The health supplement industry is currently one of the most lucrative and successful industries in the entire world, generating literally billions upon billions of dollars every single financial year. Pick up any health and fitness magazine, particular the more popular bodybuilding and muscle building magazines, and you’ll immediately notice that there is literally a supplement advertisement on almost every other page of the magazine. That means that a magazine dedicated to providing tips and information on getting in shape, will be comprised of almost 50% of pure advertisements. One of the reasons why this industry is so popular and so successful, is because many of the products actually work and serve a real purpose. As far as sports supplements are concerned, the most popular supplement, and one which sells in its billions each year, is whey protein. Whether you’re trying to build muscle, lose fat, tone up, or simply get fitter and healthier, whey protein could be of a real benefit to you and your goals. Here are five reasons why you should be using whey protein powder.
It will increase muscle strength and size
Obviously you can’t down a protein shake and suddenly wake up bigger and stronger, although it would be great if you could. You will need to eat healthy produce and put in the hours in the gym in order to increase your muscle strength and size. If you do so however, a whey protein supplement will prove extremely beneficial indeed. In a number of studies, individuals eating the same foods, and following the same workouts, were split into two groups. One group didn’t consume whey protein, whilst the other group did. After 8 weeks, the group that consumed a whey protein shake, once before working out, and once immediately following a workout, recorded noticeable increases in both muscle mass, and strength as well, compared with the group that was not using whey protein.
It promotes lean muscle mass
Protein is vital for muscle growth, repair, and function, so naturally if we wish to build muscle, we will need to consume plenty of protein each day. One great benefit of whey protein supplements however, is the fact that they’re able to promote lean muscle mass, whilst keeping body fat percentages under control. Whey protein is naturally low in calories, and is also thermogenic, which means that it actually increases the metabolism as it is digested. As it helps to build lean muscle, the metabolism is also boosted again as muscle requires more calories to maintain than body fat. Simply put, if you want to build muscle whilst burning fat simultaneously, a whey protein supplement could be ideal.
It’s a great weight management supplement
People often associate whey protein supplements with bodybuilders and people looking to build muscle and actually gain weight, but in reality it has also been proven to be a very effective weight management supplement, helping people to not only control their weight, but to actually lose fat as well. As mentioned, whey protein is a thermogenic compound, which naturally boosts the metabolism as it requires more energy to digest. It does this because it is much slower to be digested than other foods. This is especially interesting because as well as burning calories whilst being digested, it also keeps us feeling full for longer so we consume less calories as a result. Whey protein contains ingredients which have hunger reducing properties, as the ingredients help to reduce natural ghrelin levels within our bodies. Ghrelin is a hormone found naturally in our bodies, which is responsible for feelings of hunger and food cravings. Ghrelin communicates with the brain and basically tells it that you’re hungry, and you would like a certain food (usually something unhealthy). Whey protein naturally reduces ghrelin levels, so the less there are, the less hungry we feel and the less unhealthy food we crave.
It’s so convenient
Say you are looking to bulk up and build muscle, you will need to be consuming between 1.5 – 2 g of protein for every pound that you weigh. So, if you weigh 200lbs, you would need between 300 and 400g of protein each day! That’s a fair amount of protein and if you were to meet your daily protein macro requirements with whole food alone, you would spend a lot of money on meat, fish, eggs, etc, you’d spend a heck of a lot of time in the kitchen preparing said foods, and you’d feel pretty unwell because eating that amount of food per day would not be easy. Whey protein supplements are ideal because they’re so incredibly convenient. Simply add two or three scoops to milk or water, mix together, and drink. One shake will provide around 30 – 40g of protein on average, so two shakes per day and you’re already nearly a third of the way towards meeting your daily protein macros, without even eating a single bite yet. It’s also ideal for when you don’t have the time, or access to whole food or if you happen to be in a hurry.
It can help improve the immune system
Whey protein supplements are often enriched with extra vitamins and minerals, both of which help to greatly improve and strengthen our immune systems. Our immune systems help us to fight off illness and disease, so the stronger an immune system, the healthier we become. Studies have also revealed that exercise and strenuous activity can naturally decrease glutathione levels within the body. Suppressed glutathione levels have been linked with a weakened immune system. Whey protein supplements however, have been found to naturally increase glutathione levels, which in turn will help keep the immune system functioning healthily, especially following strenuous activity and physical exercise.