Know About Whey & Benefits

Whey is the liquid that is left after milk has been processed into cheese. The rennet that is added to milk causes the fatty portion of the milk to coagulate and make curds, and the liquid that remains is whey. Whey is a water-soluble protein that can be processed to produce a powder that can be used in a variety of ways but is most often found in protein bars, meal replacements, and protein shakes. Whey powder is not pleasant to taste in its raw form, so it is packaged as a flavored product with strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla being the most popular and common flavors.

What is whey made up of?

Whey contains not only a high percentage of protein, but it also contains a range of essential amino acids. Proteins are used as building blocks in the body. The body uses protein to build large pieces of your body such as tendons, your organs, and your skin as well as tiny things like neurotransmitters, enzymes, and hormones. Your body produces some amino acids but those that it needs, but does not produce itself, are called essential amino acids, and those must be sourced from the food we eat. Whey contains very important amino acids such as Cysteine and Leucine. Leucine has been shown to be the amino acid that contributes the most the growth, which is why whey protein is very effective in this endeavor.

What are the different types of whey products?

There are three types of whey protein products; concentrate which contains around 80% protein as well as small amounts of milk sugar (lactose) and fat. Isolate which contains around 90% protein with lower levels of many of the nutritional benefits of concentrate and lower levels of lactose. Lastly, there is Hydrolysate (hydrolyzed whey) which is absorbed very quickly as it has been pre-digested. The concentrate is the most popular, the least expensive and the best tasting, but since it does contain some lactose, people that are intolerant of this must be careful when using it.

What are the benefits of whey protein?

The most common use of whey protein is in the fitness industry and is used for building muscle mass and strength. This happens for four reasons;

(a) it contains amino acids and proteins which are the basis of building muscle,

(b) the absorption of whey protein stimulates the release of anabolic hormones such as insulin which contributes to muscle growth,

(c) whey protein contains high levels of leucine which stimulates the growth of muscle and

(d) whey protein is rapidly absorbed by the body and is quickly available for use.

Whey protein can also assist in a weight loss program.Protein boosts your metabolism and reduces your feeling of hunger, so it helps in preserving muscle mass while the body is losing fat.

Whey protein also contains high levels of the amino acid Cysteine. Cysteine promotes levels of the antioxidant Glutathione which has many health benefits. Some of these are the lowering of blood sugar, lowering blood pressure, reducing the symptoms of depression, the increase of bone mineral density, and the improvement of the immune system of HIV+ patients. Whey protein is also very useful as a meal supplement for patients recovering from serious illness, where their appetites are depressed and getting them to eat sufficient food can be problematic.


Whey protein is a very healthy way to add more protein to your diet as it is a high-quality protein that the body readily absorbs. Whey protein powder is a supplement that has been extensively studied, and its health benefits are clear to see.