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What exactly is Whey Protein Powder?

Posted Aug 29 2012 3:48am

Intro from Carla: You may have noticed that some of my recipes include whey protein powder. I use it as part of my daily diet. Protein powder is not a weight loss supplement but rather a way of giving your body the amount of protein it requires when you can not get natural protein from food. Here is a guest post all about protein powder


Whey protein is one of the proteins processed as a by-product of cow’s milk production, while the other type is casein protein powder. However, whey protein is well-thought of to be more soluble and has a higher bioavailability form compared to casein. Bioavailability refers to its biological value or the capacity of a certain substance to be absorbed and utilized by the body. Generally speaking, the higher the biological value of a certain protein product, the better it is absorbed by the body. Casein has a biological value of 77 while whey has a value of 100-104, making whey protein the most preferred type of protein supplement. Furthermore, whey protein is considered a complete protein, pertaining to the fact that it contains all the essential amino acids vital for metabolism, proper growth, and development. Whey is frequently manufactured into whey protein powder and is further subdivided into two products, namely, whey protein concentrate (WPC) and whey protein isolate (WPI).

Vanilla whey protein powder with frozen raspberries

In its raw form, whey protein contains a majority of fats, carbohydrates and lactose, however, to get rid of the excess of this certain substances, whey has to undergo a certain filtration processes. And this is where the difference between concentrates and isolates lie. Concentrates undergo a one-step microfiltration process wherein it has to be passed through minute filters to remove water, minerals and other substances, leaving off only large particles of protein and some amount of lactose. On the other hand, isolates has to undergo another process called the cross-flow microfiltration. From the term itself, isolates are almost scraped off from the presence of carbohydrates, fats and lactose. In fact, it is 90-94% protein and 0% lactose content! Needless to say, whey protein isolates are protein in its most untainted form.

It is an undeniable fact that whey protein powder is one of the most popular bodybuilding supplements marketed today. With the creation of muscle mass depending on the rate of protein synthesis and protein breakdown, whey delivers the highest amount of protein needed by the developing lean muscle tissues. A clinical research that appeared in the open access Journal of Nutrition showed that, in contrast to casein, whey supplementation resulted in a much greater postprandial protein synthesis and anabolism in young men. Moreover, because of is fast absorption rate, whey is especially recommended post-workout, a phase where your body is in a catabolic state and needs a punch of protein to kick off the muscle building and recovery process. Clinical evidence also points out that supplementation with isolates reduces exercise-induced muscle injuries. In addition, a rush of protein to your system turns your metabolism into more active state, a fat-burning blast furnace shedding your adipose layers; thus, aiding in any weight loss goals.

More so, whey protein powder is not only marketed for the sole purpose of turning your body into a muscle-packed physique. Similarly, whey is also used for other various health purposes as well and recently, has been the subjects of researches. First and foremost, whey increases the levels of glutathione, the body’s most powerful antioxidant that helps to keep our immunity strong and strengthens our resistance against diseases.
Secondly, consumption of whey powder also benefits the aging population who are frequently affected by bone degeneration. Recent studies mirrored the fact that through supplementation, whey plays an important role in bone formation. To evaluate this, a study review demonstrated that in addition to bone formation, whey can also activate osteoblasts and thus, can be used as a potential modality to the management of osteoporosis. Similarly, sarcopenia, a progressive loss of muscle can be managed through whey administration. A study conducted by Center for Metabolic Biology in Arizona State University concluded that increase muscle growth have been demonstrated in the elderly after whey protein ingestion. Furthermore, researchers added that the findings from the study can be used as a dietary guideline to improve muscle anabolism in the aging population. A complex disease, battled for many years to no avail have been recently tackled to be potentially alleviated by this certain protein powder. Researchers even titled the clinical studies performed as new whey (way) to prevent cancer. The branding may be quite cunning, but is there some truth to this? Well, the Research & Development Department of Immunotec Research in Canada pointed out those case studies strongly suggests that whey contains anti-tumor properties meditated by its glutathione antioxidant system, an important mechanism that combats the oxygen radical generation, a crucial step in carcinogenesis.

Another complicated vital organ, the heart, may also benefit upon consumption of whey-protein-rich ingredients according to studies. A study that appeared on the Nutrition Journal indicated that whey-derived bioactive peptide has the capacity to improve vascular function through enhancements in the responses of the resistance and conduits of the blood vessels.

If you think, you’ve had enough; think again, for the benefits of whey protein powder do not stop there. In fact, the list could go on and on and even tackling those health claims here is not enough. However, if you are not convinced enough with the terms presented herein, why don’t you secure for yourselves your own whey protein powder? A lot of consumers are now presently enjoying the wonders of this milk by-product.

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The post What exactly is Whey Protein Powder? appeared first on DrDietRight .

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