Whey in Every Stage of Your Life

Protica Research

Founded in 2001, Protica, Inc. is a nutritional research firm with offices in Lafayette Hill and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Protica manufactures capsulized foods, including Profect, a compact, hypoallergenic, ready-to-drink protein beverage containing zero carbohydrates and zero fat. Information on Protica is available at www.protica.com

The human body uses three macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) and a number of micronutrients, (vitamins and minerals) from the time we are conceived to the time that we die. Our needs for each of these nutrients will change as we reach each new stage of life, with certain time periods needing nutrients in greater numbers because we are growing or for other reasons. In addition to the different stages of life, we may find ourselves in need of different nutrients because we are sick, injured, or pregnant. Whey, a beneficial type of protein is useful to the body, from the time of infancy up to the time of very old age. The needs of the body for protein, including whey, changes dramatically from time to time and varies depending on a number of factors.

Hmmm Proteinicious

It is not only important to get the right amount of protein but the right kind as well. Before discussing how much protein a body needs for every stage of life, the kinds of protein should be discussed.

Where Protein Comes From

Protein comes from both animal and plant sources. All animal based protein is complete; it has all nine essential amino acids needed for the human body. There are twenty amino acids, each playing a different role in the body including creating new amino acids, hormones, and enzymes. Each of these is vital to a different function of the body which include sleep regulation, digestion, and ovulation to name a few. While the body is making the others, it needs these nine amino acids to be replenished every day because not only can they not be made by the body, they are not stored either. Animal protein includes meat, of course, but also includes dairy foods like milk and cheese, as well as eggs. Whey is a protein that is derived from milk, a byproduct of the cheese making process.

Plant protein is incomplete because it lacks one or more of the essential amino acids. The exception is soy protein which is actually complete. Eating plant proteins in combination keeps there from being a problem with deficiencies; however, new vegetarians and some vegans may still see some problems from not calculating their needs correctly. Some may actually turn to amino acids derived from supplements to make sure that they are getting all that they need.

While doctors and nutritionists agree that you should always get your nutrients from whole food sources, it is not always possible. Using whey protein supplements can be a good way to make sure you are getting the protein that you actually need.

How Much Protein You Need

It might be surprising to learn that the highest level of protein that you need during your entire life is in infancy: The need is 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight decreasing into adulthood. By the time you have reached the age of 18 or so, your protein need has leveled out to around 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. However, if you are a very sedentary person and rarely exercise, your needs will be slightly lower. If you are an avid exerciser, your needs will be slightly higher. Body builders and endurance athletes might need as much as 1.2 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of their body weight, although they do not get big based purely on their protein intake but rather because of their genetics, hours of time spent in the gym and overall nutrition.

In addition, you need extra protein when you are sick, suffering from trauma, burns, and recovering from surgery. Protein is vital to every cell in the body; however, protein that is higher than 35% of the daily calories may lead to kidney stones. Protein needs also increase when you reach the later stages of life. Whey protein has been shown to improve blood vessel function in healthy people as well as lowering blood pressure. It should be noted that whey protein has been used for health and nutrition since the time of Hippocrates who prescribed whey to his patients. Other benefits of protein include:

- It helps insulin work better so that you can maintain level blood sugar after a meal.

- It helps the optimal intake of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals all for overall good health.

- It supports the immune system.

- It helps preserve lean muscle mass.

- It improves vascular function.

Men need more protein than women because it is needed for the production of testosterone and helps with the normal level of circulation of red blood cells which is also increased in men.

The Problem with Too Much Protein

While protein is an important part of the diet, it needs to be in the right amount. Too much protein can change metabolism to ketosis. When the body is in ketosis, it is not burning carbohydrates for energy like it is designed to. Instead, fat is broken down to burn for energy creating byproducts called ketones which are then released to the blood stream. Ketones both suppress the appetite and increase urinary output which in turn can lead to electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, and osteoporosis. (Source: Osterweil) Too much whey protein may also lead to liver damage.

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  • Marley says
    Interesting read, not sure if I'm hungry now!
  • Steff S says
    to properly grasp the problem with too much protein, you need only visit your local gym, namely the weights section. There are small clouds of noxious gas that hang around that area, which are almost visible to the naked eye. no wonder women's only gyms are becoming vogue.
  • I thought womens gyms were becoming popular because they were sick of being perved at?
  • Onaphobia says
    You know, I prefer women's gyms and I always assumed it was to do with being perved at, but when I think about it it's actually to do with sweaty men dripping on the equipment and stinking the place up, and really, men who are working out are generally not all that attractive (except in men's gyms in West LA, different story). I'd rather work out at home or at the pool, which reminds me of one thing I often consider while swimming... people sweat while they exercise... so what percentage of the pool 'water' is actually perspiration?
    • Thank you for ruining the only sport I'm any good at! Joking aside, my conclusion is this: that if I had to breathe in anyone else's sweat and body odour, I'd rather it was delivered in the medium of chlorinated water. Certainly not wafted on a warm current of moist pungency, a condensed elixir of unwashed armpit and crotch. I hate gyms for no other reason than this.
      • Onaphobia says
        Nicely put. And by 'nicely' I really mean, OH MY GOD I'M NEVER GOING TO THE GYM AGAIN!! Actually, that's pretty easy for me to say, I have no real desire to go to a gym again, ever. Unless it has a pool. Preferably with a TV under it's glass bottom... And anyway, I'm not sure sweat is the worst thing in the pool.
      • KH says
        Do you think that we still sweat as much with the temperature of pools as they are? Either way eww, this is the first thing I'm going to think of next time I'm in the pool! Probably worse stuff floating around in there too. Yuck.
        • Onaphobia says
          There is, it's true. I have a friend who's a lifeguard and to be honest, I really can't understand how some of the things that wind up in the pool... wind up in the pool. I mean, "How?" "Why?" They couldn't just get out and... *shudder* Gotta stop talking.

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