The benefits of whey isolate protein have proven by many studies, time and again. This powder provides high-quality protein for bodybuilders, weight loss buffs, and even keto diet followers.
Aside from the protein content, some manufacturers would blend their products with vitamins and minerals for added nutrition. Among other types of protein powders, whey stands out the most.
Whey protein vs. other protein powders
Some of the common protein powders used nowadays are whey, casein, hemp, and plant-based powders. Below, we compare each of the other types to whey and its benefits:
>Whey protein vs. casein protein
Basically, whey and casein came from the same source: milk. Before curdling, milk consists of 80% casein and 20% whey.
When separated, casein and whey can be made to two different protein powders.
The main difference is that whey is fast-digesting while casein is slow-digesting. With this, the benefits of whey isolate are evident after your workout since it will be delivered faster to your muscles.
In the case of casein, it’s best ingested before bedtime. The slow-digesting amino acids will supply your muscles with fuel. Still, this isn’t what you need right after your workout.
>Whey protein vs. hemp protein
The hemp protein is derived from hemp seeds. Unlike whey protein that contains as much as 90% protein, hemp powders only contain 30% to 70% of the amino acid content.
Still, hemp protein is considered as a high-quality source of protein. Its amino acid profile is somewhat similar to egg white and soy.
Also, hemp protein powders tend to have more calories than whey protein. The small edge of hemp over whey is that it contains small amounts of healthy fats.
>Whey protein vs. other plant-based protein
Generally, plant-based protein powders, including hemp, don’t contain a lot of protein. This is something that makes whey powder stand out.
Plant-based protein powders can be extracted from the likes of chia, soy, pumpkin, and flax seeds. Nowadays, the most common source of plant-based protein is peas. This can be difficult for some to digest.
Nevertheless, the biggest upside of plant-based protein is it suits vegan/vegetarian individuals. It’s also less allergy-inducing with an exception to soy.
Benefits of whey isolate protein
Aside from besting other protein powders, whey isolate also has tons of benefits. Here are more of the health advantages of this isolate:
1. Perfect for muscle building
Compared to other protein powders, whey isolates yield better results. Its fast-digesting nature and complete amino acid profile make it an unbeatable choice for people who want to gain mass.
One of the most indispensable components of whey isolates is the Branched-Chain Amino Acids or BCAAs. One of these is Leucine, an anabolic hormone that promotes growth.
In the same vein, whey protein becomes an effective agent to delay muscle loss due to old age. It also strengthens the body that will reduce the risk of chronic diseases and weight gain.
If paired with adequate strength training, whey protein powders will produce more muscle-building benefits. As a fast-digesting protein, this is an ideal post-workout regimen. Whey protein will supply your sore muscles with the fuel it needs to rebuild and grow more fibers.
2. High-quality protein
Whey protein is a powerhouse protein source above other powders you can think of. It’s derived from dairy that contains all the 20 essential and non-essential amino acids. As you know, amino acids are the building blocks of the muscles.
Unlike concentrates and hydrolysates, whey isolates have higher protein content at around 90% as compared to other types with only 30% to 70%.
This is the same reason why athletes, bodybuilders, and even keto followers prefer this type of protein powder.
Aside from amino acids, whey also contains beta-lactoglobulin, lactoferrin, immunoglobulins, and alpha-lactalbumin that support muscle growth and weight loss.
Still, whey isolates aren’t made equal. Some would contain only high protein levels while others are infused with vitamins and minerals.
3. May help cure Type 2 Diabetes
When your insulin fails to store blood sugar as energy, it would lead to the development of Type 2 Diabetes. This impaired function of insulin will result in unhealthy levels of glucose flowing freely on your bloodstream.
The good news is that whey protein has the ability to moderate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. This way, the Type 2 Diabetes is kept at a manageable level, or possibly treated totally.
Some studies suggest that this ability of whey protein is somewhat similar to a diabetic drug called Sulfonylurea. And if compared to egg and fish protein, whey still stands out.
People eating high-carb meals will benefit by pairing it with whey protein. This way, the complex sugar content of the food won’t impact the glucose levels of the blood.
4. Low-carb, keto-friendly
Whey isolate is processed to contain the least amount of fat, carbs, and lactose. With this, whey protein is probably the most keto-friendly option in the market.
Aside from its impressive amino acid profile, whey protein boasts of low to zero carb content. The multiple processes of filtration stripped it off of excessive carbohydrates. This is the same reason why whey protein is preferred by individuals trying to lose weight.
Still, you shouldn’t confuse whey isolates to concentrates as the latter contains more carbs. Just to give you an idea, a 3-gram serving of whey isolates can have as low as one gram of carb or nothing at all.
Although it doesn’t contain fat either, you can easily compensate by adding whey isolates to your high-fat meals.
5. Inflammation reduction
When we exercise, our body will react to the damages by inducing inflammation. Short-term inflammation and soreness are beneficial, especially for muscle building. However, if this lingers, it can be detrimental to a person’s health.
