As we know Protein is a nutrient that our body needs to grow and work properly. Whey protein is considered to be the healthiest.
Whey protein is extracted from liquid whey, a whitish, milky, liquid by-product of cheese-making. In its natural form, whey is one of the best source of important vitamins, dietary minerals and quality protein. That’s why whey protein products enjoy very high popularity among health-conscious consumers. Athletes rely on them to fuel the demands of intense energy by maximizing muscle protein synthesis. Dieters add whey protein products to their regular routine for the hunger-curbing benefits and to help preserve lean body mass as they work to shed excess body fat. Consumers looking for antioxidants get the desired benefit as well. Whey protein delivers the amino acid building blocks for glutathione, which is arguably the body’s most powerful intracellular antioxidant. The special composition of whey protein provides ingredients that have shown to modulate our immune system. The amino acid glutamine is the essential fuel that powers immune function and it is synthesized predominately within muscle tissue. A growing body of human research supports the immune benefits of whey bioactive peptides, especially lactoferrin.
Food products that must be avoided because of it’s properties to reduce immunity are Sugar, fruit juice, diet and regular soda, refined carbohydrates (white bread, white rice, pasta), “low fat” labelled foods, high starch vegetables such as white potatoes (white on inside) and corn, and all processed meats (bacon, hot dogs, etc.) as well as all processed foods. This doesn’t mean all packaged foods.
whey protein promises to help improve our health in surprising ways. Right from new born baby to old age persons and everyone in between can be benefitted by using whey protein.
whey protein is not a single protein, but a group of spherical proteins called globular proteins. Other bioactive compounds such as antibodies and enzymes are also found in liquid whey and whey protein.
Here are the 8 main components of whey and whey protein and their health effects :
1) Beta-lactoglobulin (about 65%). This is the most abundant type of whey protein in cow and sheep milk and is responsible for water retention, as well as physiological benefits, mainly positive effects on the immune system.
2) Alpha-lactalbumin (about 25%). It is found in the milk of most mammals and contains 123 amino acids. It is often added to infant milk formulas to make it more nutritionally similar to the mother’s milk.
3) Serum albumin (about 8%) : Serum albumins contain glutathione, a powerful antioxidant produced by our cells. Glutathione not only protects against free radical damage, but also helps repair DNA damage. It supports immune functions and nervous systems as well as helps preserve dietary antioxidants (such as vitamin C) in their active, usable form.
Secondary whey protein components (about 2%) include:
4) Lactoferrin. It is found in humans, cows, sheep and other animals’ colostrum (first milk) and boasts of prebiotic properties as well as acts as a powerful immuno-stimulant.
5) Immunoglobulins. These proteins serve as natural antibodies and are derived directly from the animal’s blood plasma. Immunoglobulins neutralize harmful foreign particles, bind them in order to make them a target for phagocytes (bacteria-eating antibodies).
6) Glycomacropeptides. these are derivatives of casein, the most abundant protein in milk. They have antiviral and antibacterial properties. Hence it boosts immunity and is also believed to improve the absorption of calcium.
7) Lactoperoxidase. It is an enzyme with natural bactericidal activity and immune-boosting properties.
8) Lysozyme. This enzyme is found in human and animal milk, mucus, saliva, tears as well as egg white and has strong antibacterial properties. Low lysozyme production may increase the risk of diarrhea, conjunctivitis and pulmonary disease in newborn babies.
In order to make the most of it proteins are extracted with as little fat and other components as possible, resulting in a concentrated, yet natural source of quality protein. Depending on the manner in which proteins are extracted and processed, there are mainly two types of whey protein formulations.
1) Concentrate whey protein. Concentrate is made by filtering liquid whey and drying it out to obtain whey protein. In addition to specific whey proteins, this formula also contains lactose and biologically active components like enzymes, fats, etc.The downside is that protein content may vary from 30% to 80%. This is considered to be the best for our whole body especially immunity.
2) Isolate whey protein. This formula is obtained by isolating or filtering the protein using chemicals. This way many nutritional cofactors are removed resulting in a pure whey protein product. This is good only for muscle building.
When & How can it be used
It should be used immediately after workouts because the protein requirement is high immediately after workouts to provide energy to muscles and repair of damaged tissues.
whey protein powders can be mixed with water, bars and pre-made shakes and are very convenient to consume. It’s a great option for anyone who’s “on the go” and unable to turn to whole food protein sources due to lack of time.
It’s important to realize, though, that whey protein isn’t appropriate for everyone. Some whey protein concentrates may cause gastrointestinal distress to those who are lactose intolerant.