Cow milk contains two major proteins; 20% whey and 80% casein. Whey protein is extracted from whey in milk. Although, whey itself is a protein, however, the term “whey protein” is specifically used for the powdered product extracted from whey, which contains more than 80% of protein by weight.
Whey is basically the liquid left after cheese production. Back in time, this liquid was discarded by cheese makers, as they were not aware of its importance. Now a day, whey undergoes through a series of mechanical and chemical processes like drying, filtration, pasteurization, before it is packed in jars under the label of whey protein, which is being utilized these days.
Composition and Nutritional Facts:
Generally it has:-
- -lactoglobulin ~35%.
- -lacto albumin ~12%.
- Glycomacropeptide ~12%.
- Proteose peptone 3 ~12%.
- Immunoglobulin ~8%.
- Serum albumin ~5%.
- Lactoferrin ~1%.
- Lacto peroxidase ~0.5%.
- Minor proteins ~15%.
Typical serving size is one scope, but it can vary from brand to brand and so the nutritional composition. For general review, one of the brands has following nutritional composition for one scope (29.4g) of whey protein.
- Energy 110kcals.
- Fat 0.9g.
- Saturated fat 0.5g.
- Carbohydrates (sugars) 1.3g (1.1g).
- Protein 24.2g.
- Salt 0.193g.
- Calcium 141mg.
- Sodium 77mg.
Types of Whey Protein:
Usually it has three forms:-
- Concentrate whey protein: It has a small amount of carbohydrates and fats and 29%-89% protein by weight.
- Whey isolate: They have more than 90% of protein by weight and fats and carbohydrates are removed in this form.
- Hydrolyzed whey protein: This form is a partially hydrolyzed form, because of this it is easy to digest.
Pros and Cons of Whey Protein:
Following are some evidence based beneficial effects of whey protein:-
1. Good protein source:
It is a good source of adding proteins if your diet is already lacking it, but it is of no importance, if added in diet which is already supplying ample amount of proteins.
2. Power pack of amino acids:
Whey protein has all essential amino acids required by body; it is rich in leucine which is known for growth production and aids in muscle protein synthesis.
3. Increase muscle mass:
I is rich in leucine which is known for growth production and aids in muscle protein synthesis.
4. Potent anti-oxidant:
It can serve as an antioxidant as well, cysteine in whey protein helps in synthesis of potent antioxidant; glutathione.
5. Aids in weight loss:
It is effective for weight loss too because it is an excellent protein source. It gives a feeling of satiety and increase energy expenditure as well.
Possible side effects of whey protein are:-
Over-consumption can cause allergic reactions to those who are allergic to milk.
2. Digestive issues:
Whey protein is not an organic product, people who are willing to add protein in their diet should go for natural sources of protein to avoid many digestive issues like cramping, nausea, flatulence and diarrhea.
3. Not good for all:
Persons with medical conditions like any kidney disease should avoid taking it. Avoid using it during pregnancy because no sufficient evidence supports its use during pregnancy.