What’s Whey protein? Benefits, How to Use

10 minutes read.


You may be familiar with the word protein, but are you aware that not all proteins are created the same? Some proteins are better than others.

Whey protein benefits are extensive, including helping you burn a significant amount of fat, build lean muscle, boost your immune system, boost the health of your skin, hair, and nails, and prevent disease.

Whey protein contains an incredible range of essential amino acids that digest and absorbed very easily compared to other forms of protein. (1)

Whey protein is one of the most popular proteins for athletes and bodybuilders because of its muscle-enhancing effects. Not only does it work to build muscle and enhance your body’s composition, but it also speeds up the recovery of broken down and stressed muscles after exercise.

If you’re eating whey protein already, that’s great.  If you haven’t eaten whey protein before, that’s also great. I prepared this article for both of you. It’s very important to fully understand how whey protein benefits your body system before spending your money on one.

Feel free to skip ahead.

  • What’s Whey protein?
  • Types

What’s Whey protein?

The term “whey” refers to a complex substance that is separated from the liquid and made up of a combination of protein, lactose, minerals, immunoglobulins, and trace amounts of fat. (2)

Whey protein is a mixture of proteins isolated from whey, which is the liquid part of milk that separates during cheese production.

Milk contains two main types of protein: casein (80%) and whey (20%).

Whey is found in the watery portion of milk. When cheese is produced, the fatty parts of the milk coagulate and the whey is separated from it as a byproduct (3).

If you’ve ever opened a yogurt container to see liquid floating on top — that’s whey. Cheesemakers used to discard it before they discovered its commercial value (4).

After being separated during cheese production, whey goes through various processing steps to become what people generally recognize as whey protein — a powder that is added to shakes, meal replacements, and protein bars (5).

Whey protein doesn’t taste very good on its own, which is why it’s usually flavored. Chocolate-, vanilla- and strawberry-flavored powders are normally used.

It’s important to read the ingredients list, as some products may have unhealthy additives like refined sugar.

Taking whey protein is a convenient way to add protein on top of your daily intake.

This can be beneficial for bodybuilders and gym enthusiasts, as well as people who need to lose weight or are simply lacking protein in their diet.

Most flavored whey proteins are also rather delicious and can be used to add an incredible taste to healthy recipes like smoothies.

The protein and some highly bioactive amino acids found in whey are what make it a superfood for fat loss and building lean muscle.


All whey protein is the same but what makes one different from another is the way it’s been processed. (6, 7)

They’re three main types of whey protein:

1. Whey protein concentrate

2. Whey protein isolate

3. Whey protein Hydrolysate

1. Whey protein concentrate: This is the best and least processed form of whey protein because it contains low levels of fat and cholesterol and higher levels of bioactive compounds in the form of lactose.

Because it’s minimally processed, it retains the health-promoting nutrients that are found naturally in whey.

You may even find that whey protein concentrate has a more satisfying flavor than other types of whey protein, which is due to its lactose and fat content.

2. Whey protein isolate: Whey protein isolate undergoes further processing in order to remove most of the carbohydrates and fats that are found in whey protein concentrate. Isolates contain about 90 percent or more protein.

But the problem with whey protein isolate is that the problem with isolates is that its protein content is being altered due to extra processing steps making it harder for your stomach to digest and absorb it easily. This extra processing method can affect the effectiveness of the protein.

3. Whey protein Hydrolysate: Also known as hydrolyzed whey, this type has been pre-digested so that it gets absorbed faster. It causes an increase of 28–43% in blood insulin levels.  Which is helpful for athletes who want to grow lean muscle.

While some individuals are less allergic to whey protein hydrolysate due to decreased glucose content, it’s by far the most processed type of whey protein.

However, whey protein concentrate seems to be the overall best option. Many options are available online.

Whey protein concentrate is the cheapest and retains most of the beneficial nutrients found naturally in whey. (8, 9)

Nutrition Facts of whey protein

According to nutrition fact food data;

A serving size: 3 scoop 
 % Daily Value
Total fat:  1 g1
Saturated fat:  0.5 g2
Trans  fat: 0 g0
Cholesterol: 10.3 mg3
Sodium:  319.9 mg14
Total carbohydrate:  25 g8
Dietary  fiber:  0 g0
Total sugar:  1g2
Protein:  50 g100
Vitamin C: 30 mg33
Vitamin D:  0 mg0
Iron:  1.1 mg6
Calcium: 600.3 mg46
Potassium: 749.9 mg16
Phosphorus: 499.7 mg40


The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Health Benefits of whey protein

The two main benefits of supplementing with whey protein powder include:

1. Build your Muscle mass and Strength.

2. Whey Protein Improves Satiety and May Promote Weight Loss

1. Build your Muscle mass and Strength.

The best-known use of whey protein supplements is for the purpose of increasing muscle mass and strength.

Whey protein is popular among athletes, bodybuilders, fitness models, as well as people looking to improve their performance in the gym.

