, this antioxidant is hard to get even from supplementation. Whey protein has been shown to be one of the best sources to unlocking the building block to glutathione.
It supplements your diet. Being a protein supplement it is excellent for people who simply cannot get their required protein in for the day. Or if you are simply trying to increase your protein intake, whey protein would be the best, and one of the simplest, sources of protein to do that with. You see we all need a certain amount of protein a day. Without protein you would die. The recommended amount is .8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. I believe this to be way too low. Remember muscle is your #1 asset to a fast metabolism, and protein builds lean muscle tissue. A minimum of .6 grams of protein per pound through 1 gram per pound of body weight is a good starting point. Athletes will sometimes go higher than that, but for the general person it is not necessary. So little Miss Muffett was right when she sat on her tuffet and ate her curds and whey.
Whey protein comes in 3 different forms. Isolate, Concentrate, and Hydrolyzed. There are actually others, but those are the 3 you will see most often. Concentrate is the most commonly used in the powders you will find in supplement stores. But its quality is the least. Whey protein concentrate will yield a powder between 29-89% protein by dry weight. It is the cheapest to make and will have more carbs and fat then the Isolate and Hydrolyzed, but the carbs and fat are minimal anyway. It is still a very good protein, and is very easily digested. Look for Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) products that are at least 75% protein by dry weight.
Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) is next. It contains 90% or higher protein and very little fat. It is more pure than WPC, but that isn’t always a better thing. It won’t give you any extra muscle or size and it will cost you some extra dough.
Hydrolyzed Whey Protein (HWP) is the last one on the list. HWP is basically WPI with broken down peptides (predigested). It is the most usable by the body. But again, that isn’t always a better thing. All 3 have all of the essential amino acids you need for a complete protein, and that is what the body needs to help either maintain, repair, or grow new lean muscle tissue. Other drawbacks to HWP is the taste. It’s downright nasty, very bitter. Another problem with it is cost. Another step is needed compared to WPC and WPI and that adds costs to the manufacturer and then to you.
Some companies will actually give a blend of 2, or 3, different kinds of whey. But just remember all whey proteins are power packed with amino acids, and will help you put on some metabolism boosting lean muscle tissue. It’s one of the best supplements you can be taking for yourself, right behind a multi-vitamin/mineral and fish oil. Give it a try!