There’s a common misconception that whey protein is just for bodybuilders and professional athletes, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Whey protein has many health benefits and can be a great addition to the daily diet. So what is whey protein, and how can it help us to stay happy and healthy?
What is Whey Protein?
Whey protein is a byproduct of the cheesemaking process. While the curds (the solids) are used to make cheeses, the whey (the liquid) is drained and is often sold as a health supplement. The whey is made up of between 25 to 80 percent protein, which is why it’s favoured by bodybuilders and sports people.
Types of Whey Protein
There are two main types of whey protein available; whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate. The concentrated version is simply drained from the curds, and will often contain small amounts of carbohydrates, sugars, and fats. The isolated version undergoes a more thorough filtration process, removing as much of these as possible. For health, both types of whey protein are excellent choices.
Benefits of Whey Protein
Protein is great for building muscle, so the benefits of whey protein for athletes are obvious. But how about for the average Joe? Increasing protein intake could significantly help to reduce the risk of a number of muscle, joint, and bone conditions, especially those associated with ageing, such as osteoporosis and sarcopenia. In younger individuals, whey protein could help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and it could also restrict ulcer growth by as much as 73 percent.
Increasing Protein Intake
Some experts believe that the current recommended daily allowance for protein (0.8g/kg) is simply not enough to protect the muscles and bones from degenerative disease, and are calling for the allowance to be upped to between 1.6g/kg to 1.8g/kg. Whey protein powder is one of the most efficient ways to increase protein intake.