What are the benefits of protein powder

There are three main types of whey protein powder:

concentrate (WPC)
isolate (WPI)
hydrolysate (WPH)
Concentrate is the most common type, and it is also the cheapest.

As a dietary supplement, whey protein is widely popular among bodybuilders, athletes, and others who want additional protein in their diet.

SUMMARY
Whey protein has a very high nutritional value, and it is one of the best dietary sources of high quality protein. It is highly digestible and absorbed quickly compared to other proteins.

2. Whey protein promotes muscle growth
Muscle mass naturally declines with age.

This usually leads to fat gain and raises the risk of many chronic diseases.

However, this adverse change in body composition can be partly slowed, prevented, or reversed with a combination of strength training and adequate diet.

Strength training, coupled with the consumption of high protein foods or protein supplements, has been shown to be an effective preventive strategy (2Trusted Source).

Particularly effective are high quality protein sources, such as whey.

Whey is rich in a branched-chain amino acid called leucine. Leucine is the most growth-promoting (anabolic) of the amino acids (3Trusted Source).

For this reason, whey protein is effective for the prevention of age-related muscle loss, as well as for improved strength (2Trusted Source).

For muscle growth, some studies show that whey protein may be slightly better than other types of protein, such as casein or soy (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).

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However, unless your diet is already lacking in protein, supplements probably won’t make a big difference.

SUMMARY
Whey protein is excellent for promoting muscle growth and maintenance when coupled with strength training.

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3. Whey protein may lower blood pressure
Abnormally high blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the leading risk factors for heart disease.

Numerous studies have linked the consumption of dairy products with reduced blood pressure (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).

This effect has been attributed to a family of bioactive peptides in dairy, so-called angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors (ACE-inhibitors) (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source, 13).

In whey proteins, the ACE-inhibitors are called lactokinins (14Trusted Source). Several animal studies have demonstrated their beneficial effects on blood pressure (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source). 10 Reasons To Buy This Protein Powder

A limited number of human studies have investigated the effect of whey proteins on blood pressure, and many experts consider the evidence to be inconclusive.

One study in overweight individuals showed that whey protein supplementation, 54 g/day for 12 weeks, lowered systolic blood pressure by 4%. Other milk proteins (casein) had similar effects (17Trusted Source).

This is supported by another study that found significant effects when participants were given whey protein concentrate (22 g/day) for 6 weeks.

However, blood pressure decreased only in those that had high or slightly elevated blood pressure to begin with (18).

No significant effects on blood pressure were detected in a study that used much lower amounts of whey protein (less than 3.25 g/day) mixed in a milk drink (19Trusted Source).

SUMMARY
Whey proteins may lower blood pressure in people with elevated blood pressure. This is due to bioactive peptides called lactokinins.

4. Whey protein may help treat type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by high blood sugar and impaired function of insulin.

Insulin is a hormone that is supposed to stimulate the uptake of blood sugar into cells, keeping it within healthy limits.

Whey protein has been found to be effective at moderating blood sugar, increasing both the levels of insulin and the sensitivity to its effects (17Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source, 22Trusted Source).

When compared with other sources of protein, such as egg white or fish, whey protein seems to have the upper hand (23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source).

These properties of whey protein may even be comparable to those of medications for diabetes, such as sulfonylurea (25Trusted Source).

As a result, whey protein can be effectively used as a supplementary treatment for type 2 diabetes.

Taking a whey protein supplement before or with a high-carb meal has been shown to moderate blood sugar in both healthy people and those with type 2 diabetes (20Trusted Source).

SUMMARY
Whey protein is effective at moderating blood sugar levels, especially when taken before or with high carb meals. It may be particularly useful for people with type 2 diabetes.

5. Whey protein may help reduce inflammation
Inflammation is part of the body’s response to damage. Short-term inflammation can be beneficial, but under certain circumstances it may become chronic.

Chronic inflammation can be harmful, and it is a risk factor for many diseases. It may reflect underlying health conditions or lifestyle habits that hurt your health.

A large review study found that high doses (greater than or equal to 20 grams/day) of whey protein supplements significantly reduced C-reactive protein (CRP), a key marker of inflammation in the body (26Trusted Source).

SUMMARY
High doses of whey protein have been shown to reduce blood levels of C-reactive protein, indicating that it can help reduce inflammation.

6. Whey protein may be beneficial for inflammatory bowel disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a condition characterized by chronic inflammation in the lining of the digestive tract. It is a collective term for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

In both rodents and humans, whey protein supplementation has been found to have beneficial effects on IBD (27Trusted Source, 28Trusted Source).

However, the available evidence is weak and further studies are needed before any strong claims can be made.

SUMMARY
Whey protein supplements may have beneficial effects on IBD.

7. Whey protein may enhance the body’s antioxidant defenses
Antioxidants are substances that act against oxidation in the body. This means they reduce oxidative stress and lower the risk of various chronic diseases.

One of the most important antioxidants in humans is glutathione. Unlike most antioxidants, which you get from your diet, glutathione is produced by your body.

In the body, glutathione production depends on the supply of several amino acids, such as cysteine, which is sometimes of limited supply.

For this reason, high cysteine foods, such as whey protein, may boost the body’s natural antioxidant defenses (3Trusted Source, 29Trusted Source).

A number of studies in both humans and rodents have found that whey proteins may reduce oxidative stress and increase levels of glutathione (30Trusted Source, 31Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source).

SUMMARY
Whey protein supplementation may strengthen the body’s antioxidant defenses by promoting the formation of glutathione, one of the body’s main antioxidants.

8. Whey protein may have beneficial effects on blood fats
High cholesterol, especially LDL (bad) cholesterol, is a risk factor for heart disease.

In one study in overweight individuals, 65 grams of whey protein per day, for 12 weeks, led to a significant reduction in total and LDL cholesterol (17).

Other studies did not find similar effects on blood cholesterol (18, 34Trusted Source).

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