Getting in your whey
Last fall, when the LA Dodgers won the National League pennant by defeating the Milwaukee Brewers, it was proof that not all pro teams are created equal. The same is true for proteins in your diet.
A new study from Canada’s McMaster University says that whey protein supplements can help prevent age-related loss of muscle mass, especially for older folks who get sidelined because of an operation, illness or injury.
Whey, the liquid part of milk that separates during cheese production, is packed with all of the nine essential protein-building amino acids. And it does more than build muscle. It also provides a quick hit of long-lasting energy, helps suppress your appetite and controls blood sugar. The study shows that it does its magic while you’re inactive (on bed rest, say), but we say it’s most effective when coupled with strength-building exercise two to three days a week. And it should supplement, not be a substitute for, high-quality, food-based proteins such as legumes, whole grains and Dr. Mike’s favorite, salmon burgers.
There are three powderized kinds: whey protein concentrate, which is 30 to 90 percent protein with low levels of carbohydrates and fat; whey protein isolate, which is 90 percent protein with 0.5 percent fat or lactose; and whey protein hydrolysate is “predigested” and is absorbed the fastest. They make great shakes — go to www.DoctorOz.com/for recipes; it’s Lisa Oz’s favorite protein booster.
To discover if you need a whey product, talk to your doc and/or a nutritionist. Either can help you determine how much you should be taking, given your goals.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.