3 Foods Rich In Whey Protein

What exactly is whey protein and what are examples of 3 foods rich in whey protein? Whey is one of the 8 types of protein and is a byproduct of the manufacture of cheese. To produce cheese, rennet or an edible acid is added to heat the milk. This makes the milk coagulate, separating the milk solids from the liquid whey.

Whey Protein

Whey protein is the name of globular proteins that can be isolated from whey. It is typically a mixture of globinstagers beta-lactoglobulin (~65%), alpha-lactalbumin (~25%), and serum albumin (~8%), which are soluble in their native culture forms, independent of pH.

Whey Protein Composition

Due to its high concentration of EAAs and BCAAs, whey protein has been shown to help individuals maintain muscle tissue. This can be particularly important for seniors, active individuals and those trying to maintain or lose weight.

Muscle Preserving Benefits By preserving or increasing lean body mass, older adults can protect themselves against undesirable changes in body composition as well as many ailments that are usually associated with aging such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other conditions.

Whey Protein Minimizes Sarcopenia Sarcopenia is muscle loss associated with aging – affects an overwhelming 30% of seniors in the United States. Research in older adults suggests that whey protein may minimize sarcopenia by stimulating postprandial protein synthesis and limiting body protein loss. Physical activity, specifically resistance training, combined with consumption of whey protein has additional benefits on muscle protein synthesis. Ingesting 10-20 grams of whey protein after activity can improve protein synthesis in seniors, presumably due to the high levels and efficient absorption of EAAs and leucine.3,4

Whey Protein Helps Weight Management Whey protein can play an important role in weight management. Specific factors in whey protein are being investigated for their ability to promote weight loss by increasing satiety, influencing glucose homeostasis, and maintaining lean body mass:

  • Calcium – recent clinical trials and epidemiological studies have shown that adequate intakes of calcium may protect against excess adiposity and assist in weight loss efforts.5,6 Epidemiological studies link low calcium intakes to an increased risk of obesity. Lactose – the primary sugar in whey products – has a low glycemic index which assists in controlling hunger and promoting weight loss. Lactose has minimal effect on blood sugar levels and insulin response, making it ideal for people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Protein – has been shown effective in increasing satiety and modulating energy intakes,8 which may result in a loss of body fat and weight. Several studies have shown whey protein to be more effective than soy, egg and meat proteins in suppressing food intake.9,10 For these reasons, incorporating whey protein into the diet could be an ideal solution for the many consumers interested in high protein, moderate carbohydrate diets.
  • Branched-chain amino acids – specifically leucine – play a unique role in metabolic regulation by increasing fat loss and promoting lean muscle tissue in conjunction with an exercise program.

Whey Protein is a Staple of Sports Nutrition Many athletes consume whey protein for its rich branchedchain amino acid (BCAA) content. Because the demand for BCAAs increases with endurance exercise, whey protein is an ideal way to replace these BCAAs to enhance protein synthesis and muscle growth during the recovery period. Whey proteins are particularly effective at stimulating muscle protein synthesis rates because the AA profile in whey is almost identical to that of skeletal muscle. In addition, the relatively high levels of EAAs in whey proteins are effective at stimulating protein synthesis in adult muscle.13 Recent studies suggest that whey proteins can help improve lean body mass and performance in athletes on a resistance training regiment:

  • 20 grams of whey protein per day for 12 weeks was shown to enhance glutathione status (an antioxidant), improve athletic performance and decrease body fat percentage in healthy young adults.
  • 60 grams of whey protein per day for 12 weeks was effective at decreasing fat mass and increasing lean body mass in overweight men following a calorierestricted diet and resistance training program.
  • Resistance-trained men given whey protein supplements (1.5 g/kg body wt/day) for 11 weeks showed improvements in strength and double the gain in lean body mass compared to groups supplemented with carbohydrate, creatine or a combination of creatine and whey protein supplement.

Foods rich in whey protein include cheese, milk and yogurt.