Food is a central issue in our lives. We are discussing more and more about what a healthy diet would be and what the most important nutrients are. We also excluded some villains and selected some good guys.
However, our routine does not always follow our desire to eat well, acquiring all the vitamins, proteins, and other essential items for the day today.
By linking these factors to the intention of reaching a stronger, thinner, or defined body, it is not difficult to imagine the space that this opens for the supplements.
One of the most famous is the whey protein. Even those who do not go to the gym have heard of it.
What is Whey Protein?
The whey protein is whey protein. It is extracted from the aqueous portion of the milk generated during the cheese-making process.
It has long been considered a disposable waste by the dairy industry. Only from the 1970s did researchers show an interest in studying the properties of this protein.
Currently, whey protein is considered one of the essential supplements for those seeking muscle strengthening and growth. Despite being famous for this feature, this protein has other positive results in our body.
In 1971, Dr. Paavo Airola described whey protein as a critical property for the treatment and prevention of problems related to intestinal health, such as flatulence and constipation.
More recent evidence confirms that milk protein, including the proteins present in the serum, has bioactive peptides that act as antimicrobials, antihypertensives, immunity regulators, and growth factors.
Many people, such as athletes, disease sufferers, and physical activity practitioners, are drawn to the benefits that whey protein can provide.
Whey contains 15% to 20% of total milk proteins, exhibiting rapid absorption and high nutritional quality. The main components present are:
- Beta-lactoglobulin (35% to 65%);
- Alpha lactoglobulin (12% to 25%);
- Immunoglobulins (8%);
- Albumin (5%);
- Lactoferrin (1%).
How is done?
The whey protein of most manufacturers is made from milk, but can also be made through the cheese-making process.
For this, the milk goes through a pasteurizing process called HTST (High-Temperature Short Time ), which means the high temperature in a short time.
This process removes a liquid whey. This pasteurization is very fast, the milk is heated to a minimum temperature of 161º F (approximately 72ºC), for 15 seconds.
This high temperature has the function of killing the bacteria present that can cause some diseases.
From this serum liquid occurs the isolation of the protein, which can be done by ion exchange or mechanical filtration.
In the ionic exchange, acids are usually used, such as hydrochloric acid, or bases, such as sodium hydroxide. More care is required for this procedure. These acids or bases can cause protein denaturation.
This type of protein isolation turns out to be more financially advantageous as it is a cheaper process than mechanical filtration. However, ion exchange may end up causing the loss of some essential serum compounds, such as lactoferrin and immunoglobulins.
In the process of mechanical filtration, also known as cross-filtration, one usually has a superior product, which becomes more expensive and challenging to make.
The shape of the filtration and the number of times the whey passes through the process directly interfere with the final product, which reflects in its quality and price, since it obtains a purer protein.
Each filtering step is capable of reducing the amount of fat, lactose, ash, or any other impurities that may be present in the whey.
Each type of whey protein marketed has a different manufacturing method, as is the case for isolated, concentrated, and hydrolyzed whey proteins.
What is it for?
One of the primary purposes of whey protein is to supplement the daily needs of proteins that our body needs, but it does not obtain for the feeding.
Also, whey protein serves as a source of essential amino acids for the body, which helps in the process of increasing muscle mass (hypertrophy), repairing muscles, reducing body fat, and helping to reduce cardiovascular disease.
Also, its composition stimulates several mechanisms and systems of metabolism.
These benefits attributed to the consumption of whey protein are analyzed when there is a routine of healthy habits, with a proper diet and practice of physical exercises.
Its function is strongly associated with the physical performance of athletes, who seek the anabolic process and the hypertrophy of the muscles, having as the main role the repair of the tissues after the training.
Whey Protein and Biological Value
When talking about whey protein, its biological value (VB) is always quoted. This index is important because it is related to the percentage of retention our body has in relation to protein.
It is a kind of scale that helps in the comparison of whole proteins. Several foods present in our daily lives have high biological value.
