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Whey Proteins: Types, Benefits, And Side Effects


What Are Whey Proteins? 

Our bodies are in a constant state of breaking down and repairing. The state that picks up the pace when you are working out. It is usually determined that all the in the body ae eventually replaced by the new ones. While this may not be entirely true as brain cells are said to last your entire lifetime, it still holds true for other cells of the body. Cells that make up your tissues and organs are constantly being lost and replaced. This creates a demand for new amino acids. Amino acids are the structures that make up most of your body. Therefore, when the breakdown in the body occurs, especially during a workout, the body achingly needs them. It is okay to have only a sufficient amount of amino acids when you are not working out. However, if you workout and, your goal is to gain muscle then you need to consume the optimal amount of it. This makes it essential for you to take it in all the necessary amino acids all at once. Thanks to science, now we have a blend of them in the form of a macronutrient called protein. One of the most important sources of protein that works wonders with your workout is whey. 

Whey protein is the component of milk – one of the two proteins that make up milk. The other one is casein. It is present in the watery portion of milk and can be separated as a by-product of the cheese-making process. It is a blend of:

  • Beta-lactoglobulin (~65%)
  • Alpha-lactalbumin (~25%)
  • Bovine serum albumin (~8%)
  • Immunoglobulins 

There are plenty of whey protein benefits. Whey protein supplements such as whey protein powder for weight loss, whey protein shakes and whey protein for muscle gain are all used by different people to achieve desired results. Considered good for fat loss, muscle building, and lowering cholesterol, whey protein contains all nine essential amino acids: 

  1. Leucine
  2. Lysine
  3. Tyrosine
  4. Cysteine
  5. Isoleucine
  6. Valine
  7. Threonine
  8. Tryptophan
  9. Histidine

Types Of Whey Protein

There are three main types of whey protein, which are:

  • Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC): It is the type of whey protein that contains carbohydrates and fats in low levels. The percentage of protein WPC contains depends on how concentrated it is. The lower the concentration, the lower the amount of protein in it, and vice versa. For instance, the lower end WPC tends to contain 30% protein. Whereas the higher end whey concentrate tends to contain 90% protein. 
  • Whey Protein Isolate (WPI): It is a type of whey protein that is further processed to remove all carbohydrates and fat and therefore contains the maximum percentage of protein. Isolate protein powder usually contains 90% protein. 
  • Whey Protein Hydrolysate (WPH): Whey protein hydrolysate, as the name indicates, has already undergone the partial hydrolysis – the process needed for the body to absorb and digest protein. Hence, it is considered the predigested form of whey protein which makes it easier to digest than the other two forms of protein. 

No matter the type, whey protein is considered good for improving athletic performance and building strength. Let’s now take a look at the use, benefits, and possible side effects of whey protein supplements. 

5 Benefits Of Taking Whey Proteins

Whey protein is among the most researched supplements around the globe. It is often used by bodybuilders for its wonderful effects. However, its benefits are not restricted to fitness fanatics only but everyone can profit from it. Here are the top five reasons why you should add whey protein supplements to your dietary regimen.

1. Whey Protein Powder For Weight Loss

If taken at proper times and in the proper amount, whey protein helps in weight loss greatly. The reason behind this is that researches show that when people go on a diet for weight loss, they require a higher amount of protein intake (unless you are on keto!). It is because proteins have fewer calories compared to the same amount of fats or carbohydrates. A good way of getting it is through the whey protein powder mainly because it’s easier. All you need to do is take a scoop or two of whey protein powder and mix it in water. And there you have your full protein intake. Also, it aids in shedding off extra pounds while preserving the lean muscle tissue. This means all the weight that you lose is from fats. Plus, it keeps you full and satisfied, which means no hunger pangs and no cheats throughout the day.

2. Whey Protein For Muscle Gain

Whey protein shakes are often recommended by gym trainers to bodybuilders to help gain muscles. When we work out,  especially during resistance training, our muscles go through some damage. This damage does not refer to some major injury but a few micro-tears in the muscles. After a workout, these tears are repaired by amino acid strings. The extra amino acid strings add up to increase the muscle size. This whole process also activates the stem cells which multiply and fuse into the muscles, thus adding bulk. All these amino acids come from protein intake. A lot of protein is required for muscle repair and growth (0.8-1.8 grams of proteins per kilogram body weight).  This is where whey protein powder benefits. It is easier to consume and has lesser calories compared to other protein sources (meat, eggs, seitan, etc). 

