Whey protein has been found in preliminary research to preserve muscle fiber and decrease body fat when taken during diets that limit calorie intake. However, adding whey protein to your diet when involved in an exercise program significantly improves the results of weight loss as well as helping to keep it off. The loss of abdominal fat and leaner muscle mass can be acquired through a combination of aerobics, high intensity resistance training and whey protein.
Health Benefits of Whey Protein
Although research is ongoing, preliminary research has shown that the leucine and calcium, which are abundant in whey protein, work to reduce appetite, promote weight loss and improve the composition of the body. Muscle recovery can be hastened after workouts by drinking a smoothie consisting of whey protein and carbohydrate-rich fruits.
One Australian study revealed that it might also help individuals manage blood sugar levels. Healthy men who were fed whey protein in liquid form had lower blood sugar levels after eating a buffet meal than those who consumed turkey, eggs or tuna. This group of men also demonstrated a lower appetite and ate less, consuming fewer calories than those in the other protein groups.
Whey Protein and Exercise
Using whey protein, especially whey protein isolate, as a pre-workout supplement in resistance training programs has been found to both develop and preserve muscle fiber. A high intensity weight training program consisting of 2-3 workouts per week combined with a whey protein supplement will increase weight loss through improved anabolic metabolism. Whey protein supplementation becomes even more critical as you age because natural calorie restrictions which occur cause muscle degradation.
Whey protein supplements are also quite effective when combined with cardiovascular exercises such as running, cycling, aerobic dance, walking briskly, etc. However, to be effective, cardio exercise should be performed several times per week for 20 minutes or more so that your heart rate is elevated for an extended period.