Whey protein has many incredible benefits. In fact, it provides a more absorbable form of protein than any other type of food or supplement because it is so easy to digest. S0 why does this matter? Simply put, protein is essential in rebuilding the cells and tissues in your body. It also keeps bodily fluids in check, guards enzyme functions, and enhances the health of your hair, skin, and nails. Read on for more information on exactly what whey protein is, and how it can benefit your health!
What Is Whey Protein?
Milk contains two different types of proteins: whey and casein. Whey protein is a complex substance that consists of protein, lactose, minerals, immunoglobulins, and minimal fat. Whey protein is typically sold in powder form, that is then mixed with liquid to create a drink or shake. It is an excellent way too boost your protein intake and build lean muscle! When consuming whey protein, remember that not all protein powders are created equally. When choosing your whey protein, do you best to find a powder that is free of GMOs and is natural or organic. Avoid whey proteins that are heavily processed, such as whey protein isolate. Read on for the many health specific benefits of whey protein!
Health Benefits of Whey Protein
1. Builds Muscle. Whey protein powders usually consist of 80 to 90 percent protein, providing the body with ample protein to build muscle, increase strength performance, and recover well after exercise. The Journal of Food Science published an article stating that whey protein can help increase muscle mass, maintain muscle mass, and help prevent muscle loss with age.
2. Burns Fat. In 2014, the Journal of the American College of Nutrition studied the impact of whey protein with and without resistance training. They were specifically looking for how it impacted body weight and body composition. This study found that adults who supplemented their diets with whey protein saw a significant decrease in body fat and body weight.
A separate study published in Nutrition and Metabolism looked at the impact of whey supplementation on adults who reduced their caloric intake by 500 calories per day. The control group reduced their caloric intake by 500 calories as well. While both groups lost weight, the group of participants who supplemented their diets with whey protein lost 6.1 percent more body fat mass, while preserving their lean muscle.
3. Boosts Heart Health. Whey protein has been linked to reducing blood pressure and arterial stiffness. It also has proven to improve lipid profiles in the body. By reducing cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity, it helps protect your heart and muscles! A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2016 found that of 42 participants, those who consumed whey protein powder saw a reduction in blood pressure and enhanced blood circulation.
4. Increases Immunity. Whey protein contains plenty of vitamins and proteins that positively impact the immune system and its functioning. These vitamins, such as vitamin D, also have microbial properties. A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that whey protein also helps the body recover from exercise. This reduces stress on the body, boosts immunity, and promotes overall health.
5. Curbs Cravings. Whey protein is proven to impact the hormones ghrelin and leptin. These hormones regulate the body’s appetite and tell it when it’s time to eat. Whey protein does an excellent job and satiating hunger and reducing overall caloric consumption.
6. Increases Energy. In 2013, the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine wrote that females saw increased performances when supplementing with whey protein after exercise. Some performance markers that improved were running, jumping, muscle endurance, and increased energy levels. Whey protein has also been linked to improved performance, strength, and body composition.
7. Stabilizes Blood Sugar. Research shows that whey protein can help stabilize blood sugar levels when consumed before meals with a high glycemic index. An article published in the World Journal of Diabetes stated that whey protein
8. Lengthens Life Span. Whey protein has been proven to help reduce muscle waste. This is crucial because as we age, our bone mass tends to decay. Our digestive functioning also decreases. Whey protein helps combat both of these issues. By supplementing with whey protein, muscles recover better, while gaining mass and strength. This is also great for boosting energy levels!
How to Incorporate Whey Protein Into Your Diet
One of the easiest ways to incorporate whey protein into your diet is through smoothies and shakes! These smoothie recipes are great for any time of day. They make especially easy grab and go meals that you can even freeze ahead of time! Check out the delicious protein shake recipes below.
Vanilla Latte Shake: 1 to 1.5 milk of your choice, 2 scoops vanilla whey protein, 1/2 cup low-fat coffee flavored ice cream. Blend and enjoy!
Peppermint Oats Shake: 2 scoops chocolate whey protein, 1 cup sugar-free vanilla ice cream, 1 cup oatmeal, 2 cups milk of your choice, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 tsp peppermint extract. Blend and enjoy!
Cinnamon Roll Shake: 2 scoops vanilla whey protein, 1 tbsp sugar-free instant vanilla pudding, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp butter-flavor extract, 1 cup water, 1 handful of ice. Blend and enjoy!
Banana Bread Shake: 2 scoops whey protein, 1 banana, 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal, 3/4 cup bran flakes, 1 bottle of water, ice. Blend and enjoy!
Wild Berry Shake: 2 scoops vanilla whey protein, 8 raspberries, 4 strawberries, 15 blueberries, 2 cups milk of your choice, 1 handful of ice. Blend and enjoy!
Strawberry Vanilla Shake: 2 scoops vanilla whey protein, 1 cup fat-free vanilla greek yogurt, handful of frozen strawberries, 1/2 banana. Blend and enjoy!
Peanut Butter Banana Shake: 2 scoops chocolate whey protein, 1/2 cup almonds, 1tbsp peanut butter, 1 cup milk of your choice, 1/2 banana, 1 tbsp honey, handful of ice. Blend and enjoy!
Peanut Brittle Shake: 2 scoops vanilla whey protein, 1 tbsp sugar-free instant butterscotch pudding mix, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 cup milk of your choice, handful of ice. Mix and enjoy!
Mocha Shake: 2 scoops chocolate whey protein, 1 cup milk of your choice, 1 handful of ice, 1 cup of water, 1 tbsp of instant coffee. Blend and enjoy!