All about whey protein: types, benefits, best time to consume, and side-effects

Whey protein is one source of healthy daily intake of healthy and natural for consumption. Whey protein derived from cow milk protein with high nutrient content and beneficial for good health.

Unfortunately, whey protein is still rarely consumed because of the lack of understanding about this supplement in the community. Women are also reluctant to drink because they are of the view that whey protein is just to raise the body.

In fact, whey protein has been recognized by various medical professionals as a source of nutritional intake that the body needs and not just to raise the body.

Whey protein provides a high nutrient intake without causing obesity for those who consume. This supplement plays a role to meet the nutritional needs so as to provide various medical benefits for a person’s health.

Both men and women can consume it for the benefit of health, although not active in gym exercises.

What is Whey Protein?

What is Whey Protein?Primarily, in cow’s milk products we consume every day, there are two types of proteins namely, whey protein and casein protein. More specifically, 20 percent consisted of whey and 80 percent were casein.

Whey is a byproduct or waste from cheese making or butter. Whey Protein derived from cow’s milk which processed into a high-quality protein powder.

Whey is also known to contain a variety of essential nutrients such as beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, bovine serum albumin peptides, immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, and lactoperoxidase, all of which can help improve physical performance as well as antioxidants to increase endurance.

Cow’s milk consists of two types of proteins, namely Casein (about 80%) and Whey Protein (about 20% of milk protein content).

Whey protein is more soluble than casein and also has a higher protein quality rating until it is often referred to as the Gold Standard Protein because it is the most nutritious protein.

What are the Contents of Whey Protein?

Whey protein contains a collection of amino acids that are useful for the health of your body.

Amino acids themselves comprise essential and non-essential amino acids or amino acids that the body can produce itself using some basic nutrients or from other amino foods, for example, Glutamine, Cystine, Proline.

Essential amino acids are amino acids that can not be produced by the body so they must take from foods, including Whey Proteins, for example, Isoleucine, Leucine, and Lisin (BCAA).

What are the benefits of whey protein?

1. Help reduce fat levels

Whey protein is a good nutrient to help gain the ideal body weight.

Research from Dr.Donald Laymen, a professor at the University of Illinois shows that the essential amino acid content of leucine in whey protein can maintain muscle and help the process of burning fat in the body.

Also, whey protein can also provide a better satiety and contribute to reducing hunger for those who consume it.

This condition occurs because whey protein slows the absorption of glucose into the blood vessels by lowering the amount of insulin that can reduce hunger.

2. Help Healing Wounds

An important function that recognized in the medical world itself is because whey protein also can assist the body to regenerate and restore tissue.

Anyone who suffered bodily injury or post-surgery will want to get well soon and get a healthy body to return to normal activities. One secret to helping heal wounds is to increase protein consumption.

The content of proteins and amino acids in whey protein is a means to repair cells that die from wounds and initiate new skin growth during the healing process.

Not to forget, whey protein contains components with anti-microbial protective properties, such as lactoferrin.

3. Maintaining Bone Health

Another function where whey protein is not just muscle and bodybuilding, it is also beneficial in increasing your bone strength. At an advanced age, a person has a greater chance of decreasing the physical condition of the body.

Osteoporosis or reduced bone density is one of the problems that often arise in the elderly due to lack of protein intake so as to cause the body pain in the move.

Consuming whey protein for young people and the elderly can benefit the health and strength of bones and muscles. Good nutrition and adequate amounts of high-quality whey protein can help maintain healthy bones and muscles during aging.

Research results at Boston University show that older people who consume protein have a better bone density in the hip and backbone areas. Adequate weight training and followed by the consumption of whey protein also helps to improve posture and strengthen bones.

4. Nutrition for cancer patients

Cancer patients experience a decrease in appetite so difficult to meet the nutritional needs of the body. Less dietary intake in the patient’s body can lead to a reduction in body stamina, weight loss, and lower protein in the body.

Whey protein can be a good choice to help the nutritional intake of patients with cancer. Whey protein-based protein from cow’s milk is easy to absorb by the body.

This supplement can be used as a nutritional intake for cancer patients because it consists of 80% casein and 20% whey. Whey is the most nutritious form of protein among other protein supplements and has scientifically proven.

Another advantage, whey protein is easy to eat with added to food or drink without affecting the taste. For those who have a skinny body can use another version of whey protein that is weight gainer.

3 Types of Whey Protein

1. Whey Protein Concentrate

According to the Reference Manual for US Whey And Lactose Products, whey protein concentrate has a protein content ranging from 34-80% per serving. However, in the market, you will find it easier to find whey protein concentrate with 75-80% protein content.