The ways by which whey protein promotes muscle/strength gain include:

  • It provides protein and amino acids, which serve as building blocks for increased muscle growth.
  • It increases the release of anabolic hormones that can stimulate muscle growth, such as insulin. (10)
  • It’s high in the amino acid leucine, which is known to stimulate muscle protein synthesis at the molecular and genetic levels. (11, 12
  • Whey protein is absorbed and utilized very quickly compared to other types of protein. (13)

Based on experience some individuals believe that whey protein is more effective at increasing muscle growth when consumed right before, after, or during a workout. Muscle protein synthesis is usually maximized in the period after training.(14, 15, 16, 17)

However, a recent review of the evidence concluded that total daily protein intake is the most relevant factor in muscle growth. Whether protein is consumed during the workout or not doesn’t seem to matter much. (18 )

When compared to other types of protein, such as soy protein, whey protein has usually performed slightly better. (19, 20)

Also, keep in mind that unless your diet is already lacking in protein, supplementing with whey protein is unlikely to have a significant effect on your results.

In a 12-week study of older adults with adequate protein intake, who did resistance training, there was no difference in muscle growth when supplementing with whey protein or carbohydrates. (21)

Therefore, the evidence of whey protein on muscle and strength is mixed, and the results may vary greatly between individuals.

If you’re already eating plenty of quality protein like white meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, the benefits of adding whey protein to your diet will probably be minimal.

2. Whey Protein Improves Satiety and May Promote Weight Loss

It’s well known that protein can aid weight loss, as it’s by far the most satiating macronutrient. (22)

Protein can boost energy expenditure by 80–100 calories per day, and make people automatically eat up to 441 fewer calories per day. (23, 24, 25, 26

In one study, eating 25% of the daily calories in protein cut cravings by 60% and reduced the desire for late-time snacking by half. (27)

Taking whey protein is a great way to increase your protein intake, which should have major benefits for weight loss.

Studies have shown that replacing other sources of calories with whey protein, combined with weight lifting, can cause weight loss of about 8 pounds (3.5 kg) while increasing lean muscle mass. (28)

If you’re trying to lose weight, a whey protein supplement can help you both lose weight and hold on to your muscle. (29, 30)

Other benefits of whey protein may include:

Whey protein is more than just a protein

. It contains other nutrients such as beta-lacto globulin, alpha-lacto albumin, and immunoglobulins which are very beneficial to your body functions. (31)

Beyond just muscle, strength, and leanness, whey protein may provide numerous other health benefits.

This includes lowering blood pressure, and blood sugar and reducing symptoms of stress and depression. (32,33,34,35)

It also protects against cancer, reduces symptoms of hepatitis, increases bone mineral density, improves immune function in HIV patients, and increases the lifespan of mice.(36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43, 44, 45,46)

The fact that whey protein is very high in the amino acid cysteine seems to mediate many of these health benefits. Cysteine does this by raising levels of glutathione, the main antioxidant substance in your body’s cells. (47, 48)

If you can’t tolerate regular whey protein concentrate, isolate or hydrolysate may be more appropriate. Alternatively, you could simply avoid whey protein and eat other protein-rich foods instead.

How to use whey protein

A commonly recommended dosage is 1–2 scoops (around 25–50 grams) per day, usually after workouts.

It’s recommended that you follow the serving instructions on the packaging.

Keep in mind that if your protein intake is already high, adding whey protein on top of your current intake may be completely unnecessary

Whey vs Casein

casein (white), whey (brown)

Whey protein vs Casein protein

Whey protein and casein protein which is better?

When compared to casein, the evidence is more mixed. Whey appears to be effective in the short term, but casein stimulates muscle growth over a longer period, making the net effect similar.

Side Effects

Whey protein is generally safe for a healthy individual.

However, those with current kidney or liver issues and lactose intolerance may want to avoid whey protein or at least consult with a medical professional before taking it. While some persons may be allergic to whey protein.

Eating too much whey protein can cause digestive issues such as nausea, flatulence, diarrhea, pain, and cramping. Some people are also allergic to whey.

Are you concerned about protein causing kidney damage and contributing to osteoporosis?

Don’t worry much, research has shown that protein can protect against osteoporosis, and have no negative impact on healthy kidneys. However, bear in mind that too much of everything triggers the negative effect.(49, 50, 51, 52)


The main types of whey protein are concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate. They can vary in protein content, taste, digestibility, and price.

Whey is high in essential amino acids and other healthy nutrients. It’s also rich in the amino acid cysteine, which raises levels of the antioxidant glutathione and leads to many health benefits.

Whey protein can help increase fat loss while preserving lean muscle mass.

Whey protein is generally safe, but those who are lactose Intolerance and those with kidney or liver issues may stay away or better consult with your health care for advice.

A commonly recommended dose is 1–2 scoops (25–50 grams) per day.

 I hope you get the value worth your time. I appreciate the time you spend with me. Leave a comment if you like this post.

Do you have any questions as regards whey protein I didn’t answer here? Have you ever eaten whey protein before, what was the experience like?  Please feel free to share with me in the comment below.


The content provided in living Good Blog is for informational and educational purposes only. It’s not intended to provide medical advice or take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal doctor. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Living Good Blog takes no responsibility for possible health consequences of any person(s) reading or following the information in this educational content. Viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medication, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.

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