Is Whey Protein Good for Weight Loss?

Should you or should you not add whey protein to your diet? Regular gym-goers have probably witnessed heavily muscled individuals drinking a protein smoothie right after their workout. 

Don’t be deceived by the notion that whey protein is only suitable for bulking. Both men and women can benefit from it even if the end goal is to shed some kilo! 

Don’t believe me? In this article, we will discuss how whey protein can be of assistance in weight loss. We will also discuss how whey protein works, when to consume it and how to consume it. 

Want more? We will debunk a few myths about the same because facts are more potent than myths!

 

What is Whey Protein? 

What is Whey Protein? 

People who wish to lose weight, gain muscle or improve their athleticism frequently utilise protein supplements. The watery component of milk that separates from the curds during the cheese-making process is used to make whey protein.

There are two critical proteins in milk:

  • Casein-(80 %)
  • Whey-(20 %)

Have you ever opened a yoghurt container and noticed a layer of liquid on top? That is whey protein! It is a complete protein as it contains all nine essential amino acids while being low in lactose.

Whey protein is generally flavoured because it doesn’t taste delicious on its own. Powders with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavours are pretty popular.

 

Understand The Different Whey Proteins

Understand The Different Whey Proteins

Whey protein comes in a variety of forms. The manner they are processed is the critical distinction.

  1. Concentrate
  • It is 70–80% protein.
  • It contains lactose and fat.
  • It has less sugar. 
  • It is slowly absorbed in the system.

 

  1. Isolate 
  • It is 90% or more protein.
  • There is less lactose and fat in it.
  • It absorbs faster than concentrated whey protein.
  • It is usually more expensive, but it provides a tremendous amount of protein. 

 

  1. Hydrolysate
  • It is also known as hydrolysed whey
  • It has no sugar and fat
  • Enzymes for faster digestion are present in the final product.
  • Since it is pre-digested, it gets absorbed rapidly in the body. 
  • It is costly because of the processing.

You can select one of the three whey proteins based on your requirements. Isolate is an excellent bet if your ultimate objective is to lose weight. If you are intolerant to lactose, you can invest in hydrolysate whey. If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to consume protein, consider concentrate.

 

Benefits of Whey Protein

Benefits of Whey Protein

Whey is more than simply a good source of protein. It is packed with many nutrients that are good for you. For instance, it is a rich source of Lactoferrin, beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, and many immunoglobulins. 

Whey protein may have a variety of benefits on our muscle, strength, leanness and overall health.

Let’s dive into the five reasons why whey protein is a good option for those wishing to lose those extra kilos! 

  • Promotes Satiety

The intake of protein and the suppression of appetite are inextricably linked. A study conducted in 2022 on obese women discovered a significant correlation between whey protein consumption and appetite. 

You stay satiated for longer because protein makes you feel fuller longer. Hard to believe it, right?

According to research, GLP-1 (Glucagon-like peptide-1) and peptide YY (PYY) are satiety hormones produced by the body. Whey protein stimulates the release of these hormones and hence curb your appetite!

 

  • It Preserves Lean Muscle Tissue 

Weight loss is significant, but not at the expense of muscle. Muscle loss can lead to a variety of health problems, including fractures and sprains. The solution to this problem is whey protein!

Aren’t we all in agreement that weight loss should be permanent? A calorie-restrictive diet often decreases lean muscle mass, making it simpler to regain weight once you stop following the tight diet.

A study noted that people who ate weight protein before eating had a higher fat-to-lean loss ratio then those who didn’t.

Still not convinced? In a 2022 study, researchers examined whether adding extra protein per week in a calorie deficit diet would affect weight loss and muscle gain

Participants who received an additional 20 grams of protein weekly grew more muscle mass during their training routine than those devoid of the extra protein.

 

  • Speeds Up Metabolism

We have already discussed how whey protein can assist in muscle building, but it can also help speed up metabolism. The higher your metabolic rate is at any given weight, the more muscle you have and the less fat you have. It is because muscles consume far more energy than fat when at rest and hence burn more calories.

