Whey protein is a by-product of cheese and is popular for its ability to help people stay fit and build muscle. Whey protein is often used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts who want to maintain a healthy body mass. Surprisingly, it’s also used in anti-aging nutrition. Although whey protein can be found naturally in foods like ricotta cheese and milk, it’s usually taken as a supplement. There are a few different types of whey protein supplements: isolate, concentrate, and hydrolysates. The main differences are in their processing, which makes some easier to digest than others.
Despite the popularity of whey protein in the fitness world, there are still mixed feelings when it comes to whey protein and anti-aging nutrition. Here, we weigh out the good versus the bad of using whey protein as part of your anti-aging nutrition plan.
The PROs of Whey Protein for Anti-Aging Nutrition
Glutathione Increase: Glutathione is one of the natural antioxidants that our body produces. As we know, antioxidants help anti-aging effects by fighting damaging free radicals and other toxins. As we age, our production of glutathione decreases and it’s believed that when you’re deficient in glutathione, you’re more susceptible to cell disintegration and liver damage—liver damage means your body can’t properly detoxify itself. Whey protein produces an amino acid that helps boost glutathione production, so adding whey protein to your anti-aging nutrition plan means you can continue to benefit from the antioxidant’s anti-aging properties.
Osteoporosis: When included in anti-aging nutrition, whey protein can help protect against osteoporosis because it contains lactoferrin, which is believed to benefit bone health by promoting growth and strengthening. Whey protein in anti-aging nutrition has also been shown to activate osteoblasts, which are the cells that work on bone formation. Improving bone health is an important component of treating and preventing osteoporosis.
Anti-Aging Skin Care: Whey protein is good for anti-aging nutrition and skin care because it contains branch chained amino acids (BCAAs). Studies have shown that BCAAs can have a positive effect on healing and nourishing skin.
The CONS of Whey Protein for Anti-Aging Nutrition
Kidney Disorders: High consumption of whey protein in anti-aging nutrition has been linked to distressed kidneys by impeding on their ability to properly flush waste. This downside of whey protein deters its benefits to anti-aging nutrition because compromised kidney function can lead to the development of kidney stones and urinary infections. If left untreated, these conditions can wind up leading to more severe medical concerns.
Weight Gain: Relying solely on whey protein in anti-aging nutrition to help you gain muscle can result in weight gain. Whey protein has calories (about four calories per gram), and naturally, the more calories you consume, the more likely you are to pack on pounds. Weight gain poses numerous health problems, including an increased risk of developing cardiovascular conditions, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and osteoarthritis. If you’re only adding whey protein to your anti-aging nutrition plan, but not exercising as well, your body converts the extra calorie intake into fat rather than muscle mass. That’s why whey protein should only be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Dehydration: With a lack of water consumption, adding excessive whey protein to your anti-aging nutrition plan can lead to dehydration. If you’re all of a sudden adding whey protein to your diet, you may find that you have to urinate more frequently. The more you pee, the more water is released from your system. If you’re not drinking enough water to replace it, you can become dehydrated. Your body also needs water to metabolize all of the protein you’re consuming.
Just like anything, whey protein should be taken in moderation with your anti-aging nutrition plan in order to reap its benefits. It should never be used as a meal replacement and can only work its magic when accompanied by a healthy diet and lifestyle, including drinking lots of water.
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