This knowledge is especially important for people who need a high protein replacement in food and through supplements, such as whey protein.
The higher the biological value, the higher the absorption of amino acids and nitrogen by the organism.
The practise of physical exercises causes a lesion in the muscles, and the whey protein helps in the repair of the muscle fiber also due to your VB. Put, by consuming the supplement, the injury is repaired, and the muscle tissue becomes stronger for the next workout.
The egg is the most digestible food, according to its biological value, with a percentage of 94% of use by the organism.
The treated proteins, as in the case of whey, exceed this biological value. Know the VB and its graduation of the most protein foods:
- Whey protein: 104 to 159;
- Egg (whole) : 100;
- Cow’s milk: 92;
- Egg white (albumin): 88;
- Fish: 83;
- Lean steak: 80;
- Chicken : 79;
- Rice: 59;
- Beans: 49.
There are many ways to get whey protein. It is not only present in the form of powdered supplements, but there are still products made from protein, such as the famous bars.
However, among the types of whey protein, there are three main ones, which vary according to the concentration and process of filtering. You can find them even in versions that mix types, as in the case of 2W and 3W. Are they:
Isolated whey protein (WPI) is the type of whey considered purer because it has a protein concentration of 90% or more. He also earns this title by containing little fat and lactose.
For it to have such a high concentration, it must undergo a filtration process. The more filtered, the more impurities become. It can be done through two main methods.
One, older, is the ion exchange. The drawback of this process is that the heating denatures the proteins and raises the amount of sodium in the final product due to the chemical process.
The other form of the process is cold microfiltration. In addition to being a more modernized process than ion exchange, it does not harm proteins with heat. Thus, they remain with lower sodium content.
Isolated whey is one of the preferences for anyone who wants definition and muscle building as it is considered a complete protein.
This filtration process, in addition to practically eliminating lactoses (containing only 0.5% to 1%) and carbohydrates, also does not present carbohydrates. In addition, it contains very little fat (0.5% to 1%).
There are no contraindications to consumption, except for people who may be sensitive or allergic to any of the components of whey protein alone.
By all its characteristics, it is more consumed by people who participate in competitions, such as bodybuilders, and people who practice physical activities in general or follow more restrictive diets.
This type of protein, in addition to the aesthetic benefits, can also help reduce the rate of injury and recovery from injuries caused by overexertion, burns, and wounds.
Whey protein concentrate (WPC) is a prior process to that of isolated whey protein. As the names indicate, other than separate, whey protein concentrate is not such pure protein.
This type of whey protein also undergoes a filtration process, where much of the “impurities” are eliminated, such as fats, carbohydrates, and lactose.
However, among the three types, it is the one that most has these components. For this reason, it is not recommended for people who have lactose intolerance.
The concentrated version usually contains 80% of high biological value protein, with key amino acids for those seeking muscle hypertrophy, such as leucine. It also has precursors to creatine and glutamine.
Depending on the quality of whey protein, this percentage can range from 25% to 89% protein, where the rest is composed of carbohydrates and fats.
It presents from 4% to 8% between fat, lactose, and other minerals. It is the type of whey protein most used for the manufacture of bars and other foods.
Like other types, whey protein concentrate also has good results, but together with healthy eating and healthy exercise practices, these results are enhanced.
Hydrolyzed whey protein (WPH), like the others, is also extracted during the whey process, removed while the milk is processed into cheese.
However, the protein chains (peptides) of the hydrolyzed whey undergo segmentation where they become smaller by means of a procedure called hydrolysis.
This process makes the peptides into dipeptides, tri-peptides, or amino acids free and, despite being considered a third type of protein, this hydrolysis process may be present in the concentrated version and the isolated form.
As a consequence of the process, the absorption of the hydrolyzed whey protein is much faster. As a result of this, muscle recovery and lean mass gain become more accelerated processes.
Another advantage attributed to this type of whey is the fact that its lightness reduces the chances of food allergies.
Like the isolate, hydrolyzed whey also has low amounts of fats and lactose. The flavor of this type is considered to be weaker or watery, presented a more crystalline texture.
