Proteins are large molecules consisting of amino acids which our body needs to function properly. It is required to control the important processes in the body related to metabolism. On an average, adult men require 71 grams of protein per day and women require 46 grams of protein per day. 17 to 21 percent of women’s total calories should ideally come from protein, as recommended by USDA.
Whey is the purest form of protein. It is obtained from cow’s milk. It is a by-product of milk, obtained during the processing of cheese. Whey is processed into more concentrated forms. Some of its different forms are whey protein, whey protein isolates, whey protein concentrate, whey protein hydroslate and hydrolyzed protein. Protein powders are becoming extremely popular these days, owing to their health benefits. It contains higher amount of protein than all the natural foods. Whey protein is highly recommended for women who need more protein in their diet.
Types Of Whey Protein:
There are three main types of whey protein supplements: Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate and Whey Protein Hydrolysate.
- Whey Protein concentrate is the cheapest of all three whey protein powders. It has the lowest amount of protein, around 58 to 89%. The rest is composed of fat, lactose and immune-enhancing peptides like alpha-lactalbumin and immunoglobulin. The percentage of WPC depends on how concentrated it is. Lower end concentrates have 50% protein, while higher end ones have up to 90% protein.
- Whey Protein Isolate contains 95% of the protein, with minimum amount of lactose and fat.
- Whey Protein Hydroslate has 99% of protein and is the most expensive of all the whey protein powders. It is considered the “pre-digested” form of whey protein, as it undergoes partial hydrolysis- a process necessary for the body to absorb protein. It is the most soluble form of protein and gets quickly digested in the body. This is considered the best whey protein supplement by many.
Health Benefits of Whey Protein for Women:
1. Hormone Levels:
Whey protein is very beneficial for women. It does not cause fluctuation in the hormone levels, like the other proteins do. Moreover, whey protein is the most soluble and richest form of protein. It is much more nutritious than egg whites, soy and meat.
2. Amino Acids:
Amino acids are the chemical units which are not produced naturally in our body. Whey protein is a good source of amino acids. They work together to repair our bones, muscles, organs and almost every part of the tissue in the human body. Specific amino acids are needed for specific purposes. Whey protein is high in Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s). It is useful for muscle repair and preservation. Leucine, another amino acid, stimulates protein synthesis and sends signal to the body to increase its storage of amino acid.
Whey protein contains glutathione. This is an antioxidant which scavenges free radical and delays the signs of ageing. Glutathione is made from three main amino acids; cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine. Whey protein also slows down the degeneration of muscles and keeps them strong during old age.
4. Weight Loss:
According to a study, women who consumed specialized form of whey protein lost more body fat. They also showed a greater preservation of lean muscle than those who didn’t. Whey protein is low in carbohydrates and high in protein. This speeds up the metabolism to burn excess fat from the body. Researchers have concluded that whey protein can easily control appetite for up to two hours. It contains very little fat, low cholesterol and lactose. This makes it excellent for people on a low-carbohydrate diet.
Cancer, mainly breast and cervical cancer, is the second leading cause of death in women. Whey concentrate and glutathione modulation is used in cancer treatment. Consumption of whey powder during chemotherapy can help inhibit the growth of cancer cells. It is also an excellent meal for cancer patients as it is easy to digest. It also gets easily absorbed in the body. It provides energy and increases immunity.
6. Heart Health:
Heart stroke causes paralysis, loss of speech and poor memory. It is also the third leading cause of death in women. Whey protein lowers the LDL cholesterol. It reduces blood pressure and also reduces the risk of heart diseases and stroke.
Whey protein improves immune response and helps fight infections in women. It boosts the immunity system by increasing the production of glutathione. This is a powerful antioxidant which helps in detoxification. Women suffering from asthma should be supplemented with whey protein to improve their cytokine response.
8. Strengthening Muscles:
Whey protein is required for repairing and strengthening muscles. Workout and daily exercises deplete the energy levels in the body, leading to muscle deterioration. Whey protein comes from cow’s milk and is a great natural protein for building and repairing muscles.
9. Healthy Nails And Skin:
A woman’s body requires protein to generate healthy skin and nails. Whey protein helps the body to create hormones and vital enzymes to keep them running efficiently.
10. Gets Absorbed Quickly:
Whey protein shakes are recommended more than any other form of whey protein. Protein shakes contain high amounts of nutrients in the form of soy, whey or casein. It gets easily digested in the body than the protein in foods. It also contains the highest Biological Value (BV).
11. Blood Sugar Level:
Whey protein gives the body a positive nitrogen balance. It also prevents fluctuations in the blood sugar levels which can lead to overeating. Whey protein has low levels of fats. This is very beneficial for managing glucose levels. It also prevents the onset of diabetes. This form of protein also improves insulin resistance in the body to keep its levels steady.
12. Well-toned Figure:
Whey protein tones the muscles and accelerates metabolism. This gives you a healthy and toned figure.
