Physioworks Health Group Exercise Physiology: What is ‘Whey’ Protein?

 

Protein is a key component for a healthy body. Consuming protein in whole foods is achievable however not always easy; therefore a good protein powder is needed when exercising. Protein can be consumed by variety of foods such as eggs, soy, nuts and fish; however the best quality protein available is Whey Protein.

Whey Protein is a by-product of milk and cheese. It was promoted for its health benefits as early as 420 BC. It is known these days as the gold standard of protein. Whey Protein contains all 20 amino acids and is the richest source of dietary branched chain amino acids (iii).

Muscle mass and strength loss begins early in life and is accelerated in regards to age, sex, and physical activity. The majority of the healthy population do not consume the recommended dietary intake of 0.8g/kg/day -1.0g/kg/day of protein. Recent research argues that this should be even more for healthier populations due to the health benefits involved (ii). Therefore it is suggested that the right physical activity and right consumption of protein will reduce muscle loss and maintain optimal function of muscles.

Not only is Whey Protein a terrific source for muscle building, but the branched chain amino acids help our immune system run optimally and reduce the risk of illness with its high amounts antioxidants and immunoglobulins (i). Whey Protein contains high levels of immune boosting compounds, however it’s important to be alert as there are many products in the market that are denatured dairy and processed with heat, acid and are sweetened.

Denatured vs. Raw Milk Whey:

The process of Whey Protein can be complex.

When selecting your Whey product it’s essential to look for the purest form of Whey. This entails raw, grass fed cows as their milk contains the highest amounts of immune-enhancing benefits. Research has suggested that most New Zealand grass fed cows that are Un-denatured produce high quality (i).

Unfortunately most protein these days is made out of denatured milk meaning reduced health benefits. Research has shown that denatured milk really is inadequate and will not give an enhancement to an athlete in their training or general health (v).

You can taste the difference of denatured Whey and un-denatured Whey milk by the texture. So if you ever you get a chance it may-be worthwhile to spend a couple of extra dollars and purchase a bottle of fresh milk. You can tell the difference in the smell, the taste. It tastes creamy and good by itself.

Health Benefits:

Obesity is an epidemic not only in Australia but worldwide, the health consequences are proving catastrophic.

There are plenty of health benefits derived from protein and we should give it more attention within our diet as we are so focused on carbohydrates.

Dairy products are now a safe option for cardiovascular health and weight loss, It contains two major proteins: Casein (80%) and Whey (20%). These amino acids have shown to promote greater health benefits with improved glucose levels, insulin response, lipid results, which all help in reducing the likelihood of metabolic syndrome. This signifies the importance of protein consumption in your lifestyle for training purpose and for everyday living.

Muscle Building:

Lifting heavy weights or any other catabolic training is not NECCESSARILY going to give you muscle mass. Perfect exercise programs needs a perfect diet so it’s vital to supply your muscle with fuel at the right time so it will have building blocks to continue to build muscles.

When purchasing Whey protein it’s always important to look at the amount of Leucine, as this is an important amino acid which has been shown to stimulate protein synthesis and increase muscle building (iv).

Tips on buying good Whey Protein:

  • Organic
  • Grass fed cows
  • Made from denatured Milk
  • Rich and creamy
  • Minimally processed

Whey protein is a great supplement to add into your lifestyle whether you’re exercising or lacking in protein intake. In order to build better bodies you need to have sufficient energy to support your muscles to grow.

Next time you purchase Whey protein look into what you are buying and supply your body with the purest form to help you achieve your goals.

For advice or consultation regarding Exercise, General Health and Well-Being please contact the Physioworks Exercise Physiology team on 5995 1111.

References:

(i) Atushi, K., Kyosuke, N., Tomoyuki, F., Jinicharo, K., Minoru, K., Kentaro, K., Mitsuru, H. (2013). Post exercise whey protein hydrolysate supplementation induces a greater increase in muscle protein synthesis than its constituent amino acid content British  Journal of Nutrition (110) 981-987.

(ii) Boehler, C.J., & Ney, D.M. (2001). Effects on insulin secretion and intestinal health via intestinal peptide. Nutra Foods, (10) 17-22.

(iii) Hofmekler, O. (2002). Warriors Diet. North Atlantic Book.

(iv) Layman, D.K., Norton., L.E., Wilson, G.J., & Wilson, J.M (2011). Leucine dense whey proteins. Nutra Foods, (10), 11-16.

(v) Radavelli-Bagatini, S.,& Pal, S. (2012). The effect of Whey protein on cardiometabolic risk factors. International Association for the study of Obesity, (14), 324-343.

(vi) Photo: Sandstein (Own Work) March 1, 2009; sourced from Wiki Media Common

About the author:

Jude HewavasamJude Hewavasam is an accredited Exercise Physiologist with a Bachelor Degree in Exercise Science and a Masters of Clinical Exercise Physiology. He has a long term professional interest in diabetes and runs a specific exercise group ‘Running with Diabetes’ Jude provides Exercise Physiology services, including individual fitness assessments, one-on-one training and group classes for a wide range of conditions, at Physioworks Cranbourne and Pakenham.