Benefits of Whey Protein: Why It’s Essential for Fitness
Before describing the practical benefits and pros of whey protein powder, let’s say no food supplement can replace a holistic, natural, unprocessed diet. However, whey protein can be useful if you work hard and have difficulty supplementing your protein intake from natural foods.
What Are The Benefits of Whey Protein?
The pros of high-quality whey protein powder can range from aesthetics to general health retention. Positive target states associated with whey protein include:
- Losing weight
- Support to increase muscle mass
- Support for cancer treatment
- Raising glutathione, the body’s essential water-soluble antioxidant
- Reduction in HIV symptoms
- Decrease in triglycerides
- Reducing bad cholesterol, increasing good cholesterol
- Support for immune system health
- Increase in sports performance
- Decreased recovery time and signs of overtraining
Lists can be made as the best whey protein powders, but what makes a whey protein good or bad is its content and the ratio of what it contains. Certain amino acids are used in the body for certain purposes. For example, whey protein is a BCAA-rich protein powder that contains 3 of 9 amino acids, which is particularly important in repairing and maintaining muscles. In both training and body recovery, your body will break down a small amount (1-5%) of amino acids for ‘fuel’; these amino acids are usually BCAA. Although this amount may seem small, your body will break down your muscles this time to get these BCAAs. However, when a high amount of BCAA is provided to the body, the body will preserve the muscle, while leucine, one of the BCAAs, will trigger muscle synthesis. In other words, leucine signals your body to increase amino acid storage, and your body does this by adding more muscle.
So if you aim to build more muscle, getting enough BCAAs will help preserve existing muscle and stimulate extra muscle building. Muscle retention becomes more important if you are in the weight loss period and are restricting calories. Getting enough BCAAs during this period helps your body break muscle loss while losing fat.
- According to some studies, one of the benefits of whey protein is that it increases glutathione production. You may have heard that vitamins C and E are antioxidants, but one antioxidant your body uses to scavenge free radicals is glutathione. Glutathione is made up of three amino acids: cysteine (cysteine), glutamic (glutamic), and glycine (glycine). Cysteine, which is high in whey protein, is thought to increase glutathione production in the body.