There are no contraindications to consumption, except for people who are allergic or sensitive to any component in the product or are lactose intolerant.
The recommendations are the same as those of other types. What is considered relevant to the results are the goals that each person is seeking, the lifestyle, food restriction, and physical activities practiced.
The protein concentration in the hydrolyzed type ranges from 80% to 90%. By being absorbed quickly, the consumption of WPH reduces the chances of allergic responses and possible intestinal problems.
It is common for hydrolyzed whey protein to be included in sports nutrition and medical products and even in infant formulas.
Whey protein female
The female whey protein, which many brands make available, is the same whey protein marketed to all people, but with a few extras that bring other benefits.
This type of whey sells the idea of providing pain relief after workouts, weight loss, and even help to soften signs of aging and make the skin firmer as it brings in collagen composition.
The components in this type of whey protein can vary significantly according to the brand, but some substances present may contain leucine, hydrolyzed collagen, elastin, isolated soy protein, isoleucine, and seed oil.
Whey protein vegan
Vegans, unlike vegetarians, eat a more restricted diet, excluding not only meat but also the consumption of eggs, honey, milk or any food of animal origin.
With this restriction, consumption of common whey protein would not be possible, since conventional whey protein is made from whey. However, there is a vegan version of the supplement made with vegetable protein. Some of the use of grains such as rice and peas.
These products, in addition to meeting demand from people on a vegan diet, may also benefit those who are lactose intolerant or allergic to soy, considering products that are not lactose-free and that add other nutrients.
A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, made with 161 men who practice bodybuilding, analyzed the effects of pea whey protein and whey protein from whey in divided groups. The third group received a placebo.
The two groups that received whey protein (whey or whey) had muscle growth when compared to the placebo group.
However, it is still not possible to say how much vegan whey as compared to whey protein whey, due to lack of research and studies on the subject. However, it still becomes an option for those who can not consume common whey.
Who can take it?
Whey can be taken by anyone who needs to consume proper amounts of protein and can not just feed. The consumption of whey protein does not present contraindications in relation to age. Also, not for athletes only use.
It can be used even in more specific cases, such as by people who have had bariatric surgery and elderly people who are deficient in protein.
In general, it is indicated for all the people who want the benefits of the supplement. However, the most advised is always to seek guidance from a specialist, as each person has specific needs.
When and how to take it?
Whey protein is consumed in different ways, but there are always doubts between which is the best time of day, whether it would be best in fasting, at breakfast, post, or pre-workout.
Some research shows that one of the best times to consume this protein is after training because it is in this period that the muscles need repair.
When someone performs physical exercises that stimulate muscle cells, as in the case of bodybuilding, hypertrophy and muscle tone are also encouraged.
After these stimuli, the body needs amino acids present in the protein to recover the “worn” muscle fiber. At that point, whey protein becomes a reward for muscles.
In this way, the nutrients can be better absorbed, and the muscles regenerated more easily, favoring the muscular strengthening and growth.
The orientation of whey consumption with rapidly absorbed carbohydrates, such as dextrose, to have a hyperglycemic combination is also common.
There are other schedules for taking whey protein, in addition to post-workout. Each time is associated with a different action of the protein in the body.
As discussed, after training, whey protein is indicated for muscle repair. Usually, it is consumed in what is known as the “window of opportunity,” period after the workout in which the body is supposed to present a greater use of the protein.
Some studies point out that this window can last up to 24 hours after the workout, but athletes usually take the supplement within 40 minutes of exercise.
Within that time, whey protein provides the carbohydrates and amino acids that cells need to regenerate all muscle tissue.
Taking whey protein on awakening is valid to supply the catabolism process, that is, loss of lean mass, which the sleep period can cause. Because the body is between 7 and 8 hours of fasting, this can happen.
That way, when you wake up, your body needs nutrients to recover and to continue protein synthesis. Whey protein is valid at this time for its high biological value and rapid absorption.
