Whey protein powder has been used for many years as a nutritional supplement and there have been many studies conducted showing the variety of benefits that whey protein provides. This review of the therapeutic applications of whey protein provides an in depth look at the benefits of whey protein. A summary of the benefits of whey protein powder is provided below:
- It is a complete protein source as it contains all of the 9 essential amino acids that our bodies require.
- Protein is the most satiating macronutrient, so consuming a diet high in protein can help us to feel full so that our appetite is reduced, which can result in weight loss. This 2011 study showed that consuming a high protein diet lead to a 60% reduction in cravings and reduced late night snacking by 50%.
- A high protein diet requires more energy to digest, which can result in fat loss through a process known as thermogenesis as shown in this study on protein intake, weight management and satiety.
- Whey protein powder is high in protein yet low in saturated fat and sugar so can be a useful addition to the diet to boost protein intake alone without adding unwanted carbohydrates and fat.
- Whey protein powder is very convenient - as a shake, it can be consumed immediately before or after exercise, which is more difficult to do with other sources of protein such as meat or eggs.
- It is high in the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, isoleucine and valine which are required by the body to produce muscle.
- Whey protein powder boosts your immunity as it is high in immunoglobulins, as described in this paper.
- Whey protein is a sustainable source of protein compared with meat, fish and chicken. For example, a fully matured cow will produce milk for over 10 years, yielding over 1500 kg of protein across her lifetime. In contrast, a mature beef animal weighs around 700 kg, but only approximately 40% of the animal is lean beef, and lean beef is 30% protein, so the final yield of protein is around 90kg.
- In addition to being sustainable, whey protein is also a low cost way of meeting your daily protein requirements.