How Does Whey Protein Work?

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What is it?

As well as being the preferred food of young women atop tuffets (along with curds), whey is an extract from milk, which is a by-product of the cheese making this process. From this, you can refine even further to end up with what we call whey protein. This substance is used as a dietary supplement, principally for fitness-minded people who use it for gaining muscle mass and losing weight.

How does it work?

Whey protein, like all proteins, consists of amino acids which are essential in the creation of muscle mass. However, unlike other sources of protein such as meat or cheese, it has little or no fat. As such, it is useful for gaining muscle without gaining weight. Furthermore, it is absorbed into the system quicker than other forms of protein, especially useful when your body is in immediate need of it, such as after a workout.

What’s the right way to use it?

The protein is generally sold in powder form and is very simple to ingest. You can easily add it to meals or have it in protein shakes before, during or after exercise. The part that requires more attention is what not to do.

Consuming excessive amounts –more than twice your recommended daily dose- of protein doesn’t help you gain muscle mass or lose weight. In fact, it can negatively affect your system in the long term; dealing damage to your liver and possibly even causing osteoporosis.

Furthermore, it’s important not to consider the supplement as a replacement for full meals. It doesn’t offer the vitamins and nutrients that a balanced meal would.

In short, whey protein can be a very useful dietary supplement to help you lose weight and add muscle. This is due to its quality of being both low fat and high in protein, protein being essential for the growth of muscle. Whilst it is easy to incorporate it into your diet, it’s important to take it in moderation, since excessive consumption can do you damage in the long term. If you know other tips that can help our fellow readers, feel free to share them in the comments section.

photo credit: Nic Taylor Photography via photopin cc

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