InViteⓇ Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH
When people hear the words whey protein, they usually automatically correlate that with working out. We certainly know that that amino acid blend is very beneficial for maintaining skeletal muscles. But we also have to recognize that whey protein in particular does so many things for our overall health. Today, I want to focus on going beyond whey protein’s benefits for exercise.†
The benefits of whey protein
I want to discuss all of the powerful amino acids offered in our whey protein isolate powders. We have chocolate and vanilla whey protein. Using these powders in a smoothie is usually a good way of getting added nutrients because you can also add in fruits and vegetables to add an antioxidant punch. Plus you’re getting the fiber coming from the fruits and vegetables. You can find recipes from our nutritionists here.†
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Whey protein isolate contains branched-chain amino acids, which includes leucine, isoleucine and valine. Whey protein isolate is different from other forms of this protein because it’s had the fat and lactose removed. That’s very important, especially for people who have certain gastrointestinal sensitivities. By using the isolate form, you are just getting the amino acid blend, which is really very powerful. You’re getting tryptophan and tyrosine. Each one of these individual amino acids helps to regulate and control multiple different functions in the body.†
The role of amino acids in aging
I really want to focus in on the way in which whey protein isolate can be beneficial when it comes to the aging process and cognition. One of the things we know this protein blend can do is that it helps to optimize immune function. It gives us these really important amino acids that help to support the gut microbiome.†
We can also look at how this nutrient can impact cognitive function. In a study done in Australia, researchers found that patients who had early-onset dementia or mild cognitive impairment also had low Vitamin B12 status. Then, they gave them whey protein isolate and they found that this actually helped to improve their B12 and folate levels. We know that both of those B-vitamins are integral to maintaining cognitive function as we get older.†
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We can look at each individual amino acid and the role that they play. For example, arginine helps to release nitric oxide. This impacts vasodilation and the more vasodilation we have, the more blood flow we have and the better oxygenation up to the brain. We can look at tryptophan, which helps to support proper neurotransmitter release. Researchers have also learned that certain amino acids can also function as antioxidants. Antioxidants help to fend off oxidative stress that can do damage to the mitochondria, which can lower our cognitive function.†
In this episode, Amanda Williams, MPH delves into the important role that whey protein can play outside of exercise and muscle function. She explains how it is made up of vital amino acids that are needed for mood, cognition, metabolism and more and also details how they relate to other essential nutrients in the body.†
- Smoothie ideas from Amanda
- The role of amino acids in the body
- What is sarcopenia?
- Studies on whey protein
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