3. Benefits Of Whey Protein For Females

There is a common misconception that it is only calcium and vitamin D which makes the bones strong. However, studies show that proteins too play a crucial role in making the bones strong and maintaining them. Women are more prone to getting osteoporosis than men. The risk of osteoporosis in women increases particularly after menopause due to hormonal changes. Thus to fight off osteoporosis, they require more proteins, along with calcium and Vitamin D. Whey protein shakes help them get this extra protein conveniently and more efficiently

4. Whey Powder Benefits For Men

Most men consume whey proteins to pull out a hunky look. Some of them want to gain more muscles and strength. But does whey protein powder help them with it? Yes, it absolutely does. When protein is taken via whey protein powder/shakes, it spikes up the insulin levels much more as compared to taking proteins via meat. Higher insulin level means higher absorption of the available components, which in this case are proteins. More absorption results in faster mending of the muscles and swift muscle growth. Thus, the whole body is toned and built up rather quickly.

5. Whey Protein Health Benefits

Whey proteins are not only a key to bodybuilding. They have several health benefits too. They prevent muscle loss over time. The Iactokinins in whey proteins help lower blood pressure. They help the body in forming antioxidants such as glutathione which is made up of cysteine (an amino acid in whey protein). Moreover, it regulates blood sugar levels and monitors diabetes. 

So, along with being a bodybuilding supplement, whey protein is good for health too. Along with building muscles and losing weight, whey protein powder has various additional health benefits. But be cautious about your amount of protein intake. It is highly recommended to consult a nutritionist first because what may work for one may not necessarily work for others too. 

Who Should Use Whey Proteins? 

You may be wondering do you need whey proteins or not. Whey protein is an excellent way to increase your protein intake. Quick absorption and efficient utility in the body makes it suitable for everyone. But some need them more than others. Let us dive deep to know who should use whey proteins. 

1. Weight Loss using Whey Protein 

Protein is considered to be one of the best nutrients for weight loss. It helps to boost your metabolism, reduces appetite, and assists in shedding some extra pounds. Whey protein weight loss properties make it an ideal nutrient to aid in mass reduction. It is easy to make whey protein at home. However, choosing the best whey protein powder for weight loss will do the job more efficiently. Studies show that you can cut 60% of your cravings by consuming 25% of your daily calorie intake in the form of protein. That is why whey protein supplement is one of the best ways to reduce your weight.

2. Whey Protein For Fitness Freaks. 

After going through the intense workout, your muscles need something for recovery. Your body needs amino acids that aid in the muscle recovery process. That is where whey protein comes in handy to use it as post workout supplements. Being a fast-absorbing protein, consuming whey protein immediately after your training supplies your muscles with some essential amino acids. It aids to recover and grow muscles. So grab the best whey protein for building muscle to tone up your body the way you want

3. Whey Protein For Over 50

After going delving into the research, we find that whey proteins are most helpful for those over the age of 55. It is because, at the beginning of our 30th birthday, we start losing muscle mass pretty quickly. As each year goes by beyond the age of 30, we lose more and more muscle mass. 

By the time we reach 55, we face some serious muscle loss. Performing strength training exercises at this age is not easy at all. Protein is important for maintaining muscle growth. That is why you need to consume whey protein if you are over the age of 55 to replenish your protein requirements. No doubt other proteins also help with delaying muscle loss. But whey protein is specifically endorsed because it is easy to digest no matter how strong our digestive system.

4. Athletes and Whey Protein 

Athletes have to do intense training. During specific seasons, the duration of training increases even making it more rigorous. Hence, their muscles need more amounts of protein to pace up the recovery process. Whey proteins help to heal their torn and damaged muscles and make them ready for their next day’s workout. Taking whey protein supplements and powders is a great help for athletes to recover their muscles. Athletes also use whey protein shakes to bulk up for their training. 

Besides the aforementioned persons, any other person can use whey protein to provide their body with amino acids. When purchasing supplements, a lot of people fall for a cheap whey protein powder or supplement. It can be risky and may lead to certain health problems in the future. So always buy whey protein shakes of some renowned brands to make the most out of it. 

Which Supplements Have Whey Proteins?

Think beasting it up every other day at the gym is grueling? Try picking out the right whey protein powder. Even the fitness enthusiasts can sometimes lose their grips when it comes to using the effective whey protein powders. There are various factors that are taken into account when choosing the whey protein powder. So, to keep you out of harm’s way, we have compiled a list of 4 of the best whey protein powders in the market.

Cellucor Whey Protein Isolate & Concentrate Blend Powder with BCAA

This protein powder is produced by Cellucor company which is one of the best supplements companies in the market. Cellucor Whey Protein Isolate is formulated for building lean muscle mass. This whey protein powder gives your body the nutrients that it needs to build muscle and just be healthy as well. So, let’s check into bodybuilding powder’s ingredients and see what is inside of it. Both whey protein isolate and concentrate blend powder are widely debated as far as which one’s better. Well, Cellucor protein whey has both of them. A serving of this bodybuilding protein shake contains 25 grams of protein. Cellucor Whey Protein Isolate & Concentrate Blend Powder with BCAA also has low carbs and fat content with 4 grams and 1 gram respectively. 

