5 Whey Protein Health Benefits
While most people meet their minimum protein needs every day, some folks, especially athletes and older adults, find benefits from a diet higher in protein.
Whether looking for more protein as a part of a diet higher in protein or for other reasons, whey offers an easy way to add more protein to your diet. And, of course, you can include whey protein in your diet if you are looking for new ways to get protein in your daily routine.
But what is whey?
Whey, one of the two major proteins found in cow’s milk, is produced during the cheesemaking process. It’s a natural high-quality protein that contains all of the essential amino acids, or “building blocks” your body needs. It’s also contains leucine, which along with resistance exercise has been shown to help rebuild muscle when enough is eaten*.
Consequently, some people add whey protein to their diet because it can help them achieve certain health benefits, including:
1. Maintain a healthy weight: A reduced-calorie, higher-protein diet that includes whey protein may help you maintain a healthy weight.
2. Curb hunger: Calorie for calorie, protein, like whey protein, can help people feel fuller longer than carbohydrates or fats when it’s a part of a higher-protein diet.
3. Build lean muscle: A higher-protein diet in combination with resistance exercise can help build healthy muscles and support weight management.
4. Enhance recovery: Consuming protein, like whey protein, after exercising can help build and repair muscle.
5. Reduce muscle loss during aging: Protein can help preserve muscle as you age.
There are many easy ways you can incorporate whey protein into your diet. Look for energy bars, drink mixes and even yogurt that list whey protein. Plus, you can always purchase whey protein powder and add it to your smoothie, oatmeal, baked goods or other foods.
* ~2.5 grams per 20 grams protein.