Whey Protein is one of the most studied protein options in the history of nutrition science. Over the decades, scientists have discovered a plethora of incredible health benefits associated with whey protein.
Today, we're diving into the 10 science-backed benefits of whey protein.
1. High Quality Protein
Whey Protein is highly absorbed in the body. The quality of a protein and how well it's absorbed is measured by something called the DIAAS score. This scoring system measures how much of a certain protein is absorbed from the small intestine and into the body. If it's not absorbed, it can't be used.
To be considered a high quality (or "excellent") protein, a protein needs a DIAAS score of 1 or higher. Whey comes in at a minimum of 1 with scores as high as 1.2.(1) A "good quality" protein needs a score of .75-.99. Soy protein usually comes in at around .9. This means 90% of soy protein is actually absorbed and used in the body. A "poor quality" protein rates at a score of less than .75. Pea protein commonly has a score of .62, making it a poor quality protein.(1)
This means if you're eating 20 grams worth of whey protein, you're actually absorbing and using 20 grams of protein. To absorb the same amount of protein from pea protein, you would actually need to eat about 32 grams of protein, due to it's low DIAAS score.
2. Highest Source of Leucine
Leucine is the amino acid within protein that is most directly tied to muscle growth. For this reason, leucine is incredibly important if you're exercising or recovering from an injury.
3. Helps Enhance the Immune System and Aid in Wound Healing
Whey protein contains alpha-lactalbumin and beta-lactoglobulin (peptides found within whey). Both of these peptides have been found to enhance lymphatic and immune system responses. (2) Beta-lactoglobulin may also speed wound healing. (3)
4. High in Tryptophan
Tryptophan is an amino acid that has been studied to enhance cognitive performance when under stress. (4)
5. Low in Lactose
This is specific to whey isolate. Other forms of whey, such as whey concentrate, are much higher in lactose making it a bad option for those who are lactose intolerant. Whey Isolate is nearly pure protein making it also nearly free of lactose and a great option for most of those who are lactose intolerant.
Because so many individuals are lactose intolerant or experience unpleasant bloating and gas from lactose, we chose 100% pure whey isolate for our zero sugar protein powder.
Whey concentrate and milk protein concentrate are cheaper proteins that many other protein powder companies will "cut" their protein with. Unfortunately this practice also makes the lactose content significantly higher. So always make sure to check the ingredients for only whey isolate!
6. Studied to be Anti-inflammatory
A large review found that taking the equivalent of 20 grams of whey protein powder (the amount used in our new protein powder) per day significantly reduced CRP which is one of the main markers for inflammation in the body.(5)
7. Studied to Have Antioxidant Effects
Whey is high in an amino acid cysteine which is crucial for making our internal, powerful antioxidant called glutathione. The antioxidants we eat (like vitamin C) are no match for extremely powerful glutathione. Glutathione is also crucial in phase 2 liver detoxification. Whey protein has been found in numerous studies to help increase our glutathione levels, probably from the high amount of cysteine. (6,7)
8. Body Recomposition Perks
Protein is incredibly important when it comes to achieving a body recomposition goal. (8) This is when you lose body fat while maintaining or increasing muscle mass.
Because whey is such a high quality protein, we get the most bang for our buck for the body recomposition goal.
9. May Help With Bone Health
Osteoporosis is a huge problem as we age. Two of the best ways to prevent osteoporosis from a lifestyle perspective is to incorporate resistance training and eat high quality sources of protein. One meta analysis found that whey protein specifically might be beneficial for improving bone mineral density. (9)
10. Extremely Easy to Use!
46% of U.S. adults aren't even hitting their bare minimum protein needs every day.(10) Adding a serving of whey protein powder into your smoothies, chia pudding, greek yogurt, protein pancakes or grain-free oatmeal is an easy (and delicious!) way to add 20 grams of complete protein without any added sugar!
This is why I included 10 free protein-packed recipes (like the protein waffles pictured above) with every bag of Autumn's Protein Powder so that you can start easily boosting your protein intake with delicious and simple meals!
Check out Autumn's Zero Sugar Whey Isolate Protein Powder AND the 10 free recipes HERE!
Autumn Elle Nutrition
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.