There has never been as much emphasis on maintaining a healthy body through diet and exercise as there is in the United States today.
Nor has there ever been such a wide variety of consumable products available to us all claiming to do wonders in keeping us fit and trim and healthy.
One segment of the health drink market promotes whey protein shakes as a necessary part of our daily diet.
Question: what are whey protein shakes and do they live up to the promised nutritional benefits claimed by their manufacturers?
What is Whey?
After milk has been curdled and strained, the remaining liquid is called whey. It is a bi-product in the manufacturing of cheese and casein.
Sweet whey is manufactured during the making hard cheese like Swiss or cheddar. Sour whey (also known as “acid whey”) is produced when making acidic dairy products such as yogurt and cottage
Whey is rich in proteins and vitamins and contains serum albumin, immunoglobulins and proteose-peptones, all helpful in maintain a healthy body.
Benefits of Whey Protein Shakes
Here as six of the most beneficial reasons to maintain a whey protein shake regimen:
1. Lose Fat and Preserve Muscle
Simply reducing your calorie intake is not a guarantee you’ll lose weight and unsightly fat. Researchers in Minnesota conducted a 12 week study where participants reduced their caloric intake by 500 calories a day. Those who drank a whey protein shake daily lost a greater amount of body fat (6.1% total) and better preserved their muscles than those who did not drink a daily whey protein shake.
2. Increase Size and Strength
Do you do strength exercises at a gym regularly with the intent of building muscle size and increasing your body strength?
There are studies that show that those who added a whey protein shake to their exercise routine showed better and faster results.
One research program at Baylor University used 19 men who practiced resistance training over a 10-week period. Half were given shakes containing 14 grams of whey and 6 grams of free amino acids. The other half were given a 20-gram placebo drink. The whey drinkers increased their fat-free mass and muscle strength more than the placebo drinkers.
3. Reduce Hunger Pangs
Are you always hungry and in danger of developing the dreaded bowling-pin physique?
Studies done in Australia with a group of 28 men had them take four different drinks. The subgroup who drank shakes containing 50 grams of whey had a much lower level of ghrelin (a hormone that tells your brain you’re hungry) than the other groups for up to four hours after consuming the beverages.
4. Fight Cancer
That ugly “C” word (cancer) still strikes fear into too many people even though medical science has made great progress in fighting the disease.
There are ways to lessen the chance you will be afflicted with cancer. Regular cancer screening is one of them. Following proper dietary choices is another.
Studies have shown that whey protein may help fight some common cancers including prostate and colon. For those whose family history shows these types of cancer are an issue, they should consider adding whey protein shakes to their diet in additional to regular screening and following their doctor’s advice
5. Fighting Stress
Studies show that stress can be relieved much better by reaching for a whey protein shake than a bottle of beer or a shot of bourbon.
Studies have shown that people under stress who consume whey protein experience fewer bouts of depression and have a better mood than those who did not consume a supplement of why protein. The conclusion is that why creates changes in the level of brain serotonin which means a lowering of stress.
6. Improved Immune System
Our body’s immune system is essential in fighting off diseases. Research has discovered that male subjects who undergo strenuous aerobic activities suffered from significantly reduced glutathione levels. Lowering glutathione impacts the nervous, gastrointestinal, and immune systems in a negative way.
By supplementing the regimen of vigorous exercise with whey protein, the participants showed a much lower reduction in glutathione levels.