What Is Whey Protein? Its Health Benefits, Side Effects And Types

Whey proteins, you might have heard of them but do not know what they are, or you might not have, and now since you are here you might as well read on.  So let’s weigh in (pardon the pun) on the question what is whey protein?

For a second, imagine your life without proteins! I know it won’t shape up. Yes, that was literal humor. If you haven’t been to school or have spent your whole life among ignorant hecklers then you ought to know that Proteins are one of the most essential chemical compounds you’ll ever come across.

They are large, complex molecules that are crucial for structuring your body and performing many functions. They do most of the work in cells and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs.

Proteins are made up of hundreds or thousands of “building blocks” called amino acids, which are interlinked to each another in long chains. There are 20 different types of amino acids that can be combined to make a protein. The sequence of amino acids is responsible for defining each protein’s unique 3-dimensional structure and its specific function.

While some of you may deem what you have as not enough then worry no more because proteins have got your shortcomings covered for you. These whey proteins might be your way to a perfect body.

What is Whey Protein?

Whey protein, is a mixture of proteins isolated from whey, the by-product of cheese formation. Milk is made of two proteins, casein and whey. Whey protein can be separated from the casein in milk, known as whey isolation, or formed as a by-product of cheese making.

Whey protein is considered a complete protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids and is low in lactose, hence whey isolate can be given to individuals who are lactose intolerant, but want to gain all the benefits of milk.

Whey protein is commonly used by body-builders and gym dwellers. The most common form of whey protein is in powder form. It is quite often targeted as a dietary supplement and has been used quite extensively in the alt-medication department.

Types Of Whey Protein?

There are several popular types of whey protein available in the market. The main difference between them is the way they have been processed. They can differ in terms of protein content ranging anywhere between 30% and 100% which is the gold standard depending on the whey type, taste since protein powder has artificial sweeteners and flavors added like chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, digestibility since it can contain other added nutrients and can depend on how smooth or coarse the powder is and price ranging from $10 to $50 depending on brand.There are three main types of whey proteins.

what is whey protein

  • Isolate: It has 90% or higher protein content. it contains less lactose and fat, and lacks a lot of the beneficial nutrients found in whey protein concentrate.
  • Concentrate: It contains approximately 70 to 80% protein content, and has some lactose and fat content. Typically, it has the best flavor.
  • Hydrolysate: It is also recognized as hydrolyzed whey. Hydrolysate whey is pre-digested so that it can be absorbed much quicker. According to previous studies, it can cause a 28 to 43% greater spike in insulin levels compared to isolate whey.

Whey Protein Composition

  • Beta-lactoglobulin

    The major whey protein found in cow and sheep milk, in approximately 3 grams per liter concentration. It is also present in many other mammalian species except humans. Its structure is shown to fight many disease causing pathogens.

  • Alpha-lactalbumin

    The primary protein in human milk, and is therefore extremely important for infant nutrition. It is composed of 123 amino acids

  • Bovine serum albumin

    This is a protein derived from cows and used for comparing concentrates of other proteins and enzymes in lab experiments. Hence It is often used as a protein concentration standard in lab experiments.

  • Immunoglobins

    Immunoglobins is the name of class of proteins present in blood serum and cells of the immune system, which function as antibodies, and make up the body’s primary defense mechanism.


what is whey protein

Whey protein concentrate seems to be the best option due to the fact that it is the cheapest and retains most of the beneficial nutrients found naturally in whey. Many people also prefer the taste, which is most likely due to the small amounts of lactose and fat it contains.

If you are more concerned with higher amounts of protein and less amount of fats and sugar or if your body cannot handle lactose, a better option would be to take isolate, which is usually preferred anyways.

 What Is The Optimum Nutrition Of Whey Protein?

Always contact a registered dietitian or nutritionist before taking and supplements especially before taking an amino acid or a protein supplement, so that you could know exactly the amount of supplements you need.

generally, non-active adults need around 0.8 g of protein per kilogram of body weight daily, while active individuals may need as much as 1.7 g for the same body weight.

