Whey protein has long been associated with muscle mass increase goals for athletes, however, there is a growing body of research that is suggesting that there are many more benefits that are hidden in the BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) that are power packed in whey protein.
Whey protein is actually the protein mixtures that are isolated or removed from the whey. It may be more familiar to you as the liquid part of the process of making cheese and contains two types of proteins: 20% whey and 80% casein. After separation, the whey undergoes a series of steps to make the transition to becoming whey protein.
The BCAAs, isoleucine, leucine and valine, as well as other fractions found in whey protein actually imitate the benefits and features that are associated with caloric restriction. Studies involving mice have shown that the balanced amino acid mixture that is high in these branched chain amino acids in whey protein have actually increased the life span of the mice.
Whey protein itself has been referred to as one of the ‘superfoods’, providing all of the eighteen amino acids in high absorption forms in quantities that are four times higher than other proteins, including immunoglobulins and lactoferrin. Whey protein has also been found to be one of the best foods in the maximization of glutathione, the endogenous antioxidant involved in the reduction of oxidative stress and the one that works to inhibit the state of aging.
While athletes and bodybuilders include whey protein for the increase of muscle mass, it has also been adopted in the reduction of muscle atrophy in the elderly. This assists in the reduction of diabetes risk, helps to reduce the development of cancer and works in conjunction with the body as a defense in cognitive decline. This superfood is now being associated as a powerful additive to help in overall longevity.
Whey protein typically doesn’t have a very good taste by itself and it is therefore often flavored with popular flavors. The best form of whey protein is, course, organic, as it is ensured to be clear of any pesticides, chemicals or additives that could offset the health benefits of the whey protein.
Another benefit of whey protein is that it can generally be accepted by most people. Those that are lactose intolerant as well as anyone that may be allergic to whey should take caution in adding whey protein to their diet. Whey protein is typically an excellent method to increase the daily protein intake by 25-50 grams. It is a popular method of use for those that are trying to lose weight and have reduced their dietary protein intake.
Since whey is found in both cow’s milk and breast milk it is usually safe for people of all ages to consume, including children, however, due to content, whey supplements should not be given to children of certain age groups and some whey-based foods should only be consumed by children of older ages.
Always make sure that the whey protein you consume is certified organic, and made from grass fed cows to ensure you are getting the purest, most nutritious whey you possibly can.
Always confer with a primary care physician prior to making any changes or additions to your daily regimen.