Whey Protein



Whey pronounced as 'WAY', is a milk derivative - the watery portion of milk that separates from the curds when making cheese. Whey protein used to be discarded by cheese manufacturers as a waste product but now they are the biggest suppliers of this raw material which is spray dried to give the desired powdered end product by the supplement industry.

Whey protein is a complete protein source, which denotes that it contains all 9 of the essential amino acids. Amino acids go on to perform a plethora of roles physiologically, such as neurotransmission, energy production, brain metabolism, cardiovascular function, immune system function, repair our bones, muscles, organs and several others. Whey protein is high in Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) which improve red blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, serum albumin, fasting glucose levels, increased glycogenesis and rapid improvement in muscular inflammation. Whey protein serves an invaluable role to individuals looking to improve their musculature, fitness and even just overall bodily function.

Whey protein is used for improving athletic performance, as a food supplement, as an alternative to milk for people with lactose intolerance, for replacing or supplementing milk-based infant formulas, and for reversing weight loss and increasing glutathione (GSH) in certain medical conditions. Whey protein can also help to slow cancer growth in the body, prevent type-2 diabetes by controlling blood glucose levels and promote new skin growth.

Types of Whey
Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) -  Less than 90% protein concentration typically ranging from 55-89%. Usually the specific concentrations will be notated following the term “WPC”, such as WPC “85”. The rest of the concentration is made up of lactose, minerals, and fats.
Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) - More than 90% protein concentration - on average 95%, with minimal lactose and fat.
Whey Protein Hydrolysates (WPH) - A new technique where whey protein is produced via enzymatic hydrolysis of either WPCs or WPIs with about 99% protein concentration. Essentially, this type acts as a method of “pre-digesting” the protein by separating (i.e. lysing) peptide bonds; hence the time for digestion and absorption of amino acids will be reduced.

Uses
Weight Loss
Body uses more energy to digest protein than other foods, which creates a thermic effect and enables you to burn a higher rate of calories after a protein meal while promoting a lean body composition. Whey protein is relatively low in calories, with 120 per scoop - just 6 percent of the total daily suggested intake of 2,000. Whey protein is low in fat, with 1 g per serving. Whey protein does not contain any trans fat, a type of fat that can increase levels of LDL and reduce levels of HDL cholesterol. Whey protein is low in sugar, with just 1 g per scoop. Whey protein also helps to reduce glucose absorption time into the bloodstream to prevent hunger. Therefore, if you choose a protein shake which is low in carbohydrates, sugar, fat and overall calories, it can be a useful method of decreasing your weight by using it as a snack in between your meals.
Athletic Performance
It is recommended that people eat something high in protein 0-30 minutes after their workout. The reason for eating so soon after your workout is to inhibit the production of a catabolic hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone which shuts down muscle growth. It increases in our body after we have used up a lot of energy.
Immune System
Whey protein contains an antioxidant called glutathione which is required for a healthy immune system. Whey can help athletes maintain a strong immune system as glutathione levels may be reduced by exercise and resistance training.

Precautions
- The biggest fear often expressed about whey protein intake is that "too much protein, regardless of the source", is bad for the kidneys. Healthy individuals, without any underlying or unknown kidney disease have nothing to worry about with intakes of protein.
- Combine whey protein supplements with my other supplements like creatine and glutamin is considered safe.
- Always consult your health care provider before starting a supplement.