You must have heard this ever-trending term and its health benefits. It is a constant term, much like ‘organic food’ that keeps cropping up in fitness brochures, websites, and information centers. But you glanced at the word, and never really looked deep into it.
Let’s begin by saying that whey is one of the cornerstones of building muscle mass and developing your physique. In the following paragraphs, we will give you a helpful idea of all the aspects of this magical component called Whey Protein.
First, let’s define it!?
What is Whey Protein?
Without going into the cumbersome technical jargon, we will define it for you.
Milk comprises two proteins. They are casein and whey.
It is separated from casein through various processes; one of them is cheese making.
Whey is extracted as a by-product of the cheese-making process. It is the complete source of protein without the cholesterol content is high. It primarily contains all the nine amino acids, and the best part is it’s low in lactose.
So, lactose-intolerant people can get the best of milk without compromising their health or fitness anymore. A high protein diet that dieticians and fitness experts prescribe rarely includes whey.
It is not placed in the highest of priorities, despite its essential nutritional qualities.
Now that we have mentioned the definition of whey, look for it in all the right places.
But here are some top tips about whey protein. Do check them out!
1. It is a combination of alpha-lactalbumin, immunoglobulins, beta-lactoglobulin, and bovine serum albumin. We will explain to you the terms in the subsequent paragraphs.
2. It has a significant role in weight loss and lowering cholesterol.
3. Extra and irregular doses of whey can lead to disruption of sleeping patterns. So, always take it methodically.
How is whey protein made in the labs?
The most concentrated quality of whey is available from cow’s milk.
All the laboratories, therefore, use cow’s milk to produce the three different kinds of whey.
So, let’s learn about the process systematically.
Now, let’s move to the manufacturing part.
1. After the milking is done, it is refrigerated, cooled down and shipped to cheesemakers.
2. After it arrives, the milk is thoroughly pasteurized. This removes all the harmful bacteria and pathogens.
3. When pasteurization is over, the milk is treated with enzymes so that the casein gets separated from the whey. The casein ranges from solid to semi-solid in texture while the whey is liquid.
4. The casein is used to manufacture high-quality cheese and is treated separately.
5. The whey undergoes a filtering, heating and subsequent cooling process so that the remaining adulterants like lactose, carbs, etc. Get separated, becoming whey concentrate.
6. Although to obtain an even purer concentration of whey, the filtering process needs to be more rigorous. After the complete removal of all adulterants, what we have is whey protein isolate.
7. Many people consume whey concentrate which has its own sweet taste. It is obtained by treating the protein concentrate liquid to hot and cold air until it turns into a crystalline powdered form. This is the final product that is shipped to your homes.
This whey protein is very expensive. You can make this protein at your home. This process has been mentioned in this article: “How to make whey protein at home“
Types of Whey Protein
A high protein diet is still incomplete without ensuring that the kind of protein you are consuming is compatible with your body.
Many dietary supplements claim to be excellent protein sources, but in reality, they offer short term muscle growth, without paying heed to the overall development of the body.
It must be kept in mind that increased muscle mass isn’t the only yardstick of a healthy body. Constant conversion of extra fat into energy, steady metabolic rate are some of the factors behind a well-maintained healthy body.
Keeping the above points in mind, you also need to understand that there are different kinds of whey as well. Each variety has its percentage of nutrition, taste, and method of working.
Depending on filtering processes, protein concentration, taste, and nutritional value, whey protein is of 3 types:
- Whey Protein concentrate
- Whey Protein isolate
- Whey Protein Hydrolysate.
Whey Protein Concentrate
This is a powder form of whey protein. It’s obtained after you evaporate the liquid, which is why it’s called concentrate. Commercially it is known as WPC.
The making of Protein Concentrate doesn’t require any complicated procedure to follow, and it has all the essential qualities of milk. But it has the lowest concentration of protein among the three while it tastes the best. This solution is used in biscuits and cakes to term them nutritious.
The higher concentrations (around 85%) are used in protein shakes and other health supplements. This percentage is mentioned behind the supplements. You will see something like WPC30 or WPC85. It denotes the percentage of protein a particular product has.
Whey Protein Isolate
When Protein Concentrate is further processed to remove the last traces of fat, carbohydrates, and lactose, what remains is pure, rich protein.
It is called Protein Isolate because it is completely isolated from all the other nutrients of milk.
Its taste is bland and is the most expensive whey protein among the three. There are various processes employed by manufacturers to product Protein Isolate.
It is 91% protein and provides the body with the highest percentage of all the essential amino acids.
