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Despite its perception as a workout supplement, whey protein benefits reach much farther than the fitness world. Most have the perception that protein powder should only be used by bodybuilders and athletes. This however is very outdated and not true. Not only is it known to help with managing weight and growing muscles, but it’s also even been known to reduce the effects of aging. Let’s see some factors that lead to aging and examples of how whey protein can help to combat this all.
With bodybuilders and athletes getting adequate protein intake is vital to gain as well as preserve muscle mass. As we age enough daily protein is even more essential, since the aging process threatens the loss of all that hard-earned muscle through a process called sarcopenia. This muscle wasting and slow decrease in strength happens to everyone as they age, even if you are a gym addict.
The aging process hits with a 1-2 punch because our protein needs increase over time, and our ability to synthesize proteins decreases with decreases in the natural hormonal process. Testosterone, IGF-1 as well as HGH. This means, it becomes harder to meet the aging body’s protein needs, and the result is less muscle mass.
The biggest challenge in meeting the protein needs of the body as we age is the physical challenge of eating enough protein. Protein powders are an excellent way to meet protein requirements in a low bulk form since they are convenient and easy to consume. Whey protein is an excellent protein source for anyone over the age of 30 to do this.
Whey protein is high in BCAA’s, especially leucine, which is considered one of the most important branched chain amino acids for protein synthesis. BCAA’s are also responsible for helping collagen protein synthesis, so they play a huge role in the condition of the hair, skin, and nails. This keeps you looking younger while you are working on keeping all of your hard-earned muscle.
Another age-related benefit of whey protein is the ability to fortify bone and prevent bone fractures. Whey protein also contains high levels of cysteine, an amino acid which boosts glutathione production. Glutathione, an antioxidant with powerful anti-aging effects, declines naturally as we age, and since it relies on the presence of cysteine, adding whey protein into a meal plan can guard against age related diseases.
Whey protein has amazing effects on glucose metabolism as well. It reduces glucose levels in healthy people while hindering glucose tolerance in diabetic and the overweight. When you consume whey protein on a consistent basis with your otherwise high protein meal plan the result is a reduction in body fat and an increase in fat oxidation. Whey protein does this by releasing leptin which helps you feel more satisfied and fuller longer.
I could go much more in depth and talk about even more benefits of whey protein, not only for your everyday bodybuilder but even more so for older individuals. If you haven’t adding whey into your meal plan do yourself a favor and add it daily.