Are you curious about whey protein and how it can help you achieve your fitness goals? Let’s dive in and clear up some of the common myths that have been floating around about this popular supplement.
First of all, let’s get one thing straight: whey protein is a safe and effective way to boost your protein intake, regardless of your age, gender, or activity level. Despite what some people may think, it won’t make you bulky or cause any negative side effects – in fact, it’s a great way to support your muscle-building and maintenance goals.
So, what makes whey protein so special? Well, for starters, it’s a highly researched and time-tested food product that has been used by athletes and bodybuilders for years. Unlike some other protein sources, whey protein contains all the essential amino acids your body needs to build and repair muscle tissue, making it an excellent choice for post-workout recovery.
But what about those who don’t have time to cook up a protein-packed meal after hitting the gym? That’s where whey protein supplements come in. With a wide variety of flavors and forms available, from powders to bars to shakes, it’s never been easier to incorporate whey protein into your daily routine.
And let’s not forget about the other benefits of whey protein – it can help improve your immune system, support healthy weight management, and even enhance your overall mood and well-being.
So, whether you’re an athlete looking to take your performance to the next level or just someone who wants to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle, whey protein can be an incredibly valuable tool in your nutrition arsenal. Just remember to choose a high-quality product from a reputable brand, and always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.
In summary, don’t let the myths surrounding whey protein hold you back from reaching your fitness goals. Embrace this versatile and effective supplement, and enjoy all the benefits it has to offer!
Whey Protein Key Benefits – You Must Know!
Whey protein is a popular dietary supplement that has been used for decades by athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts. It is a high-quality protein source that contains all the essential amino acids needed for muscle growth and repair.
In addition to its role in muscle building, whey protein has been associated with various health benefits.
So below are some key benefits of whey protein and the research supporting each claim.
1. Muscle growth and repair
Whey protein is considered one of the most effective supplements for muscle growth and repair. This is because it contains a high concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) – leucine, isoleucine, and valine – which are crucial for muscle protein synthesis.
In a meta-analysis of 14 studies, researchers found that whey protein supplementation significantly increased muscle mass and strength in healthy adults 1
2. Weight loss
Whey protein may also aid in weight loss by promoting satiety and increasing metabolism. A study of overweight and obese individuals found that supplementing with whey protein significantly reduced body weight, fat mass, and waist circumference 2
Another study showed that whey protein supplementation increased energy expenditure and fat oxidation in healthy individuals 3
3. Lower blood pressure
Some research suggests that whey protein may help lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. In a study of 71 adults with hypertension, whey protein supplementation significantly reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure 4
Another study showed that consuming whey protein improved endothelial function, which can lead to lower blood pressure 2
4. Improved immune function
Whey protein contains various bioactive compounds that may improve immune function. In a study of elderly individuals, whey protein supplementation improved immune response to a flu vaccine 5
Other studies have shown that whey protein can increase levels of glutathione, an antioxidant that plays a crucial role in immune function 6
5. Reduced inflammation
Whey protein has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in several studies. In a study of people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), whey protein supplementation reduced inflammation markers and improved quality of life 7
Another study showed that whey protein supplementation reduced markers of inflammation in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 8
But people are scared of consuming supplements like Whey Protein because of partial knowledge. People lack the complete knowledge in the supplement domain mainly due to the stigma around it, and due to the myths of Protein’s health-damaging side effects.
The numerous misconceptions and the facts associated with whey proteins are elaborated below.
Whey Proteins: Most Common Myths and their Legitimacy
1. Whey Protein is a “steroid”; Whey Protein contains steroids
REALITY: What is Whey Protein? Whey is a milk protein, which can be extracted from the milk through the process of making cheese.
The remaining liquid in the process of making cottage cheese, by curdling milk is known as whey water. The whey water, besides being the best source of whey protein, is naturally packed with various nutrients.
This liquid is enriched with some more nutrients and enhanced further to make commercial whey protein formulas.
What is steroid: Steroid is a biological compound which on consumption causes amplification or abnormal growth of cells and tissues in the body. This is the reason why some misleading trainers recommend steroids as they may lead to aberrant muscle growth.
Unnecessary intake of steroids may lead to fertility issues, weight gain, hypertension, and even cancer in some cases. Some hormones present in the human body are steroids too. But even these hormones need not be externally administered into the body without a doctor’s prescription, as the body manages them on their own.
There are lots of sagas about whey protein supplements being steroids. However, the fact is, whey protein is not a steroid rather some dodgy brands may carry steroids. One needs to be extremely prudent while choosing supplements. Remember,
- Pure whey protein supplements cannot be very low cost.
