By naturopath Margaret Jasinska
Whey protein may make it easier to achieve your health and fitness goals. Adding a protein powder smoothie to your diet can help you lose weight and tone up. Whey protein powder is made from the protein fragment that separates from milk during cheese production. It is a complete protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids that are the building blocks for production of protein in your body.
Your muscles are made of protein, but protein is also required for the production of some hormones, enzymes, your skin, hair and nails. Whey protein is extremely easy to digest, therefore it is wonderful for people with a sensitive gut or digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, coeliac disease, bloating or reflux. The fact that it’s easy to digest also makes it a convenient pre-workout meal because it won’t weigh you down or make you feel heavy or bloated afterwards.
As you get older, you lose muscle. Apart from a reduction in strength, it also means your metabolism slows down. Muscle is a very metabolically active organ, and people with bigger muscles have a faster metabolism. Men almost always lose weight faster than women and it’s largely because most of the time they have more muscle on their body. Consuming whey protein after a workout enables more efficient muscle repair and helps muscle fibres to grow larger. This is mostly because whey is high in the amino acid leucine, which is the most anabolic (growth promoting) type of protein. Whey also helps to increase satiety. Because it is a complete protein, it is incredibly filling. Having a whey protein smoothie for a meal should leave you feeling full for many hours. Studies have shown that having whey protein as a snack reduces food consumption later on in the day and leads to easier weight loss. If you are trying to lose weight it is important to eat healthy foods in appropriate quantities and get some regular exercise. Adding whey protein to your diet can make that easier.