For years, whey protein has been taken by athletes seeking to increase muscle mass and performance. Evolving research shows that whey protein does much more. Whey protein helps protect against muscle wasting and weight gain while lowering certain cardiovascular risk factors. It also improves the body’s production of glutathione.
Glutathione levels drop with age, and this could play a role in neurodegeneration, reduced immunity, and other age-related conditions. Whey protein enhances glutathione production. The ability of whey to increase glutathione levels comes from its unique combinations of small peptides.
Whey protein is increasingly seen as a superfood for healthy longevity.
Protein is among one of the most essential parts of a healthy diet, comprising nutrients that are used to make nearly every cellular structure in your body.
Lean muscle mass is created from the constituent amino acid compounds that proteins break down into. Diets rich in protein often offer a powerful means of helping to burn fat as well.
Protein powders are a great way to help supplement your overall protein intake, but not entirely necessary. Following a healthy diet that offers rich portions of protein at every meal can offer a tremendous advantage as well.
How Are Proteins Made
Proteins are made from different amino acids, which are then assembled on a cellular level through RNA transcription processes. This fundamental process is the core of how your body creates many different structures such as muscle and cartilage.
Proteins themselves offer dense nutrition that can help provide your body with valuable caloric energy, while at the same time limiting carbohydrate and fat intake. This means of categorizing types of nutrition can help you better understand how to balance your diet and achieve your personal goals.
To help ensure your body is able to build new tissue and repair existing tissue. For example, when you work out your body triggers a type of catabolic process that ultimately leads to the destruction of muscular tissue. By ensuring your overall protein balance is positive, you can avoid this type of damage.
Low Protein Problems
About 45% of older people and more than 84% in residential care facilities in the United States are not adequately nourished. This results from reduced appetite and food intake, impaired nutrient absorption, and other age-related changes.
Insufficient intake of quality protein can lead to loss of muscle mass, especially in older individuals. After age 70, muscle mass decreases by about 15% per decade. However, this process begins as early as age 40, with an estimated 8% loss of muscle mass per decade.
Approximately 5%-13% of people aged 60 or over experience age-related muscle-wasting so severe, that it increases the risk of falls and disability.
Inadequate protein consumption is associated with an increased risk of age-related conditions like loss of bone strength and poor immunity.
In fact, low protein intake is associated with frailty, when the body is so weak it becomes unable to cope with stress or injury. Frailty is a strong predictor of mortality in aging people.
Whey is a potential solution.
Whey Protein Benefits
*Whey protein is often viewed as just a protein source for bodybuilders.
*Whey has also been shown to stop muscle-wasting in the elderly, boost lean muscle mass, prevent weight gain, and lower risks of cardiovascular disease and other illnesses.
*It’s increasingly recognized as food to protect against degenerative aging and prevent muscle loss.
Whey Inhibits Muscle-Wasting
Made from the liquid part of milk that separates during cheese production, whey is a high-quality protein source for aging people.
It is also a great source of branched-chain amino acids, essential nutrients that reduce muscle breakdown and stimulate the creation of new proteins in muscle.
The most metabolically active branched-chain amino acid in whey is leucine. It activates signals in the muscle that boost the body’s anabolic (growth-promoting) drive, spurring muscle synthesis.
In one study, hospitalized, frail, elderly men and women were given whey daily during their hospital stay. Compared to patients who didn’t take whey, those who did have significant improvements in grip strength and knee extensor force and improved rehabilitation outcomes.
Boosting Muscle Mass
Whey protein has long helped athletes build muscle mass, but it does much more.
Staying active and healthy with aging requires strong, healthy muscles. Unfortunately, aging adults are increasingly susceptible to losing muscle mass as they grow older.
Whey doesn’t just help prevent muscle loss. Two studies show that it also significantly increases lean muscle mass, perhaps, especially when combined with exercise.
Whey protein also helps enhance the muscle-building effects of exercise while boosting glutathione levels.
