Whey Protein for Health and Strength

Whey Protein spoonful Whey protein is the perfect food for building muscle, losing excess weight and supporting good health. It provides a more absorbable source of protein than any other sourceand is super-easy to digest. No wonder it is the #1 recommended source of protein for everyone, especially bodybuilders and those who are lactose-intolerant.

Whey Protein for Health and Strength

For athletes and body builders, there may be further good news. Natural antioxidants, such as those found in whey protein, provide protection against myoblastic toxicity and muscle damage caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) during heavy exercise. Recent studies reported by Green Med Info report that “whey protein improved the antioxidant capacity against acute oxidative stress …and may serve as an alternative source of antioxidants for prevention of athletic injuries caused by ROS”.

Where Does Whey Protein Come From?

Whey protein is the globular protein that is a by-product of cheese production. It is one of nature’s simplest foods yet one of the highest sources of protein. You can even make your own whey protein by setting a jar of raw milk on the counter at room temperature for a couple of days and let nature do the rest. The milk naturally changes into curds (which can be pressed to form cheese) and the liquid whey can be strained off.

Whey contains all the soluble ingredients found in milk, such as lactose, minerals and lactalbumin, but without most of the fat, which has been removed with the curds.

For convenience, whey protein is dried and sold in powder form. It is very easily reconstituted by adding water. Some drying processes apply high heat to the whey, similar to the pasteurizing process of milk. The whey is denatured to create a protein gel, but this process can destroy many of the whey minerals and vitamins and it can cause allergies.  That’s why you should always opt for getting your whey from a source that does low temperature processing.

How Whey Protein Builds Muscle

Research shows that taking a supplement of whey protein along with resistance training helps build muscle compared to just exercise. Studies carried out by Laurentian University Ontario concluded “protein supplementation during resistance training, independent of source, increased lean tissue mass and strength over isocaloric placebo and resistance training”.Whey protein is the most efficient way to add protein to the diet without fat or high calories. Whey protein typically contains 80-90% protein compared to lean red meat (20%), chicken (20%), fish (20%), eggs (6-8%) or cheese (10-30%). It provides the body with what it needs to build muscle, strength and to recover quickly after a workout.

Whey protein is fast ingesting so the body can break it down and use it fast. The best way to take whey protein is just before and again just after a workout. After resistance exercise the body needs a quickly assimilated source of protein and uses it to build muscle and recover the energy expended.

How Whey Protein Anti-Oxidants Repair and Build Muscle

Whey protein is also a powerful antioxidant, boosting the immune system – another health advantage. It helps repair muscle fast and allows the body to promote muscle growth safely and naturally.Over time, whey protein increases lean muscle mass, decreases recovery time, makes faster repair to muscle, increases the metabolic rate and reduces any possible muscle breakdown after a workout.

Best Way to Take Whey Protein
Most people prefer whey concentrates in easy-to-mix powder form. They contain about 80% proteins and are the most economical source per gram of protein.Whey isolates are even higher than concentrates in protein content, about 90%, which makes them lower in carbs, fat and lactose. The reason this is not the best form to take whey protein is that it is slightly more expensive, has a cleaner taste but a more watery consistency. What’s more, whey protein isolates are devoid of alkalizing minerals, vitamins and lipids, which are all destroyed in the processing and can make the whey protein isolate overly acidic.

It is worth looking for a product that is organic and hormone free, cold-processed, water soluble and naturally sweetened. Whey protein powder made from unpasteurized milk is rich and creamy, highly digestible with fuller flavor.  My favorite source of whey is cultured dairy like goat’s milk kefir or amasai.

Another excellent source of whey protein are liquid products such as SueroViv, which blends cultured whey with mountain spring water. This not only provides the protein, probiotics and anti-oxidants from whey but also hydrates the body. It is pleasant to drink, flavored with organic juices, honey and essential oils.

Sources: mercola, beyondorganicmarket.com, wikipedia, muscleandstrength


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  1. Sharon Staley says:

    i though you stayed away from dairy so I am confused here. Please explain why whey protein is ok but dairy is not

  2. Jessica Ward says:

    The dairy isn’t the culprit, it’s the pasteurization process that dairy goes through. Raw milk isn’t something to be avoided. Dr. Josh has some fantastic articles on this topic.

  3. Marlene Villanueva says:

    Ok so you dont mention that you can make your own whey from either making whole raw milk yogurt & straining it through a nut milk bag whey comes out… or by doing same after you have made your homemade kefir … that is the way I get my whey. From the raw milk kefir. Then it has mucho probiotics & highly nutricous. I also use my whey to ferment vegitables. When you use Kefir or Yogurt and the whey drips off… you can use the yogurt to eat like reg yogurt or let it drip 12 hours & it become yogurt cheese or like cream cheese… same thing happens when doing it w/ kefir. I just prefer doing it once I have made my raw milk in to Kefir because of the high amount of probiotics that are present in kefir that are not there when you make yogurt.

    • Celeste says:

      I love Sueroviv. Marlene I’m also very interested in learning more about your homemade yogurt. Kefir, cheese and whey. Would you contact me through my website?

  4. Scott Rattray says:

    Great article — tho per Michael Colgan, there can be a big difference in the % of protein in whey concentrates and still be considered concentrate — most are not anywhere near 80%. Along with that, the source of the whey — the cow, what it eats, and how lives is critical! Google Michael Colgan whey for some great info. He uses the same whey that I do — great info for anyone that uses whey or any protein shake.