Because of the catabolism process caused by fasting during sleeping hours, taking whey protein in the form of a shake, for example, before night, can be a way of creating a reserve for the body.
So while you are asleep, your body will have a stream of amino acids enough to “take care” of muscle tissue.
30 to 45 minutes before training
It may be a way to minimize the catabolism that occurs as a result of the release of cortisol during exercise. It is also a way of ensuring that the body does not seek energy in its muscles.
How much should I take?
On average, consumption of 20g to 40g per day is indicated, but to be sure enough for your lifestyle, an individual assessment by a specialist is required.
There is, however, a rule that takes into account the weight of the person. The daily intake of 0.8 g of protein for each kg of body weight is indicated. However, it is a basis for sedentary people. For people seeking hypertrophy, the amount should be rethought.
Following this logic, a person who weighs 75 kg, for example, should consume 60g of protein per day. Thus, whey could help supplement food and meet this need.
With milk or water?
Whey protein can be consumed in both ways. However, with milk, it will be more caloric because even skim milk has fat and carbohydrates. Also, with water, it can be absorbed more quickly by the body.
What can make milk a better choice is taste. Although whey protein is marketed in different flavors, when mixed with water, the taste may not be as good.
On the other hand, whey protein mixed with milk may be a more potent form of the supplement, although it is caloric and slower absorption, bringing higher muscle recovery. It is due to the presence of casein, a protein present in milk.
One possibility is to switch consumption by taking whey with milk in a few days and with water in others. Thus, it is possible to reap the advantages present in both types.
Regarding the amount of liquid, it is recommended, on average, 100mL to 150mL of ice water or milk for 30g of whey protein.
Whey Protein Fattening?
It is a common question among people who want to consume whey protein. The answer depends.
Whey protein can be useful for those who want to lose weight, but can also gain weight. It is an essential supplement for anyone who wants lean mass gain and, when added to a healthy diet and a physical exercise routine, helps the person achieve good results.
However, this is a process that does not happen alone. For example, people who want to lose weight can achieve this with the help of whey protein and exercise.
The greater the percentage of muscle mass, the more active will be the basal metabolism and the daily energy expenditure. Protein has the role of stimulating the muscles, and this fat burning happens with greater speed. However, this does not mean whey protein is thermogenic, for example.
Thus, the answer to the question of this topic is in the habits of each individual, the consumption of healthy foods, the number of exercises, and other factors related to a healthy life.
Fear of getting fat may also be a concern for people who consume whey protein to meet the need for daily protein. The same goes for these cases.
For the weight to be changed only by the consumption of whey, the intake must be excessive and added to unhealthy habits. Taking the protein in the right dose and missing a day at the gym should not change your weight.
It is important to keep in mind that weight gain occurs when caloric intake is higher than energy expenditure, with or without the consumption of whey protein.
In general, the recommendation is to seek help from a nutritionist to have a proper and individual analysis of food, to have a healthy control of their weight, regardless of the consumption of the supplement.
Whey protein, when coupled with a healthy lifestyle, can contribute to several health benefits.
Because it was only in the 1970s that we began to have an interest in studying the properties of whey, we can say that the benefits discovered are still very recent.
However, within studies done with people who use whey protein and exercise, it has been observed that protein plays a very important role in human health. Know some of them:
Helps in hypertrophy and muscle recovery
Whey protein plays a vital role for those looking for muscle hypertrophy and repair. Physical exercises are fundamental to prevent muscular atrophy, especially exercises such as bodybuilding.
The practice of this activity causes an injury to the muscles, and this creates a need for repair. Proteins are essential at this time, as they can support the physical wear suffered by the muscle, without the catabolism process happening.
Help reduce body fat
The relationship of whey protein and the reduction of body fat involves a number of factors. The consumption of whey protein,, is not able to slim someone or increase lean mass.
However, people who exercise and consume whey protein gain greater potential for gaining muscle mass, and this causes their bodies to burn more body fat.
It is important to emphasize that these results also depend on a healthy diet and the amount of physical exercise practiced.
