A Washington State University research study was conducted that looked at a group who drank a daily shake with whey protein for 6 weeks. What they found was that the participants dropped their
blood pressure by 8 points.
Susan Fleugel the lead study author believes what is happening here is that the whey protein may be improving the function of the blood vessel linings so they better regulate blood pressure.
If you don’t already consume a protein shake then you may want to start : )
Here is a list of other benefits that whey protein may provide…
1. Increase the Thermic Effect of Food: Your body may burn potentially up to 30% of the protein calories you consume just to digest that protein. Compare that to only 3-7% of the carbs you eat and digest.
This can be significant when you are trying to lose weight and increase your metabolism to burn more calories.
2. Sparing of muscle protein loss: When dieting or even being a couch potato it is easy for the body to shed lean muscle because it is this muscle tissue that costs us energy. So why not get rid of it so we don’t have to worry about feeding it.
That is what the body is thinking to preserve itself. Well, your body is wrong because this is what leads to more fat storage. We need to preserve that lean muscle so that it continues to burn calories for us and helps to keep us lean. Short term studies have reported that whey protein consumption helps with keeping this lean muscle.
3. Improved glycemic control: When you incorporate protein such as whey protein into your diet we already mentioned that it increases the rate at which you burn calories in regards to digestion, but it is also going to help your body use the sugars you do it more for energy rather than store them as fat.
It does this by releasing glucagon which is the antagonist to insulin. This prevents your body from releasing too much insulin, which then promotes fat storage. Protein consumption also keeps your blood sugars from rising too fast, which also then causes your insulin to spike up.
Whey protein helps to control the key hormones that encourage fat storage and allows your body to burn the calories for energy instead.
Here’s a couple of things to consider before purchasing your next batch of whey protein…
1. The Whey Protein comes from healthy cows:
- The nutrients that cows eat effect the quality of its milk and the whey protein it yields. Cows should eat grass not corn and grain.
- Also, how the cows themselves are raised – are they allowed to roam freely in a pasture or packed in a barn unable to move willingly – effects the quality of its milk and whey protein it produces.
Suffice to say I would avoid whey from industrially grain fed cows.
2. The Whey Protein is NOT over processed using harmful manufacturing methods:
- A lot of manufacturing processes utilize methods that literally “cook” the whey protein. The end result is a denatured protein – leaving it in less absorbable isolate form that may even be harmful to consume over the long run.
Overall, whey protein can be a powerful way of easily getting more protein in your diet (especially if you’re a busy person).
FYI: Here’s the two companies I use for whey and the ones I recommend to all my clients (including my Mother)…
Till next time,
Eat clean & be lean!
P.S. If you are a vegan, vegetarian or have a lactose intolerance, hemp protein is a great alternative (and a complete protein source) to whey protein. My friends over at Onnit.com have a great hemp protein powder called Hemp Force.