Whey Protein: Some Health benefits & Side Effects

Whey Protein Powder

It is known that many people use whey protein as supplementation, alongside resistance exercise, to help improve muscle protein synthesis and promote the growth of lean muscle mass. The milk is made of two proteins – whey and casein. The whey protein can be split from the casein in milk or formed as a by-product of cheese making. You should know that whey protein is considered a complete protein because it has all 9 essential amino acids and it is low in lactose content. There are many health benefits that are associated with the consumption of whey protein. Also, experts are constantly finding new possible therapeutic properties.

Here are explained the health benefits of whey protein, as well as some side effects and potential risks. Many of the health benefits of whey protein are based on single studies and there should be done a lot more studies before making a definitive judgment. The whey protein is a mixture of beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, bovine serum albumin, and immunoglobins. Some of the best health benefits of whey protein include lowering cholesterol and weight loss. Some of the most common side effects of whey protein include headaches and nausea, but when the whey protein is consumed at moderate doses, then it is not considered as dangerous.

Whey protein can aid in weight loss because it is the most satiating macronutrient. Also, it has been noticed that whey protein can boost energy expenditure by 80 – 100 calories per day and it can make people automatically eat up to 441 fewer calories per day. One study was shown that eating 25% of the daily calories in the whey protein cut cravings by 60% and reduced the desire for late–time snacking by half. You can add whey protein to your diet, so it will help you to lose weight.

Whey Protien

Whey protein supplements can help boost protein and BCAA intake:

We know that proteins are the main building blocks of the human body. Proteins are used to make many different important things, including skin, organs, and tendons, as well as neurotransmitters, enzymes, hormones, and various molecules. Also, proteins are building blocks of the contractile elements in your muscles. They are assembled from the amino acids, smaller molecules that are linked together like beads on a string. Some amino acids are supplied by the food you eat, while others are produced by your body’s cells. Termed essential amino acids are those which you must get from foods.

Proteins that supply all nine essential amino acids are the best and whey protein is rich in them. The whey protein is particularly high in important BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) like leucine and also, they have a high amount of cysteine. In some studies are shown that leucine is the most anabolic (growth-promoting) amino acid and cysteine can help to boost the levels of the cellular antioxidant glutathione. It has been shown that whey protein can be very effective at stimulating growth in humans. Human breast milk is 60% whey, compared to the 20% in cow’s milk.

Health benefits of whey protein:

Whey protein has many health benefits and some of the most important benefits include:

Reduce weight loss in people with HIV:

 There was one study which is published in Clinical and Investigative Medicine, which is found that whey protein can help to reduce weight loss in people who are HIV – positive.

Blood pressure and cardiovascular disease:

There was one study published in the International Dairy Journal, in which it found that beverages that are supplemented with whey protein can reduce the blood pressure in people who suffer from hypertension. Also, their risk for stroke or heart disease is lower.


It has been shown that whey protein can help to improve the immune response in children who suffer from asthma. In one small study, in which were participating 11 children and which was published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition, was found that children with asthma who took 10 grams of whey protein in supplement form, two times per day and in a period of one month, had an improved immune response.

Lowering cholesterol:

In one study published in The British Journal of Nutrition, was given whey protein supplement to 70 overweight men and women in a period of 12 weeks and it was measured the number of parameters, such as insulin and lipid levels. In this study has been found that there was a significant decrease in the total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol at week 12 in the whey group compared with the casein group.

Anti-cancer properties:

There are some studies published in the journal Anticancer Research in which results were promising. It has been shown that the usage of whey protein can help in the treatment of cancer, but there should be done a lot more studies in the future to approve or disapprove this statement.

Aid weight loss:

In one study were participating 158 people, which was published in Nutrition & Metabolism, those who were given whey protein have lost significantly more body fat and it has been shown greater preservation of lean muscle compared to subjects that were consuming the control beverage.

Side effects

 It is noticed that some people who are allergic to milk can be specifically allergic to whey protein. When the whey protein is consumed in moderate doses, then it is not typically causing any side effects. But, when the whey protein is consumed in very high doses, then it can lead to side effects, such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Reduced appetite
  • Cramps
  • Stomach pains

Also, consistent high doses of whey protein can cause acne. When whey protein is looked at from a nutritional point of view, then you should know that whey protein is very unusual and it does not have a natural equivalent. Also, some individuals believe that there are risks from nutritionally refined foods, such as these, because, although they have a lot of nutrients, the balance is heavily tipped towards protein.


 There are 3 primary types of whey protein – whey protein concentrate (WPC), whey protein isolate (WPI), and whey protein hydrolysate (WPH). Below is given an explanation for the three types of whey protein:

WPC (whey protein concentrate):

The whey protein concentrate has low levels of fat and low levels of carbohydrates. The percentage of protein in the whey protein concentrate depends on how concentrated it is. The higher-end concentrates tend to have 90% and the lower-end concentrates tend to have 30% protein.

WPI (whey protein isolate):

The whey protein isolate is further processed to remove all the fat and lactose. The whey protein isolate is usually at least 90% protein.

WPH (whey protein hydrolysate):

The whey protein hydrolysate is regarded to be the predigested form of whey protein; because it has already undergone partial hydrolysis (this is a process necessary for the body to absorb protein). The whey protein hydrolysate does not require as much digestion as the other two forms of whey protein. Also, whey protein hydrolysate (WPH) is commonly used in medical protein supplements and infant formulas, because it can help to improve digestibility and reduce the allergen potential.

Can help in muscle building and weight loss

 The whey protein supplementation with the resistance exercise can help to improve the muscle protein synthesis and it can promote the growth of lean tissue mass. There was one study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism in which was concluded that whey protein supplementation during resistance training can offer some benefits compared to resistance training alone. Also, males who are supplemented with whey protein have a greater relative gain in the lean tissue mass.

When males are supplemented with the whey protein isolate, then they have better gains in strength compared to the casein. This was shown in a study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. In this study were participating two groups of matched, resistance-trained males whey protein isolate and they provided significantly greater gains in strength, lean body mass, and a decrease in the fat mass compared with the supplementation with casein during an intense ten – week resistance – training program. You can find easily the whey protein isolate online or in the markets for bodybuilding in your city.


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