If some of your protein comes from powder supplements, ensure that the supplement you use has all of the essential amino acids.

Many nutritionists state that if you are supplementing with BCAAs, a common recommendation is a ratio of two parts leucine to one-part isoleucine and one-part valine. The Reference Daily Intake RDA value for BCAAs is 14 mg per kilogram of bodyweight for leucine and 10 mg for the other two.

Muscle Enhancements Ingredients’

Besides protein, flavors and sweeteners, many manufacturers add other ingredients to enhance the product’s nutritional value or taste, or to make it easier to use.

One very common enhancement, and one that most customers prefer, is the addition of small amounts of lecithin granules to protein powder. Lecithin Granules are a healthy fat from soy. It’s added to improve the mix-ability of the powder and reduce clumping. Unlike other soy foods, lecithin does not have any phytoestrogen compounds and makes a great addition to a protein shake.

Many consumers actually add lecithin granules to shakes for memory enhancing and cardiovascular benefits.

Other protein powders are enhanced with digestive enzymes to help improve the absorption of large servings of protein.

Another way to enhance a protein powder is by adding amino acids to improve its nutritional value. Although whey protein contains all the necessary amino acids, it doesn’t provide them in equal amounts. By adding amino acids like glutamine, BCAAs, and arginine the nutritional benefits of that protein are extended and enhanced.


Glutamine is an amino acid that affects the processes of growth and function of cells in the stomach and intestines.

Glutamine is a medical food product that is used to supplement dietary sources of glutamine. This medicine is used to treat a glutamine deficiency, or a loss of glutamine caused by injury or illness.

Branched Chain Amino Acid (BCAAs)

BCAAs and the remaining essential amino acids in protein powders have an identical supplemental purpose: the preservation and increase of muscle tissue. Leucine is particularly important to muscle growth.

(BCAA) are composed of three vital amino acid extracted from animals. These are leucine, isoleucine and valine. All of three are structurally similar with branch chain residue and similar metabolic fate which is evident by their common membrane transport system and involvement of common enzymes for their transamination and breakdown

These amino acids account for the major part of amino acids in our diet, approximately 35 to 40% and 14-18% portion of these amino acids are involved in synthesizing proteins which are required for muscle development.

our muscles readily convert leucine into energy when we’re intensely working out, which safeguards and prevents the breakdown of muscle tissue. While BCAAs are the most crucial amino acids for muscle tissue development, the World Health Organization emphasizes that you need to consume all of the essential amino acids in your diet to maintain proper nitrogen balance in your body.

Leucine is one of the main amino acids that initiates muscle protein synthesis in one’s body, but so does the essential amino acid glutamine.

Consuming a protein powder that has both glutamine and leucine may promote greater muscle protein synthesis than consuming a supplement lacking any one of these essential amino acids.

Hence if whey protein powder has high levels of all of the essential amino acids, including the BCAAs, then it will obviously perform better at starting the process of protein synthesization and overall as a muscle growth supplement than a focused BCAA protein powder like casein, which has less leucine.

Essentially what it means is that your performance will depend on the supplement you’re taking. If it contains whey and all the BCAAs then that would be the most effective in muscle growth


L-arginine was first isolated in 1886, reportedly from the extract of a lupine (Lupinus spp.) seedling. Lupinus is a genus in the legume (Fabaceae) plant family.

Arginine is an amino acid normally made by the body. Arginine is also found in many foods that have protein.

Arginine becomes nitric oxide (a blood vessel-widening agent called a vasodilator) in the body.

Early evidence suggests that arginine may help treat medical conditions that improve with increased vasodilation. These conditions include chest pain, atherosclerosis (clogged arteries), heart disease, heart failure, erectile dysfunction, peripheral vascular disease, and headaches from blood vessel swelling).

Arginine also triggers the body to make protein and has been studied for healing wounds, bodybuilding, enhancing sperm production, and preventing tissue wasting in people with critical illnesses.

 What Is The Purpose Of Whey Protein?

