One of the most popular and discussed dietary supplements today is whey protein. Many people don’t know, but he is nothing more than a protein supplement derived from whey. Traditionally used by athletes, whey protein is also increasingly known among people not part of this niche but looking for a better physical shape and more quality of life.
How Is It Done?
After the milk is taken from farm animals and sent to their destinations, such as cheese factories, the part not used to produce cheese is purchased by whey protein factories, which undergo a pasteurization and filtering process. Approximately 200 liters of milk are needed to produce 1 kg of whey protein concentrate. They are divided into three groups:
Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC): is the pioneering, cheapest, and most traditional form of WHEY PROTEIN. Consisting of 30% to 90% protein, with a large part of casein, which is a potentially allergenic protein, in addition to fat and carbohydrates (mainly lactose).
Whey Protein Isolate (WPI): WPI was born by improving filtration technologies. The best quality consists of 90% protein with minimal amounts of fat and lactose.
Whey Protein Isolate and Hydrolyzate (WPH): with the same characteristics as WPI, WPH is distinguished by the enzymatic hydrolysis process (a process similar to digestive) that reduces the size of proteins to smaller protein segments called peptides. Hydrolysates are more easily digested and have reduced potential in terms of allergenicity, compared to concentrates and isolates, without losing their nutritional value. The disadvantage is that it is more bitter than the others when ingested.
We cannot confuse it with other supplements. Whey protein is just a protein of dairy origin. For example, plant protein, which usually comes from soy or peas, we call plant protein. Another protein of animal origin is meat. None of them is whey protein, but they can be alternatives to its use, especially for patients allergic to milk protein or vegan, for example.
There are quality differences between these products mentioned above, and whey protein has the highest biological value, that is, the best absorption capacity, use, and the highest amount of essential amino acids.
Whey protein has several benefits, according to studies; very interesting and can be used for a better quality of life, always with correct guidance and use. Among them is support in weight loss diets, improvement of immunity, and help in reducing blood pressure, which does not limit its use only to physical activity practitioners.
With the right medical advice, WP can be helpful for most people. Let’s look at some examples that clarify this issue.
From the age of 30, we begin a process of progressive muscle loss of 3–8% per decade. Studies indicate that a higher intake of amino acids reduces this progressive loss of lean mass. The preservation of muscle mass in the elderly public is very important for the quality of life since it is essential for mobility and joint support. That’s why a healthy lifestyle with good nutrition and resistance exercise is necessary to save muscle so we can reach old age with muscle reserve.
Other interesting studies show that protein supplementation beneficially influences the composition of breast milk, increasing concentrations of immunoglobulins such as IgA and providing defense against mucosal infections by viruses or bacteria.
The use of a good quality whey protein will bring many benefits even without the practice of physical exercises, such as the prevention and treatment of Sarcopenia, since, as we mentioned earlier, it acts in the recovery and gain of muscle mass in all areas. Ages. It plays an important role in causing satiety by affecting the metabolic processes of energy regulation, favoring the control and reduction of body fat. It improves immunity by increasing glutathione in the body, including within lymphocytes, and blocking the conversion of the angiotensin enzyme; it improves vascular function due to its antioxidant power.
When To Use It?
In everyday life, whey protein can be used in sports, especially in what we call windows of opportunity, which are those moments when the protein is better absorbed and used by the body. This window is usually an hour or two before training or exercise.
Another opportunity that I find interesting is to use whey protein at bedtime. Scientific works show that it is an interesting strategy for gaining or maintaining muscle mass, at all ages, including and especially in older people.
Finally, little is known, but it improves sleep quality in overweight or obese patients. Whey protein can be a great alternative for quick snacks, replacing the dreaded “junk foods.” For travelers, we know that it is difficult at airports to find a healthy protein alternative, as we are surrounded by carbohydrates such as salty snacks, pizzas, snacks, etc. Currently, it is easy to find sachets with single doses of WHEY, which facilitates use and transport, ensuring a healthier and more useful option for the body.
Also Read: Protein Porridge: Recipes For All Tastes