Whey protein concentrate still has lactose and fat content so you must be careful before taking it.

You are better advised to consume whey protein concentrate 80% because, in addition to higher protein content, the fat content and lactose are only about 4-9%.

Whey protein concentrate is produced using ultrafiltration technology to isolate the protein core from whey liquid in pure milk.

The ultrafiltration technology works to separate the liquid whey protein core from fat, lactose, and other minerals by pushing whey through a minuscule pore membrane between 0.05 μm to 1 nm which is even smaller than the size of bacteria and viruses.

The liquid protein will be retained in the filtration membrane because of its larger size, while the other content will pass through the membrane.

Finally, this membrane separation does not require additional chemicals to maintain the purity of raw whey protein derived from cow’s milk.

Whey protein concentrate is consumed as a body protein intake because the body itself needs protein for growth and live daily activities.

To consume whey protein concentrate, you can consume in the form of a refined smoothie or shake and various processed foods such as cookies and cakes in the morning or afternoon and after the afternoon workout or exercise load.

2. Whey Protein Isolate

Whey protein isolate is a pure whey protein type of whey protein concentrate with a protein content of 90-92%. Whey protein isolate is a kind of whey protein isolate to be a favorite of fitness enthusiasts because it can provide more protein for their muscles.

Even whey protein isolate contains only lactose and little fat about 0.5-1%, so it is safer for you who are intolerant to lactose and need low-fat milk as well as low calorie.

There are two methods used to isolate proteins in whey protein isolate production processes namely microfiltration and ion exchange.

In simple terms, the working principle of microfiltration is the same as ultrafiltration, sterile and without additional chemicals.

Microfiltration works by pushing the liquid whey with force to pass through filtration members with obtaining pores. The protein from the liquid whey will stay in the filter, and other materials will pass through the filtration membrane.

Excess, microfiltration can filter with a layer size of 0.025 μm which means two times smaller than the ultrafiltration membrane in whey protein concentrate.

Whey protein isolate has a protein content of more than 90%.

Meanwhile, ion exchange works to separate proteins in liquid whey by separating ionic molecules based on differences in surface charge values between compounds.

Simply put, proteins, lactose, fats, and other minerals have positive or negative ions. Then ion exchange technology works by contacting the whey solution with a solid medium (called resin).

The next resin will work to bind lactose ions, fats, and other minerals with opposing ions so that the protein core of the liquid whey can obtain.

Whey protein isolate can be consumed as a daily protein intake and after exercise. With a purer protein content, it will not be a problem anymore for those of you who have lactose intolerance.

Even whey protein isolate has a Biological Value (BV) of 110-159, higher than that of only 104 concentrate whey protein concentrate so that more amino acids can be absorbed and utilized by the body.

You can consume whey protein isolate in the form of a refined smoothie or shake because it can be absorbed by the body more quickly.

3. Whey Protein Hydrolyzed

Whey protein hydrolyzed is whey protein concentrate or isolate which has minimized lactose, fat, and various other minerals.

However, whey protein then undergoes a process of hydrolysis to simplify the amino acid chain (peptide) in its production process.

The result makes whey hydrolyzed proteins composed of a set of peptides that are simpler than other whey proteins. A simple amino acid chain can make it faster to be absorbed and utilized by the body.

Just like whey protein concentrate and isolate, whey protein hydrolyzed-based pure milk taken whey liquid.

The protein in liquid whey separated from lactose, fat, and other minerals from liquid whey to obtain high protein purity.

In whey protein hydrolyzed, this separation process can use ultrafiltration technology in whey protein concentrate or microfiltration and ion exchange on whey protein isolate.

Differences in the utilization of this filtration technology based on the need for the level of protein purity in the whey protein hydrolyzed product to be produced.

While the hydrolysis process is carried out by enzymatic hydrolysis which adopts the process of hydrolysis of natural protein in the body’s digestion.

The hydrolysis process begins by heating the pure protein in acidic or taste conditions which added proteolytic enzymes that are capable of splitting and hydrolyzing the peptide bonds present in proteins into simpler amino acid chains.

According to Chris Lockwood, Ph.D., whey protein hydrolyzed is recommended to be consumed to increase plasma amino acid levels faster than other whey proteins. The more rapid the growth of the amino acid blood, the greater the total protein synthesis in the muscle.

In line with Chris Lockwood, Ph.D., Protein hydrolysates in sports nutrition journal, suggests that whey protein hydrolyzed is used as a supplement to exercise and not as a substitute for food.

