As your home is composed of wood, metal and glass; your body is composed of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Like wood in your home, protein is the dominant building material used by your body. Your body uses proteins to make enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, hair, skin, nails and more. The quality of your protein generally determines the quality of your health.
BALi Whey is a proprietary non-denatured ,native whey protein that is produced to maintain the full range of all the fragile immune modulating and regenerative components naturally present in fresh raw milk. The milk used to make BALi Whey is from grass-fed cows that graze year-round in natural pastures. There are no genetically engineered materials, hormones, antibiotics, pesticides or other chemicals in BALi Whey.
What Is Whey Protein?
Whey protein is a popular diet supplement among people of all ages. Baby formulas include it, as do nutrition shakes for the elderly. Weight-loss supplements contain whey powder as an appetite suppressor, yet young men buy whey protein powder by the gallon in hopes of building muscle mass.
Much of whey protein's appeal is in its texture. Whey is the liquid left behind when milk is turned to cheese. The protein in whey is one of the two main proteins in milk, the other is a protein called casein. (When an acidic substance such as vinegar is mixed into milk, these two proteins will separate -- the casein proteins glob together to form solids called curds, leaving the whey as a liquid.)
Whey protein may show up in your favorite baked goods or ice cream as a way to replace the consistency of fat without the actual fat.
Like all proteins, whey protein is made of building blocks called amino acids. Protein in the body is primarily used for muscle growth and to repair tissues. When people digest food, they break down the proteins into amino acids, and then use those amino acids to build new proteins.
Body builders prize whey protein as a good source of the amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. Together these amino acids make up the BCAAs (3-branched chain amino acids) that are important in building muscle. There are nine essential amino acids that humans must get from food to survive and thrive. In addition to BCAAS, whey protein also contains all the essential amino acids.
Early studies have linked whey protein supplements with a stronger immune system and athletic endurance. But whey protein supplements are touted as a way to increase energy, fight stress and improve mental focus.
Do whey protein supplements work?
Whey protein supplements can certainly provide high-quality protein in the diet. But most health<image003.png> organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommend getting your protein from food and not supplements if given the choice. Meat, poultry, fish, legumes, tofu, eggs, nuts, seeds and milk are all good sources of the essential amino acids people need.
Early studies have shown taking whey protein supplements before or after exercise can improve muscle strength and lean-muscle growth.
Among other protein supplements, small studies show whey protein may have an edge at increasing muscle mass. In one study, researchers at the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Connecticut divided 63 men and women into groups receiving a soy supplement, a whey supplement or a carbohydrate supplement. Over the course of a nine-month training regimen, researchers found that those taking whey protein gained several more kilograms of muscle mass than people taking the other supplements, according to the 2013 article published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
But the timing of taking whey protein supplements can change how effective they are. A 2009 joint statement by the American Dietetic Association (ADA), Dietitians of Canada (DC) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) noted that eating protein during exercise did little to improve athletic performance. The statement recommended eating a low-fat, high-carb snack that is moderate in protein content before exercise, to make fuel available to the muscles.
Protein digested after exercise provides the amino acids the body needs to repair and build new muscles. Eating whey protein right after exercise could be especially useful because whey protein has a high level of leucine, an easily absorbed amino acid, according to Joslin Diabetes Center.
Many of whey protein's purported health benefits are linked to a powerful antioxidant called glutathione. The body can make its own glutathione from the amino acid cysteine, and whey happens to be high in cysteine. Studies confirm eating whey protein increases the levels of glutathione in the body. However, there is only preliminary evidence investigating whether whey protein has a meaningful effect on the health of people with conditions linked to low glutathione.
Are whey protein supplements safe?
The safety of whey protein supplements depends largely on the dose. Most Americans eat twice the protein they need, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Athletes can safely eat more protein than people who are not physically active. In fact, an athlete who does not get enough protein will sustain some muscle damage and take longer to recover. The average person needs 0.8 grams of protein a day per every kilogram of body weight. This translates to about 50 to 65 grams of protein a day, or roughly 4 ounces of meat and 1 cup of cottage cheese. On the other hand, an athlete may need 1.2 grams or even up to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight a day, according to various statements by the American Dietetic Association, the American College of Sports Medicine and the International<image003.png> Society of Sports Nutrition.
Because whey is a dairy product, people with milk allergies should avoid whey protein. People who are lactose intolerant should also take caution. Different whey protein powders can vary in calories, and fat and lactose content. Whey protein isolate is 90 percent protein and contains little to no fat, cholesterol or lactose. But whey protein concentrate can have 29 to 90 percent protein, and as the proportion of protein goes down, the fat and lactose content in a whey protein supplement increases. Protein supplements of any kind may cause additional strain on the kidneys if a person has a kidney condition.
Most supplements on the market haven't caused problems, but there is less oversight of supplements sold in the United States than of prescription drugs. In their joint statement, the American Dietetic Association and the American College of Sports Medicine noted some cases of protein supplements also containing anabolic steroids. One 2010 experiment by Consumer Reports tested 15 protein drinks purchased online or from stores in the New York metro area. The study found three products that would exceed the daily limit of arsenic, cadmium and mercury set by the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention if a person consumed more than the three recommended servings.
Whey protein may also interact with some medications. Whey protein supplements can decrease the effectiveness of the Parkinson's drug levodopa. Whey protein supplements may also reduce how much of the osteoporosis drug alendronate is absorbed by the body, making the medicine less effective. Whey protein supplements may reduce the effectiveness of quinolone and tetracycline antibiotics. People with diabetes may experience changes in blood sugar when taking protein supplements.
It is best to talk to your doctor about your athletic goals and personal needs before starting protein supplements. Overall, the International Society of Sports Nutrition considered a short-term regimen of whey protein supplements safe for most healthy adults.