How Whey Protein Supports Healthy Metabolism

November 27, 2018 | Wellness Resources

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 How Whey Protein Supports Healthy Metabolism
When it comes to losing weight, all calories are not equal. Protein is the single most important macronutrient to your metabolism. A significant body of science suggests that a diet higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates is an effective weight loss strategy.

All protein supplements are not created equal, however. It is quite clear that whey protein, compared to similar amounts of other proteins, is a highly superior food for weight management.

Protein is made up of various amino acids. In terms of weight loss, scientists are finding that the most important amino acids are the branch chain amino acids (BCAA), especially leucine. When you get your protein intake high enough, especially in proteins that are rich in leucine, it can activate metabolism and promote fat burning.

Because whey protein contains 50 to 75 percent more leucine than other proteins, it has a greater ability to stimulate muscle metabolism. Leucine has been found to stimulate an important gene signaling system called the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). This not only preserves muscle mass when you are cutting calories but can increase lean muscle mass. This increases your resting metabolic rate, the rate at which you burn calories at rest or while sleeping.

Whey protein also helps you feel full. The mTOR gene pathway is similar to leptin in that it helps promote a full signal in your subconscious brain. This depresses various appetite signals such as neuropeptide Y, agouti-related protein, and ghrelin. Your digestive tract produces full signals that communicate to your subconscious brain, helping reinforce the feeling of satiety. Two such signals that whey protein is known to increase are cholecystokinin (CCK) and peptide YY (PYY).

Whey protein boosts CKK within 20 minutes and keeps it elevated for three hours. PYY is a full signal released by cells throughout the gut lining in response to the size of a meal. PYY is also activated by whey “fooling” your brain into thinking you ate more than you did. This can be especially important in overweight people, whose subconscious brains tend to not feel full on a normal amount of food. Taking whey protein at breakfast helps you feel full for 4-5 hours until lunchtime.

Whey protein also enhances weight loss by helping to keep blood sugar levels stable. In a human study, it was found that using seventeen grams of whey protein plus fiber prior to a carbohydrate-rich meal lowered blood sugar to more manageable levels. Keeping blood sugar levels stable is of utmost importance when trying to lose weight because our bodies enter a fat storage mode when insulin levels are high and cravings for carbohydrates and sugar occur when insulin levels crash, creating a nasty cycle of weight gain and cravings.

Whey protein has shown to be a highly superior source of protein, especially for weight management. The finest quality whey proteins use a ceramic cross-flow microfiltration technology to leave all the protein molecules intact. In this process the saturated fat, cholesterol, and lactose are removed, yielding a very useful leucine-rich food for metabolic enhancement. Try taking high quality whey protein at breakfast to boost your metabolism throughout the day and keep weight off this holiday season!

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