Platinum Hydrowhey by Optimum Nutrition

Hydro whey is known for being sugar-free. Hydro whey platinum contains 3 grams of carbs, 140 calories, 30 grams of protein, one gram of fat per serving. Now, you may be wondering what is this ‘hydro’ in this product’s name. Well, this is just protein that breaks into little fragments and it gets absorbed pretty quickly. BCAA’s are also present in Platinum Hydrowhey. optimum nutrition platinum Hydrowhey. BCAA’s are three parts of amino acids working together to get absorbed into your muscle tissue which assists in recovering. So, as you can guess it is widely used in post workout supplements. Optimum nutrition hydro whey also has amino Jen amongst its rich list of ingredients. Amino Jen is a digestive enzyme that is going to help digest for you. 

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder

Optimum nutrition whey protein is the best selling bodybuilding protein powder on Amazon and a bunch of other sites. One scoop of optimum nutrition whey gold standard is 120 calories, 3 grams of sugar, and 24 grams of protein. As far as the ingredients go, it is not a super long list but there are some things that might catch your eye. So, it contains a protein blend of whey protein isolate, whey protein peptides, and whey protein concentrate. Then there is soy lecithin to help with mixability. Optimum nutrition gold standard whey protein powder contains artificial sweetener acesulfame potassium, minha gin, and lactase. Optimum nutrition whey protein isolate also contains amino Jen and lactase which help to break down lactose and help to lessen digestive discomfort.

Myprotein Impact Whey Isolate Protein

Myprotein whey protein isolate is specially formulated for those who want to maximize their protein intake. Myprotein whey isolate protein bioavailability is 76% which is a pretty good number for a concentrate. Other than that, whey Myprotein isolate has 1.9 grams of carbohydrate, 1.9 grams of fat, and 19 grams of protein. Myprotein impact whey isolate reviews from customers have been pretty encouraging especially because of this product’s purity. Isolate Myprotein also contains relatively low amounts of sodium per serving which is a good sign. This whey protein product comes in a number of flavors like chocolate smooth, vanilla, and strawberry. Impact whey protein isolate helps in gaining muscle mass and recovering quickly after a workout. It can be used as a post workout supplement. 

Potential Side Effects Of Whey Proteins

Until now, you have read about the benefits of whey proteins. However, the whey proteins are far from being perfect. Besides, there are a lot of whey protein side effects that can hurt you in different ways. That is why you need to know how to avoid the whey protein powder side effects in any way possible. So, what are the whey side effects?

Lactose Intolerance Due To Whey Protein

Basically, lactose intolerance is an allergy in which one is fully unable to digest the lactose in dairy products. Lactose intolerance is also given the name of lactose malabsorption. Many dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and curd contain lactose. Furthermore, people with lactose intolerance should not go for the whey proteins. 

You can go for pea protein and soy protein. Pea and soy proteins are specially made for people with lactose intolerance. The lactose intolerance symptoms are diarrhea, bloating, and gas. You may also experience whey headaches in the beginning. Although the lactose intolerance symptoms do not cause much harm, they can be uncomfortable. 

Whey protein Can Cause Nausea

Many people complain that they are feeling nauseous after eating a whey protein powder. Nausea is one of the major whey protein powder side effects. It is a possibility that your stomach may not accept high protein foods for some time. As the whey proteins are not easy to digest. So, to complete the digestion, your stomach has to put in a lot of effort. Thus, one can suffer from whey nausea if the stomach is not able to complete the digestion. 

Taking whey protein can result in reduced appetite

Taking whey protein shakes will automatically reduce your appetite. Whey proteins can reduce hunger in many major ways. Whey proteins raise the appetite-reducing hormone levels. Moreover, a whey protein also boosts your satiety hormones. Due to this, your brain does not feel the need for more food for a longer time. Thus, whey proteins reduce hunger immediately.


Many people suffer from extreme fatigue when they take whey proteins. The main reason behind whey protein tiredness is the digestive problems. When one suffers from whey protein diarrhea, whey protein fatigue and weakness develop. Due to the whey protein fatigue, one can undergo serious headache and migraines. 

Whey Protein Diarrhea

Another side effect of whey protein is diarrhea. The whey protein has a fatal effect on the digestive system. One can suffer from whey diarrhea due to this. One can also experience blood in the stool. Furthermore, the whey protein diarrhea occurs due to the lactose intolerance. So, if you are lactose intolerant, it is better to get advice from a nutritionist first. 

Swelling of throat, mouth, and lips

Another whey protein side effect is swelling of one’s throat, mouth, and lips. The swelling of the mouth, lips, and throat is a common side effect of whey protein. Furthermore, the swelling of the nose and mouth does not cause much harm. However, it can cause uncomfort for an individual. That is why it is important to get yourself checked from a doctor.

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