Eating a diet that’s rich in protein has several health benefits, ranging from an increase in muscle mass whilst decreasing overall body fat, to an increase in energy and vitality during the day. Because it is essential that you have a high protein rich breakfast.

Most people associate protein with athletes and bodybuilders. We’ve all seen some of our more athletic friends and high profile celebrities drinking protein shakes after a training session and eating a diet comprised solely of lean meats before a bodybuilding show or an intense workout session.

Protein is one of the most important nutrients for staying fit and healthy. It’s an integral unit of every muscle cell in the human body, playing an important role in the development and maintenance of tissue, bones and blood.

But protein is good for more than just athletic ability and strong muscles. Protein is a vital building block for your hair, your skin and your nails. It’s also a useful source of energy for your body, helping you stay alert and focused throughout the day.

Hence a diet rich in lean meat, eggs, vegetables, nuts and milk will give you the essential protein your body needs.

The main use of whey protein supplements, is for building muscle mass and strength. Due to which whey supplements are commonly used by athletes, bodybuilders, fitness models, as well as people looking to improve their overall performance, endurance and stamina in the gym.

It can also be used by beginners who are looking to have a head start in the gymming community, since whey can vitalize their energy and also help lose fat.

Benefits Of Whey

Whey protein supplements are mainly used for building muscle mass and strength. It does this in a variety of ways:

It increases the release of anabolic hormones that can stimulate muscle  , such as Insulin, which speed up the process of protein synthetization.

It supplies protein and amino acids, which are the building blocks of many bodily structures, hence further increase muscle growth and improve cellular functions.

Whey protein is absorbed and used quite rapidly compared to other types of protein and compared to protein rich meals, due to having high concentrate of protein and due to it being in powder form.

Whey protein has been shown to be particularly effective at increasing muscle growth when taken right before, during or after a workout session, but muscle protein synthesis is usually maximized in the time period after training has ended.

However, recent studies have all shown that total daily protein intake is the most important factor in muscle growth. These studies show that at what time protein is taken has little impact.

Whey has supply amounts of the Leucine amino acid, which has shown to trigger protein synthesis at both the molecular and genetic level.

  1. Whey Helps In Weight Loss

The other health benefit of protein supplements is that they can help in weight loss. Taking whey protein is a great way to meet one’s daily protein requirements, which can lead to reduced weight.

A randomized control trial looked at the effects of whey proteins (concentrate, isolate, or hydrolystate) on body weight and body composition, with or without resistance training.

The researchers looked at body weight, body mass index (BMI), body fat, lean body mass (LBM), fat-free mass (FFM), and waist circumference.

The results of the study showed that weigh proteins indeed help in weight loss and improving body lean mass. Hence the study supported its use as a supplement combined with resistance exercise or as part of a weight loss or weight maintenance diet, to improve body composition parameters.

  1. Whey Can Make You Feel Fuller

Moreover, consuming protein has shown to increase the satisfaction of feeling full and helped in reducing cravings, boost metabolism and cut the urges for late night snacks.

A study looked at the effects of protein on perceived appetite and satiety during weight loss. A total of 27 overweight/obese men took part in the study. The participants were restricted to a diet of either high proteins or normal proteins diet for 12 weeks.

The normal protein diet group had 13 members while high protein diet group had 13 individuals. High proteins were considered proteins that delivered 25% of energy as protein, while normal protein delivered 14% energy as protein.

protein intake resulted in 25% reduction in calorie consumption and 60% reduction in late night eating.

Hence the results showed that compared to normal protein group the high protein group experienced greater fullness throughout the day, lower desire to eat later in night. When compared to other types of protein, such as soy protein, whey protein has often performed a bit better.

Therefore, if you’re trying to lose weight, then a whey protein supplement can help you both lose weight and keep your body shape by maintaining muscle mass. Protein has shown to help weight loss by boosting metabolism and reducing urge to eat, which means that more calories are burnt and fewer calories are consumed.

what is whey protein

  1. Proteins Can Fight off disease

If that wasn’t enough proteins have also shown to safeguard against many serious diseases. A study by Indiana University scientists has found the that the NMNAT2 enzyme may offer protection against the debilitating effects of certain degenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s Disease.

