Nutritional Value of Milk Whey Liquid

Manufacturers create liquid whey by curdling and straining milk. Whey nutrition facts include having a broad spectrum of macronutrients and micronutrients. The nutrients in whey offer you many benefits. Learning about them will help you improve your health and fight disease.

Drying liquid whey makes a potent protein powder rich in amino acids. Credit: vadimgouida/iStock/Getty Images

Read more: Is Whey Protein Good or Bad?

Whey Nutrition Information

The raw, liquid form of whey features the natural macronutrients of carbohydrate (4.8 percent), protein (0.8 percent) and fat (0.3 percent), as well as water (93 percent) and ash (0.5 percent), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The carbohydrate part consists of mostly the milk sugar lactose, and the main fat is phospholipid. Whey calories run from 59 for acid whey to 66 for sweet whey in a single cup.

Liquid whey also has many micronutrients. These nutrients include minerals like potassium, calcium, phosphorous and zinc. There are also digestive enzymes, milk proteins and peptides including, in decreasing amounts:

  • Beta-lactoglobulin

  • Glycomacropeptide

  • Alpha-lactalbumin

  • Bovine serum albumin

  • Immunoglobulins

  • Lactoferrin

  • Lactoperoxidase

You can get many nutritional benefits by knowing the whey nutrition facts. Manufacturers have started making whey products readily available. The abundant amino acids and important minerals in whey make it an ideal additive to bakery products like crackers, bread and even cake. These items are more palatable than you might think. A February 2014 report in the Journal of Food Quality showed that 13 taste testers liked the appearance, taste and odor of whey bread.

Read more: How Much Whey Protein Isolate Should I Have per Day?

Know the Benefits of Whey

Liquid whey has many positive effects on your body. For example, a September 2015 paper in Appetite showed that it can cause a 50 percent decrease in hunger ratings. When dried, the resultant powder has a potent muscle-building effect. It also helps you recover after intense exercise.

These qualities make whey an ideal supplement for athletes. An April 2019 report in Biomolecules showed that whey was the most popular supplement used in their sample of 48 bodybuilders. In fact, 96 percent of the athletes surveyed stated that they had ingested whey.

You can easily take advantage of the whey's potent effects by calculating the daily dose you need each day. To complete this calculation, you will need to know many variables including your current exercise level and your current nutrient intake. It's also important to meet with a health care expert before taking whey to make sure it will be effective and safe for you.

Know the Risks of Whey

Fortunately, whey has very few negative effects. A July 2018 article in the EFSA Journal closely examined the safety of dried whey. These authors found no evidence of whey-induced toxicity and declared whey safe for human consumption.

Results from studies testing whey's effects on the human body support the safety of whey. For example, a September 2018 report in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism tested 31 older women and showed that whey ingestion increased their muscle strength and muscle mass without causing any side effects.

Yet whey is derived from milk, and people with cow's milk protein intolerance or lactose intolerance should avoid it. While the number of people affected is small, the consequences for such people stay large. For example, cow's milk protein intolerance can unexpectedly cause severe gastrointestinal distress in children.

Read more: What Happens if You Drink Too Much Whey Protein?

Know the Contaminants in Whey

Another concern comes from the contaminants in whey. An August 2018 paper in Frontiers in Microbiology showed that whey samples often have bacterial contamination from Gammaproteobacteria and Firmicutes. The authors noted that heat treatment fails to remove many of these bacteria. This failure might cause premature decay and decrease the shelf life of whey products.

Some whey comes from goat milk. A June 2017 article in the International Dairy Journal raised concerns about the safety of this product. These authors argued that the heavy use of antibiotics in modern farming might taint whey. In fact, they showed that beta-lactam antibiotics can easily move from milk to whey during processing.

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