Take note that excessive inflammation can be a tell-tale sign of underlying diseases. It can also lead to health complications if not addressed.
Studies found out that whey protein can drastically reduce the production of C-reactive protein which is one of the reasons why inflammations take place in the body.
Specifically, the benefits of whey isolate protein include easing inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcer.
Studies suggest that whey protein has the potential to reduce the inflammation on the lining of the digestive tract. Still, more studies are yet to establish this benefit.
6. Boosts the immune system
Contrary to common beliefs, whey protein isn’t just for athletes and hardcore bodybuilders. It’s also a great supplement for people with weak immune systems.
The amino acids that whey protein contains help in building the cells that power up your immune system. With this, your body can fend off bacteria, viruses, and germs better.
Also, your lack of protein will cause the body to produce fewer white blood cells that are responsible for keeping antigens at bay.
Whey protein also helps in the production of our body’s natural antioxidant: glutathione. It’s the center of our immune system’s defense system and plays a vital role in immune functions.
Also, some whey powder formulas are infused with vitamins that increase its benefits to the immune system.
7. Very satiating
For keto diet followers, whey protein will be a filling yet very low in carb regimen. It makes you feel full for a longer period which will suppress hunger pangs and cravings.
Of the three major macronutrients namely fat, carb, and protein, the latter is the most satiating. And unlike other protein sources, whey protein is said to be more filling. It’s has a better satiety level that soy or casein protein.
So if you need to eat fewer carbohydrates and calories, whey protein can be a lifesaver. The good thing is you don’t lose muscles while you diet because the amino acids in whey keep it in check.
And since whey protein comes in different flavors, you can easily incorporate into your meals. This benefits of whey isolate apply to everyone.
8. Ideal for weight loss management
Experts found that the increase in consumption of protein can help in losing weight. This is true for whey protein in a variety of ways.
First, whey protein can suppress hunger and cravings which is directly related to your food intake. Also, the amino acids in the protein powder help boost your metabolism that plays a vital role in burning fats.
More importantly, whey protein helps maintain or even increase muscle mass. The more you gain muscles, the more excess fats you can burn.
Whey isolates are also versatile products that can fit in almost any type of diet. It’s ideal for keto, paleo, and other restrictive plans due to its clean formula.
Unlike other protein sources, whey was found to be more efficient in terms of burning fats.
Here are the benefits in a nutshell:
Possible side effects
As much as there are many benefits of whey isolate protein, you should also mind some potential side effects.
Still, these effects could be prevented with the right use of the product.
1. Lactose intolerance
Whey protein takers have to be cautious when choosing their products. As much as whey isolates have low lactose content in general, some products may have higher traces than others.
Always opt for one that’s free of lactose and other ingredients that can possibly trigger your intolerances.
2. Not advisable for pregnant and lactating mothers
For pregnant women and lactating mothers, it’s best to consult their attending physician before taking any whey supplements.
If you’re not sure if you will take whey protein positively, it’s better to stay on the safe side and avoid it.
3. Allergic reactions
The common problem with whey isolates is it may contain allergens like soy. It’s best to check the label to ensure that it’s free of any allergen.
The good news is that most whey isolates are free of most gluten, soy, and other notorious allergens.
4. Liver and kidney overload due to excessive consumption
If you ingest too much whey protein at a time, you’re exposed to the risk of kidney diseases and liver overload. Our kidneys filter the excess protein in our bodies and if the amounts are astronomical, it will take its toll on its system.
Some people tend to have rashes and hives when taking whey protein. This can be the reaction to the ingredients like soy, gluten, lactose, and other substances. If you experience this, go to a doctor to get the cause identified.
The proper dosage of protein powders
The uptake of protein depends on your needs. Usually, it will range from 25 to 50 grams spread all throughout the day.
As much as you want to pack up with protein, excessive intake is just useless and harmful. Our body can only absorb a certain amount of protein at a time. The excess will be flushed out of the body, straining your kidneys and liver even more.
Whey isolates taken in moderation is usually tolerated by the body. If you have pre-existing conditions, it’s best to ask the advice of your doctor first.
Some medications may interact negatively and positively if taken alongside whey protein.
You should be careful when taking medications like Levodopa or L-dopa. It’s a nervous system agent that’s converted to dopamine on the brain.
If you’re under this medication avoid taking whey protein. This protein powder will reduce the absorption rate of L-dopa.
It’s best to consider other protein sources in this case.
You should also ask the opinion of a physician if you’re taking the following medications:
>Types of antibiotics
Both of these may have varying absorption and effectiveness rate when taken with whey protein.
These benefits of whey isolate protein are applicable to bodybuilders, weight loss buffs, and keto diet followers. As long as you take whey protein properly, it should deliver the benefits while minimizing the side effects.
It’s important to know the amount of protein you need to avoid excess uptake. In case you experienced any discomfort or side effects, consult a physician right away.