Lose fat and preserve muscle (aka tone). Have you reduced your caloric intake hoping to shed some flab? If so, you might be interested to learn that researchers in Minnesota conducted a 12-week study where subject’s daily caloric intake was reduced by 500 calories. They then gave some participants whey and the rest were given an isocaloric mix beverage. Those consuming whey lost a significantly greater amount of body fat (6.1% total) and better preserved their muscles. If you have an urge to snack on something, try a whey protein bar.
Reduce hunger. Hungry? Whey could help you reduce hunger and avoid developing a King of Queens character Doug Heffernan-like physique. Australian researchers had 28 obese men consume four different drinks. Those who consumed the beverage containing 50 grams of whey had significantly reduced levels of ghrelin (a hormone that tells your brain you’re hungry) up to four hours later. So instead of munching on unhealthy party snacks, drink a protein shake beforehand. With a little luck and a slimmer waistline, you might find a Carrie Heffernan who’s actually nice.
Fight cancer. Sadly there is no easy cure for cancer. Fortunately, there are ways to protect against it. One way is to get regular screenings for the specific type of cancer that may run in your family. Several studies have also concluded that whey protein may help in the fight against some common forms of cancer including colon and prostate cancer. If you’re at risk, remember to get screened, listen to the advice of your medical professionals, and consider including whey protein in your diet.
Lower cholesterol. According to a study published in The British Journal of Nutrition, "there was a significant decrease in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol at week 12 in the whey group compared with the casein (group)".
Coping with stress. Do you feel stressed? Don’t even think about reaching for liquor because studies conducted in the Netherlands appear to have found a far better alternative for those vulnerable to stress. Researchers had 58 subjects go through experimental stress and found that those who consumed whey protein experienced fewer symptoms of depression and seemed in a better mood than those who did not. They concluded that there were likely changes in the brain serotonin. Another study from researchers at International Dairy Journal found that beverages that were supplemented with whey protein significantly reduced blood pressure in patients with hypertension, their risk of developing heart disease or stroke was also lower.
Improved immune system. Researchers at the University of Alberta found that male subjects involved in strenuous aerobic activity suffered from significantly reduced glutathione levels that could impact on such things as the nervous, gastrointestinal, and immune systems. However, they also discovered that by supplementing with whey protein, the subjects experienced a significantly lesser reduction in glutathione levels. If you like extended cardio sessions, but don’t want to risk a reduction of glutathione levels, combat those effects with whey.