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The Truth About Whey Protein

Updated: Oct 3, 2022

Whey protein is a popular supplement high in amino acids, which can be beneficial for building lean muscle mass and losing weight. But not all whey protein powders are created equal. There are many types of whey proteins with varying quality and purity levels. You'll hear conflicting opinions about whether or not it works as well as other supplements on the market, but no doubt, taking a high-quality whey protein powder can help boost your health and fitness goals.

Athletic woman drink whey protein by shaker
The Truth About Whey Protein

What Is Whey Protein?

Whey protein is a type of protein found in milk. Whey protein is one of the three major types of proteins in cow's milk (the other two are casein and lactose).

The whey protein comprises alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin, and serum albumin. Whey proteins are easy to digest and absorb into your system because they're small molecules. The body quickly breaks down whey proteins into amino acids—the building blocks for muscles—which helps with muscle growth after exercise.

The quality of whey protein varies depending on where it comes from—including cow's milk or soybeans (tofu)—and how it's been processed before it reaches your plate or glass.* Some forms have added fat that can be high in saturated fats; others contain high levels of lactose if not processed correctly.* Reducing the amount you consume may help reduce symptoms associated with lactose intolerance.*

What are the Benefits of Whey Protein?

Here are some of the benefits of whey protein.

  • Weight Loss

Whey protein is one of the best ways to lose weight, and it can be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise program. It's high in protein and low in fat, which makes it an excellent choice for those trying to trim some pounds or eat healthier overall. Protein helps you feel fuller for longer, so you'll likely eat less throughout the day because your body will tell you it's complete. This means that whey protein can help you make better eating choices when dieting by reducing cravings and helping you avoid temptation (i.e., eating unhealthy foods). Whey also has other benefits, like lowering cholesterol levels, improving heart health, and even aiding muscle growth after exercise!

  • Metabolism & Appetite Control:

Studies have shown that people who consume higher amounts of whey protein tend to have lower BMIs than people who don't drink as much whey protein (1). In addition, studies show that consuming a meal containing whey before exercising may boost metabolic rate during exercise by 50% compared to meals without any added proteins (2). This increase could mean burning more calories during or even after workouts since metabolic rate increases based on how much work your body does during training sessions - meaning those extra calories might burn long after your activity ends!

  • High in Nutrients

Whey protein is a complete protein that contains all of the essential amino acids your body needs. It also has a good amino acid profile.

Whey protein is high in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which help with muscle recovery after exercise and improve brain function.

Whey protein is low in fat and contains calcium and potassium, making it an excellent addition to any diet.

  • May Help Lower Blood Pressure

It's also possible that whey protein intake can help lower blood pressure. A small study conducted in 2012 found that whey protein may reduce systolic blood pressure by 5 to 6 mmHg. In addition, a meta-analysis of seven clinical trials concluded that consuming protein supplements (such as whey) can reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 4 mmHg.

If you have high cholesterol or are at risk for heart disease, talk to your doctor before adding more dietary protein to your diet. Your doctor may recommend limiting the number of animal products in your diet (including meat, fish, and eggs).

  • Helps Build Lean Muscle

Whey protein is your best friend. Not only does it help your body build and maintain muscle mass, but it also helps you lose weight by increasing the number of calories you burn throughout the day. This is because muscle mass takes more energy to maintain than fat tissue: a pound burns about two hundred calories per day, while a pound burns anywhere between six hundred and one thousand calories per day (depending on how much you weigh).

So what exactly are amino acids? Amino acids are organic compounds that makeup proteins, which are used to build and repair muscles in the body. They're also critical for many other bodily processes, including digestion, hormone production, and cell division—which means that getting enough protein in your diet is essential to good health!

You may have heard that whey protein can help lower your cholesterol. This is true, but it's essential to understand how this works.

Cholesterol is fat in the blood that helps your body make hormones and other substances. High cholesterol levels can lead to cardiovascular disease, while low levels are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.

Research suggests that whey protein may help lower total cholesterol, LDL ("bad") cholesterol, and triglycerides—a type of blood fat—but doesn't appear to help raise HDL ("good") cholesterol in otherwise healthy people.

  • Can Help Replace Lost Muscle Mass

Whey protein is a complete protein that can help to rebuild muscle mass. Because of the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) in whey protein, it's an effective recovery tool for athletes trying to build lean muscle. BCAA's get broken down into acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA), which your body uses as fuel. This means that after a challenging workout, your muscles have a ready source of energy from which they can draw strength and rebuild themselves faster than usual—which will enable you to gain more power than if you hadn't had any whey on hand!

