This fall, when the LA Dodgers won the National League pennant by defeating the Milwaukee Brewers, it was proof that not all pro teams are created equal. The same is true for proteins in your diet.
A new study from Canada's McMaster University says that whey protein supplements can help prevent age-related loss of muscle mass, especially for older folks who get sidelined because of an operation, illness, or injury.
Whey, the liquid part of milk that separates during cheese production, is packed with all of the nine essential protein-building amino acids.
And it does more than build muscle. It also provides a quick hit of long-lasting energy, helps suppress your appetite, and controls blood sugar.
The study shows that it does its magic while you're inactive. But we say it's most effective when coupled with strength-building exercise two to three days a week.
And it should supplement, not be a substitute for, high-quality, food-based proteins such as legumes, whole grains, and salmon burgers.
There are three powderized kinds: whey protein concentrate, which is 30 to 90 percent protein with low levels of carbohydrates and fat; whey protein isolate, which is 90 percent protein with 0.5 percent fat or lactose; and whey protein hydrolysate is "predigested" and is absorbed the fastest.
They all make great shakes.
To discover if you need a whey product, talk to your doctor and/or a nutritionist. Either can help you determine how much you should be taking, given your goals.
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