- Never opt for an obscure brand, as renowned brands come with Food safety marks like FSSAI etc. Example: Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein, Isopure Whey, etc.
- Always purchase supplements from a trusted source and check if it is completely sealed.
- No whey protein can lead to anomalous muscle growth. If you discover such a thing happening, check the supplement rather being happy.
- Even if you follow all the above-mentioned points, but on consumption you find the supplement to be unauthentic, go for a supplement lab test.
2. Whey Protein leads to or imposes a risk to the kidney and liver
REALITY: Imagine drinking whey water (water left out while making cottage cheese), will it adversely affect your kidneys or liver? No, it cannot.
Same is the case with the whey protein supplement, provided that it is authentic. No researches have yet found out any side effects of whey proteins to the liver, consumed within recommended allowance.
It is not the whey protein that causes harm to your kidneys; rather excessive protein intake (more than the individual requirement) for a long period may impose a risk to your kidneys. It causes the risk of renal calculi as well as renal diseases. Hence one should never indulge in excessive protein intake without expert advice.
3. Whey Protein causes hair fall
REALITY: Protein is very essential for hair growth and can never lead to hair fall. However, researches show that Creatine present in some whey proteins converts testosterone in males to dihydrotestosterone, which may stimulate hair fall or hair loss.
Also, people having hormonal issues might face hair fall on whey protein consumption, because of additional compounds present in the supplement.Therefore it is necessary that you use 100% Pure Whey and consult a dietician before you begin with your Whey routine especially in the case of people with hormonal imbalances, as they might aggravate the condition.
4. Whey Concentrate is better than Isolates and Hydrolysates, as carbohydrates (removed from latter two) are anyways required after working out.
REALITY: It depends upon one’s target, whether to opt for concentrate, isolate or hydrolysate. It is essential to understand the difference between the three.
Whey protein concentrate is a supplement formed by the remaining byproduct of cottage cheese production, with their original nutrients intact. Anybody indulging into a workout can have whey concentrate after the workout.
Whereas whey protein isolate is the purest form of whey concentrate with almost carbohydrates and fats removed, enhancing the quality of protein.
Whey hydrolysates, on the other hand, are “pre-digested” whey concentrate or isolate proteins. This attribute makes them furthermore superior.
Whey protein isolates and hydrolysates are suitable for people trying to lose weight and gain muscles.
Removing carbohydrates and fats from protein doesn’t mean that carbohydrate is not required post workout; rather it improves the quality of protein promising better digestion. It adds to better functioning of protein on muscles when consumed in water followed by some carbohydrate food or supplement around 10- 15 minutes later.
5. All proteins (Casein, Soy, Blend, etc) are the same as whey and serve the same function
REALITY: There are 3 major sources of good quality protein foods, whey, soy, and casein. Other dietary protein sources include egg protein, meat protein, lentil protein, pea protein, etc.
How is Whey Protein different from other proteins?
- Whey is the most rapid absorbing protein, which helps in muscle “recovery” after strenuous activities or workout. Whereas soy and casein are slow-digesting proteins and hence promote “building” of muscles any time of the day.
- Whey encourages lean muscle mass growth.
- It is loaded with beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, bovine serum albumin, and immunoglobins.
- Whey, soy, and casein possess all essential amino acids, but they are abundant in whey. However, casein is more easily digestible by the body due to its slow absorbing nature. Hence, casein is equally essential as whey protein in bodybuilding program.
6. Whey proteins are inappropriate for Women
REALITY: Authentic whey protein supplements are similarly good for both men and women; all that differs is the quantity. According to ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research), the requirement of protein for a reference sedentary male is 60 g whereas for a reference sedentary female is 55 g per day. This requirement goes up according to the increase in workout intensity of a person.
But protein demand in women is lower than in men. Often some trainers recommend the same amount of whey supplement to both, which is a blunder. Excessive protein intake may result in a bulky body for both men and women, but due to lower requirement, females are more prone to develop a bulky body at such high intakes.
Moreover, whey protein from good brands or herbal whey powder does not promote side effects like hormonal issues, which is a concern for most women.
7. Whey Protein leads to boils, acidity, and poor digestion
REALITY: It is not whey protein but unabsorbed whey protein in the body that causes such issues. Insufficient water intake may lead to undigested protein resulting in boils, acidity, etc. For proper digestion of whey protein shakes, one needs to have an adequate amount of water or fluids regularly.
Even such a high amount of protein through a diet with a deficit of water may result in the same concerns. Therefore, the best way to have whey protein is in water, in the quantity recommended by nutrition experts.
Whey Protein Health Concerns and Side Effects
- A person already suffering from liver or kidney disease should never take such supplements unless advised by the doctor, as the organs are not in the state to utilize so much protein. This does not mean that taking these supplements impairs your liver or kidney function, but taking these supplements in diseased conditions may harm.
