Despite their best efforts at home and in the gym, many people fail to see their desired results in terms of weight loss and muscle gains. For most people, creating a better version of themselves is truly a work in progress. Whey protein, in the form of powders, bars and shakes, is an often-overlooked way to improve results.
Whey protein is actually a mixture of proteins that are isolated from whey, a liquid by-product derived from cheese production. Numerous scientific studies suggest that whey protein may contain properties that fight inflammation, certain diseases and even hunger. Commonly marketed as a weight loss supplement, whey protein can benefit health in many ways.
1. Improve Muscle Tone & Increase Muscle Mass
Hitting the gym is the best way to see gains in muscle size and strength. Weight lifting and other resistance training increases muscle mass and builds muscle strength. Athletes can improve their gains by combining gym workouts with whey protein powder benefits.
A group of Texan researchers examined the effects of both whey and casein protein on muscle gains. Athletes who consumed whey protein before and after their workouts saw a greater increase in lean muscle mass and overall muscle strength.
2. Lose Body Fat
Most weight watchers reduce their calorie intake in hopes of shedding excess pounds. Their concern, however, is preserving their muscles while they lose the fat. Many experts consider whey to be the best weight loss protein around for balancing these two goals.
An American study examined the effects of whey protein and isocaloric drinks on dieters who reduced their daily calorie intake by 500 calories. Those who consumed whey lost a larger amount of body fat, yet managed to preserve their lean muscles. Whey protein bars and shakes can significantly improve weight loss efforts.
3. Reduce Hunger
Lower calorie intake often translates into greater hunger. Whey protein could take a bite out of that hunger. Australian researchers compared the effects of four different beverages on appetite suppression. The study participants who drank whey protein shakes experienced lower levels of ghrelin, a hunger-stimulating hormone. With results that last up to four hours, this is another reason whey may be the best weight loss protein available, especially as part a snack or shake between meals.
4. Boost Immunity
Glutathione is an important molecule for disease prevention, yet most people have probably never heard of it. “The mother of all antioxidants,” glutathione is essential for detoxification and immune system functioning. Preserving this molecule is yet another of the many whey protein powder benefits.
According to Canadian researchers, men who engage in strenuous physical workouts suffer significant reductions in their glutathione levels. This impacts not only their immune system, but also their gastrointestinal and nervous systems. By supplementing the diet with whey protein, glutathione levels remain balanced and the body can effectively fight disease and illness.
5. Reduce Stress
Stressful relationships or work situations can affect anyone. Many people turn to the “liquid stress relief” found in liquor or alcohol. However, fitness experts recommend a healthier alternative: whey protein.
European researchers have discovered stress-reducing benefits in whey protein. In their studies, people who consumed whey exhibited a better mood and fewer signs of depression. This may be due to the protein’s effect on serotonin, a “feel good” brain chemical.
6. Fight Cancer
Cancer infects far more family trees than it should ever impact. Scientists continue to study ways to prevent cancer and reduce the risk of developing it. Thanks to numerous studies and medical advancements, we now know of many ways to fight the disease. Cancer prevention may be the most important of all whey protein powder benefits.
Researchers have examined the impact of whey protein on certain cancer types, particularly colon and prostate cancers. They have concluded that whey protein may help fight cancer. Upon a doctor’s advice, people in high-risk cancer situations may benefit from including whey protein in their diets.