13. Bone Health:
More than 65% of the women suffer from osteoporosis, a condition which causes thinning and increased brittleness of bones. To build and maintain healthy bones, women need to consume calcium-rich healthy food. Whey protein contains high amount of calcium which prevents bone loss and keeps them strong.
Whey protein, when taken in moderate quantity, supports the functioning of the liver. Liver carries about 500 functions in the body. This would be impossible without the presence of amino acids in it.
Whey protein is an excellent protein choice for women. This is especially true for those who have undergone surgeries. It assists in healing of wounds and gets absorbed easily into the body.
[Read:Milk Protein Chart ]
Whey Protein For Healthy Hair And Skin:
16. The protein forms a very important constituent of hair, as the hair itself is made up of protein. A deficiency in protein can result in major hair loss problems. Whey protein is a convenient way to increase protein intake in your diet. Having high amounts of protein on a regular basis prevents hair loss and promotes hair growth. Taking whey shakes helps overcome hair problems like bald patches and receding hair lines.
17. Collagen is a structural tissue which provides elasticity to the skin. It comprises 30 percent of the body’s total protein and helps strengthen skin, blood vessel, bones and teeth. Consuming whey protein will provide you with ample collagen to keep your skin firm and healthy.
18. Regular consumption of whey nourishes and strengthens the hair to give you thick, healthy and shiny hair. The acidic properties of whey cure dandruff and scalp psoriasis. This helps to improve the health of the scalp.
19. Amino acids in whey protein help maintain the elasticity and firmness of the skin.
20. You can also use whey powder in place of your shampoo. Just rub some powder thoroughly on the scalp. Wash it off with lukewarm water to get clean and oil-free scalp. Alternatively, you can shampoo first and follow it with a whey rinse. Leave it for 10 minutes and then wash off. Whey conditioner will add great texture and body to the hair. It is very useful for fine and limp hair, as it does not weigh down the hair like other hair products.
21. Whey can be used on the skin as a cleanser, toner and moisturizer. Several cosmetic companies incorporate this protein-rich supplement for its amazing skin benefits. Soak a cotton ball in whey. Apply it on the face using gentle strokes. This will work as an amazing homemade toner.
22. The anti-microbial properties of whey works amazingly on acne and pimples. It also helps lighten pigmentation and age spots.
23. Add 2 cups of whey in your bathtub and soak yourself in it for 20 minutes. The acidity in whey will restore the pH value of the skin to rejuvenate the skin cells.
24. For tired or puffy eyes, wet a tea bag with cold whey and place it over on the eyes. Leave it for 20 minutes to get refreshed eyes.
Uses of Whey Protein:
Whey protein is available in various forms like whey protein bars, whey protein shakes and whey drinks. Whey itself does not have a very appealing taste. Hence it is mixed with other foods like fruits and nuts to make the taste more appealing.
- A whey protein shake with raspberries and avocado is the perfect way to start your day. Make sure that the whey protein you get is from grass fed cows and not corn-fed cows. The latter can cause allergies.
- Add a teaspoon of whey powder to your cookies while baking. This will increase the protein levels in your body. You can also add chocolate whey to your coffee to make a delicious mocha.
- It takes a minute to prepare this protein rich drink. Mix one scoop of whey protein into 6 ounces or 200 ml of water. Leave aside the mixed protein for a few minutes. This will help the powder get completely dissolved. Drink this water.
- Whey protein is best consumed immediately after a tiring workout. This will provide your muscles and cells the proper nutrition they need to repair. You can add whey protein to your oats, cereals and pancakes for a protein rich breakfast.
- If you’re looking for a quick snack at work, prepare a whey protein shake with some nuts, fruits and ice cubes for a nutritious and delicious shake.
- Stir one scoop of protein powder to your yoghurt and top it with fruits, nuts and chocolates for a tasty treat. You can also mix whey powder with your favorite ice-cream.
- Use whey, instead of water, while cooking pasta or soups to give it a distinct taste. You can also use whey to make breads. This will give it a wonderful brown crust and aroma.
Side-effects of Whey Protein:
Like other supplements, whey protein has some health risks associated with it.
- Most of the side-effects associated with whey protein are related to digestive issues like gastritis, bloating, headaches, cramps, reduced appetite, nausea and fatigue.
- If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it is most likely to be either due to the lactose or artificial sweeteners present in whey protein.
- Excess consumption of protein can even exacerbate kidney problems.
- Too much of the protein can deplete a body’s store of calcium, leading to brittle bones and teeth.
- Also, high amounts of protein can cause a woman’s body to produce excess ammonia.
- Women should not consume more than two servings of protein shakes per day.
- Extreme high dosage can also overload the liver, causing serious health problems.
To stay away from these side effects, make sure that your whey protein serving does not exceed beyond 30 grams for every meal. Enjoy and stay healthy!