Whey Protein's Amino AcidsWhat makes whey protein so beneficial is its high levels of these essential amino acids that are fundamental to numerous aspects of health. All amino acids are pivotal when it comes to forming proteins in the body. These proteins include lean muscle, components of skin, hair and nails, neurotransmitters that impact our mood, compounds which support liver detoxifying processes, antioxidants (e.g. glutathione peroxidase), plus they support the health of our digestive and immune systems.
Here are 5 reasons why whey protein is a useful addition to the diet:
- Building and maintaining lean muscle mass Whey protein has received a great deal of attention over the years for its use in sport, and for good reason. Whey protein is rich in the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are essential to building muscle. Whether fat loss, muscle maintenance, better recovery or muscle gains are your aim, whey protein is the perfect, easily absorbed form of protein for ensuring your body has what it needs to re-build healthy, strong muscles. This not only helps to maximise strength, but a greater percentage of lean muscle mass on the body promotes a higher metabolism, even whilst resting, to assist in your journey towards achieving a leaner physique.
- It assists general wellbeing The recognised benefits of the amino acids found in whey protein should by no means be limited to muscle health. Amino acids are key building blocks for a magnitude of chemicals essential to the healthy functioning of our bodies. For example, glutathione, one of our most potent antioxidants and detoxifiers, requires many amino acids found in whey. Our “happy” neurotransmitters which contribute to a healthy mood and stress management, also rely on many amino acids. Consequently, if you wish to ensure your body is functioning at its peak, both mentally and physically, a good quality protein such as whey is essential to the diet. This of course should not to take away from the importance of the other essential nutrients that are found in plant foods plus other lean proteins. A great variety of healthy, non-processed foods is imperative to wellbeing.
- Weight loss and maintenance As mentioned earlier, by supporting a higher percentage of lean muscle mass, whey protein can help to boost metabolism. This, in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise, may benefit weight loss. Furthermore, whey’s influence on appetite hormones can help to reduce overall calorie consumption. As it does not contain any sugar that impacts blood glucose levels, a whey protein meal or snack is low in glycaemic index (GI), and thus will not cause a spike in the fat-storing hormone, insulin. Balancing blood sugar and insulin also means less sugar cravings and more sustained energy levels throughout the day.
- Healthy ageing As we age, one of the factors that is particularly important for maximising health and mobility is the maintenance of muscle mass. By providing the BCAAs essential for strong muscles, whey protein represents a great supplement to the diet of ageing women, and men. An added perk of this healthful protein is that it supports the health of the proteins making up our hair, skin and nails to preserve their integrity.
- Healthy immune system When whey protein has been carefully extracted, avoiding chemicals and high heat, tiny immune boosting components of whey are maintained in tact. What does this mean for you? Put simply these intricate proteins within whey help to support and protect the immune system, improving your defences against illness.