Whey Protein Powders

Written by Emily Ledbetter
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Whey protein is the most commonly used protein supplement on the market. It is derived from sweet dairy whey and, through an ultra filtration process, the protein content in whey can be concentrated up to 90 percent. Whey protein contains essential, non-essential and branch chain amino acids (BCAA) which are the building blocks of protein. The body does not make essential amino acids, therefore they must be obtained through diet or supplements. Nonessential amino acids can be synthesized by the body.

Benefits of Whey

Whey protein is easily absorbed by the muscles and there are no negative side effects associated with use. However, individuals who have a milk allergy or lactose intolerant should not use it. Whey protein provides the building blocks of glutathione, an essential water-soluble component of a properly functioning immune system. Glutathione serves as the first line of immune system defense by protecting cells and neutralizing toxins. It also inhibits the growth of iron-dependent bacteria, scavenges free iron, blocks the growth of pathogenic bacteria and yeast, stimulates the beneficial intestinal micro flora and has antibacterial properties.
Additionally, whey protein has been reported to increase immunity, suppress hunger, and encourage fat burning, lower cortisol levels and fight cancer cells. Whey also stimulates the release of cholecystokinin (CCK) which decreases the appetite.

How It Works

Whey is considered a "fast-acting" protein. When whey is consumed on an empty stomach, levels of blood amino acids peak about one hour after consumption and return to pre-meal levels by three to four hours. This absorption profile makes whey a very anabolic protein. Exercise physiologists typically recommend that individuals looking for the complete benefits of whey protein consume it immediately after an intense workout. Some suggest that combining whey protein with a high-glycemic carbohydrate creates the ideal post-workout meal.


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