The enzyme helps to regulate neurons from over activity, over excitation and safeguards against being burnt out to combat the misfolded proteins encountered by the brain during aging.

Researchers from South Korea concluded that milk proteins help protect against certain cardiovascular disease after they conducted trials on mice, since they lowered triglyceride and cholesterol levels which help fight off acute pulmonary thromboembolism.

  1. Whey protein Can Help Fight Diabetes

According to a 2014 study by Tel Aviv University, a whey protein drink before breakfast can control erratic glucose levels associated with type 2 diabetes.

The study published in Diabetologia has found that taking whey protein before meals decreases the blood sugar spikes observed after meals. Whey also improves the body’s insulin response mechanism, putting it in the same range or even higher than that produced by most common anti-diabetic drugs.

The study was conducted on 15 participants with well-managed type 2 diabetes at Wolfson Medical Center. The participants were randomly assigned to either receive 50 grams of whey in 250 ml water or a placebo solution, followed by a standardized high-glycemic index breakfast of three slices of white bread and sugary jelly, a meal specially created to produce the maximum post-meal glucose spike.

The researchers found that glucose levels were reduced by 28% after the whey pre-load over the 3 hour post-meal period, with a uniform reduction during early and late phases. With whey pre-load, insulin andGlucagon-like peptide-1 GLP-1 responses also were significantly higher 105% and 141% respectively, producing a 96% increase in early insulin response.

  1. Whey Can Prevent Eczema

Some studies suggest that breast milk and hydrolyzed cow’s milk based formula reduce risk for eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis in infants. Eczema is a common medical condition in which areas of skin become rough and inflamed with blisters which cause itching and bleeding.

However, previously detailed reviews had differences between themin terms of formulas that differ in protein source and technique and extent of hydrolysis. To compare the frequency of eczema among infants fed partially hydrolyzed 100% whey protein formula (PHF-W) with infants who were given regular cow’s milk–based formula, researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 18 studies which equaled 12 study populations and included approximately 1000 infants. In all studies except one, infants were considered at high risk for allergy.

Overall, risk for atopic dermatitis or atopic outcomes that included atopic dermatitis was 45% lower in infants who were given partially hydrolyzed 100% whey protein formula compared to infants fed cow’s milk–based formula. In analysis of studies that reported outcomes at age 6 months, 12 months, and 36 months, risk was 59%, 41%, and 24% lower at each age, respectively.

Meta-analysis of four studies which included a total of 749 infants that were randomly grouped in which eczema was the main observable outcome, included only infants with first-degree relatives with atopic or allergic disease, and were judged to be of high quality showed a 55% risk reduction during the early stage of the infants’ lives.

The bottom-line is that whey proteins can help increase fat loss, while preserving lean muscle mass and help prevent many life threatening diseases.

Alternative Of Whey Protein

Following this the best choice would be a fast digesting protein source. Whey protein is a fast digesting protein source, but there are other alternatives. Fish protein, Egg white protein, Soy protein and Casein protein etc are just a few great natural protein sources that you can choose from.

Another great idea is Plant blend protein, an all-natural plant based protein and you can make a quick digesting shake that will fuel your muscle repair right away.

Plant Blend Protein

Plant protein powders are a popular alternative to whey for those that don’t eat animal products. Majority of plant protein powders are blends of various ingredients, unless they specifically state otherwise. Most plant protein blends contain a mix of soy, pea, rice, spirulina, or dried and powdered leafy greens.

There are two major advantages of plant blend powders. First off they are often hypoallergenic, especially blends with peas or rice. If you have a soy allergy be sure to double-check ingredient lists.

The second advantage is that plant blend powders are often much easier for people to digest. This means they are more effective and the body is better able to absorb all of the nutrients.

many plant proteins do contain essential amino acids, but not in the same quantity as those found in animal sources like eggs and dairy products. Most of these do contain antioxidants as well, obtained from many organic plant and fruit bases. It is definitely possible to obtain all nine essential amino acids necessary for muscle growth and proper cellular function with a balanced vegan diet.