Whey is documented to help prevent the loss of muscle mass, inhibit weight gain, and reduce multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Preventing Weight Gain
Our metabolism naturally slows as we age, causing many to gain weight. Whey has been shown to help prevent weight gain. Scientists have even considered it as a potential application for the treatment of obesity.
In a host of studies, researchers discovered that the proteins, amino acids, and minerals in whey boost satiety (the feeling of fullness), benefit glucose homeostasis (the regulation of blood sugar levels), and optimize lean body mass.
Whey Protein Types
Convenience weighs out more times than not in the modern world, and accommodating this can help you function more efficiently. Rather than juggling your shopping lists, rotating food menus, or guessing which types of proteins may be most beneficial; defer to the pros.
Protein powder is among one of the most popular supplements on the consumer market for a good reason; it works well and is very affordable.
Times have changed, and there is now a type of protein powder to meet nearly every dietary choice; such as grass-fed whey protein, organic whey protein, and even hemp protein.
For those serious about shifting their health, you should consult with a dietitian to better understand the best protein powder for your individual needs and body type.
These supplements offer your body an ideal protein option so that many fundamental cellular processes can steam forward uninhibited.
For those looking to make a serious shift in lifestyle, bulk protein powder can be purchased online for very affordable prices, and in many cases, protein powder samples are even given for free!
Whey protein is commonly available in three forms:
*Isolate with added creatine and glutamine.
Whey concentrate is simply whey with the water removed. That leaves a powder that mixes easily for a protein shake. Most whey concentrates contain about 80% protein and may be the most economical form of protein for the human body to digest and use.
Whey isolate is put through a filtration process that reduces the number of carbohydrates, lactose, and fat, providing a purer protein in the end. Whey isolate contains about 98% protein. Those who are lactose intolerant should note that, like whey concentrate, whey isolate contains lactose.
Whey isolates with added creatine and glutamine are a premium isolate option for those seeking greater strength and exercise performance.
Creatine is found naturally in muscle cells. It supports energy production by increasing levels of cells’ energy currency, and ATP, and helps maintain healthy muscle mass. Studies show that creatine helps build muscle and strength in explosive, short-duration activities like resistance-exercise training.
Glutamine is abundant in muscles, but levels are reduced after prolonged and high-intensity exercise. Glutamine encourages recovery after intense exercise, increases the synthesis of energy-storing glycogen, and helps inhibit protein breakdown in muscle tissue. It can also inhibit blood ammonia accumulation during exercise, preventing physical fatigue.
Modern Diets, Modern Approaches
If you pay attention to the different nutritional compositions of your foods, you can greatly benefit your health. For instance, taking into account the protein in broccoli can help you balance out your total daily protein.
Maybe mixing in an organic whey protein powder supplement can help you avoid loss of muscle during periods of heavy exercise. Whatever the case may be, it pays to have an astute awareness of the overall composition of your foods.
Modern times call for modern approaches. We now have the option of catering every meal to our unique physiological needs. Modern convenience, as contrived as it makes many things, allows for robust health care for those willing to take the extra step.
Fighting Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
Hypertension is one of the main factors contributing to cardiovascular disease. Research shows that whey-based peptides may help reduce this risk factor. (Peptides are chains of amino acids that are smaller than proteins.) And food-derived peptides like the kind found in whey are far safer than anti-hypertension drugs.
In a study, researchers asked 27 adults with mild hypertension (high blood pressure) to eat a high-fat breakfast and lunch along with 28 grams of whey protein. This was later repeated with 28 grams of calcium caseinate, a protein derived from casein (non-whey protein) in milk, and 27 grams of the carbohydrate maltodextrin.
Whey was found to reduce systolic blood pressure (the pressure on vessels when the heart contracts), by an average of 15.2 mmHg compared to calcium caseinate, and 23.4 mmHg compared to maltodextrin, for up to five hours after ingestion.
Whey also reduced arterial stiffness compared to maltodextrin. All these actions show whey’s potential to improve cardiovascular risk factors.
Scientists examining previous trials on overweight and obese patients also found that whey protein reduced body weight and significantly lowered blood pressure, glucose levels, and cholesterol, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.