Eat Your Whey to Stronger Muscles

If you’ve read my blogs before, you know I often talk about sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscles that can lead to proportionately more fat on the body–not to mention falls, disability and loss of independence.

Along with strength training, a major way to counter sarcopenia is to eat adequate amounts of protein. And for Baby Boomers and seniors, this also means the correct type of protein and proper amounts.

Along with strength training, adequate protein intake is needed to maintain strength!
Along with strength training, adequate protein intake is needed to maintain strength!

One of the best utilized sources of protein for muscle building is whey. Let’s explore a little about what it is, what it does and how it can be used.

Eating Her Curds and Whey…
In the process of making cheese, whey is the liquid remaining after milk is curdled. Whey protein is one of the best quality proteins available. It contains higher concentrations of branched-chain amino acids (protein building blocks) than other protein sources. The most important of these is leucine, an amino acid critical for muscle protein synthesis (leading to a stronger you!).

Whey protein is quickly absorbed. This is important for older adults, whose ability to make protein after mealtime is reduced. (Because our bodies don’t store a lot of protein, like we do for fats and carbohydrates, it’s important to eat adequate amounts throughout the day to replace used protein stores.) Recent studies show that whey helps limit protein loss, boosting its growth after meals.

Types of Whey
There are three major forms of whey: protein concentrate, isolate and hydrolysate. Whey  isolate usually has a higher percentage of protein than the concentrate; both of these forms contain a small amount of carbohydrates and fat. Whey protein hydrolysate is “pre-digested” and therefore more quickly absorbed.

In reality, many products contain one or two of these, and for the purpose of just augmenting your protein intake, it doesn’t matter much which form you use.

Two things to look for on the label:
1) 20 – 30 grams of protein per (1) scoop
2) low sugar (about 2 grams per scoop)

Please note:
Whey is not vegan. If you’re a lacto-ovo vegetarian, you can include it in your diet.  If you’re gluten-free, you can include it in your diet.

If you’ve never used whey protein powder before, buy the smallest package possible and experiment.

How to Use Whey
Incorporating whey protein powder into your diet can be an easy way to meet your protein need, especially if you don’t eat a lot of meat.

• The easiest way to use whey powder is to blend it with water, or with fruit and other ingredients for a smoothie.
• It can be baked into cookies or muffins, and added to pancake/waffle batters to increase the protein amount and healthfulness of the product.
• The powder can be added to hot cereals, soups, meatballs, casseroles or almost any kind of mixed item.
• Check online for recipe ideas and have fun!

Looking for other suggestions to maximize your strength and maintain your independence?

If you are ready to FINALLY TAKE CONTROL of your FITNESS, and want to speak with me in an unbiased format, take advantage of my FREE CALL. I promise to give you a few tips and things to look at immediately, plus we can discuss if any of my programs or classes are a good fit for you.
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