 

  • Lowers Blood Pressure

One of the most significant risk factors for heart disease is abnormally high blood pressure.

Whey protein has multiple components like Lactoferrin, beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin that can inhibit the Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). What good does that do? Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) stop the body from manufacturing angiotensin II, a chemical that narrows blood arteries. 

Isn’t a healthy heart the key to a healthy life?

  • Reduce Blood Sugar

Do you have a sugar craving? It always works for me! Try a protein bar instead of a sugary dessert. A protein-rich meal can slow down sugar absorption and avoid glucose spikes, resulting in fewer sugar cravings.

They also have a high content of BCCA (Branched Chain Amino Acids) that has been associated with a reduction in sugar intake.  

In addition to controlling our sugar cravings, they can also help moderate our blood sugar levels. Whey protein can increase insulin levels in the body. 

 

Side Effects

Everything is fine in moderation. Despite its obvious health benefits, however, there is still some concern regarding its safety. A commonly recommended dose is 25–50 grams/day. 

Some people believe that over-consuming whey protein is bad for their kidneys and liver, as well as causing osteoporosis. Let’s look at four whey protein adverse effects.

  • Insulin resistance

Insulin sensitivity rises after eating whey protein, yet too much insulin can make the cells resist insulin. Long-term insulin resistance can result in acne, diabetes and, in severe cases, stroke.

  • Increase Pressure on the kidney

People with renal illness are advised frequently to eat a low-protein diet. It is because ingesting protein can raise the filtration rate, putting more pressure on the kidneys. Within one hour of high protein consumption, there is an increase in kidney filtration by 30%. 

It may not be alarming for a healthy kidney, but you might want to stay away from whey protein if you have a kidney problem. 

  • High levels of toxins

According to research conducted by an independent group called Clean Label Project, heavy metals like lead and mercury were discovered in several protein powders. Bisphenol-A (BPA) was also found in several proteins. BPA is utilised in the manufacture of plastics! These chemicals have the potential to cause a variety of cancers.

  • Lactose Intolerance

Cow’s milk provides these proteins. Many people suffer from cow’s milk allergies or are lactose intolerant. It might lead to stomach discomfort, a loss of appetite, nausea, and exhaustion.

 

Let’s Get Started Busting Myths Now

Let's Get Started Busting Myths Now

There are far too many myths and misconceptions around the use of whey protein supplements. And many people are ill-advised and must bear the burden of their erroneous and not-so-erroneous assumptions and mistakes!

But don’t worry, we’re here to help!

Myth 1: Whey Protein is harmful to women

There is no scientific evidence proving this. Females have a severe fear that using whey protein daily will give them a muscular body with prominent shoulders and oversized arms. If only building muscles were that easy! Women have low testosterone and high estrogen levels. It prevents you from bulking up. 

 

Myth 2: Whey protein should be consumed only after a workout

Whether you work out regularly or not, your body requires appropriate protein. It is preferable to consume whey protein before doing your workout out to receive that extra boost.

 

Myth 3: Whey protein can cause hair fall?

How is that possible? If you do witness hair fall, there might be an underlying reason for it. A good protein diet will ensure better hair nourishment.

 

Myth 4: Whey protein is unnatural

Whey protein supplements are frequently accused of being unnatural and artificial. It is untrue! It is a naturally occurring protein found in the milk obtained from cows.

 

Summary

Whey protein has several advantages, including decreasing hunger and increasing metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories. They’re a quick, safe, and frequently delicious method to boost your protein intake.

However, whey protein should not be used as a meal substitute; it is a supplement, not a complete meal.

To avoid any complications, make sure you follow the package’s serving directions before deciding on your dosage. Taking more than you need won’t provide you with additional benefits, especially if you’re already getting enough protein.

Please let us know if you find this article beneficial in the comments section below. Don’t forget to share your whey protein experiences with us! 

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Dr. Med. Raoul Hasert is a specialist in dermatology and venereology. He is a senior physician in Praxisklinik Dr. Hasert.

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