    Whey Protein Concentrate: Brief Summary Michael Colgan 9 Sept 2011 The quality of whey protein concentrate… http://fb.me/YD3G3ozB

  5. Brenda S says:

    Dr Axe…….do you have to be exercising for building weight to take whey? I am just trying to lose some weight and get my body into shape, not to build muscle. I’m afraid that my low carb, low fat “diet” is going to make me unhealthy. Thanks for any help you can give.

  6. Brittney says:

    I heard a lot of good things about whey protein. Do you know anything about creatine supplements for muscle building?

  7. jeffrey aguilar jr says:

    whats my best choice for a whey protein for my muscle building,workouts.. thank you

  8. Veronica Davis says:

    Does your protein powder contain amaranth, hemp?

  9. Lynne says:

    I am allergic to dairy, soy, corn, eggs, fish and seafood, pineapple, legumes, and gluten. What type of protein powder would you suggest that is somewhat comparable to the qualities of the whey powder?
    I’m looking to gain some lost muscle. I also like to use a smoothie as a grab and go breakfast. Right now I use Vega One which is great but has a very strong flavor which isn’t always desirable.
    I love your values and insights and appreciate you sharing your knowledge. Thank you!!

  10. Rachel says:

    Does the whey protein with stevia (Axe Naturals Healing Protein) have erythritol, erythritol blend, or erythritol rebiana? I have real digestive tract problems with any kind of sugar alcohols.

  11. Sara says:

    Hi Dr. Axe, is whey protein superior to pea protein? If so, why? There’s so many protein powders out there, and I know soy protein is not the best option. What’s your opinion on pea protein?

  12. Tonda Roberts says:

    Dr. Axe I have been making my own whey from our pastured, and hay fed, and a little grain fed, cow. I make it from the raw milk. I drink 1/4 c a day In a glass of water. I do this for the pro biotic benefits for my gut. Would like to drink more but have had a hard time determining the calorie count, nutritional value, protein content, etc. . Of the whey

    I greatly appreciate your healthy ideas on weight loss and would appreciate any help that you could give on the nutritional analysis of the type of whey that I whey that I discribed to you. Thank you!

  1. Sharon Staley says:

    i though you stayed away from dairy so I am confused here. Please explain why whey protein is ok but dairy is not

  2. Jessica Ward says:

    The dairy isn’t the culprit, it’s the pasteurization process that dairy goes through. Raw milk isn’t something to be avoided. Dr. Josh has some fantastic articles on this topic.

  3. Marlene Villanueva says:

    Ok so you dont mention that you can make your own whey from either making whole raw milk yogurt & straining it through a nut milk bag whey comes out… or by doing same after you have made your homemade kefir … that is the way I get my whey. From the raw milk kefir. Then it has mucho probiotics & highly nutricous. I also use my whey to ferment vegitables. When you use Kefir or Yogurt and the whey drips off… you can use the yogurt to eat like reg yogurt or let it drip 12 hours & it become yogurt cheese or like cream cheese… same thing happens when doing it w/ kefir. I just prefer doing it once I have made my raw milk in to Kefir because of the high amount of probiotics that are present in kefir that are not there when you make yogurt.

    • Celeste says:

      I love Sueroviv. Marlene I’m also very interested in learning more about your homemade yogurt. Kefir, cheese and whey. Would you contact me through my website?

  4. Scott Rattray says:

    Great article — tho per Michael Colgan, there can be a big difference in the % of protein in whey concentrates and still be considered concentrate — most are not anywhere near 80%. Along with that, the source of the whey — the cow, what it eats, and how lives is critical! Google Michael Colgan whey for some great info. He uses the same whey that I do — great info for anyone that uses whey or any protein shake.

    Whey Protein Concentrate: Brief Summary Michael Colgan 9 Sept 2011 The quality of whey protein concentrate… http://fb.me/YD3G3ozB

  5. Brenda S says:

    Dr Axe…….do you have to be exercising for building weight to take whey? I am just trying to lose some weight and get my body into shape, not to build muscle. I’m afraid that my low carb, low fat “diet” is going to make me unhealthy. Thanks for any help you can give.

  6. Brittney says:

    I heard a lot of good things about whey protein. Do you know anything about creatine supplements for muscle building?

  7. jeffrey aguilar jr says:

    whats my best choice for a whey protein for my muscle building,workouts.. thank you

  8. Veronica Davis says:

    Does your protein powder contain amaranth, hemp?

  9. Lynne says:

    I am allergic to dairy, soy, corn, eggs, fish and seafood, pineapple, legumes, and gluten. What type of protein powder would you suggest that is somewhat comparable to the qualities of the whey powder?
    I’m looking to gain some lost muscle. I also like to use a smoothie as a grab and go breakfast. Right now I use Vega One which is great but has a very strong flavor which isn’t always desirable.
    I love your values and insights and appreciate you sharing your knowledge. Thank you!!

  10. Rachel says:

    Does the whey protein with stevia (Axe Naturals Healing Protein) have erythritol, erythritol blend, or erythritol rebiana? I have real digestive tract problems with any kind of sugar alcohols.

  11. Sara says:

    Hi Dr. Axe, is whey protein superior to pea protein? If so, why? There’s so many protein powders out there, and I know soy protein is not the best option. What’s your opinion on pea protein?

  12. Tonda Roberts says:

    Dr. Axe I have been making my own whey from our pastured, and hay fed, and a little grain fed, cow. I make it from the raw milk. I drink 1/4 c a day In a glass of water. I do this for the pro biotic benefits for my gut. Would like to drink more but have had a hard time determining the calorie count, nutritional value, protein content, etc. . Of the whey

    I greatly appreciate your healthy ideas on weight loss and would appreciate any help that you could give on the nutritional analysis of the type of whey that I whey that I discribed to you. Thank you!