Just like whey powder supplements plant blend protein supplements come in a variety of flavors and brand names.

CASEIN Protein

Casein is a type of protein that is found abundantly in milk. It is found in 80% abundance in cow milk and about 20% abundance in human milk. Casein is used widely as a major constituent of cheese and as food additive. Casein supplies amino acids, carbohydrates, and the two important minerals involved in bone formation calcium and phosphorus.

When compared to casein, there have been mixed results. Results have shown that whey appears to be effective over a short-term duration, but casein stimulates muscle growth for a longer time frame, however the main outcome appears to be similar.

However, it is important to remember that unless your diet is already lacking in protein, supplementing with whey is unlikely to have a huge effect on your health.

In a study of elderly individuals who were already eating adequate protein, there was no difference in muscle growth between whey and carbohydrate, during 12 weeks of resistance training.

Whey protein supplements have also shown to cause allergic reactions because they contain undeclared milk allergen and soy allergen. Individuals who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to specific type of milk and soy can face extremely serious or even fatal allergic reaction if they consume these products. Due to which FDA had to intervene and recall certain supplements.

The recall process was started because it was discovered that product containing whey and soy lecithin was distributed in packaging that did not list allergens on the food label. Further investigation indicated, that the problem was caused by a temporary breakdown in the company’s production and packaging processes.

Although underutilization of skeletal muscle and malnutrition are often suggested as possible reversible causes of frailty in elders, the efficacy of interventions targeted specifically in these scenarios has not been properly investigated.

Scientists conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled trial that compared progressive resistance exercise training, multi nutrient supplementation, both interventions, and none of them in 100 weak elders living in nursing homes over a 2 and a half month period. The results were published in NEJM.

There were 63 women and 37 men enrolled in the study. The mean age of the participants was 87.1, give or take 0.6 years. 94% of the subjects completed the study. Muscle strength increased by 113% in the subjects who underwent exercise training, as compared with 3% in the participants who did not exercise.

Stair-climbing power also improved in the exercisers as compared with the nonexercisers, as did the level of spontaneous physical activity. Cross-sectional thigh-muscle area increased by 2.7 ±1.8 percent in the exercisers but decreased in the nonexercisers.

However, the nutritional supplement had no effect on any observable outcomes. Total energy intake was significantly increased only in the participants who were physically active who also received nutritional supplementation.

High-intensity resistance exercise training is a feasible and effective means of counteracting muscle weakness and physical frailty in very elderly people. In contrast, multi nutrient supplements without exercise do not reduce muscle weakness or physical frailty.

Therefore, the evidence of whey protein on muscle and strength is mixed, and the results may vary greatly between individuals.

If you’re diet already consists of high protein meals such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy, then the benefits of adding whey will most likely be minimal.

 Soy Protein

Like whey protein is extracted from milk, soy protein is extracted from soybean meal, which is used extensively in food and animal fodder, mostly as a protein supplement, but also as a source energy that is easy to metabolize.

Soy protein products are mostly used as ingredients in formulated foods and are rarely used by the public for other purposes. They consist of four main categories. Most soy proteins are derived from “white flakes,” made by dehulling, which is the process of removing the hull of a seed and can be applicable to more than just soybeans, flaking and defatting soybeans by hexane extraction.

These may then be milled into defatted flours or grits which have almost 50 to 54% protein; extracted with ethanol or acidic liquids to remove excess flavor nutrients and excess sugars, producing concentrated soy protein containing 65 to 70% protein; or processed into soy protein isolates which has the highest amount of protein containing 90% or more protein after undergoing a lot of post processing.

Egg White Protein

There’s more protein in the egg white than there is in the yolk, but they’re both a pretty good source of protein. However, when you concentrate the egg white and put it in powdered form, you are getting far more protein than just eating egg whites.

If you’re looking for a protein supplement that won’t make you gain weight, egg white protein may be the way to go. Because it is the egg whites and not the yolks, you’re getting all of the protein while avoiding the fat and carbohydrates.

