Written by Jason Rickaby - PhD Nutrition Founder
Over the last 5 years, the growth in none-dairy protein sources has been fast.
Gym-goers looking for alternatives to dairy have been looking at a variety of vegan protein sources, such as pea protein, hemp, brown rice and soya-the list goes on. All these plant-based protein sources offer great benefits and most of the serious trainers (and the not so serious ones) that I know, will adopt a combination of all protein sources into their diet, this is just a common-sense approach to nutrition.
The misconception of dairy and gluten allergies
Whilst the celebrity-driven trend to move away from dairy and gluten has no doubt helped to drive the growth in plant protein usage, the reality is, a huge proportion of those not utilising the power of dairy proteins, have no allergy at all. They will have either been misdiagnosed, given bad advice from internet guru’s, or are just jumping onto a fad. The fact is, quality dairy protein (like Whey and Milk Protein Isolate or Concentrate) have a variety of benefits that make them powerhouses of unimaginable and unbeatable quality.
The power of Whey
1- The magic muscle builder
Ok, so benefit number one, most of you will be well aware of, Whey Protein promotes muscle growth. Muscle mass declines with age, but a combination of strength training and a high protein diet has been shown to help prevent this decline (1). Whey protein is a particularly effective ingredient to help with this strategy. Firstly, it is highly bio-available and has an effective digestive pathway, making it an extremely useable protein source. Secondly, Whey Protein is rich in Leucine, the key Branched Chain Amino Acid (BCAA). Data on BCAA’s is rife, but suffice to say that Leucine is the most growth promoting (anabolic) of all the amino acids (2). But the real take home is that if muscle growth is your number one goal, then Whey Protein has been shown, in studies, to be the number one protein source for muscle building (3,4)
2- Whey Protein enhances the body’s immunity
Whey Protein is high in Cysteine, which helps to synthesise the vitally important antioxidant, Glutathione. Glutathione is produced by the body and depends on the supply of Cysteine and other amino acids. High Cysteine foods such as Whey Protein have been shown to boost the body and its natural defence system (2,5). If your immunity is high, you can train harder, more often and live a healthier life.
3- Whey Protein may help reduce bad cholesterol
High levels of LDL (the bad cholesterol) can be a risk for heart disease, in one study using Whey Protein, on overweight individuals, 54 grams of Whey Protein per day, for 12 weeks, led to a significant reduction in total LDL levels. (6).
4- Whey Protein fills you up and can help you lose weight!
Protein is by far the most satiating (filling) of all the three macronutrients (Protein/Carbohydrates/fat) (7). However, whilst Whey Protein appears to have great satiating effects, not all protein sources seem equal. Whey Protein has been shown to be more filling than other protein sources, which make it a great choice for those dieting, looking to lose body fat and/or reduce carbohydrate and calorie intake.
Whey Protein is extremely simple to incorporate into your nutritional plan. PhD supply a variety of great-tasting, easy to use, superior Whey Protein-based products:
2- Kimball SR1, Jefferson LS- Signaling pathways and molecular mechanisms through which branched-chain amino acids mediate translational control of protein synthesis. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):227S-31S.
3- Hartman JW1, Tang JE, Wilkinson SB, Tarnopolsky MA, Lawrence RL, Fullerton AV, Phillips SM. Consumption of fat-free fluid milk after resistance exercise promotes greater lean mass accretion than does consumption of soy or carbohydrate in young, novice, male weightlifters. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Aug;86(2):373-81.
4- Tang JE1, Moore DR, Kujbida GW, Tarnopolsky MA, Phillips SM- Ingestion of whey hydrolysate, casein, or soy protein isolate: effects on mixed muscle protein synthesis at rest and following resistance exercise in young men. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2009 Sep;107(3):987-92. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00076.2009. Epub 2009 Jul 9.
6- Pal S1, Ellis V - The chronic effects of whey proteins on blood pressure, vascular function, and inflammatory markers in overweight individuals. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Jul;18(7):1354-9. doi: 10.1038/oby.2009.397. Epub 2009 Nov 5.