Whey Protein and Recovery in Women

When it comes to protein and recovery, whey is the way for women.

Whey protein is a fast acting protein regarding digestion and absorption. The insulin responses to whey protein is much higher than that of casein, which may contribute to the enhanced protein synthesis response. Whey protein also results in a higher rise in BCAA’s and the sum of EAA (Essential Amino Acids), after whey protein supplementation compared to casein protein.

 Whey Protein May Be Superior for Fat Loss

It has been reported that whey protein can enhance weight loss compared to soy protein and other sources because of its high-branched chain amino acid content. The high BCAA content of whey protein may make it superior for fat loss compared to other proteins such as chicken or beef. A previous study published in the Journal of Nutrition Research, researchers reported that whey protein can help reduce belly fat compared to other protein sources. Acute studies have indicated that whey protein isolate (60 grams per day) evaluated over six months resulted in significantly lower less fat storage, lower cortisol levels (lean muscle preservation) and increased ghrelin release (satiety enhancement). A new study released in Nutrition & Metabolism reported that people on whey protein supplementation lost more weight than a control group receiving maltodextrins (i.e., carbohydrates) in conjunction with a calorie-restricted diet. After 12 weeks, weight loss was consistently higher in the whey protein subjects, primarily the result of losing body fat (subjects taking whey protein lost 6.1 percent of their body fat mass). The whey protein group subjects also lost significantly less lean muscle mass compared to control subjects. Whey protein may be the perfect fat-loss supplement when dieting for an important event or for targeting fat loss while maintaining lean muscle.

 Whey Protein Accelerates Women’s Muscle Recovery

Just when you think whey protein can’t get any better, it does for women! In a recent study in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, the researcher’s proved that whey is superior to carbohydrates when it comes to protein and recovery. Researchers had women perform a workout of 15 x 30-meter sprints with 60-second rest between sprints. After the exercise, and on the three days following, subjects consumed 40g of isocaloric carbohydrate or whey protein. At the end of the study, women consuming 40g of whey protein per day post-workout and for the three days after a bout of damaging exercise improved recovery of muscle function. The improvements seemed to occur because of accelerated repair of muscle damage, as indicated by the faster recovery of creatine kinase levels (i.e. marker of muscle damage). CK levels increased post-exercise, peaked at 24 hours, and was still elevated at 72 hours. However, CK levels reduced more quickly in the whey protein group at 48 hours. This suggests that when it comes to protein and recovery, whey protein accelerates muscle recuperation following intense exercise in women.

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Whey protein hydrolysate supplementation accelerates recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage in females. Brown, M. A., Stevenson, E. J., & Howatson, G. (2017). Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.