Whey protein concentrate is a popular supplement used to increase protein. But where does it come from? And is it actually good for you?
Protein is a necessary part of everyone’s diet, which helps build cells, repair muscles, and keep you satiated. Protein is made naturally in the body, but we also get protein through the food we eat.
Some people lack the necessary amount of protein to keep their bodies functioning properly. This can lead to insufficient muscle mass, a decrease in strength, fatigue, or even anemia. Increasing protein can also help athletes perform better and help gym-goers increase the intensity of their workouts.
What is Whey Protein Concentrate
Whey protein is a powdered supplement that many people use to add protein to their diet. It is created through the process of making cheese. When the milk is processed into cheese, a liquid layer is left behind. This liquid is called whey.
What is in Whey Protein Concentrate
The liquid is then processed into a powder, and during processing, most non-protein substances are removed. After being processed, the whey powder is now 75-85 percent protein. The other 15-25 percent is a small number of fats and carbohydrates.
Whey protein has all nine essential amino acids that help with muscle growth and tissue repair. Whey protein has a higher count of BCAA amino acids that help build and maintain muscles and help keep up your energy during intense exercise.
Is Whey Protein Right for You
Because whey protein is derived from milk, it can cause minor digestive issues for those who are lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy products. Whey protein isolate has fewer dairy substances and may be easier on the stomach for some people.
When deciding what whey protein supplement is right for you, consider the added ingredients and whether you are looking for organic, natural products. Some whey protein powders can contain added sugars, chemicals, and trans fats.
Some whey protein powders are also geared towards people who are looking to gain weight. These powders will have a much higher calorie content than others. If this is not your goal, be sure to double-check the calorie, fat, and carb content.
Is Whey Protein Concentrate good / The Benefits Of Using It
There has been tons of research around whey protein, and it has been found that this supplement has a lot of great benefits.
Builds muscle – Protein is one of the most important chemicals for muscle production. It is one of the main building blocks your body needs in order to form and repair the muscles in your body.
Help reduce appetite – Protein reduces the hunger hormone in your body and can reduce hunger and cravings throughout the day.
Aids in weight loss – Since protein reduces hunger, you are less likely to add extra calories to your diet through snacking. This can help you stick to your weight goals without feeling famished.
Helps with asthma – Whey protein can improve your immune system, which helps people who suffer from asthma manage their symptoms more effectively.
Keeps you full – Protein keeps you full for longer. Feeling full can help you stay focused and active.
Lowers cholesterol – Whey protein can lower LDL and total cholesterol.
Anti-cancer properties – Whey protein can increase treatment tolerance in some patients. It can also stimulate muscle growth and malnourishment that is attributed to symptoms and treatments.
Helps blood pressure – Some studies have shown that adding a whey protein supplement to your diet can slightly lower your blood pressure.
Why Whey Protein Can Be Bad For You
Most of the adverse side effects you will experience while supplementing with whey protein is digestive related.
Up to 70% of the population has some form of lactose intolerance, and a lot of them don’t even know it.
If you’re seeing any of of these symptoms while using your protein you need to switch to a protein that si not milk based or you’re dehydrated and you’re not drinking enough water.
These side effects may include:
- Stomach pains
If you are experiencing any of these side effects consult with a nutritionist for better options.
Is Whey Protein Good for You
Whey protein supplements give you a great source of protein and amino acids. This is one of the best-studied supplements out there, and the effects can have significant benefits for your body.
Proteins are used to form important body parts, including tendons, skin, organs, neurotransmitters, enzymes, and different hormones. Proteins are the building blocks of many muscle elements and are important for proper development.
Some amino acids are naturally produced by your body, and some are found in food. Unhealthy diets result in poor nutrition, which can include protein. Having a healthy diet and balanced protein supply, both naturally and through food, can increase strength and muscle mass when added to an exercise regiment.
If you already get enough protein in your diet, adding a protein supplement will likely give you minimal benefits. There is no need to add an extra supply of protein if your body is already getting enough.
Whey protein can lower blood pressure and blood sugar. It can reduce side effects of stress and depression and also protect against cancer by improving your immune function.
When is it Not Good for You
If you are lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy, you may experience negative side effects such as bloating, cramps, and diarrhea. Check the added ingredients to be sure you are not allergic to anything in the ingredient list.
If you are experiencing negative side effects, you can try switching to a whey protein isolate product or try a different brand. If you continue to have negative side effects, try to take your whey protein with a meal.
Vegans will not be able to take whey protein supplements. There are other alternatives that are vegan free that you can use to add protein to your diet.
People with kidney or liver issues should not take supplements with high protein. Consult with a professional if you are unsure whether a protein supplement is right for you.
How to Use Whey Protein
Whey protein comes in powder form and can be added to any liquid or shake. Flavored powders can be added to water, and unflavored powders can be added to smoothies and shakes without altering flavor.
