Whey is a concentrated form of protein derived from milk. It is available in the form of a powder and is used as a dietary supplement. Whey protein power is primarily marketed towards bodybuilders and weightlifters, who want to increase their muscle mass and therefore, require additional intake of protein. However, whey protein powder is also suitable for people, who are trying to change their weight, be is weight loss or weight gain.
Ingredients in Whey Protein Powder
As the name suggests, its main ingredient is whey. The powder is made by removing fat from the whey and drying it. However, depending on the type of brand you purchase, other ingredients, such as sweeteners, artificial or natural flavourings, and additives for texture, shelf life, stability and thickness, may be present.
Benefits of Taking Whey Protein Powder
While most people believe that whey protein powder is solely for bodybuilders, it is a misconception. The human body requires protein and it not only helps to keep the body healthy, it also helps in preventing certain chronic diseases and boosts emotional health.
Whey protein powder supplies the body with important amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscles, hair, ligaments, body fluids, organs, teeth, nails and glands. These amino acids are used by the body for repair and growth.
As a dietary supplement, the protein helps in weight loss. The body has to use more energy to metabolize protein compared to any other food. When the body digests the protein, it causes a thermic reaction and this enables the body to burn more calories. Furthermore, it is low in sugar, fat and calories, which, in turn, prevents weight gain and promotes lean body mass. The protein also reduces the time it takes for glucose to get absorbed in the blood. When low amounts of glucose are absorbed, it reduces the urge to snack between meals.
There is ample scientific evidence to support the fact that it enhances muscle mass as well as muscle strength. After a workout, the muscles immediately begin to repair themselves and require protein for this process. The main amino acid in whey protein powder is leucine, which is known to promote muscle building and aid muscle growth. Hence, even seniors and elderly people will benefit from taking whey protein powder, as it can prevent loss of muscle mass.
When a person is stressed, they will feel emotionally drained out and may resort to binge eating or overeating. However, when the same person takes whey protein powder, it reduces the secretion of cortisol, which is a stress hormone, and helps to reduce stress levels. As a result people, who consume this form of protein regularly, tend to have reduced levels of stress and also do not seek solace in overeating or binge eating.
Certain diseases and infections can be prevented by regularly consuming it. The protein can prevent onset of Type 2 diabetes, as it controls the amount of glucose circulating in the blood, and it facilitates growth of new skin to hasten healing of wounds.
How Much Whey Protein Powder Should You Take?
Men require a little more protein compared to women. Between 10 and 35 percent of a person’s total calorie intake should be from protein. It is best to speak to a nutritionist to find out how much of it a person should take in a day, as some studies have claimed that the a person should take around 1.2 grams of protein for each kilogram of body weight, while others advise significantly higher dose, especially if the person is doing resistance training.