You have probably watched tons of infomercials about protein shakes on TV. These ads suggest that protein shakes can be used as food replacement or help in converting fats into muscles.
The models used in these ads are usually very fit individuals, most of whom are bodybuilders. Of course, this doesn’t exactly mean that consuming protein shakes will turn your body to that of a bodybuilder.
As a matter of fact, these infomercials exaggerates for the purpose of capturing the viewer‘s attention. Then again, whey protein will indeed help you in maximizing the benefits of your workout.
What is protein?
Protein is the nutrient that is needed the most by your body.
In fact, all of the cells in your body, especially your muscles, have protein present in them.
Protein serves a number of bodily functions, some of which include the following:
- the formation of blood cells
- the strengthening of the immune system
- the support of bodily processes
- the regulation of metabolism
If you have been hitting the gym on a regular basis, have been consistently working out, or are active in athletic activities, your body requires more protein.
This helps to repair tissues that have been damaged during the workout session and building new tissues of muscles.
Are natural proteins sufficient?
There are plenty of foods that naturally contain proteins. Some of these include the following:
- dry fruits
Now the question to answer is this: are these natural sources of protein enough to provide the protein needed by your body?
And if the answer to this question is yes, then why should you take whey protein?
Whey protein should be taken on top of this because proteins obtained from natural sources are not enough for bodybuilders, gym regulars, and even individuals who live extremely busy lifestyles.
As an example, the foods listed below are in 100-gram servings.
These are the protein content contained in each:
- Whey protein – 90 grams of protein
- Cheese – 10 to 30 grams of protein
- Eggs – 6 to 8 grams of protein
- Fish – 20 grams of protein
- Turkey – 20 grams of protein
- Chicken – 20 grams of protein
- Lean red meat – 20 grams of protein
Thus, even if your body’s required protein amount can be obtained from natural sources, the number of fats and carbohydrates obtained from these sources could result in you gaining more weight.
In addition, whey protein has higher bio-availability.
This means that your body is able to process whey protein and utilize it quicker and more optimally than normal proteins.
What is whey protein?
Whey is a product that is mainly known to be used by highly active people. Most of the time, it can be spotted in gyms or in sports shops.
Whey protein is basically a by-product of the production of cheese.
It normally comes in 3 different forms:
- Whey Protein Isolate (WPI)
- Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC)
- Whey Protein Hydrolysate (WPH)
WPI is also WPC but the amounts of lactose, carbohydrates, and fats are reduced. It costs a lot more than WPC and contains more than 90% whey protein by weight.
Therefore, the number of calories obtained are fewer. WPI is pricier and usually come in many different flavors.
WPC is simply whey protein minus all the water content. It is the most affordable and most easily accessible form of whey protein.
The protein content of WPC ranges from 29-89%. Unlike WPI, WPC does not come in many different flavors. For this reason, it is not as popular as WPI among exercise buffs and health-conscious individuals.
WPH is WPI that has been pre-digested. This means that your body will be able to utilize it quicker.
WPH is extremely pricey (the most expensive one among the three forms of whey protein). While it indeed is the most potent form of whey protein, the majority of health buffs regard it to be too expensive.
Is Whey protein readily available?
Unlike before, whey proteins are now very easy to find. When working out and eating healthy became popular, so did whey proteins and other health supplements.
You should be able to find and buy whey proteins from most sports shops, health supply stores, and even online shops.
There are also plenty of individuals who get their supply of whey proteins from nutritionists, dieticians, and personal trainers.
This is because these people usually have connections with the whey protein manufacturers and are able to get them at discounted prices.
The prices of whey proteins differ based on the form and the brand.
You should be wary of brands that offer ridiculously high discounts because there are plenty of counterfeit whey protein products being sold.
When an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Always remember that.
Always go for quality over quantity.
The proper dosage of whey protein to be consumed is usually a topic of debate.
It is recommended by the whey protein manufacturers and even some nutritionists or dieticians that for every pound you weigh, you should take 1 gram of protein.
Approximately, this means that if you weigh 65 kilograms, you need to consume 143 grams of whey protein.
This amount is rather high. As a matter of fact, it can even inflict some damage to your lungs and kidneys.
This is because these organs will need to work overtime and twice as much to process a huge amount of protein.
Some medical research councils recommend that the right dosage should be one gram of whey protein for every kilogram of body weight.
It is also not recommended that you consume whey protein as a meal replacement.
Whey protein should, instead, be consumed together with freshly squeezed vegetable juice or fruit juice, or with plain drinking water.
You may also combine it with some milk according to some nutritionists. Be careful with mixing it with milk though, as this implies a high amount of lactose.
When your body finds the amount of lactose to be too high, it can result in constipation.
Dr. Richa Shrivastava, a famous nutritionist, stated that a person who engages in regular, intense physical exercise should take 25 to 30 grams of whey protein thrice daily.
The ideal consumption time should be once every morning, once after your exercise, and once before bedtime.
As for individuals who work out but not as intense, he suggested that these individuals consume 1.2 to 1.5 grams of whey protein for every kilogram of body weight.
Does it have any side effects?
As mentioned earlier, too much whey protein can result in a lack of hydration and damage the lungs and kidneys.
In addition to this, however, other side effects may be experienced, such as the following:
- Individuals who are extremely lactose intolerant should stay away from whey protein completely. Instead, they should go for soy protein.
- A high lactose content can cause complications and might even result in becoming constipated.
- It has been shown by a number of studies that if the body takes in a high amount of protein, it can lead to mineral imbalance. This then could ultimately result in mineral bone density loss.
- Too much protein, whether from natural sources or from whey, is one of the top causes of the development of kidney stones.
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