What is the deal with whey protein anyway? Is it good or bad for your health? Should you really consume this product which is meant to enhance gains? These are some questions I have been bombarded with ever since I started blogging about fitness. I decided to do some research and I surprised myself. Keep on reading… you might learn a few things as well!
Did you know that whey is essentially milk? It’s just one of the two proteins found in milk—the other being Casein Protein. Virtually everyone I know (except for those who are vegan, macrobiotic, fruitarian, or ovo-vegetarian) consumes milk, so at face value, whey doesn’t seem dangerous at all. Although it has always seemed harmless to me, I’ve heard from a few people that they’ve heard or read about how consuming whey can cause a decline in kidney function. After a bit of research though, I can assure you that whey is not only safe to consume but even beneficial!
Whey does not cause your kidneys to glitch. Here’s why:
First of all, studies ranging from those done on athletes who have a high protein intake, to those done on obese subjects who participate in a high protein diet for a year, suggest no obvious harm to the kidneys. The studies concluded that as long as someone has a normal renal function, even after intensifying protein intake, no damage is done.
The subjects glomerular filtration rate (an indication of renal health) and renal blood flow do increase, but their kidneys seem to withstand and physically adapt to the pressure without any signal of kidney damage. So if you are a healthy individual with healthy kidneys, you don’t have to worry about consuming excess protein. Take the whey!
With this knowledge you can begin to enjoy the benefits of taking whey.
Did you know that whey also contains amino acids?
When you are trying to build and maintain muscle, amino acids are your best friend. You can even lose weight because the leucine (which is a branched chain amino acid) not only prevents muscle tissue from breaking down, it actually promotes fat loss.
And when you think that whey is only for muscles and weight loss, other research suggests that it can even help boost your immune system functions because of an increase in glutathione in the body when why is consumed.
So the answer is a big YES. If you’ve been skeptical about the benefits of whey, or were hesitant because of the possible downside, worry no more—whey is the way.
Sources for this blog post include:
Poortmans JR, Dellalieux O Do regular high protein diets have potential health risks on kidney function in athletes . Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. (2000)
Sindayikengera S, Xia WS Nutritional evaluation of caseins and whey proteins and their hydrolysates from Protamex . J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. (2006)
Nilsson M, Holst JJ, Björck IM Metabolic effects of amino acid mixtures and whey protein in healthy subjects: studies using glucose-equivalent drinks . Am J Clin Nutr. (2007)
Gaiam Life on Vegetarianism Labels
From Veggie Revolution: Smart Choices for a Healthy Body And a Healthy Planet by Sally Kneidel and Sara Kate Kneidel. © 2005 Fulcrum Publishing.