Whey protein might look like your regular dietary fad, but it’s so much more. Whey protein has been used in different forms in health and exercise supplements for decades. Whey protein provides a number of health and wellness benefits that go beyond weight loss or bulking up, making a strong case for including whey protein in your diet.
Interestingly, whey protein is often a byproduct of cheese making. It’s a special enzyme featuring essential nutrients the human body craves. Milk is broken down, and the whey is separated from the curds. It’s usually dried and turned into powder, which is the way that most people consume whey protein today.
Just as there are different qualities of cheese, there are different qualities of whey protein. Some types of protein are better for building muscle while others are better for losing weight. Some whey protein powders also contain more sugars than others, so it’s important to understand the best whey protein powder for you.
Whey protein has a number of incredible, science-backed health benefits, and it’s not just for those who want to build ripped muscles.
As you decide on the best protein for you, here are some of the health benefits worth considering.
1. Promote Muscle Growth and Repair
When you think of drinking a protein shake, you probably picture big muscles. Protein can help you get to that point, but it won’t necessarily make you a bodybuilder. However, it can promote more rapid muscle growth.
It’s also an excellent tool for repairing muscles after a strenuous workout. The faster your muscles repair themselves, the faster they’ll grow. You’ll gain muscle mass more quickly and reduce fat.
2. Prevent and Treat Type 2 Diabetes
Genetics, poor eating habits, and lack of exercise can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, a condition in which your blood sugar gets dangerously high because your body doesn’t properly produce insulin to regulate it. Those with diabetes must avoid foods high in carbohydrates and take shots regularly to keep their blood sugar under control.
Whey protein has shown promising effects in helping to moderate blood sugar levels. It won’t replace insulin shots, but it can help to counteract the effects of a carb-loaded meal.
3. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Whey protein is a highly filling substance and has been known to curb hunger and cravings. As a result, people who consume whey protein regularly are less likely to overeat. It can be an effective substance for both losing and maintaining weight.
Studies have also shown that whey protein can boost your metabolism. If consumed before a workout, you can increase your muscle mass and burn more calories, contributing to weight loss.
4. Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is known as a silent killer. Unless you go for frequent checkups, you might not know that your blood pressure is high until you have a heart attack or stroke. Those with high blood pressure must monitor it regularly and sometimes take medication to manage the symptoms.
Whey protein may be useful in lowering blood pressure. One study showed a four percent decrease in systolic blood pressure for participants who consumed at least 54 grams per day for 12 weeks.
5. Boost Your Immune System
Many studies have linked a nutritious diet with a stronger immune system, but oftentimes, a focus on specific foods is needed to see real results. Most people don’t consume enough protein, an essential component of a healthy immune system, so supplementing with whey protein helps.
Protein has the ability to strengthen key aspects of your immune system, including the antioxidant portion. That’s your body’s natural defense system. A scoop of whey protein powder a day might just keep the doctor away.
6. Increase Bone Density
Osteoporosis affects 44 million people in the United States, and women are more likely to develop this bone disease. Those over the age of 50 face high risks for losing bone density, and it’s important to exercise regularly and eat the proper nutrition to increase it.
Lean protein is the best source for our bodies, and whey protein is on that list. It’s easier for the body to absorb. It’s also known to repair muscles, which can significantly contribute to stronger bones and overall physical strength.
7. Support Heart Health
As mentioned previously, whey protein can lower your blood pressure, which can lead to an overall healthier heart. It can also raise good levels of cholesterol in the blood and lower triglycerides, (bad cholesterol).
Since a buildup of bad cholesterol can cause a blood clot, eventually leading to a stroke or heart attack, any preventative measures you can take are imperative. Studies indicate that whey protein may be exactly what you need for a stronger heart.
Whey protein is an excellent contributor to your all-around health. Anyone can invest in a good quality protein powder and see profound health benefits when used in combination with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
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