8 Whey Protein Benefits And Side Effects

Whey protein is the first choice supplement for athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and people who want to build muscle or lose weight (others include: creatine, BCAA, L-carnitine). Do you know whey protein benefits and side effects?

Although it has many benefits for training results and health, there are still some disputes about its safety.

Some articles even claim that too much whey protein can damage the kidneys and liver, and even lead to osteoporosis.

Is it really good to consume whey protein? Are there any side effects or contraindications? See the article below for details.

Table of Contents

What is whey protein?

Milk actually contains two main types of protein: casein (80%) and whey protein (20%).

Whey protein is a protein mixture isolated from whey. The main ingredient contains a variety of amino acids, including all essential amino acids, as well as some immunoglobulins and growth factors.

Whey is the liquid part separated from milk in the cheese production process and is composed of protein, lactose, minerals, immunoglobulin and trace fat.

After multiple processing steps, it eventually became the commercially available whey protein powder as the most common sports supplement.

What are the benefits of whey protein?

1. Whey protein increases muscle mass and strength (with resistance training)

The human body is composed of more than 500 skeletal muscles controlled by the nervous system. These skeletal muscles connect and support the skeletal system, which allows the body to perform a variety of different actions, from fast and powerful movements to tiny and delicate movements.

However, with aging, malnutrition, and hormonal changes, after 30 years of age, the quality of skeletal muscles declines by about 3% to 8% every ten years. This phenomenon is called sarcopenia, and it leads to reduced mobility and weakness. , Cachexia, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome.

A meta-analysis of literature (including 48 randomized controlled trials with a total of 1863 participants) pointed out that regardless of age, protein supplements significantly increased one-repetition maximum during continuous regular resistance training, Fat-free mass index (fat-free mass), and muscle size changes.

For the change in the fat-free mass index, protein supplementation is more effective for individuals participating in resistance training, and it has a diminishing effect on older groups, but after daily intake exceeds 1.6 g/kg, there is no help.

*Conclusion: During resistance training, protein supplements (daily intake less than 1.6 g/kg) can further increase changes in muscle mass and strength.

2. Whey protein assisted cancer treatment

Malnutrition is a common comorbidity of cancer patients, which can increase the risk of infection, delay wound healing, increase treatment toxicity, prolong hospital stay, and increase health-related costs.

According to reports, 51.1% of cancer patients have nutritional dysfunction, and 64% of patients lose weight 6 months after diagnosis. This is related to weight loss caused by tumor metabolism, muscle atrophy, cachexia, treatment-related complications, or both.

A randomized placebo-controlled trial (a 6-month, 47 colorectal cancer patients) pointed out that supplementation of whey protein during chemotherapy can improve nutritional status, improve lean body mass and reduce sarcopenia, and reduce the band of chemotherapy Severe toxicity.

*Conclusion: Supplementing whey protein during chemotherapy may have a positive effect on improving the nutritional status of patients and reducing the toxicity of chemotherapy, but it is limited by the small sample size and more large-scale trials are still needed to corroborate.

3. Whey protein promotes muscle function recovery after exercise

Exercise-induced muscle fatigue is defined as a decrease in the ability to produce appropriate muscle strength or strength during continuous contraction activities, which can occur shortly after the start of the exercise (acute muscle fatigue) or can occur during continuous exercise. After a long period of high-intensity exercise (delayed exercise-induced fatigue).

The degree may vary depending on the cause or underlying mechanism, and the speed of recovery varies and can last for minutes, hours, or even days.

A literature review and Meta-Analysis (including 13 randomized controlled trials) pointed out that supplementing with whey protein helps restore muscle contraction after resistance training.

*Conclusion: Whey protein supplementation before and after resistance training may help to promote muscle function recovery after exercise, but it is limited by the heterogeneity of the included studies, and more studies are needed to corroborate.

4. Whey protein is beneficial for diabetes and blood sugar control

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic, progressive disease that results in hyperglycemia due to an imbalance between the body’s need for insulin and the ability to produce insulin.

The first step in the deterioration of blood glucose metabolism is the loss of post-prandial blood glucose control, which then develops into hyperglycemia in the morning and eventually progresses to hyperglycemia at night.

Postprandial blood glucose control is not only important for regulating blood sugar, but also an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, stroke, retinopathy, renal failure, and neurological complications.

A study on type 2 diabetes pointed out that whey protein combined with a high-carbohydrate diet can stimulate insulin release and reduce the rate of postprandial blood sugar rise.

Another randomized, open-label cross-clinical trial (15 subjects with well-controlled type 2 diabetes) pointed out that ingesting whey protein before a high Glycemic index diet can increase insulin secretion and reduce postprandial blood glucose levels.

