Whey Protein: Can It Help You Lose Weight, Lower Cholesterol, and Build Muscle? How much should you have?

There’s protein and there’s good protein. Whey, the watery part of milk that separates from the curds during cheese making, contains nine essential amino acids that make it one of the best sources of protein around us. No plant-based protein can compete with its amino acid component. It is easily digested and absorbed by the human body and is the reason why athletes and bodybuilders use it frequently. And unfortunately, this is where a lot of the misconception arises that it’s just a gym supplement. It’s not an anabolic steroid, period. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, boosts body metabolism, promotes muscle mass and has a very high satiety value, allowing you to feel full longer and control your weight without overeating.

There are many benefits associated with consuming whey protein due to its many therapeutic properties. All your body needs is just 25 to 50g per day, which is about one to two scoops. But it should be given, within prescribed limits, only to severely emaciated individuals, the elderly, those with inflammatory bowel disease, those recovering from surgery or a serious illness, and those who don’t get enough protein from normal sources. If you have a healthy protein intake, you don’t need to overload yourself with whey protein. It should also not be used by people with liver and kidney diseases. Always consult a doctor if you need to use whey protein as a dietary supplement and what amount is right for you.


High blood pressure is one of the main causes of heart disease. Whey protein contains lactokinins, which are angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) and are known to lower systolic blood pressure. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2016) found how eating 56 grams of whey protein per day resulted in a nearly three-point drop (the first number in a blood pressure reading) and a two-point drop in systolic blood pressure Decrease in diastolic blood pressure (the second number) compared to the control group. Both whey protein and casein (also derived from milk) resulted in better blood vessel function as well as modest improvements in blood cholesterol levels. Whey protein contains lactoferrin, which can prevent LDL (low density lipoprotein), or bad cholesterol, from oxidizing and hardening the arteries.


Inflammation is the body’s routine response to damage and a signal that something is wrong inside. Chronic inflammation can negatively impact muscle growth and overall well-being. Then a whey protein supplement can drastically reduce C-reactive protein (CRP), the main marker of body inflammation.


Antioxidants, as their name suggests, minimize oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. And whey protein contains glutathione, which strengthens our body’s defense systems.


Once you start consuming whey protein, you can increase your energy expenditure by 80-100 calories per day. Still, it keeps you full enough to lose 440 fewer calories per day. In one study, it was found to reduce cravings by 60 percent and cut late-night snack cravings by half.

Studies have shown that when combined with weight lifting, whey protein can produce a weight loss of around 3.5 kg while increasing muscle mass. So if you’re looking to lose weight, a whey protein supplement can help you do it while maintaining your muscles. Whey protein is better at building muscle strength compared to casein and soybeans.


Protein powders are derived from plant sources like soybeans and peas and animal sources like eggs or milk. These extracts are powdered and packaged for use. Those meant for muscle building have more protein than those meant for weight loss. In the absence of data on the side effects of high protein supplements, manufacturers lack a regulatory framework and tend to package what they believe to be safe. Look for pure whey protein jars and read the label. Don’t go for the combination powders as they contain added sugars, artificial flavors, thickeners, calories, steroids and even heavy metals (lead, arsenic, cadmium or mercury). Finally, remember that whey protein comes from cow’s milk, so it can’t get any worse.

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