The recommended serving size is between 20 and 30 grams of whey protein. This number depends on your goals and reasons for taking this supplement. Consult with a nutritionist to determine the best amount for you and your goals.
Whey protein is best taken after a workout if you are using it to build muscle. After working out, amino acids are sent to your muscles to help them repair. Adding whey protein can increase the amount of amino acids and aid in this repair.
If you are using whey protein for weight loss, you can add it to a morning shake to help you feel full throughout the day and avoid snacks and cravings.
Does Whey Protein Cause Hair Loss
Amino acids boost testosterone levels in the body. Hair loss can occur if you have higher levels of DHT, which is produced by testosterone. Some studies have shown that the amino acids in whey protein can potentially lead to hair loss.
Some users have noticed thinning and disappearing hair at the crown and temple after prolonged use of protein supplements. There is more research being done, and no direct relationship has been officially recorded between protein supplements and hair loss.
Weight training has been known to increase testosterone and DHT. A balance between cardio and weight lifting can decrease the level of DHT in your body.
Is Whey Protein Concentrate Good for Weight Loss
Protein supplements are known to decrease hunger and appetite, which can aid in weight loss plans. Whey protein decreases the hunger hormone and can allow you to feel full for longer. This reduces cravings and late-night snacking, which can help you avoid extra calories.
Extra protein can lead to excess calories, so you should talk to your nutritionist about the proper serving size and calories in your protein supplement. It is recommended to have 20 grams of whey protein in your diet to reduce hunger.
Whey Protein Concentrate vs. Whey Protein Isolate
Whey protein comes in two different forms: concentrate and isolate. So what is the difference between the two? The difference is seen during processing. When whey protein is processed into a powder, other substances are removed that do not have protein content.
Whey protein concentrate is then formed with 75-85 percent of protein and 15-25 percent of fats and carbs. This final powder can be processed again to remove additional substances and get a higher protein percentage. This final process creates a whey protein isolate. Aside from the protein percentage, the amino acids in both concentrate and isolate are identical.
Whey protein isolate can be easier to digest for people who are lactose intolerant or sensitive. This may be a good option if you experience any negative side effects from whey protein concentrate such as bloating or cramping.
Top 5 Choices for Whey Protein
#1 Naked Whey
Naked Whey protein powder comes in as our top choice due to its high-quality ingredients. This whey powder has zero added sugars and is a great option if you want a healthy choice. Naked Whey is unsweetened, so it can be added to any drink or shake without altering the flavor. This product was made in a GMP factory that follows FDA regulations.
The serving is 30 grams, which gives you 25 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat, 3 grams of carbs, and 120 calories.
Pro: Healthy option with no added ingredients.
Con: Has a higher fat content than other whey protein options.
#2 Garden of Life Sports Grass-Fed Organic Whey Protein
The Garden of Life Whey Protein is made with whey isolate and milk protein. This product comes in chocolate and vanilla flavors and is sweetened with natural stevia. The powder has a 3rd party testing certificate that verified it does not contain any banned substances by the NSF.
The serving is 33 grams, which gives you 24 grams of protein, 0.5 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbs, and 120 calories.
Pro: Flavored with natural sugar for a great taste.
Con: Has a higher carb content than other whey protein options.
#3 AGN Roots Grassfed Whey
The AGN Roots Grass Fed Whey supplement comes from cows that are raised on a sustainable family farm. This product is part of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Shop with Your Heart list so you can feel good about purchasing and consuming it.
The serving size is 29 grams, which gives you 25 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, 1 gram of carbs, and 110 calories.
Pro: Made with whey isolate, which can be easier to digest. Cruelty-free!
Con: Whey isolate is more expensive.
#4 Less Naked Whey Protein Powder
The Less Naked Whey Protein Powder is naturally sweetened with coconut sugar. This option comes in four different flavors: vanilla, chocolate, matcha, and strawberry. There is a small amount of added sugar to achieve these yummy flavors.
The serving size is 37 grams, which gives you 25 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat, 8 grams of carbs, and 150 calories.
Pro: Lots of flavors to choose from.
Con: Some added sugar for flavor and higher carb and calorie count.
#5 Raw Organic Whey
Raw Organic Whey is made from grass-fed happy cows. This product is completely organic and soy, sugar, and gluten-free. It has been tested by a 3rd party to ensure there are no heavy metals, antibiotics, or pesticides.
The serving size is 25 grams, which gives you 21 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat, 2 grams of carbs, and 97.5 calories.
Pro: Organic and tested for safety.
Con: Not as much protein per serving compared to other options.
Whey protein concentrate can make a great addition to your diet for many reasons. You can use whey protein to build stronger muscles that repair faster after exercise. Whey protein can keep you full for longer and help you lose weight and has other great benefits, making this a great product. Remember to always consult with a nutritionist or other professional before adding any supplement to your diet.