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Whey protein benefits are numerous. Whey protein is actually the byproduct of dairy and it comes in many forms.
The purer the form of whey protein, the faster it will be digested. For example, whey protein concentrate is the cheapest and least pure form of whey. It contains some carbohydrates and fats per serving and can also leave people feeling slightly bloated and gassy. Also if you are lactose intolerant, whey protein concentrate could be a problem for you.
Other than that, the other forms of whey protein such as isolate, ion exchanged, cross micro filtration, and hydrosolate are all very pure and contain virtually no lactose.
Whey protein is great because you can use it as a meal replacement during the day to help you stay full, a snack, and especially before and after you workout. This is primarily when the majority of people use whey protein.
The reason for this is because after you workout, your body is in a heightened state of protein synthesis. It needs fast acting nutrients that can be absorbed quickly and efficiently by the body. Think of your muscles like a sponge.
In one study involving whey protein, two groups of subjects were put on a low calorie diet to lose weight. One group was given a serving of whey protein 20 minutes before breakfast and 20 minutes before dinner, while the control group received nothing. After 12 weeks, the group receiving just the whey protein shakes before breakfast and dinner experienced greater fat loss than the control group.
The amount of weight loss between the 2 groups was not significantly different, but the group who had the whey protein tended to lose more fat mass which is ideally what you want. They also preserved more lean body mass than the control group.
However in my opinion, the best protein powder for weight loss is casein protein.
All in all, whey protein benefits are numerous. There are many studies out there supporting whey protein and the results speak for themselves.