You may think whey protein is only for bodybuilder or strength athletes who are busy throwing weight around five times a week. If so, think again.
From mixed martial artists to yoga practitioners to our venerable elders, whey protein is advantageous for anyone looking to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Pick up any health magazine and you’re bound to find at least one article espousing the benefits of protein.
Protein is an essential macronutrient that aids in muscle growth so it’s easy to see why bodybuilders and other strength athletes have incorporated whey protein into their diets. But whey protein also prevents muscle loss because it is highly bioavailable meaning it is easily absorbed by the human body.
As we age, our muscles being to break down more rapidly for a variety of reasons. There’s no stopping the onward march of time but whey protein has been shown to prevent or slow down muscle loss in the elderly.
Whey is also very popular among vegetarians because some people find soy protein very difficult to digest.
Any undigested soy sugars and proteins eventually find their way to your colon and cause cramping, bloating, and other stomach related unpleasantness.
But whey protein is useful not only because it is easy to digest, it also contains numerous health promoting substances that can prove difficult to find.
Whey protein is loaded with branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). In fact, whey protein contains the highest BCAA level of any natural protein source.
Branched chain amino acids are absolutely essential to promote muscle growth and prevent muscle loss. BCAAs can also prevent fatigue because the human body can use them to produce energy.
There’s also evidence suggesting BCAAs can assist in the production of human growth hormone which tends to decrease as we get older.
Whey isn’t just for strength athletes, everyone would benefit from more energy and improved immune function.
That’s right, whey protein can strengthen the human immune system. No one likes getting sick and whey can help prevent illness. Scientific studies have demonstrated that whey protein can raise the level of glutathione in various tissues.
Glutathione is helps to reduce inflammation in the human body and regulates many aspects of human immune function.
Other studies showed that mice given a whey protein supplemented diet produced more white blood cells, lymphocytes, and cytokines which provided the mice with greater immune function and reduced infection severity.
Including whey protein in your diet will enhance your immune system no matter your age nor activity level.
Heart disease is the number one killer in developed countries and whey protein has been shown to improve cardiovascular health and it doesn’t carry the sometimes devastating side effects associated with some heart medications.
Elevated blood pressure and triglycerides are associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke but a combination of substance in whey protein have been found to reduce blood pressure and lower the level of triglycerides in the human bloodstream.
Of course, you should also be doing some type of cardiovascular exercise but whey protein can definitely help everyone achieve a healthier heart.
All the muscles in the world won’t do you any good if your bones are weak. We all know lifting heavy weights encourages bone strength and density but what if you’re just not interested in back squatting 175kg a couple times a week?
Maybe you’re a flexible yogini or just hoping to stay spry as you age. Well, whey protein can definitely help because it contains high concentrations of calcium and magnesium, two minerals well known to support bone growth and strength.
But whey protein sets itself apart from other foods and supplements because of a nutrient called lactoferrin. Lactoferrin, in addition to being a powerful booster for your immune system, supports healthy bone density by activating genes that increase the production of bone building substances called osteoblasts.
No matter your activity level, whey protein is the key to bone growth and strength.
You no doubt do your best to maintain a sunny disposition it can’t be denied that we live is stressful times and can all use a little serotonin boost from time to time. It may come as a bit of a shock but whey protein can do exactly that.
Two of the amino acids found in whey protein, tryptophan and glutamine, are known to reduce levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) and increase production of serotonin (often called the “happiness hormone”).
Low levels of serotonin are linked to feelings of anxiety and depression. Unlike pharmaceuticals which make the brain more sensitive to serotonin, whey protein actually increases the level of serotonin in the brain and doesn’t come bundled with negative side effects.
Glutamine is an amino acid and the precursor to a substance called gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA). GABA inhibits nerve transmission to the brain which reduces anxiety. Simply put, glutamine makes you feel naturally calm at ease.
Whey protein is one step toward a more tranquil like in the face of modern day stresses.
It’s true, whey protein powder can confer a whole host of benefits but it should be noted that not all whey protein is created equally.
Be sure to only use grass-fed whey protein. Grain-fed cows are usually kept under harsh conditions and have been injected with all sorts of antibiotics, hormones, and steroids whereas grass-fed cows are free range and have been fed their natural diet.
As a result, grass-fed whey protein powder is without a doubt nutritionally superior.