Is whey protein safe?

February 18th, 2015

What does a 250lb body builder and a newborn baby have in common?  They can both safely drink and benefit from whey protein. Whey protein is one of many protein powders that have rocketed to the top of the protein supplement world.  Unlike so many other protein powders, Whey protein is incredibly effective while being 100% safe.  Used in everything from nutritional packaging aimed at athletes to baby formula, it is a hard combination to find in any other protein powder on the market.

Whey protein is a 100% natural protein powder.   Whey comes from milk.  When milk is made into cheese, the curd makes up the cheese and the whey is the liquid run off.  The liquid whey is separated from the casein and sent through filters to remove all non-whey ingredients. It is then purified in a process called “ion exchange.” The final step is removing the water from the whey by turning it into a powder at a drying tower. The protein powder is then ready to be packaged and consumed. So straight from the cow, separated and dried.  You can’t get a whole lot more natural than that.

The benefits to body builders, weightlifters and anyone who uses protein powder as a nutritional supplement have been proven time and time again.  Most people don’t get enough protein in their diets. So, supplementing with whey protein powder is an excellent and convenient way to get those missing proteins.  Let’s face it, we live in a very busy world.  It is fast paced and time is often a luxury.  Grabbing a whey protein shake not only helps those trying to get in shape but those who just aren’t eating right and are missing protein in their diet.   Whey protein is a perfect, quick and natural solution to this deficit.

Whey protein’s reputation has gone way beyond the healthy supplement stage.  Beyond the muscle building aspects.  Whey protein is being used more and more to help manage and fight against many different diseases.  Diseases effecting the muscles such as Muscular Dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, Parkinson’s disease and others are being treated with Whey protein to help in strengthening the muscles which in turn helps muscle control.  But that is just one small area.  It is being used in studies with breast and colon cancer and is showing great promise.  There are dozens of other areas of medicine and disease study that are using whey protein with very promising results.  Everything from acne to myoclonic disorders (muscle spasms) are experimenting with Whey protein.

It isn’t just whey proteins high protein and 100% natural status that makes it so helpful to your body and to medical research.  Whey protein is full of amino acids.  In fact, it contains an unprecedented 9 amino acids.  There is no other protein powder that kicks in this added benefit.  Those 9 amino acids are incredibly important to your body.  Because your body cannot produce them, your body counts on you to ingest these proteins.  Those 9 amino acids that make whey protein powder so complete are also branch chained amino acids.  Chain amino acids or BCAAs are leucine, isoleucine, and valine.  These chain amino acids have incredible health benefits:  Valine promotes normal growth, repair tissues, regulate blood sugar, and provide the body with energy. Valine helps stimulate the central nervous system, and is needed for proper mental functioning.  Leucine slows muscle degradation by facilitating the creation of muscle proteins. Leucine is used by the liver, body fat, and muscle. Isoleucine pulls it all together.  You can’t make the structural and functional proteins your body depends on — including the protein that makes up muscle, the antibodies used by your immune system, and a variety of hormones — without isoleucine. So whey protein is not just any protein powder.  It is a power house of amino acids that promotes total body health.

What about side effects?  Well, besides gaining essential amino acids, an incredible protein boost, energy and a healthier body, there are no known side effects.  Whey protein is used in baby formula and food as well as protein shakes geared toward the elderly.  These two people groups happen to be the most sensitive, fragile and reactive when it comes to allergies and other body reactions.  There are no known cases of any side effect to anyone, anywhere.  Obviously if you are lactose intolerant, you may have a reaction of sorts but that is a reaction to a food allergy you already possess, not caused by whey protein.  Not all who are lactose intolerant react negatively to whey protein either.  Those with true milk allergies are advised to alert their physician of their choice to try whey and consult with him or her before doing so.  All the medical research done by some of the greatest medical institutions such as Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical, UCLA medical and countless others have yet to come across side effects to Whey protein.

As with any supplement you use, please do your homework when choosing a whey protein to begin supplementing with.  Not all powders are created equal.  It needs to be 100% whey protein.  Read the label very carefully and even check on the manufacturer.  The manufacturer should be an FDA approved facility.  It might require a few minutes of digging online to find this out, but it is very worth it.  Just recently some of the top chain stores, including Walmart, Target, and GNC, were cited and notified to cease and desist their store brand supplements.  They found supplements claiming to be one product (like St. Johns Wart) but lacking any of that product in the supplement whatsoever.  Instead, fillers, powdered rice, carrots and even houseplants were detected.  This is not an isolated incident.  Though not harmful, it is very deceitful.  This is why you may have to pry open your wallet a little more to pay a little bit more to get the purest form of whey protein available.  It should be 100% whey protein – no fillers, flavors or colors added.  Check carefully and do a little research on brands.

Whey protein has some fantastic benefits for your body.  It is completely safe and is an incredible benefit to add to your daily routine.