Egg white protein is extremely absorbable, because of which our muscles are able to use more of it.As egg whites are naturally free of fat and carbohydrates, they make an extremely reliable protein only source.

Egg protein is also higher in branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), containing approximately 6.7 grams of BCAA versus 5.5 grams in whey.

Whey Protein Post-Workout Or Pre-Workout

Nutrition intake in the meaning of a resistance training (RT) path has a major contribution to body composition and muscle strength. However, the individual and combined effects of whey protein and carbohydrates on long-term resistance training adaptations are not clearly investigated.

A four-week preparatory RT period was conducted in previously untrained males to equalize the training background of the subjects. Thereafter, the subjects were randomly divided into three groups: one group of 22 individuals received 30 g of whey proteins, the other group of 21 individuals was given maltodextrinisocaloric carbohydrates, while the third group which had 25 individuals was given combination of protein and carbohydrates.

Within these groups, the subjects were further randomized into two whole-body 3 month RT training routine focusing on treatment for either for muscle hypertrophy and maximal strength or muscle strength, hypertrophy and power.

The post-exercise drink was always ingested immediately after the exercise bout, 2 to 3 times per week depending on the training period. Body composition, quadriceps femoris muscle cross-sectional area, maximal strength and serum lipids as basic markers of cardiovascular health, were assessed before and after the intervention methods.

The results showed that the 3 month RT period led to an increase in muscle mass free of fat, muscle size and strength independent of post-exercise nutrient consumption.

However, the whey protein group reduced more total and abdominal area fat when compared to the carbohydrate group independent of the type of RT performed. Thus, a larger relative increase (per kg bodyweight) in fat-free mass was observed in the protein compared to carbohydrate group without any major differences to the combined group.

No systematic effects of the interventions were found for serum lipids. The exercise type did not have an overall effect.

What the study signifies is the fact thatpost-exercise supplementation with whey proteins when compared to carbohydrates or when compared to mixof both proteins and carbohydrates did not have a major effect on muscle size or strength when taken two to three times per week.

However, whey proteins may increase abdominal fat loss and relative fat-free massin response to resistance training when compared to quick action carbohydrates.

Beginner’s Guide To Protein Supplements

You must be living under a rock if you are still unfamiliar with the vast array of protein supplements available at your disposal. Some of the most popular choices have been discussed above.

If you’re a professional athlete, or someone’s who’s just started working out it’s essential you know what options you have and how you can make the best choice out of all the options available.

Whether you’re adding it as part of your protein shake or smoothie delight, these tips will help you get the most out of your supplement and will make you well equipped to tackle the pleasurable yet painful journey of lifting weights.

Is whey protein plant based or animal based?

It’s milk based

Do You Even Need Supplements?

Many gym-goers grab a tub and start adding shakes to their diet without first considering why or if they need protein powder at all. Hence it will greatly depend on your diet and gym goals. If you are getting plenty of protein in your normal diet than they may not be needed at all.

If you meet your daily requirement of protein as recommended by nutritionist then well and good but if not then whey will be more essential.

All Brands Are Generally Equal

One other thing to consider is that all brands generally function the same. So if you come across a product with fancy terms such as “grass-fed” “whole-sourced” or “organic” it is important to keep in mind that there will be little or no difference at all between them except the higher cost of course.


Furthermore, it is important to buy a known brand with years of experience under their belt. There’s no harm if a friend recommends you his preferred choice, always remember to do your own research regarding the brand.

Your work is now done by many reputable brands which use third-party certified brands like Informed Choice who do their own research before certifying them and recommending to their user base.

After you have narrowed down your choices it is extremely important that you check for nutritional info, always. Since at the end of the day, this is what really matters, not the flavor, packaging or brand name.

Make A Smoothie….

Also known as super shakes. These powered up smoothies are what nutritionists call the best way to take your daily dose of protein powder supplement. There are endless choices at a user’s disposal that he can mix and match for days on end.

Not only will it be highly nutritional, it will make for some interesting experiments and tasty (and sometimes weird) cooking experience. Most smoothies will involve putting in the recommended amount of protein powder usually two scoops, with one or two cups of fruits, vegetables and a healthy low fat butter spread.

