Good Things to Know About Whey Protein

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smoothiesProtein powders aren’t just for people trying to bulk up and have huge muscles. It can offer benefits for people of all ages, fitness levels and health status. There are many types of protein powders but one of the most popular is whey. Whey protein is a concentrated component of cow’s milk. Special enzymes are added to the milk to create a separation from the curd and the liquid (whey). The curd is used to make various types of cheese, including cottage cheese. The whey moves on to be pasteurized and dried into powder form.

How whey protein is processed will determine how the product behaves in your digestive system and also determines how much of those health amino acids are left intact. Whey protein concentrate produced through an ion-exchanged, ultra filtration process yields the highest level of protein and amino acids, while preserving all the naturally occurring, immune enhancing and muscle nourishing nutrients as bioactive.

One of the reasons protein powder is often associated with bodybuilding is because muscle growth and repair can only be achieved if the person is building stronger muscle fiber. Protein contains a large number of amino acids, and amino acids are a component of muscle. To build lean muscle, you need to feed your muscles protein. This same principle applies to everyone, not just the guy at the gym, which is why protein powders are becoming more and more mainstream for men and women of all ages, and even children.

Here are a few more reasons whey protein is beneficial.

• Taking whey protein is an excellent way to ensure children that are picky eaters are getting enough protein in their diet for their growing muscles. It usually comes in many delicious flavors and blends well for a nice smooth drink. Adding frozen fruit can make it even tastier.

• It can help prevent the atrophy of muscles. This is good for anyone who is at rest for long periods of time.

• It contains natural prebiotics, which are those foods that your good bacteria like to feed on, resulting in better gut health.

• It contains lactoferrin, an ingredient that plays a role in helping your body absorb iron through your digestive system.

• It helps increase the hormones that are responsible for satiety (feeling of fullness), which can result in fewer calories consumed. It also helps to maintain blood sugar levels, reducing those sugar spike cravings.

Before taking whey protein please consult with your primary care physician. Since protein is filtered through both the liver and the kidneys, it can exacerbate a pre-existing condition. If you are prone to kidney stones, you do need to be aware that the increase of amino acids will put extra pressure on the kidneys to remove the waste and you need to drink water to help the process. Whey protein contains a small amount of purine (found in many foods) and is responsible for making uric acid. An increase of uric acid could increase the risk of a gout attack if consumed in large amounts. If you have a sensitivity for a food allergy to dairy, whey may not be a good fit.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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