In addition to helping with recovery after exercise, whey has also been shown in some studies to promote weight loss through appetite suppression and increased resting metabolic rate by increasing thermogenesis (heat production).

  • May Enhance Fat Burning

Whey protein may help you lose weight.

A European Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that whey protein can reduce body fat, increase lean mass and improve blood lipid profiles. Another study supported the findings, which found that whey protein supplementation resulted in reduced body weight and fat.

Whey protein may also help you burn more fat while working out compared to other types of proteins, such as soy or casein, according to a review of studies published in Critical Reviews in Food Science & Nutrition. It's believed that this is due to its high leucine content, which contributes to more remarkable muscle protein synthesis and increased energy expenditure during exercise (energy burned).

  • Can Increase Fat Loss and Preserve Muscle Mass While Dieting for Weight Loss

Whey protein can help you lose weight and preserve muscle mass while dieting. Whey is a complete protein source containing all nine essential amino acids your body needs to build lean muscle mass and aid in repairing damaged tissue, making it an excellent choice for those looking to lose weight while preserving their hard-earned muscle.

A high-quality whey protein supplement should be taken at least 30 minutes before or after a workout and consumed as part of your daily meals.

Whey Protein Vs. Casein Protein

Whey protein is fast digesting, meaning it's best-consumed post-workout or anytime you want to take in some high-quality calories after a challenging workout. Casein protein, on the other hand, is slow digesting and thus better suited for bedtime when your body needs the most time possible to digest proteins.

Not sure which one to use? The best thing to do is experiment with them both throughout your day.

Side Effects and Potential Risks of Whey Protein

Whey protein may cause side effects in some people. The whey protein can cause bloating, gas, and cramps if you have lactose intolerance. You may experience stomach pain or nausea if you are sensitive to the milk protein casein. Some people with allergies to dairy products may experience allergic reactions when they consume whey protein supplements.

Does Whey Protein Help You Lose Weight?

Whey protein is a complete protein that contains all of the essential amino acids. This means it can be used by your body to build muscle tissue, and it also helps you feel full longer. A study at the University of Illinois found that people who ate whey protein for breakfast lost more weight than those who didn't.

Another benefit of consuming whey protein is that it's a good source of calcium and vitamin D, which are lost during exercise or stress. Calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, so be sure you get enough in your diet if you work out regularly!

How to Take Whey Protein

Whey protein can be taken in many different ways. How you handle it depends on your goals and your whey protein type. It also depends on your schedule since some methods require more planning. Here's what we mean:

  • If you want to learn how to take whey protein as quickly as possible, consider a technique that allows for less preparation but still gives results. For example, if you were looking for the fastest way to consume whey protein powder during a busy day at work (but still wanted it to be effective), we would recommend drinking an individual serving of Ready-to-Drink Protein Shakes because they're easily portable and convenient once prepared with water or milk.*

Whey protein is a quick and easy way to get more protein in your diet, and you can add it to your favorite foods.

Whey protein is a quick and easy way to get more protein in your diet, and you can add it to your favorite foods. It's convenient, versatile, and effective.

Depending on the type of whey protein you choose, there are many ways to use it:

  • Mix it with water or milk for a tasty smoothie

  • Add some chocolate for a sweet treat that will keep you going until lunchtime

  • Blend yogurt into your morning coffee for extra creaminess (if you're feeling adventurous)

High-quality whey protein can help you lose weight, build lean muscle mass and improve athletic performance.

Whey protein is a high-quality source of protein that can help you lose weight, build lean muscle mass and improve athletic performance. Whey protein is digested quickly, so it's best taken a right after your workout or as a snack before bed.

In addition to being an excellent source of the amino acid leucine, essential for building muscle, whey also contains cysteine and glutathione. Cysteine helps boost immunity by producing antibodies against bacteria and viruses in our body; glutathione improves liver health by preventing oxidative damage from free radicals.


Whey protein is the best choice for anyone looking to add more protein to their diet. It's a good source of essential amino acids, which your body requires for building muscle mass. It also contains glutamine and cysteine, two amino acids that boost immunity and help you recover from intense workouts faster than other forms of protein do (like casein). If you're trying to lose weight, whey may be even more effective than different types of protein because it keeps blood sugar levels in check while boosting metabolism, so you burn more calories throughout the day.

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