Whey Protein: Benefits, Authenticity, Side effects

If you are someone who has been into fitness or bodybuilding, it is obvious for you to have heard about whey protein. Today, we will try to cover every major aspect of it, be it benefits, usage, risks or anything. So, lets begin ๐Ÿ™Œ

whey protein

What is whey protein?

Whey protein is derived from milk. It is one of the most common forms of protein which is being used nowadays. It promotes muscle growth and recovery in individuals. Labels of many products including protein bars, various fitness supplements and food items include whey. It is considered a complete source of protein as it contains all the 9 essential amino acids.

Is it safe to consume? Misconception cleared!
In short, YES. It is absolutely safe to consume whey protein in your daily diet routine. There is a misconception with whey. It is often compared with some kind of steroids or unnatural things by some people with lack of knowledge. They need to know that it is just like any other food supplement. For instance, kids are prescribed with calcium tablets to complete the calcium requirements of the body. Even I have seen whey protein listed as an ingredient in baby foods. It is just another source of protein like any other sources like eggs, chicken, soya etc. Any healthy individual requires at least 1 gram of protein per KG of body weight. So following that, a 70 kg guy will require at least 70 grams of protein in his daily diet.

Types of whey protein:-
I am covering the 2 most common types of whey without going into much details.

๐Ÿ‘‰Whey concentrate: It is cheaper, easily available and also more commonly used. A scoop of it contains some amount of carbs and fats along with protein. Anyone who is low on budget, or not have any issues with some extra calories, shall go for this.

๐Ÿ‘‰Whey isolate: It is a more pure form of whey due to its high protein content. It is made after heavy rounds of processing until the final product is almost fat free. It contains almost negligible amount of carbs and fats. It is beneficial to:
➔Someone who is allergic to lactose.
➔Someone who is on a very strict calorie diet and has no room for some extra calories.
➔Someone who can afford a higher range of product.

BENEFITS OF WHEY

Fulfills protein requirements
Protein is the building block of muscles. Talking about India, our diet comprises mainly of carbohydrate sources. Rice, chapati, potatoes are the most common forms of food prepared in an Indian house. A survey says that more than 70% of Indians are protein deficient. Considering this, it becomes extremely important to fulfill the protein requirements of an individual through an outside supplement. A whey protein can come very handy when the protein requirements of an individual cannot be fulfilled using food sources.
Normal scoop of whey protein contains, on an average, 25 grams of protein. It gives a very good boost to your daily protein intake.
There is no harm if you are able to fulfill your daily protein goals with your dietary food sources. Supplements should not constitutes more than 10% of your daily diet.

Convenient
It is a very convenient source of protein and serves very handy as it can be consumed by just mixing into water or milk. People who are not able to cook different meals due to lack of time can benefit from it. A scoop can give you protein equal to around 6 eggs. It comes in almost every possible flavor so taste is never an issue.

Can be very useful for vegetarians
Being a vegetarian, it might be a little difficult to complete your daily protein goals from different sources like dal, paneer etc. Whey protein can prove to be very useful for them as they are not able to consume other lean source of protein like eggs, chicken etc.

Promotes weight loss
Whey helps in development of lean muscle mass. When you try to lose weight, a caloric deficit is a must. While being in a deficit, it is very important to maintain your protein intake otherwise you will lose your muscles too . If combined with proper diet and exercise, whey protein helps to lose fat and retain muscles in the body.

What is raw whey?

Raw whey is an unflavored version of whey protein without any added digestive enzymes. It can be a good option for students as it is comparatively cheaper. You can add any flavoring agent like Hershey syrup or bournvita to it to make it taste good. A pack of 30 servings will cost you no more than 1000 bucks.

How to check its authenticity?
In today's time, duplicates and fraud items exist in almost every fields. Most of the supplements sold in common markets are fake. So, you need to be very careful with your purchase. There are various options to check a supplement's authenticity:-

➔Scan bar code/qr code
Use any bar code scanner app on your phone(easily available on Play store), to scan the code on the supplement's container. If it will be authentic, a search result with the brand name and flavor will open in most cases.

➔Buy from authentic places
Do not just visit any store in your neighborhood and purchase a whey unless you trust it. If you are not very confident, try ordering from renowned sites online like Healthkart, BBI, Nutrabay etc.

➔Sealing and labels
Check for proper sealing as popular US brands of whey always ensure a well sealed package. Also, read all the labels carefully as the fake ones generally make some spelling mistakes like writing "protin" instead of "protein".

➔Authenticity codes
Now a days, many brands have included a code which will be visible once you open the seal and scratch it. You can send an SMS or verify it online easily.

Best time to consume?
If you are having only one time per day, best time would be post workout. After an intense workout session, our body craves for some nutrients, mainly protein. It will be the best time to supply protein to the body to enhance recovery process.
Otherwise, you can take it any time, be it between meals, adding it to your oatmeal, smoothies etc.

Some points to consider
Milk Intolerance
As whey protein is a derivative of milk, those individuals who are allergic to milk can suffer from some problems like:-
Muscle cramps
Stomach pain
Nausea
Headaches
Reduced appetite
Fatigue
➦They can opt for substitutes like plant based proteins or soy protein.

Water intake
Water is very essential for the the body's organs to function properly. It is required to push the nutrients into the various muscles. If you are not able to drink at least 3 to 5 litres of water per day, I would suggest do not go for whey protein. If you will not fulfill your water intake requirements along with heavy protein intake, it may put extra load on your kidneys leading to other problems.

Overuse
Excess of everything is bad. Do not try to complete your overall nutrients requirement with whey protein. It is a supplement and it should be used as an add on to your daily diet. Remember, effective results can only be seen with proper diet and training. Just consuming whey protein itself won't give you any results!
I would not suggest taking more than 2-3 scoops per day. Try to fulfill you major portion of protein goals with dietary sources like eggs, paneer, chicken, tofu, soya, lentils, chickpeas etc.

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