Considered by many as a muscle-building supplement, whey protein has a host of other benefits that include weight loss and immune system strengthening. While there are many whey supplements in the market today that have decent amounts of fat, fiber and other nutrients, there are also many that are chockfull of sugars and fats that only serve to ruin any attempts to lose weight.
If you want to use this protein as a dietary supplement, you must develop the habit of reading food labels to ensure that you get the one with the most healthful ingredients. Since there are some individuals who are allergic to whey, you need to consult your doctor first before starting consumption.
You should also know that whey protein supplements should be taken only in moderate amounts and should not be used as a substitute for more than one main meal since there are no conclusive studies on its effects in long-term use. Whey supplements come in two kinds: The most pure one is called whey protein isolate. It is the most concentrated form, containing about 90 percent protein and little fat and lactose. The other kind, which is whey concentrate, contains more fat and lactose and has anywhere from 29 percent and 89 percent protein.
Here are the most basic benefits of whey supplementation where weight loss is concerned:
1. Whey, like all proteins, takes longer to digest, thus requiring the body to expend more energy. When taken in moderation and combined with exercise, the benefits to weight loss can be substantial.
2. Whey is an excellent source of leucine, an amino acid that aids in fat loss. In fact, there is more leucine in whey protein than any other protein found in eggs, milk or soy. Research has shown that a high-protein diet enables individuals to lose more body fat while keeping muscle mass intact.
3. Aside from weight loss, leucine which is highly abundant in this kind of protein also metabolizes directly into the muscles. As a result, muscle is easily repaired and rebuilt after a good workout session.
4. Whey protein shakes help the body stabilize after a good workout session by providing a ready source of energy and strength.
5. It can be used in place of breakfast since it is also a complete meal in itself. There are protein bars, drinks and powder that takes only a few seconds to prepare. They are also readily available in most health food stores and drug stores. Because they can be brought anywhere, they also serve as ready sources for snacks when you feel hungry. Thus, instead of buying burgers or chips, you can simply munch on a protein bar and enjoy a healthy snack that will help keep you full for hours.
Remember that when you are on a weight loss regimen, you should never rely fully on whey supplements as your sole source of fuel. It will not only be unhealthy, it is also potentially dangerous. While inconclusive, some studies have shown that concentrated amounts of whey can have detrimental effects on the liver and kidneys.