Whey protein is the liquid left behind when milk turns to cheese and is a popular diet supplement due to its nutritional content.

What are its health benefits?

Whey protein consists of all nine essential amino acids, building blocks for protein, which build muscle and repair tissues. Eating whey protein increases the levels of the powerful antioxidant, glutathione, in the body.

Reportedly, whey protein supplementation may have the following benefits:

  • Boosts your immune system
  • Improves athletic performance
  • Used in bodybuilding to improve muscle mass. Studies show that taking whey protein supplements before or after exercise can improve muscle strength and lean muscle mass.
  • For weight loss
  • To lower cholesterol
  • Lowers blood pressure in those who struggle with hypertension (high blood pressure) and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Improves immune response in children battling with asthma
  • As a food supplement for adults to increase nutritional intake
  • For supplementing baby milk formulas
  • Prevents eczema in infants
  • Prevents allergies in infants
  • Reduces psoriasis (a skin disorder) symptoms
  • Reduces weight loss in HIV-positive patients

Recommended dietary allowance (RDA)

There is no RDA. Ensure you discuss supplementation with your Clicks pharmacist or your doctor before taking it.

According to research, those who want to improve their athletic performance should combine 1.2-1.5g/kg of whey protein with strength/resistance training for six to ten weeks.

To combat HIV/AIDS-related weight loss, these are the recommended dosages: 8.4-84g per day, or 2.4g/kg per day in a high-kilojoule formula, or 42-84g per day in a glutamine-enriched formula.

Not enough is known about safe dosages for women during pregnancy or breast-feeding, so rather avoid its use.

If you have a milk allergy or are lactose intolerant, rather don’t use whey protein. If you’re a diabetic, you may experience changes in blood sugar if you take whey protein.

Know the overdose risks

If you ingest too much, possible side effects could include:

  • Stomach pains
  • Bloating
  • Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Thirst
  • Headache
  • Reduced appetite
  • Fatigue

Ensure you discuss dietary supplementation with your Clicks pharmacist to avoid the potential for side effects and adverse interactions with medications. For example, whey protein can decrease the effectiveness of the Parkinson’s disease drug, levodopa.

Shop online at Clicks.co.za for whey protein

Clicks stocks a wide range of GNC supplements containing whey protein for you to choose from, as well as other sports nutrition products and supplements.

The accuracy of this information was checked and approved by Clicks' pharmacist Waheed Abdurahman in February 2015