Protein needs vary by person depending upon age, weight, sex, activity level and overall health. Athletes and individuals with special medical needs often need more protein than the recommended dietary allowance, or RDA. Protein is an important nutrient needed by everyone of a daily basis. It is made up of essential and non-essential amino acids, which are the "building blocks" for healthy bodies. Protein has a number of different roles in the body including the following- repair body cells, build and repair muscles and bones, provide a source of energy, control many of the important processes in the body related to metabolism. The protein fraction in whey (approximately 10% of the total dry solids within whey) comprises four major protein fractions and six minor protein fractions. The major protein fractions in whey are beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, bovine serum albumin and immunoglobulins. Each of these components has important disease-fighting effects. In addition, whey protein is easily digestible.
Whey protein is a high quality, complete protein, with all the essential amino acids. Whey protein is also the richest known source of naturally occurring branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine). These are important for active individuals, individuals who exercise and professional athletes. The body requires higher amounts of branched chain amino acids during and following exercise as they are taken up directly by the skeletal muscles versus first being metabolized through the liver, like other amino acids. Low BCAA levels contribute to fatigue and they should be replaced in one-hour or less following exercise or participation in a competitive event. Many athletes consume a BiPro beverage both before and immediately after exercise or an event to help repair and rebuild lean muscle tissue.
Adding whey protein to the diet is a great way to jump-start a weight loss program. Whey protein is a key ingredient in numerous weight loss and meal replacement products and whey protein isolate (with no fat or carbohydrates) is often the preferred choice. Studies have found that individuals who combine diets with leucine rich protein foods, like whey protein, and exercise have more lean muscle tissue and they lose more body fat. As they lose fat their metabolic rate increases and they naturally burn more calories each day. Another way that whey protein helps manage weight is by promoting satiety, or a feeling of fullness. One recent study showed that whey protein was superior to casein, the other protein in cow's milk, in promoting satiety.