Whey protein, like all other proteins, is made up of amino acids, the building blocks of our body. But is whey protein good for health? While every food contains protein that is broken down by body into amino acids and used in bodily processes, whey supplements coming in powder form, can be easily dissolved in milk or water and make to reach the body quickly.
Whey protein is most commonly known as supplements taken by body builders and those looking for building muscle. While it is a popular diet supplement among all age groups in some form or the other, they are most popularly known as the best way for muscle repair and rebuilding. In the most common use of the term, whey is a by-product of cheese making. One of the most superior products of milk other than casein, whey is also considered to be acting as a weight loss supplement. However, it is just a myth. Whey protein, by no means, is a weight loss aid. The consumption of it in the right way, however, fulfils your requirement for protein and in the process, makes you eat less of carbs, thus resulting is muscle repair and building. Before we go into the discussion of are whey protein supplements safe, let us learn about whey protein.
Many consider whey protein to be unsafe for consumption due to following reasons-
- Too much protein may be stored as fat and can increase dehydration
- Excess protein intake can risk calcium loss and osteoporosis for an individual
- Whey protein may cause allergies to people intolerant to lactose
- If a persistent kidney condition is suggested, whey protein may cause additional strain to the kidney
- Whey protein may reduce the effect of other medications
However, all these reasons have not been proven scientifically by any organisation or through any medical examination. Moreover, excessive protein intake of any kind will interfere with bodily process and thus, ample consumption of water is necessary to flush out excessive protein from the system.
How Safe is Whey Protein
Whey protein comes from milk and thus, people who are intolerant to lactose should avoid it lest they get milk allergies. Whey protein is a rich source of many essential amino acids such as leucine, isoleucine and valine. Together these amino acids make up for another important building muscle ingredient-BCAAs. BCAAs such as MFF BCAA 5000 can be taken separately too, just before a workout. In fact, whey protein is highly praised and consumed by body builders and athletes to meet their increased need of protein for a stronger immune system and athletic endurance. Health benefits of whey protein also include fighting stress, increase energy and improve mental focus, apart from being easily digestible and fast recovery of muscles after a workout.
Individuals get confused by the number of proteins available in the market – whey, soy and casein. Also, how much whey protein is safe is also a matter of confusion to many. Every one of this protein has its own advantages and source. While both whey and casein come from the milk, soy comes from a plant source. Casein is generally taken to help with slow release of protein to the body, as suppose before going to the bed. Whey, on the other hand, is preferably taken post workout to replenish the fatigued muscle and speed up muscle recovery. In fact, within 30 minutes of a workout is the best time to take whey protein.
Whey protein is a common feature in many meal replacement shakes and weight loss programs. However, whey protein itself cannot cause you to lose weight alone. When followed with a complete diet that includes proteins, carbohydrates and fat, it shows its effects to the optimum. When you combine protein rich foods and workout, you tend to increase your metabolic rate and burn more calories naturally. Whey protein has been shown to create a feeling of satiety as well as curb hunger due to its high protein content. While the foremost source of protein should come from chicken, turkey, egg whites, eggs and fish, whey can act as a wonderful supplement to your workout. Therefore, it is essential to know when to take whey protein powder.
The common question often asked is that is it safe to take whey protein? Whey protein is safe for adults; till the time it is taken in recommended doses. It is advisable to speak to your doctor or nutritionist before starting any form of protein supplement. Always ask for recommended dosage or follow the instructions on the protein supplement package. Excess protein intake can interfere with the body’s kidney functioning, making your body dehydrated as well as showing some side effects in your bowel movements. Excessive protein intake can also cause tiredness, reduce appetite, thirst, bloating and nausea. For individuals who are lactose intolerant, they should opt for whey isolate than the concentrate since the isolates contain less than 0.1 gm of lactose per tablespoon.
Always choose reputed or branded products over cheap ones. With so many brands available in the market and wellness industry flourishing like never before, many local brands are coming in the market that offer cheap protein mixtures in dirt cheap prices. Consult with your doctor or nutritionist before taking a particular brand. Check the label for the ingredient list, the manufacturing unit and any tests that have guaranteed its authenticity.
Is Whey Protein Safe for Women?
- Check with your doctor/nutritionist before taking any kind of protein supplement
- Only choose authentic products. They might be a little expensive but you will not be sorry to invest in them
- Take only in recommended doses
- Drink plenty of water to flush out extra protein. Keep yourself hydrated at all times
- Do not depend solely on protein supplement to lose weight and fat. A proper diet and workout regime is imperative to see effective results
- Many whey protein formulations are not FDA approved. However, this does not necessarily make them unsafe. Ask for qualified nutritionists or bodybuilders at the gym to suggest some top whey protein brands such as MFF 100% Whey Protein
Is Whey Protein Safe for Pregnancy?
Before taking any kind of protein supplement and exercise regime during pregnancy, consult with your doctor for any other medication you are taking or allergies you have. If you are a vegetarian, you can easily choose vegetarian protein supplements available in the market.
Is Whey Protein Powder Safe for Kids?
Many health drink formulations contain whey as a product mixed with other ingredients. Since whey is a by-product of cheese making, its original source being milk, it is safe for kids too. However, always consult your paediatrician for the brand and amount of milk formulations to be administered to kids.
While whey protein is an excellent source of ready to drink protein supplement that is extremely helpful in losing fat and building lean muscle mass, take it only when you are not meeting your recommenced daily protein intake or are undertaking intense workout sessions.
Also published on Medium.