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What Is Whey Protein & How Does It Help Build Muscle?

Written By: Ibtesam Masood

Whey protein is a popular choice for those looking to build muscle. It’s packed with amino acids that help support muscle growth and recovery, making it an ideal supplement for athletes and bodybuilders. But how exactly does whey protein help build muscle? Let’s take a closer look.

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When you lift weights, you create tiny tears in your muscle fibers. In order to repair these tears and build stronger muscles, your body needs protein. Whey protein is a great source of the amino acids that your body needs to build muscle. It’s easily digested and absorbed, so it gets to work quickly.

In addition to helping with muscle growth, whey protein can also help with muscle recovery. After an intense workout, your muscles are tired and need time to repair themselves. Whey protein provides the nutrients they need to do this effectively.

So, if you’re looking to build muscle, whey protein is a great option.

Effects of Whey Protein Supplementation on Building Muscle Mass

Whey protein supplements are most often used to increase muscle growth and strength. Whey protein is popular among athletes, bodybuilders, fitness models, and others trying to increase their gym performance.

Whey protein stimulates muscle/strength growth in the following ways:

  1. Building Blocks of Protein:

Whey is a high-quality protein that is easily digested and absorbed by the body. It is rich in essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. The body needs these amino acids to build and repair muscle tissue.

Whey is a by-product of cheese production and is made up of two main proteins, casein and whey. Whey protein is considered a ‘fast’ protein as it is quickly digested and absorbed by the body, making it ideal for post-workout recovery. 

  1. Effects on Hormones:

Whey protein has also been shown to increase levels of the ‘master’ antioxidant glutathione and support detoxification processes in the liver. Some research has also suggested that whey supplementation can help increase levels of important hormones in the body, such as testosterone and IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1). These hormones are important for muscle growth and recovery.

In one study, young men who were supplemented with whey protein for 8 weeks increased their testosterone levels by 30% and their IGF-1 levels by 20%. The men who did not supplement with whey protein saw no change in their hormone levels over the same period.

  1. Leucine Effect: 

One of the amino acids found in whey protein is called leucine. Leucine is a ‘branched-chain amino acid’ (BCAA) and is known to be especially important for muscle growth and recovery.

Leucine works by activating a key enzyme in muscle cells, which stimulates muscle protein synthesis – the process responsible for repairing and building muscle tissue.

In one study, men who supplemented with leucine and did resistance training for 12 weeks gained more muscle mass and strength than those who just resistance trained. So, if you’re looking to gain muscle mass and strength or simply improve your post-workout recovery, then whey protein may be a good supplement for you to consider.

  1. Fast Absorption: 

Whey protein is considered a ‘fast’ protein, which means it is quickly digested and absorbed by the body. This makes it ideal for post-workout recovery, as your muscles can quickly start to repair and rebuild themselves.

Studies show that men who supplemented with whey protein after their workouts experienced greater muscle growth than those who supplemented with casein protein or a carbohydrate drink.

So, if you’re looking for a protein supplement to take after your workouts, then whey protein is a good option.

Health Benefits of Whey Protein

As one of the world’s most popular proteins, whey has a well-deserved reputation for being healthy. Here are some of the top health benefits of whey protein:

  1. Whey Promotes Muscle Growth

If you’re looking to build muscle, whey protein is a great option. It’s packed with nutrients that help support muscle growth, including amino acids and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).

  1. Whey May Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. Fortunately, whey protein may help reduce blood pressure. In a study, participants who consumed whey protein had lower blood pressure than those who didn’t consume it.

  1. Whey May Help Treat Type 2 Diabetes 

Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to health complications like heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. Thankfully, whey protein may help improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes. 

Studies confirm that participants who consumed whey protein had better blood sugar control than those who didn’t consume it. When you have type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or it doesn’t use insulin properly. This can cause your blood sugar levels to become too high. 

Whey protein may help by increasing the amount of insulin your body produces and by making your cells more responsive to insulin. Adding whey protein to your diet may help improve your blood sugar control and reduce your risk of health complications.

  1. Whey Protein May Help Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is a major factor in many chronic diseases, including heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. Whey protein has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation.

When your body is inflamed, it means that your immune system is activated and working to fight off an infection or injury. This can cause a variety of symptoms, including pain, swelling, redness, and heat.

Whey protein is a type of protein found in milk. It’s a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids your body needs. Whey is also a rich source of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are known for their anti-inflammatory effects.

  1. Whey Protein May Be Beneficial For Inflammatory Bowel Disease 

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic condition that causes inflammation in the digestive tract. Whey protein may help reduce symptoms of IBD, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, and weight loss.

This study found that whey protein was more effective than a placebo in reducing symptoms of IBD. The researchers suggest that whey protein may help to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract.

  1. Whey Protein May Enhance The Body’s Antioxidant Defences 

Antioxidants are nutrients that help protect cells from damage. Whey protein contains antioxidants that may help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. There is some evidence that whey protein may help to enhance the body’s antioxidant defences. 

One study found that whey protein supplementation increased glutathione levels, an important antioxidant, in the blood. Another study found that whey protein supplementation was associated with a decrease in oxidized LDL cholesterol, another marker of oxidative stress. 

While more research is needed to confirm these findings, they suggest that whey protein may be a helpful addition to your diet if you’re looking to boost your antioxidant defences.

  1. Whey Protein May Have Beneficial Effects On Blood Fats 

High levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides are major risk factors for heart disease. Fortunately, whey protein may help reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. In one study, participants who consumed whey protein had lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides than those who didn’t consume it. Whey protein may also help increase levels of HDL cholesterol, which is the “good” type of cholesterol that helps protect against heart disease.

In addition to its cholesterol-lowering effects, whey protein may also help prevent blood clots. Blood clots can lead to heart attacks and strokes, so preventing them is important for heart health.

  1. Whey Protein Is Highly Satiating (Filling), Which May Help Reduce Hunger 

If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to control your hunger. Whey protein may help with this by increasing satiety (feeling of fullness). In one study, participants who consumed whey protein felt fuller and ate less at their next meal than those who didn’t consume it. 

  1. Whey Can Help You Lose Weight

If you’re looking to lose weight, whey protein can be a helpful tool. It’s very filling and may help reduce calorie intake. Additionally, whey protein has been shown to boost metabolism and promote fat loss.

So if you’re looking for a healthy protein option, whey is a great choice. There are many different types of protein powders on the market, but DMoose whey protein is one of the best options for satiety. 

If you’re looking for a protein powder to help with weight loss, make sure to choose one that contains whey protein.

Conclusion 

Whey protein is a source of high-quality protein that has been shown to offer a number of health benefits, including increased muscle mass and weight loss, reduced LDL cholesterol levels, improved HDL cholesterol levels, and decreased risk of IBD and type 2 diabetes. If you’re looking for an easy way to improve your overall health, adding whey protein to your diet may be the answer.

References:

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  • Boirie, Y., et al. “Slow and Fast Dietary Proteins Differently Modulate Postprandial Protein Accretion.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 94, no. 26, Dec. 1997, pp. 14930–35. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.94.26.14930
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  • —. “Effect of Whey Protein on Blood Lipid Profiles: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 70, no. 8, Aug. 2016, pp. 879–85. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2016.39
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