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The pros and cons of whey protein supplements

There’s a lot of misinformation flying around about whether supplements are worth your time. But, asking whether ALL supplements are good or bad oversimplifies the exact science that goes into determining whether you’ll benefit from supplements. Not to mention the fact that it also overlooks the differences between people’s bodies, lifestyles, and needs. So, we’ve focused on the good and bad of one of the fitness world’s most popular supplements – whey protein.

What is it?

For those who have been into fitness for a while, you’ll have heard about whey protein, and have probably considered using it. For those who are new, whey protein is one of the most studied supplements in the world. It’s often used to help build muscle due to its very high protein content. Protein is an essential nutrient for humans. They are made from a variety of 20 different amino acids. Out of these amino acids, nine are essential, meaning they cannot be made in the body. So, you must get them from your diet. Whey protein contains all nine essential amino acids and therefore allows for better cell, tissue, and importantly muscle growth.

The pros

It’s commonly known that whey protein is excellent at stimulating muscle-protein synthesis. Using whey protein supplements means the speed that your body builds muscle starts to outweigh any muscle deterioration, allowing for net growth in muscle mass. It also means that your muscles recover faster from injury or intense workouts. But less commonly realised by those just starting to use whey protein is that it can also aid weight loss. One study showed that people given whey lost significantly more body fat and showed greater preservation of lean muscle compared to control subjects.

There have been other studies into the benefits of whey on health. For example, it has been put forward as a treatment to stop muscle deterioration in the elderly and those with HIV. It has also been noted as being able to help reduce the immune response in children with asthma, reducing blood pressure, and lowering cholesterol. However, more research is needed into these things.

Whey protein comes in a variety of flavours and products meaning there is usually something for everyone. It’s a lot tastier than taking plain supplements without flavouring, or downing raw eggs in the morning. There are powdered versions to add to your morning smoothie, food, or to make milkshakes. Or you can buy pre-made foods and drinks containing whey power, so you don’t have to worry about any prep.

The cons

As with all supplements, you need to be sensible with how you use it. Taking the wrong dosage of whey powder has been related to a variety of adverse side effects and even kidney problems. But, these issues are eliminated with proper use and following of the guidelines set by the manufacturer. If you do this, you shouldn’t have any problems, only benefits.

The bad news for vegans is that whey is derived from cows milk. But, this doesn’t mean you have to miss out. Vegan-friendly alternatives are readily available, so you don’t have to skip the benefits of more protein in your diet.

One final thing to note is that many types of whey protein often contain harmful, synthetic chemicals that you don’t want in your body. Instead of putting your health at risk, you should look for a whey protein that is natural and doesn’t contain toxic chemicals so you can build muscle and lose weight with no health implications.

Why not try the Kettlebell Native Whey Protein? It’s 100% natural, doesn’t contain any of the nasty toxic junk that other supplements do, and it gives you a hefty 32g of protein per serving. Don’t believe a protein supplement could be that good? Take a look for yourself. While you’re there, why not look at our meal prep plan?

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