What makes whey protein so valuable for health and well-being?
It is well known that protein as part of a balanced diet is vital for our body functions, strength and health. Protein contributes to muscle mass and is needed for normal growth and development of bones in children. It also helps the body absorb nutrients from food. In other words, protein is packed with a wide range of health benefits. But did you know that there are different types of proteins and that not all of them carry the same benefits?
All about essential amino acids
To understand the differences between various sources of protein, we need to look at amino acids. These are the building blocks of protein, and they are found in different combinations depending on the protein source. In total, there are 20 amino acids, 9 of which can only be obtained through diet. These are called essential amino acids. Whey protein contains all of the essential amino acids, making it a highly valuable source of protein.
During the day, protein is continually broken down and used by the body. Therefore, it is important to eat protein regularly to replace this turnover. As whey protein is easy to use in daily cooking and easy to absorb, it is a convenient way to meet your protein needs. If you need inspiration to get started with whey protein, check out these simple and delicious recipes.
Now, the next question is how much protein do you need a day?
Here the answer is more complex. Your protein requirements can vary depending on your age, lifestyle and overall health. This means that there is no one–size–fits–all answer to the question. If your body is growing (as in the case of children or teenagers) or if you do intense exercise, you will need more protein than someone with a more sedentary lifestyle. Some people also eat a protein-rich diet as part of a weight loss plan. Protein can make you feel full for longer, which reduces overeating.
Read more about how to ensure the right levels of protein
Protein is valuable for the over-fifties
Older people in particular need more protein to counteract the muscle loss that comes with age, a condition called sarcopenia. If you have passed the milestone age of 50, this might be something you have noticed. Researchers have found that you can counteract this age-related muscle loss to a certain degree through various adaptations to your daily life. For example, adding more protein to your diet and ensuring regular exercise can help you stay fit and healthy.
Find out more about protein and the ageing process
So, is whey protein good for you?
The short answer is yes. There are many benefits associated with whey protein – not only because it contains all the required essential amino acids, but also because it is fast and easy to absorb by the body. That is why this naturally occurring protein has become increasingly popular in recent years as a protein source with a high nutritional value.
To help you find out if you are getting enough protein in your daily diet, try out this simple test that estimates your protein needs based on answers to three easy questions.