While anabolic, or muscle-building, protein is a staple supplement for bodybuilders and strength athletes, it does have a number of uses besides helping you gain maximum muscle mass. While all protein sources share some things in common that differentiate them from carbohydrates and fat, whey protein has unique attributes that other protein sources don't have. Differences in amino acid profile and digestion rate help anabolic whey protein provide you with many benefits and possible uses. Before using protein supplements, you should ask your health care provider if they are appropriate for you.
Improved Muscle Recovery
Anabolic whey protein is often taken by athletes shortly after their workouts. This is because whey protein is one of the fastest absorbing protein sources, meaning it will be delivered to your muscle cells as quickly as possible. Research published in the January 2010 issue of the "Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport" indicates that this quick rate of digestion enables whey protein to enhance muscle recovery. The research found that supplementation of whey protein after a workout allowed participants to fully recover muscular strength just six hours after the initial workout.
Whey protein's uses aren't confined to gaining muscle or losing fat. Because whey protein manipulates that levels of amino acids, which are used to build your body's cells and tissues, it may also affect your immune system. A study from the November 1995 issue of the journal "Anticancer Research" found that whey protein caused levels of glutathione in tumor cells to decrease. According to the researchers, the lower levels of glutathione rendered these cells more vulnerable to chemotherapy. However, you should not attempt to cure any medical condition with any supplement without speaking with your doctor.
Improvement of Insulin Levels
Insulin is an important hormone because it helps your body regulate blood sugar levels and how your body stores food as energy. Diabetes and obesity are conditions that are caused by irregularities in your body's use of insulin. Research indicates that whey protein may help prevent these conditions by improving your body's use of insulin. A study from the April 2010 issue of the "British Journal of Nutrition" found that 12 weeks of whey protein supplementation improved insulin levels and also decreased insulin resistance scores. It's important to note that this research was performed in obese individuals only, so your experience may vary.
- Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport: Supplementation With a Whey Protein Hydrolysate Enhances Recovery of Muscle Force-generating Capacity Following Eccentric Exercise
- Anticancer Research: The Use of a Whey Protein Concentrate in the Treatment of Patients With Metastatic Carcinoma: A Phase I-II Clinical Study
- British Journal of Nutrition: Effects of Whey Protein Isolate on Body Composition, Lipids, Insulin and Glucose in Overweight and Obese Individuals