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Whey Protein Supplements: The Way to Go or Not?

Supplements are becoming ever more popular with people looking to treat ailments or compensate for various mineral or vitamin deficiencies or nutrient shortfalls. One of the most popular types of nutritional supplements is whey protein. Whey protein supplements can be used by anybody concerned with not getting enough protein in their diet, but are especially popular in muscle building circles where the demand for protein is even greater. Although whey protein has outstanding muscle building capabilities, the question foremost in most people’s minds is whether whey protein is good for you or bad for you?

Whey protein is a natural byproduct of cheese making it a natural product; most people have heard of curds and whey. It’s filtered to become more concentrated by removing impurities and granulized so it can be mixed with liquids and consumed. Whey protein has the highest BV (biological value) of any type of protein, meaning per amount of protein consumed, more of it is available for the body (i.e. muscles) to use. Whey protein has a biological value slightly higher than Whole Egg or Milk – two other popular sources of protein for people seeking to build muscle or maintain health.

People skeptical about the safety of whey protein tend to be more skeptical about the safety of protein in general, often citing the potential dangers of high protein diets as having adverse effects on the kidneys. The truth is a person with fully functioning kidneys in the first place should have no problem coping with a significantly increased protein intake, and a person engaged in an active lifestyle and muscle building regimen will incur a protein deficit and muscle breakdown unless protein supply is increased to meet demand for muscle repair and growth.

Whey protein contains all essential amino acids, meaning all the amino acids the body cannot manufacture itself but requires directly from food sources. Whey protein is every bit as safe and healthy as eggs, milk, cheese, fish, beef and chicken which most people have in their daily diets.

Remember that health isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. It’s a balance between lifestyle and diet. That’s why dietary recommendations for the average person wouldn’t be adequate for people on rigorous training regimes. Having said that, even if you aren’t pursuing a training regimen at the moment, and think your diet may be lacking in quality complete protein (if you eat a lot of carbs and processed foods it quite possibly is), you can still make use of whey protein supplements and have a couple of shakes a day, no problem.