- Purchasing huge protein packs may result in over intake of protein, for the purpose of finishing the supplement before expiry. Hence one should buy protein packs as per requirement.
So there you have it – some of the most common myths about whey protein debunked. From the idea that it will make you bulky to the notion that it’s only for bodybuilders, it’s clear that there are many misconceptions about this popular supplement.
However, as we’ve seen, whey protein can be an excellent addition to a healthy diet for many people, providing a convenient and effective way to boost your protein intake and support your fitness goals.
Whether you’re an athlete looking to improve your performance or simply someone who wants to build a stronger, healthier body, whey protein can be a valuable tool in your nutrition arsenal.
So don’t be afraid to give it a try – just make sure to choose a high-quality product from a reputable brand, and always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.
Are there any negative effects of whey protein?
Whey protein is likely safe for most adults when taken appropriately. High doses can cause some side effects such as increased bowel movements, acne, nausea, thirst, bloating, reduced appetite, tiredness, and headache.
What happens if you drink whey everyday?
Eating too much whey protein can cause digestive issues such as nausea, flatulence, diarrhea, pain and cramping. Some people are also allergic to whey. If you can’t tolerate regular whey protein concentrate, isolate or hydrolysate may be more appropriate.
What are the long term effects of whey protein?
Overconsumption of whey protein can affect heart activity and lead to heart arrhythmia, cardiac arrest and other heart problems. Since experts have linked high-protein sources with higher levels of saturated fats, increased blood sugar levels and higher blood acidity, whey protein can affect heart functioning.
Does whey protein reduce sperm count?
Some whey protein powders and supplements contain harmful ingredients like anabolic steroids, which lower sperm count and concentration. Healthier alternatives to whey protein include lean proteins like poultry and fish.
How much is too much whey?
Some people, such as elite athletes, may be able to eat as much as 3.5 g per kg of body weight daily without any side effects. Most research indicates that eating more than 2 g per kg of body weight daily of protein for a long time can cause health problems.
What are the negative effects of protein powder?
It may be high in added sugars and calories.
Some protein powders have little added sugar, and others have a lot (as much as 23 grams per scoop). Some protein powders wind up turning a glass of milk into a drink with more than 1,200 calories. The risk: weight gain and an unhealthy spike in blood sugar.
- Cermak, N. M., Res, P. T., de Groot, L. C., Saris, W. H., & van Loon, L. J. (2012). Protein supplementation augments the adaptive response of skeletal muscle to resistance-type exercise training: a meta-analysis. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 96(6), 1454-1464. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.037556
- Pal, S., Ellis, V., & Dhaliwal, S. (2010). Effects of whey protein isolate on body composition, lipids, insulin and glucose in overweight and obese individuals. The British Journal of Nutrition, 104(5), 716-723. doi: 10.1017/S0007114510000991
- Mignone, L. E., Wu, T., & Horowitz, M. (2017). Whey protein: The “whey” forward for treatment of type 2 diabetes? World Journal of Diabetes, 8(8), 357-366. doi: 10.4239/wjd.v8.i8.357
- Fekete, Á. A., Giromini, C., Chatzidiakou, Y., Givens, D. I., & Lovegrove, J. A. (2016). Whey protein lowers blood pressure and improves endothelial function and lipid biomarkers in adults with prehypertension and mild hypertension: results from the chronic Whey2Go randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 104(6), 1534-1544. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.138594
- Benton, D., Williams, C., & Brown, A. (2004). Impact of consuming a milk drink containing a probiotic on the immune response to exercise. Journal of Sports Sciences, 22(8), 831-834.
- Bounous, G., Baruchel, S., Falutz, J., Gold, P., & Wang, H. (1991). Whey proteins as a food supplement in HIV-seropositive individuals. Clinical and Investigative Medicine, 14(4), 296-309.
- Zhou, J., Keenan, M. J., Fernandez-Kim, S. O., Pistell, P. J., Ingram, D. K., & Zhu, M. (2020). Whey protein isolate attenuates inflammatory markers in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages by suppressing NF-κB signaling pathway. Journal of Food Biochemistry, 44(6), e13231. doi: 10.1111/jfbc.13231
- Deutz, N. E., Matheson, E. M., Matarese, L. E., Luo, M., Baggs, G. E., Nelson, J. L., . . . Wolfe, R. R. (2014). Readmission and mortality in malnourished, older, hospitalized adults treated with a specialized oral nutritional supplement: A randomized clinical trial. Clinical Nutrition, 33(1), 53-60. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2013.05.010