Athletes or bodybuilders may use these whey products to promote the rapid increase of plasma amino acid in the blood before, during and after exercise so as to maximize protein anabolism in muscle and post-exercise recovery.

The Best Time To Consume Whey Protein Shake

Today many people are starting to consume regular whey protein to build muscle mass or that only aim for health.

However, most of them do not know for sure when whey protein shake is good for consumption.

Though consuming whey protein at the wrong time just makes the benefits of whey protein to be not optimal.

1. Morning

Morning is one of the best times to consume whey protein shake.

The reason is very simple, during sleep for 7-9 hours the body of a person does not get any protein intake or any nutrients. While the brain still needs protein to work when a person sleeps.

It is a necessary intake of protein sources that have high Biological Value and quickly absorbed by the body to maintain the balance of protein in the body

Therefore, consuming whey protein shake in the morning as a nutritional intake and restoring lost nutrients is the best solution to meet your body’s protein needs.

Drinking whey protein shake in the morning not only fulfills the protein requirement for the body and builds muscle, but also provides various benefits both for the body:

  • Increase metabolism by 25%
  • Maintaining a blood sugar balance means that the body is not easily hungry.
  • Energy intake is useful for activities and burn more calories

2. After the Exercise (Post Workout)

Among the best times, the time after training is the best time to consume whey protein just as it does in the morning.

At the time after the weight training, the protein in the muscle used less during exercise.

If the muscle does not immediately get protein intake, then the protein synthesis in the muscle can not recover the muscle post exercise and small muscle growth obtained.

Whey protein shake is excellent to consume 30-60 minutes post exercise. In that span of time, muscles have an excellent response to absorbing amino acids from proteins.

Whey protein shake is the best food for muscle post exercise because it has a very high protein content and can be directly absorbed by the body quickly, so you will not “starved.”

In a research publication in the Journal Of The International Society Of Sports Nutrition suggests that a person who consumes whey protein after exercise will experience increased blood flow to the lower arm and enhanced delivery of various nutrients to muscle builders.

Also, the amino acids from whey protein will be brought to the muscles resulting in increased strength and muscle mass.

3. In between meals

Whey protein is good to consume between meals. At this time whey protein shake is beneficial as an additional protein if at other meals you consume foods rich in carbohydrates and low in protein.

For those of you who are trying to control weight, consuming whey protein at this time is useful to maintain a proper diet and provide a sense of saturation of quality and not excessive.

Potential side effects of misuse of whey protein

Whey protein offers many benefits for your body’s health. But if the use of whey protein is not appropriate it can cause some effects that are less good for the body.

The British Dietetic Association (BDA) says additional proteins in high doses can cause various health problems such as kidney and liver damage.

These things that need to be considered for supplements that should be beneficial to the body so as not to adversely affect our health.

1. Possible allergies

According to advice from the MayoClinic International Hospital, it should note that the use of protein powder in certain people because it can potentially cause allergies.

The resulting allergic reaction will vary depending on the condition of each body such as diarrhea, failure to grow, colicky infants and vomiting as has been reported for exposure to whey.

2. Decreased blood sugar levels

Whey can also lower blood sugar levels. It should note in people with diabetes or low blood sugar. Whey protein may increase the risk of bleeding, in people with bleeding disorders should be made the necessary dose adjustment.

The statement reinforced by Juderson Jean-Baptiste, one of the authors of Demand Media (American social media company), who said whey protein use has side effects such as kidney problems, liver damage, osteoporosis, allergic reactions, and weight.

3. Increased risk of weight gain

Furthermore, allergic reactions and weight gain, as described earlier cause of allergies are lactose intolerant and therefore need to avoided by certain people who have the condition.

If you consume whey protein without substantial latitude, you can not see the desired result. Even excessive protein in the body will store as fat.

The ratio between the amount of protein consumed should be equal to the activity being carried out. Excess protein intake such as whey protein will lead to increased risk of weight gain and will affect health.

Final Word

Whey Protein is very beneficial for the body especially for those who are short of protein intake as well as for an athlete who needs lots of protein.

However, we should also need to know the adverse effects that can occur when consumed. If you want to consume protein powder, the necessary thing to watch out for is the usage manual. This could be one of the fatal things that cause adverse effects

Rebecca Milani

Rebecca Milani is a freelance author of fitness that aiding people to share knowledge on diet, training, and supplements for a much better life. With a life of writing and also years in the fitness occupation, She is an ideal combination of knowledge and the capacity to turn that expertise right into an interesting article for the reader's advantage.