What is whey?

Unprocessed whey is a cheese production by-product. After curdling and straining the milk for cheese production, the watery part of the milk separates from the fatty parts and that’s where the whey is found. Whey is also one of the most commonly used types of protein used in protein powders. Whey helps in promoting muscle growth, reducing exercise-related injury, and improving athletic performance. Cheese Production Image of cheese production by dyhuettner from Pixabay

Is whey gluten free?

Due to the fact that whey is derived from milk, it’s naturally 100% gluten free.

What is whey protein powder?

The whey protein powder which is commonly sold as a dietary supplement is a mixture of proteins that have been isolated from the whey. The 2 main types of protein found in milk are whey and casein, which both need to be processed before being sold as  dietary supplements. Whey protein contains a complete range of easily absorbed essential amino acids.

Do whey proteins contain gluten?

Although pure whey protein powder is gluten free, a lot of commercially sold whey protein supplements usually contain other ingredients besides whey and may contain gluten. Unflavored whey protein doesn’t taste too good, so it’s usually flavored, and quite often contains sugar or artificial sweeteners. It’s important to ensure that the product you are purchasing does not contain any gluten ingredients such as food starch, caramel color, malt sugar, maltodextrin and dextrin. Some whey protein powders include the amino acid glutamine, which is not derived from any gluten containing foods, and does not need to be avoided.

Which whey protein powders are gluten-free?

Types of whey protein

Whey powder is available as whey concentrate, whey isolate or whey hydrolysate, which are all gluten free in pure form and are safe for individuals with celiac disease. Whey concentrate is less processed than whey isolate or whey hydrolysate, consists of approximately 70–80% protein, and contains some lactose and fat. Whey isolate is more processed and consists of at least 90% protein, but is lacking in other beneficial nutrients found in whey concentrate, and contains less lactose and fat. Whey hydrolysate is even more processed with heat that separates amino acid bonds which allows the protein powder to be digested and absorbed quicker.

Certified gluten free protein powder

Although there are manufacturers of whey protein products that make  gluten free whey powder, they might also be producing other products which are made with gluten, and there is a chance that their gluten free whey products may have been contaminated from equipment that has been in contact with gluten. To avoid cross contamination, ensure that the whey protein product that you are purchasing is certified gluten free protein powder.

Benefits of whey protein

Whey protein for muscle gain

Whey protein supplements are most commonly used by bodybuilders and athletes for increasing muscle mass and strength. Whey protein provides essential amino acids, the building blocks necessary for muscle growth. Whey protein is high in leucine, an amino acid that stimulates muscle protein synthesis at the molecular level. Whey protein helps stimulate muscle growth by increasing the release of anabolic hormones such as insulin.

Whey protein for losing weight

Protein is the macronutrient with the highest satiety level (most filling), and can help in boosting energy expenditure. Whey protein supplements can help to maintain adequate protein intake when on a calorie restricted diet, and help to avoid muscle loss.

Whey protein for diabetes

Whey protein can help in moderating blood sugar, and it increases insulin levels as well as insulin sensitivity. A study has shown that the addition of whey protein supplements to a high-carb meal helps to moderate blood sugar in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Whey protein for blood pressure

Dairy product consumption has been associated with a reduction in blood pressure,  which has been attributed to angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory peptides, which are found in milk protein. These peptides are present in whey protein and various studies have humans shown that these peptides can significantly reduce blood pressure.

Guide To Whey Protein

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