Beloved by athletes and bodybuilders, whey protein’s benefits also offer a boost for the average person looking to improve their health.
Whey protein is a popular supplement used by athletes and bodybuilders to help build muscle and improve strength—but its benefits reach far beyond the gym. Whey protein is well-researched, and studies show that it offers an impressive list of health benefits that range from weight loss to lowering cholesterol.
Whey protein comes from whey—the liquid that separates from milk when making cheese. It’s a high-quality protein that contains all nine essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins vital for muscle growth and repair. They are also crucial for making hormones, supporting immune function, and providing structure to your bones, hair, nails, and skin.
Whey protein powder comes in three main types:
Whey Protein Concentrate: This type is the most common and least expensive and contains protein (35–80 percent), fat, and lactose—a sugar found in milk.
Whey Protein Isolate: This type contains protein and is low in lactose and fat (85–90 percent protein)
Whey Protein Hydrolysate: This type is pre-digested, or broken down, with enzymes so it is more easily absorbed.