The body needs protein which is essential in building muscle, repairing tissue, producing enzymes and hormones and is a source of energy. Whey is a complete protein source that provides all the essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that increase anabolism, also known as muscle growth. It is used for various reasons. Some individuals want to build muscle mass and gain strength, while others want to lose weight and achieve improved results from working out. Even individuals who don’t exercise can benefit from the supplement as it supports immune function, helps reduce blood pressure, and improves insulin response.

Whey Protein Powder: Musculoskeletal Health

Whey Protein

Whey protein is made from the liquid produced during the cheese-making process.

  • Milk comprises two forms of protein: casein (80%) and whey (20%).
  • It contains less than 0.5 g of fat and only 5 mg of cholesterol per serving.
  • Pure whey does not contain any gluten.
  • It is referred to as the most nutritious protein available.
  • It’s easy to digest.
  • Incorporating whey into a healthy diet can help lower the risk of diabetes.


There are three primary types of whey protein in supplements.

Whey Protein Concentrate – WPC

  • The percentage of protein available in the concentrate can vary from 30 to 90 percent.
  • The concentrate generally contains low levels of carbohydrates and fat.

Whey Protein Isolate – WPI

  • Isolate contains more protein than concentrate.
  • They are almost always at least 90 percent protein.
  • This is because they’ve been further processed and thus have no fat or lactose.

Whey Protein Hydrolysate – WPH

  • Hydrolysate is a form that has already gone through partial hydrolysis, a process so the body can absorb protein.
  • It is considered pre-digested, so it gets absorbed quicker.

Concentration is the most popular and least expensive option that retains the most nutrients. However, some individuals can tolerate isolate and hydrolysate a lot better and are ideal for those trying to cut down on carbs and fats.


Increased Strength and Muscle

  • Helps to increase protein consumption.
  • Most brands contain 80 to 90 percent without added carbs or fats.
  • Helps to build muscle and increase strength after physical activity/exercise recovery.

Can Help Burn Fat

  • A study found a group of adults that supplemented their diet with whey protein experienced a decrease in body fat and weight.
  • Combining whey protein and resistance training, participants found their weight and fat loss were even higher.

Can Help Stabilize Blood Sugar

  • Consuming whey protein with a high glycemic index before a meal can help stimulate insulin production while preventing spikes in blood sugar levels.
  • The protein naturally reduces blood sugar levels after meals when consumed before the meal.

Improves Heart Health

  • It can help reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness.
  • It has been linked to improving individual lipid profiles.
  • Promotes heart health by building muscle and helping with weight loss.

Increased Immunity

  • It can help encourage glutathione synthesis, which increases immune system function.
  • It is also rich in vitamins and minerals that promote immune function.
  • It helps the body recover from oxidative stress and inflammation.

Improves Energy Levels

  • It helps to increase glycogen, a source of energy during exercise or other physical activities.
  • It also increases leptin which helps balance the body’s energy levels.
  • Whey is easily digested, which can be quickly converted to energy.

Factors to Consider When Choosing


  • The flavor is crucial because nobody wants to drink a daily protein shake they cannot enjoy.
  • Options like chocolate and vanilla are usually safe.
  • If experimenting, get a small container to start.


  • Not all supplements mix properly or thoroughly.
  • Find a brand that dissolves quickly and has little clumping.

Container Size

  • Most protein supplements are available in 1 lb, 2 lb, 5 lb, or 10 lb containers.
  • Larger sizes are more cost-effective.
  • One 5 lb package is cheaper than buying five 1 lb containers.

Everything You Need To Know


Ebaid, Hossam et al. “Whey protein enhances normal inflammatory responses during cutaneous wound healing in diabetic rats.” Lipids in health and disease vol. 10 235. 14 Dec. 2011, doi:10.1186/1476-511X-10-235

Hashemilar, Mazyar, et al. “Effect of Whey Protein Supplementation on Inflammatory and Antioxidant Markers, and Clinical Prognosis in Acute Ischemic Stroke (TNS Trial): A Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled, Clinical Trial.” Advanced pharmaceutical bulletin vol. 10,1 (2020): 135-140. doi:10.15171/apb.2020.018

Kim, Jooyoung, et al. “Effect of timing of whey protein supplement on muscle damage markers after eccentric exercise.” Journal of exercise rehabilitation vol. 13,4 436-440. 29 Aug. 2017, doi:10.12965/jer.1735034.517

Marshall K. Therapeutic applications of whey protein. Alternative Medicine Review. 2004;9(2):136-156.

Pradhan, Geetali, et al. “Ghrelin: much more than a hunger hormone.” Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care vol. 16,6 (2013): 619-24. doi:10.1097/MCO.0b013e328365b9be

Volek, Jeff S et al. “Whey protein supplementation during resistance training augments lean body mass.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition vol. 32,2 (2013): 122-35. doi:10.1080/07315724.2013.793580


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The information herein on "Whey Protein Powder and Musculoskeletal Health" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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