*Conclusion: For patients with type 2 diabetes, ingestion of whey protein before or during a meal may help regulate blood sugar levels, but limited by the small sample size, more large-scale and accurate experiments are still needed to corroborate.

5. Whey protein suppresses appetite

With the increasing prevalence of obesity and metabolic disorders, the fattening and metabolic effects of specific trace and macronutrients have received a lot of attention.

In particular, dietary protein has been extensively studied in recent years, and more and more evidence shows that dietary energy-rich in protein intake helps to lose weight and prevent weight gain.

The beneficial effects of high protein intake may be related to diet-induced thermogenesis and increased satiety and reduced hunger.

A meta-analysis of literature (including 8 randomized controlled trials) pointed out that the intake of whey protein can reduce long-term and short-term appetite, but compared with carbohydrates, whey protein has no significant effect on appetite reduction in the short term difference.

*Conclusion: Ingestion of whey protein may have an appetite-suppressing effect, but it is limited to a small number of samples, and more long-term large-scale trials are still needed to corroborate.

6. Whey protein reduces inflammation indicators (C-reactive protein)

C-reactive protein is currently the most widely studied biomarker for acute inflammation, mainly synthesized by liver cells, but also by smooth muscle cells, macrophages, endothelial cells, lymphocytes, and adipocytes.

The average level of CRP in healthy people is about 0.8 mg/L. There are many factors that can change the level of CRP, including age, gender, smoking status, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, especially in infected or inflamed areas. Increase up to 1000 times.

A meta-analysis of literature (including 9 randomized controlled trials) pointed out that the intake of whey protein and related derivatives has a slight effect of reducing C-reactive protein, but the magnitude is not statistically significant.

Subgroup analysis further found that the effect of whey on reducing C-reactive protein was most significant in subjects with a daily whey dose ≥20 g and a baseline CRP ≥3 mg/L.

*Conclusion: Overall, oral whey protein does not significantly help reduce C-reactive protein, unless it is used in high-dose groups or groups with high baseline CRP levels.

7. Whey protein is beneficial for weight loss or weight maintenance

Obesity is mainly defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation in fat tissue (BMI greater than 30 kg/m2) and has an impact on health.

Diseases directly related to obesity are type 2 diabetes, hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease, gout, sleep apnea syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease, osteoarthritis, infertility, gallbladder disease and cancer (endometrium Cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer).

A meta-analysis of literature (including 14 randomized controlled trials with a total of 626 adult participants) pointed out that ingestion of whey protein, whether as a supplement in combination with resistance exercise or as part of a diet for weight loss or weight maintenance Helps improve body composition parameters (including body weight, body fat, and lean body mass).

The underlying mechanism may be related to the regulation of satiety hormones, changes in liver gluconeogenesis, and food-induced heat generation.

*Conclusion: Whey protein can help improve body composition parameters whether it is combined with resistance training or as part of a weight-loss diet, but due to the possible publication bias and heterogeneity of the included studies, more research is still needed to corroborate.

8. Whey protein can lower blood fat (triglyceride)

It is estimated that by 2030, nearly 44% of the US population will suffer from more than one cardiovascular disease.

Hyperlipidemia is currently the main known cardiovascular pathogenic factor, and it is regarded as the top ten most costly medical events in the United States (about hundreds of billions of dollars in medical expenses each year). It will become a long time without proper treatment. Silent killer, slowly eroding health.

A literature meta-analysis (including 13 randomized controlled studies) pointed out that supplementing whey protein can help reduce triglyceride levels (up to 0.11 mmol/L), but for total cholesterol/low density or high LDL cholesterol had no significant improvement effect.

In addition, Subgroup analysis showed that the whey protein’s triglyceride-lowering effect is not obvious for subjects such as participants with low body mass index, low whey supplementation, or exercise training/energy restriction.

The underlying mechanism may be related to the components of whey (beta-lactoglobulin, sphingolipids) that have regulatory gene expression and reduce intestinal lipid absorption.

*Conclusion: Whey protein may have the effect of regulating some blood lipid parameters, but it is limited by the small sample size, and more research is still needed to prove it.

Are there any side effects of whey protein?

For most people in good health, it is safe to use whey protein at an appropriate dose, but the possible side effects or adverse reactions that have been reported are: increased bowel movements, decreased appetite, fatigue, headache, nausea, thirst, bloating, stomach cramps, etc. (especially under high-dose conditions).