No more than two shakes each day should be prepared since although healthy, super shakes do not provide same amounts of nutrients and minerals as meals offer, as they can be lost in the preparation process.

Do replenish after an intense workout session, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a full blown protein shake. Fruits and vegetables, low sugar electrolyte drink can work too.

Although protein shakes may be a convenient way to consume calories, it doesn’t mean that they’re always the best option. Whole food sources are still your best bet for getting vital nutrients. 

Possible Side Effects Of Whey

No supplement is perfect, and whey is no exception. Although there are some observable side effects to whey, it is quite safe for most adults when consumed in recommended amounts.Whey protein is quite safe when taken orally as a single dose of up to 50 grams, or 30 grams when taken daily for six months, orally.

However there are some observable adverse reactions to whey in some people.

Whey can cause diarrhea, gastric problems or even bowel movement disorder in people with milk sensitivity, probably due to concentrated amount of lactose in it due to lactose intolerance.

Whey protein can lower blood sugar levels as it increases blood insulin levels. Whey should not be consumed by people suffering from diabetes or diagnosed with low blood sugar levels, and should also be avoided by individuals on certain medications, herbs, or supplements that affect sugar levels in blood.

Blood sugar levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, and medication adjustments may be necessary, if adverse reactions continue.

Whey can also interfere with blood pressure, liver enzymes, kidneys and bronchioles in air passageways. Hence should be avoided by people with a history of kidney diseases such as kidney stones, liver disease or have a history of alcoholism, smoking and congested lungs.

Furthermore, whey protein can cause abnormal heart rhythms, changes in cholesterol levels, migraines, increased diabetes risk, kidney dysfunction, liver damage, stomach or intestine symptoms such as acid reflux, bloating, constipation, cramps, gas, increased bowel movements, movement problems, nausea, and reduced appetite.

5 Whey Powder Natural Alternatives

  • Cottage Cheese: Cheese is not often associated with healthy living, but low fat cottage cheese can be a good alternative to whey powder.Low-fat cottage cheese is packed with high quality protein and amino acids, and since it’s much cheaper than most of the whey powder brands, It’s hard to argue as an alternate source of protein. Cottage cheese is rich in casein protein which is essential for muscle growth as it boosts protein synthesis. A 125 gram serving of cottage contains about 14 g of protein and goes quite well to spice up your regular salad recipe.
  • Nuts: Nuts are quite commonly used by many folks as a casual healthy snack to munch on. Not only are they quite addictive, they contain protein, and essential fatty acids. Since they are a good energy source without any of the calories they are good for cardiovascular health and provide essential minerals as well. They are another good alternative to whey powder.


what is whey protein

  • Egg whites: Eggs contain about 6 grams of high quality protein. Moreover since they are also practically free from carbs and fat, egg whites are often used as an alternative for whey powder. Eggs are also a rich source of vitamins, including A, E and K and a range of B vitamins such as B12, which provides energy, and folic acid, which is used in iron deficiency. Eggs also contain all eight essential amino acids needed for optimal muscle recovery and provide minerals like calcium, zinc, iron and selenium which are necessary for proper cell functions.
  • Fish: Fish is a rich source of protein as 100g of salmon can contain about 26g of protein. Not only that fish is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids which can lower bad cholesterol lower elevated triglyceride levels, hence preventing potential cardiovascular diseases. Since fish has a high protein content and provides many other nutrients it can be a good replacement for whey powder.
  • Brown rice: Brown rice protein is an excellent source of amino acids, even though it doesn’t contain as many as animal based protein sources, they are best when used part of vegan diet that already has amino acids provided by plant based sources. Brown rice has more fiber, more protein, less sugar and carbs and is healthier than white rice. It is also rich in methionine, an essential amino acid which has shown to reduce risk of diabetes, psychosis, and Parkinson’s and improve the immune system. Hence it is also a good source of protein and essential nutrients, and can be a good alternate to whey powder.

Co Author : Fazeel Ashraf

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