Whey protein powder is a type of dietary supplement and it is derived from whey protein. The watery by-product that separates during the cheese production process is known as whey and the protein content of whey is known as whey protein. It has a low lactose content but includes all the 9 essential amino acids. Thus, it is termed as a complete protein. Therefore it is one of the best types of protein powder.
Whey protein is composed of α-lactalbumin, β-lactoglobulin, bovine serum albumin, and immunoglobulins. According to researchers, whey protein is absorbed better by our body compared to other types of protein such as casein and soy protein. Thus, fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and bodybuilders consume whey protein powder along with milk to gain muscle mass.
The consumption of whey protein powder can also help maintain muscle mass properly. Not all proteins are created equal and whey protein is one of the best.
Types of Whey protein powder
Commercially available whey protein powders can be divided into 3 types. They are listed below:
- Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) – WPC have lower levels of fat but higher levels of carbohydrates (lactose) compared to other types of whey protein. The protein content depends on concentration which can range from 30% to 90% and these tend to have the best flavors.
- Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) – WPI is at least 90% protein by weight as these are further processed to remove all fat and lactose content. These tend to have a milky taste.
- Whey Protein Hydrolysate (WPH) – WPH ( hydrolyzed whey) are known as pre-digested whey as these undergo partial hydrolysis to make it easier for our body to absorb it. WPH may be less allergenic than forms of whey but these cause a greater spike in your insulin levels.
If you want to consume a supplement that is value for money and tastes good, choose WPC. People who just want to consume as much protein as possible should consider purchasing WPI. If you are allergic to lactose or you cannot digest protein properly, WPH may be the better option for you.
Benefits of consuming whey protein powder
Consuming whey protein powder regularly can help you to meet the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) value of protein more easily. Aside from that, some other benefits of consuming whey protein powder are listed below –
- It promotes muscle growth – It is effective at stimulating muscle growth as it contains important branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) like cysteine and leucine. People who practice resistance training and also consume whey protein observe better results than people who only practice resistance training.
- It aids in weight loss – Consuming whey protein can help you to improve satiety and increase the energy expenditure of your body. Thus, you will consume less food and burn more calories. If you combine it with weight lifting, you can notice substantial weight loss in your body.
Whey protein is also beneficial to consume because it contains a lot of essential nutrients and can help you to stay fit, reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and prevent diseases that can be caused due to protein-deficiency.
Side effects of consuming whey protein powder
Consuming whey protein powder in the recommended doses does not have any side-effects but if you go over the specified limit, you may experience nausea, cramps, fatigue, stomach pains, headache, and reduced appetite.
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