Safety Precautions

1. Do not use for pregnant women and lactating women (because the relevant safety is unknown).

2. Most of the gastrointestinal-related side effects (bloating, gas discharge, stomach cramps, and diarrhea) are more related to lactose intolerance. If you have such symptoms, you can use isolate or hydrolysate whey protein products, or, Try non-dairy protein powders such as soy, peas, eggs, rice, or hemp protein.

3. Do not use if you have been allergic to milk, it may induce allergic reactions. Related symptoms may include the rash, swollen tongue, runny nose, stuffy nose, rash, swelling of face or throat, anaphylactic shock.

4. For healthy ethnic groups, there is no evidence that too much protein will damage liver and kidney function, but for those with poor liver and kidney function, it is best to confirm with the doctor before use.

5. There have been reports that too much protein will cause the loss of calcium from the bones, increasing the risk of osteoporosis, but as of now, there is no evidence that eating too much protein is harmful to bone health. Conversely, ingesting protein has a positive effect on bone health help.

6. A high-protein diet (daily intake >2.0 g/kg) will lower urine pH and increase the risk of uric acid stones, so it is recommended not to exceed the recommended daily protein intake (0.8 to 1.4 g/kg).

7. It may induce acne formation, which is due to the growth factors contained in whey protein: TGF, IGF-I, PDGF, FGF-1 will increase the production of sebum, which is considered to be related to the growth of acne (acne).

8. Do not combine with the treatment of Parkinson’s disease: Levodopa may reduce the effectiveness of the drug.

9. Do not combine with osteoporosis drugs: Fushanmei Bone Tablets (Alendronate) may reduce the effectiveness of the drug.

10. Do not use in combination with Quinolone antibiotics and Tetracycline antibiotics, which may reduce the efficacy of drugs. Common drug names are ciprofloxacin, enoxacin, norfloxacin, sparfloxacin, trovafloxacin, grepafloxacin, Demeclocycline, minocycline, tetracycline.

11. Do not use in combination with Tetracycline antibiotics, which may reduce the effectiveness of the drug. Common drug names are Demeclocycline, minocycline, tetracycline.

12. Do not combine with Albendazole, which may reduce the efficacy of the drug.

How to drink whey protein? What is the dose?

The usual recommended dosage of whey protein is 1-2 scoops (25-50 grams) per day, but the exact amount depends on the individual’s goals, lifestyle, body composition, and dietary protein content.

The average daily protein intake of men is about 56 to 91 grams, while women should consume 46 to 75 grams per day.

If you are an athlete or highly active person, and the goal is to maintain lean muscle mass while reducing body fat, the recommended daily protein intake is about 1.5 to 2.2g/kg.

The best time to use whey protein is in the morning, at breakfast, and after exercise. Ingesting whey protein 30 minutes after exercise will help muscle recovery.

When is the best time to consume protein?

The best time to consume protein supplements depends on whether you want to lose weight, build and maintain muscles, improve athletic performance and recovery.

More importantly, taking it at the right time can further illustrate the achievement of your goals.

The following is the best time to take protein based on your specific goals.

Weight loss: Ingesting protein-rich snacks between meals is ideal for weight loss. It may help suppress hunger and allow you to consume fewer calories in the next meal.

Muscle building: Fitness enthusiasts often recommend taking protein supplements 15 to 60 minutes after exercise, but currently believe that as long as the protein intake within two hours after exercise is ideal.

Prevent muscle loss: Studies have shown that every ten years after the age of 30, muscle quality will be reduced by about 3% to 8%. In order to prevent muscle loss, you should consume 25 to 30 grams of protein per meal.

The main types of whey protein

The Whey Protein currently on the market is divided into the following three types, but there are also three kinds of formulas for consumers to choose

1. Whey Protein Concentrate: WPC is the cheapest and most common form, containing a small amount of fat. Lactose and carbohydrates, and the protein content are generally from 30% to 90% (depending on the degree of concentration ).

2. Whey Protein Isolate: As its name suggests, WPI is further processed to remove fat and lactose. It contains at least 90% protein and is more expensive.

3. Whey Protein Hydrolysate: WPH is partial hydrolysis of protein through a hydrolysis technology that mimics protein digestion in the body to achieve the purpose of pre-digestion and reduce possible protein allergies, so the body does not need to use too much digestive capacity To decompose, it is often used as a protein supplement for medical purposes and added to infant milk powder.

Where to buy whey protein recommended by most people?

In recent years, food safety problems in various countries have exploded, and it is not healthy but black-hearted products that everyone spends on. Therefore, European and American products with relatively strict quality control have become popular products.

And iHerb.com is a large-scale medical cosmetics e-commerce company in the United States. It has a high satisfaction rate of 97% in the evaluation of Google customers. It provides global home delivery so that you can buy it without risking buying fakes through purchasing high-quality health products.

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