Health Benefits of Whey Protein

December 12, 2016
Health Benefits of Whey Protein

 

Protein is so essential for our bodies; so we need to make sure we get enough. Without protein we wouldn’t be able to build muscles or repair our tissues.

Protein also gives us energy, transports nutrients so our bodies can use them, and produces enzymes and hormones we need.

1.Lose Fat, Not Muscle

When you finally start building up some muscle, the last thing you want to do during a workout is lose muscle instead of fat. Anyone who’s worked hard to gain muscle mass knows that keeping it is just as important as building it.

As SFGate writes, “using whey protein supplements in addition to strength training may increase the amount of muscle you gain”.

A study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition set out to test whether whey protein supplements increased muscle protein synthesis better than soy protein or carb based supplements. Researchers put participants on a “whole-body periodized resistance training program” for about nine months. The subjects body composition was recorded at the beginning and then every three months until completion.

The results?

“Despite consuming similar calories and protein during resistance training, daily supplementation with whey was more effective…in promoting gains in lean body mass”. Fat mass also decreased slightly among all participants.

Gains in lean body mass mean you’ll be burning more calories even when you’re resting.

2. Increase Endurance

What if I told you that whey protein actually made you stronger at the gym?

Well, research published in the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise aimed to figure out if whey protein enhanced exercise performance.

Researchers split up 40 male rats into four groups. Two groups of rats were sedentary, but one sect received whey protein while the other ate normal feed. The other two groups of rats were forced to swim every day; one sect ate normal feed and the other had whey protein.

Researchers “increased the amount of exertion gradually so that at the end of six weeks the mice swam for 60 minutes with a weight attached to their tail”. Then they measured forelimb grip strength and how long it took the rats to swim to exhaustion.

You can probably guess that the swimming rats decreased their body weight, and they did.

But the swimming rats that also consumed whey protein increased their grip strength and their time to exhaustion doubled.

This study proved that whey supplementation not only improved body composition, but also strengthened the rats muscles and became an effective aid to allow them to work out longer.

3. Prevent Cancer

Men’s Health delivers a great breakthrough in the world of prostate cancer research by way of Ohio State University.

Researchers used whey protein on human prostate cells and then measured the amount of glutathione that was present in the cells afterward. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, glutathione is known as the “mother of all antioxidants”. This antioxidant is known to absorb free radicals and prevent cancer, just like other sulphur containing foods like wheatgrass and kale.

So how did the whey protein work on the prostate cells?

Amazingly, there was a 64{b1bd292c71de6bfb7557f75bfc0ac76f0c41d60ebabfd2d50358430a5f7c2715} increase in glutathione as a result of the whey protein treatment.

“Whey is a great source of the amino acid cysteine, and cysteine can become glutathione in the body”, explains Rosemary L. Walzem, R.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for Nutrition, Health, and Food Genomics at Texas A & M University.

Researchers believe that increased levels of glutathione may prevent free radicals from becoming cancerous cells, which is pretty impressive in my book.

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