Reduces catabolism and helps in anabolic function
Anabolism, simplifying, is a metabolic process of construction, and catabolism, on the other hand, is that of breakdown or degradation. Anyone looking for muscle growth is looking for anabolism.
Physical exercises and consumption of energy foods help in this process, preventing muscle atrophy, a characteristic of catabolism. It is also a benefit of whey protein.
Calcium source for lactose intolerant
Whey protein-free lactose can be used as a source of calcium for people who are lactose intolerant.
Helps in the prevention of hypertension
Whey protein is also linked to a lower risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that serum protein is associated with the control of hypertension because it has peptides that inhibit the action of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE).
This enzyme catalyzes the formation of angiotensin II, a potent vasoconstrictor, and inhibits the action of bradykinin, a vasodilator. Casein and lactose, present in serum, help to inhibit ACE.
Help in controlling bad cholesterol
Consuming whey protein, coupled with healthy eating and habits, can help raise HDL cholesterol, known as good cholesterol. Consequently, it helps in controlling HDL, the bad cholesterol.
Also, it may contribute to the reduction of triglycerides, decreasing the risk of cardiovascular complications.
Improves physical fitness
The consumption of whey protein can potentiate performance in aerobic and strength exercises, which, consequently, reflects in better physical conditioning.
Also, it reduces the symptoms of fatigue present after training ( overtraining ), which is advantageous for people who present a more intense routine of physical exercises, like professional athletes.
It has antioxidant action
Whey protein also enables healthier aging, because it has antioxidant activity that helps fight free radicals, substances that lead to the premature aging of cells.
The consumption of whey protein is related to an improvement in the immune system. It helps fight against infections that may occur as a consequence of the intensity of the training.
Helps in healing
The consumption of whey protein can help in the healing of wounds and burns, because the protein can accelerate this process of skin growth, acting as support during the inflammatory phase.
A balanced diet with protein foods can bring these benefits, but in people with nutritional deficiencies, malnourished, or catabolic, the supplement can help speed this process.
Risks and side effects
Whey protein, on the whole, is a safe supplement that does not commonly carry risks or side effects.
In some specific conditions, whey protein may be one of the aggravating factors for other diseases that the person already has, such as lactose intolerance itself.
In such cases, the person should seek a type of lactose-free whey, as symptoms such as diarrhea, poor digestion, cramps, and gas can occur.
For patients who have kidney problems or arthritis, the consumption of this protein should be reviewed by a physician or nutritionist.
In the case of side effects related to kidney problems, what happens is an overload in the function of these organs by the excessive consumption of whey protein.
Consequently, the kidneys can not work to eliminate all urea, ammonia, and nitrogen residues, products of protein metabolism.
Other minor risks like constipation, gas, and bloating can also happen. People who are allergic to milk may also suffer from some reaction when consuming protein. If you notice any side effects, discontinue use, and consult a physician.
Price and where to buy
The amount of whey protein varies by type. The cheapest, usually, are the concentrates, being the isolate with a higher cost, and hydrolyzate the most expensive among the three.
The average price of each product can vary depending on some factors, such as brand, be imported, or national. The values, therefore, fluctuate a lot, being possible to find the supplement within the range of R $ 50 to R $ 300.
Where to find it, however, is something more affordable these days. Stores of food supplements and natural products are common. You can find them in shopping malls and malls, for example. Some brands can be found even in networks of pharmacies and supermarkets.
There is also a wide variety of websites with exclusive sales of whey protein and related products, which provides greater convenience for those who need the supplement and can not move to a physical store day in and day out.
In such cases, it is recommended that you first seek to know the product and the store in which you are buying, to avoid purchasing an unsatisfactory product for a relatively high value, depending on the case.
In the Consultation Remedies, it is possible to find a plethora of proteins, in addition to other dietary supplements. There you can compare prices and find the nearest store that delivers in your area. Also, additional product information, such as variations, ingredients, and nutrition charts, may be included.