3 Health And Weight Loss Benefits of Whey Protein Powder

There are many protein powders available on the market but whey protein powder has become the best-selling protein powder – by a long shot. One main reason for this is that studies show that whey protein powder is the best protein source known for quickly and effectively building and repairing muscles after intensive exercise. However, the health benefits of whey protein powder don’t just end there. Whey protein powder is also an excellent supplement for boosting the immune system and is also a great supplement for aiding in many weight loss programs.

Let’s look in more detail at these 3 benefits of taking whey protein powder on a regular basis –

1) Muscle Building and Repair
Research has shown that whey protein powder is the most effective source of protein known for building muscles quickly and effectively. To ensure that we feed muscles with what they need after intensive exercise we have to ingest a protein source that delivers all 8 of the essential amino acids, that muscles tissue needs to repair and rebuild, in high enough doses.

Depending on how many of the 8 essential amino acids a protein source has and the amount each of these amino acids come in will determine the biological value (BV) of that protein source. BV meaning how effectively that protein source is digested and absorbed into our cells. If any particular protein source, for example, has great levels of 7 of the essential amino acids but is completely missing number 8 then that will seriously affect the BV of that protein source. A protein source that has moderate levels of all 8 essential amino acid would get a higher BV score than the previous example. The great thing with whey protein powder is that it delivers all 8 essential amino acids in high doses, making it the number one protein source on the BV scale – there is nothing higher!

2) Weight management
Whey protein powder is a great food that can complement any diet program or weight management effort. There is in fact, several different types of whey protein powder and whey protein isolate is the best choice for cutting back on body fat. Whey protein isolate is a very pure form of whey protein that contain very little or even none of the fat and sugar originally present in cows milk. Whey protein comes from cows milk. So whey protein isolate is pretty much protein and nothing else and protein is harder to digest than fat or carbohydrates. This creates a thermogenic effect, meaning that more calories are needed to digest protein, especially something as pure as whey protein isolate.

In addition to this the branched chain amino acids in whey protein powder are metabolically more likely to convert to lean muscle tissue than fat – especially as part of a healthy eating regime. One of these branched chain amino acids called leucine also helps us not lose muscle tone during calorie restricted diets, therefore helping us to burn fat and not precious muscle tone.

3) Immune System Benefits
A surprising health benefit of consuming whey protein powder on a regular basis is that it can help boost the immune system by increasing the presence of an antioxidant called l-glutahione in our cells. The role of l-glutahione in the body should not be underestimated – it is often called the master antioxidant by health experts. Whereas all other antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C and E and the plant chemicals lycopene and chlorophyll are powerful antioxidants in their own right they only operate in specific areas of the body. L-glutathione, however, should be present in every cell of the body protecting them from oxidative damage that can lead to cancers, heart disease, premature aging, cataracts, diabetes and other degenerative diseases. The reality is that many of us do not have enough l-glutathione and if this deficiency becomes chronic enough it can greatly decrease our life expectancy. The levels of l-glutathione in the body is in fact the best way known way of predicting how long a person will live!

So how does whey protein powder increase l-glutathione levels you may ask? Well, l-glutathione is made from a combination of 3 specific amino acids bonding together and whey protein supplies these amino acids abundantly. So this naturally increases glutathione levels.

Protein Shakes Can Help You Lose Weight

You probably know that many top-level professional and amateur athletes use supplements like protein shakes and bars to gain muscle mass. But did you know that the same strategies they use for building muscle — including drinking protein shakes — can be modified slightly to aid in weight loss as well?

It may sound like a contradiction in terms, but while it’s true that most protein shakes are designed to help people gain weight, you can also use them to tone the overall figure of your body, lose fat and also drop your total body weight. This is because every ounce of muscle on your body will help you burn fat and calories quicker and more effectively than before.

If it still sounds counter-intuitive to add an additional amount of protein to your diet even though you’re trying to lose weight, think about this: the medical definition of obese is based on body fat percentage — not weight. This means that even anorexics are quite often obese (though they may also be underweight), because their body-fat content is so high compared to their muscle mass, which is virtually non-existant.

But why is it important to have a reasonably ratio of muscles to fat, and why would you want to build muscle? First, it’s simply more healthy to maintain your musculature by supporting your body with a good, balanced diet and a solid fitness program. Second, muscles use a lot of energy.

Muscles are the engine of the body, and stored fat (and food) is their gasoline. Fuel your muscles with protein to get them bigger, and they’ll continue to burn your fat for you every time you use them. But that’s not all: even when you’re not using them — for example, while you’re sleeping — your muscles still burn fat faster than any other tissues in your body.

If you use protein shakes to build up your muscles, you’ll find that it’s easier to shed unsightly fat weight afterward. This is because muscles are what is called “metabolically active,” meaning their calorie-burning impact on your body is drastic and ongoing. And because the fat-burning benefits of muscles are continuous even while resting, you don’t have to continue working out constantly to feel and see the impact.

On average, a full 60% of your daily calorie burn actually occurs during periods of rest. And since muscle mass burns calories faster than anything else, by engaging in strength training with protein supplements such as shakes or bars you’ll be giving your body the extra boost it needs to get fit as quickly as possible.

But what is the best way to approach this tactic of gaining muscle to lose weight? First, you’ll want to avoid the typical habits that grow muscles to extreme sizes: don’t try to max out the machine when you’re doing bench presses. Instead of doing a few reps with lots of weight, instead do the opposite to create lean muscle: do lots of reps with only a little resistance weight. And only do anaerobic resistance training for about 20 – 30 minutes at a time, three or four times per week.

Second, when it comes to taking protein shakes, be careful not to overdo it. Monitor your overall dietary intake and don’t exceed 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight on a daily basis. If you aren’t very physically active, you should consume even less — closer to 0.8 grams per kilogram.

Just as important, get your protein-shake timing right. After a strength-training workout, you have a 60-minute window known as the “magic hour” to consume protein for its greatest impact on your muscles. Immediately after working out, your muscles are primed and ready to absorb protein and glucose directly, so taking your protein supplement then will give you the greatest muscle-gain benefit while also preventing the supplement’s other ingredients from being stored as fat in your body.

Finally (and you know this one), read the ingredients. Some protein shakes and bars are more healthy than others, and each is designed for a slightly different body type and lifestyle. Keep in mind that many are designed for weight gain at any cost, and your goal is to gain muscle to burn fat.

But if you heed these warnings and follow the basic advice above, shakes and other protein supplements can indeed be a great part of your weight-loss diet. Good luck and burn some fat!