Proteins are one of the major macronutrients that are essential for the body to carry out its routine functions. One to two grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is needed to maintain muscle mass, nitrogen balance and protect the body from exercise intolerance. The importance of eating sufficient amounts of protein is always overlooked. Since it is not possible to get sufficient protein from the food we take, whey protein is the most commonly used primary source of protein in the regular diet.

WHAT IS WHEY PROTEIN?

Whey protein is a milk soluble protein that is a liquid by-product in the cheese-making process. Whey protein is the watery portion of milk that is separated from the curd in a cheese-making industry. Most people take whey to meet the needs of nutrient content in their diet. Whey protein is a nutritional supplement that improves athletic performance and promotes the growth of lean muscle mass. There are different types of whey protein commercially available in the market.

Whey protein and its bioactive components have more remarkable health benefits than other dairy-based protein sources like casein. Depending upon the food structure, absorption into the body, and added calories, dietary proteins are classified as ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ proteins. Whey protein is characterised as a ‘fast’ protein as it is quickly absorbed into the body and its ingestion intensifies the whole body’s muscle metabolism.

BENEFITS OF WHEY PROTEINS

Whey protein is one of the widely used supplements because of its high nutritional value and numerous health benefits.

Some of the benefits of whey protein are as follows:

LOWERS CHOLESTEROL: High value of LDL cholesterol can increase the risk of heart disease. Research says that daily intake of whey significantly lowers LDL cholesterol, which is termed as ‘bad’ cholesterol.

AIDS IN WEIGHT LOSS: Whey protein keeps you satiated for more time, and the feeling of fullness suppresses unwanted food cravings. This property of whey protein allows you to eat fewer calories while trying to lose weight.

INCREASE MUSCLE MASS: Whey protein helps to trigger the release of anabolic hormones that help in muscle growth. Whey protein provides leucine to the body, which is an essential amino acid that stimulates protein synthesis and increases muscle mass.

REDUCES INFLAMMATION: Chronic inflammation in the body leads to high-risk health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. Including whey protein in a regular diet reduces inflammation markers that lead to chronic health conditions.

REGULATES BLOOD PRESSURE: The diet supplemented with whey protein significantly reduces the blood pressure in those suffering from hypertension, which is the primary cause of heart diseases and stroke.

PROTECTS AGAINST SKIN CONDITIONS: Giving whey protein formula for infants between 3 to 12 months lowers the risk of eczema and prevents the infants from developing red, itchy, and allergic reactions on the skin.

TYPES OF WHEY PROTEIN

There are three types of whey protein available as supplements. All three types of whey protein vary in protein concentrates, taste, and digestibility. The three different types of whey protein are as follows:

WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE

After the separation of casein, the remaining liquid sweet whey undergoes a process called microfiltration. The whey obtained through this process is known as whey protein concentrate. It is a calorie-dense supplement that requires a long time for digestion and absorption into the muscles. This means it takes more time for recovery and the results from it are a bit slow.

Whey protein concentrate has high protein levels when compared to the other two types of protein. It has the best flavor and contains some amount of milk sugar, i.e., lactose. The percentage of whey concentrate varies from the least of 30% to the highest of 80%. Whey concentrate has low levels of fat and carbohydrates. Among all the three types of whey protein, whey protein concentrate is considered to take a longer time for digestion. It also has higher amounts of lactose, which might result in bloating in some people.

WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE

Whey isolate protein powder is an ultrafiltrate of whey protein concentrate. Whey isolate undergoes additional purification to lower the carbohydrates and fats to obtain a higher protein content. As ultrafiltration ‘isolates’ non-protein substances, it is known as whey protein isolate. It provides a higher amount of protein serving when compared to whey protein concentrate. Although whey protein isolate is purified compared to whey protein concentrate, it contains some important nutrients like calcium that are essential to maintain bone health.

Whey protein isolate is 90% of protein obtained by further processing after removing the fat and lactose. The main drawback of whey isolate protein powder is that the purification process removes certain micronutrients essential for the body. Most of the whey protein isolate manufacturing companies add a flavour to the protein isolate at this stage. In general, whey protein isolate is produced by membrane separation or ion exchange technology.

WHEY PROTEIN HYDROLYSATE

Whey protein hydrolysate is made by the process of hydrolysis. In whey hydrolysate, some of the amino acids might get broken down due to the exposure of proteins to heat, enzymes, or acids. Whey protein hydrolysate takes less time to digest compared to whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate. The whey hydrolysate protein powder is often used to speed up the recovery process and protein synthesis. Whey hydrolysate powder has superior bioavailability and a high rate of absorption compared to the other two types of whey protein.

Whey protein hydrolysate has di and tri-peptide protein molecules that play a significant role in protein synthesis and muscle building. It is ideal to consume whey protein hydrolysate post-workout as it quickly provides amino acids and proteins to the muscles. It is considered a perfect protein supplement for an athlete as it quickly accelerates recovery after an intense training session. Whey protein isolate is a perfect supplement for those with sensitive stomachs and other gastric issues.

Spread the love