Of all the nutrition you gain from food, proteins are the most important. Hence it is compared to ‘King’ and is much loved. People like to include food rich in proteins to re-gain or maintain their healthy life. Under proteins, demand for whey proteins tops the list. Are you wondering what a whey protein is and why is it considered as best supplements? Read on to expand your knowledge regarding whey proteins.
What is whey protein?
Milk basically consists of Casein and Whey. Whey protein is separated from casein and is produced as a by-product of cheese and curd manufacturing. It is considered as a good source of complete protein. It is rich in 9 essential amino acids and has low lactose. It helps in strengthening muscles and promotes the growth of lean tissue mass. Hence whey proteins are generally used as a best supplementation by gym goers and sports people/athlete.
How is whey protein obtained?
Nearly 20% of the protein obtained in cow milk is whey. During the process of making cheese and curd, milk under goes a structured process of pasteurization, inoculation and incubation. Rennet extracts (enzymes extracted from the stomachs of newborn calves) is added to milk which assists the coagulation and separates milk into curds and whey. This is how whey is extracted and obtained from milk.
Whey protein composition
The composition of whey proteins vary from one species to another. Factors like the stage of lactation and intrammamary infection may also play a vital role in the variation of the composition. Beta-lactoglobulin and Alpha-lactalbumin are the major known composition of whey proteins in cow milk. Apart from these, whey protein also contains Immunoglobins and Bovine serum albumin. They act as anti bodies when included in the diet. Whey proteins are popular for its long list of growth factors which helps in resisting diseases. Because of all these proposed benefits, whey protein has gained a good reputation in the food industry.
Types of whey proteins
Below discussed are three primary types of whey proteins.
- Whey protein concentrate – It is also known as WPC. It contains small levels of fat and carbohydrates. In WPC the percentage of proteins depends on how concentrated it is. Lower and higher end concentrates tend to have 30% and 90% proteins respectively.
- Whey protein isolate – It is also known as WPI. It is further processed to take away all the fat and lactose from milk. WPI generally consists of at least 90% protein.
- Whey protein hydrolysate –It is also known as WPH. It is considered to be the "pre-digested" form of whey protein, as whey protein would have undergone partial hydrolysis (a process which is essential for the body to absorb protein). WPH does not require much digestion when compared to other forms of whey protein. Because of such remarkable qualities such as easily digesting and reducing allergen potential, it is used in medical protein supplements and infant formulas as well.
Health benefits of whey protein
There are several health benefits of whey protein. Few are listed below;
- It aids weight loss and helps you in coping with stress.
- It has remarkable anti-cancer properties.
- It lowers cholesterol levels.
- It improves immunity in children with asthma.
- It reduces fat and maintains muscles.
- It helps in lowering blood pressure.
- It lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and fights cancer.
- It reduces hunger.
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