The processes have names like:
- Cross Flow
- Ion Exchange
- Micro-micro filtered
Whey Protein Hydrolysate
Despite Protein Isolate being the most efficient form of protein to consume, the body takes time to absorb it. This is why nutrition scientists doubled down on the isolate variety and introduced the hydrolysate version. It is a component that can’t be made at home.
Protein Hydrolysate primarily contains a protein variety that is hydrolyzed. It is a high-quality protein that has numerous benefits. This substance does what our stomach does to the food long before digestion. It reduces the workload of the body significantly.
Therefore, the liquid reaches the muscle tissues directly when bodybuilders consume it post-workout.
This is the best choice for lactose-intolerant people. It’s even more efficient than the isolate variety, as this variety is entirely devoid of lactose.
This is also a master invention for all the malnourished babies. Many babies possess lower-nutrient absorption capacities. This is an excellent option for those kids to gain weight, increase the absorption capacity of their bodies.
How does whey protein work?
It is not merely a method to increase lean muscle mass. If you get into the mechanics of it, you will find it caters to the overall development of the body. Along with that comes the development of the mind as well.
The process of muscle building is a constant process of strain, tearing, and repairing of skeletal muscle cells.
It isn’t possible to build muscles and retain significant amounts of energy without a positive protein balance.
It is the concept of positive protein balance that determines how much protein your body is absorbing. Protein balance means the difference between protein production and the wear and tear your muscles go through and the consequent energy that is lost.
The secret of whey protein lies in supplementing this protein deficiency in the body right after a massive strain on the muscles.
Once muscle strains happen throughout the body after a heavy workout, consuming whey protein leads to easy absorption of it.
As blood circulation is heightened, the entire process becomes faster.
Moreover, when you are looking for health benefits at a faster pace, whey protein is the ultimate solution. This is because apart from the nine essential amino acids (which can be produced by the body), the remaining amino acids have their most abundant source in whey protein.
It helps in the overall mental, physical, and hormonal development of the body apart from increased muscle mass. Studies show that cow milk is one of the substances having a high quantity of whey protein.
Benefits and Side effects of Whey
But before you jump right to the conclusions, it is essential to understand both sides of the story. To this point, we have studied the various aspects of whey protein. Yet, to make an informed decision, you must know the different side effects as well as the benefits of this product.
Let’s start with the side effects first. People willing to opt for this dosage must be doubly careful of the side effects. Also, if you are suffering from any disease, it is vital to seek medical advice from doctors who are aware of your medical history.
The side effects include:
- Lack of appetite
- Cramps and
- Lack of bowel movements
The health benefits of whey protein are plenty. It’s a mindboggling experience with this dietary supplement.
Let’s check the health benefits now:
- Excellent source of high-quality protein,
- It’s known to decrease blood pressure,
- It significantly reduces hunger pangs leading you to have a fixed, balanced diet,
- Drastically reduces inflammations in the body
- Checks hormonal imbalance and there have been results of Type 2 Diabetes getting reduced
- It enhances the body’s antioxidant defense mechanisms
- Last but not least, it significantly reduces body weight.
Here it has been discussed briefly. If you want to know more about the evidence-based benefits of whey protein, just read and astonish. The link is here: “10 Amazing Health Benefits of Whey Protein“
The last word in the world of fitness is exercise, perseverance, a healthy diet, and a positive mind.
These are the four cornerstones of a well-built fit body. We are still proponents of the theory that one excellent protein supplement can’t change your entire body structure.
It can only be achieved if you eat the right food and drink the right amount of water. You cannot afford to skip daily exercise if you want your whey protein supplement to work.
Is it okay to drink whey protein without working out?
You can drink whey without working out if you don’t end up consuming too much protein. If your diet is rich in protein, the addition of whey may make it too much and put pressure on your kidneys. So, you can drink whey without working out if you monitor your protein intake.
Do protein shakes make you fat?
Protein shakes won’t make you fat unless you cross healthy protein consumption limits. In fact, protein can help you lose fat. However, too much protein can lead to weight gain.
Can I drink protein shakes every day?
Yes, you can very well drink protein shakes every day. Protein is not harmful to us unless you end up eating too much. Even then, you won’t have any serious consequences if you don’t overdose on protein every day.
Is whey better with milk or water?
Whey is a fast-absorbing protein. Our bodies absorb whey very quickly, and that’s how it works so well. Adding milk will turn whey into a slow-absorbing protein and reduce its efficiency.
Which is the best whey protein for beginners?
You can start with whey concentrate if you are not controlling your weight. Otherwise, you can go for whey isolate that contains only pure whey. However, if you have a sensitive stomach, you might consider whey hydrolysate.