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Whey is one of the two proteins present in the Milk (other being the casein). While whey protein makes 18% of the milk protein, (which is 3.3% of the milk) casein accounts for the major pie i.e 82%.
The coagulation of milk, induced by the addition of a coagulant such as rennin, separates the whey and the casein. While the casein forms the curd, whey is present in the watery part.
Wonders of Whey
The effectiveness of whey protein has been studied for different health conditions and has been found useful in cases such as:
- Alleviating allergic skin symptoms in children
- Reducing blood sugar in both healthy and people suffering from type 2 diabetes
- May improve symptoms of acne
- Improving bone density
- May benefit infants with constipation
- Improves fluid balance
- May help people suffering from fatigue due to spinal injury
Whey for Fitness Enthusiasts
Apart from the above benefits, whey has been found to be an excellent supplement for fitness freaks, muscle maniacs and body building enthusiasts.
For any physical activity, you need to have strong and healthy muscles as regular exercising cause the muscles to undergo a continuous cycle of muscle breakdown (while you exercise) and remodeling and growth (during weighbearing exercises).
That’s where athletes and fitness enthusiasts need to look for methods and effective supplements to stimulate the physiologic responses to promote muscle growth and enhance muscle strength.
Different studies recommend the use of high-quality, dairy based high-protein supplements during and after exercise for muscle mass and strength. Whey proteins, for their usefulness and benefits, have gained huge popularity over the last few years.
Here are the reasons, why?
- Whey Protein Helps Maintain Muscle Mass
A study1 highlighted the effectiveness of whey protein in improving lean body mass during resistance training.
Also, whey protein has been studied for maintaining skeletal muscle mass. While whey protein help raise blood levels of essential amino acids and production of muscle in healthy young men, older people and women can also benefit from whey protein after exercise. Whey protein, according to experts, can be used as an excellent source of protein.
- Whey Protein Enhances Muscle Strength
According to a study2, males who consume a combination of whey protein and creatine as supplements experience better growth in lean tissue mass and bench press as compared to those who did not take whey protein or placebo as supplement.
- Whey-ing it Down
Whey protein has been useful for weight loss and the regulation of appetite. Many studies have identified whey protein as an inexpensive source of high-quality protein. Whey protein has also found to be useful in promoting better weight loss than lower-protein diets. However results are unclear when these are compared to other protein sources. For firm results, more research needs to be done.
Right Time to Take Whey
Different studies4 have found the post-exercise time as the right time for whey supplementation:
According to two independent studies (published in the September 2011 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition) conducted to understand the influence of amino acids in protein synthesis in recreational athletes, people who consume whey protein in high bolus immediately after exercise regimen experience more muscle protein synthesis than people who took periodic smaller doses of protein. The study suggests, the right time to take whey is immediately after exercising.3
Another study highlighted that consuming whey protein may help build muscle mass even a day after a workout session. Results indicate that the role of whey in muscle building is irrespective of the type of exercise load.
Different studies have been conducted to understand the role of whey in promoting muscle growth and bettering athletic performance and most of these, as discussed, recommended whey for muscle growth and strength.
Also, as the studies highlighted, the supplementation of whey protein after exercise may show positive results in both men and women, in terms of better protein oxidation and increased blood levels of essential amino acids.