Why Whey Protein

Why Whey Protein (NOTE: If diary sensitive, I recommend Egg White Protein as well!)

Why Whey Protein? Did you know that if you gain 10 pounds of muscle, you will burn an extra 3500 calories per week? To burn that many calories doing cardio, you’d have to run for an hour each day of the week! To build 10 pounds of muscle, feed your body a high quality whey protein 1-3 times a day, and increase strength training. Whey protein is my favorite addition to my diet in the past few years. It provides me with the muscle maintaining protein I need when I work out or don’t consume the calories I need in a day.

Whey is a form of protein that is naturally-present in dairy products. Two issues I often see in athletic clients are they either do so much cardio that they tear down their muscles which kills their metabolism or they dip too low in calories which eats up their valuable muscle for energy (catabolic state). Whey protein is a popular protein supplement for fitness fanatics mainly because of its high concentration in the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAAs are the key players in maintaining muscle tissue and help to preserve muscle stores of glycogen and can help prevent muscle protein breakdown during exercise; again…let’s keep that metabolism humming. Consuming whey as a protein source for a post-exercise snack is awesome for our exhausted muscles.

Whey protein is also very low in fat and carbohydrates (some brands can be high in carbs so read the labels!). This is be

why whey protein

cause the refinement process used to create whey protein powder removes nearly all of the fat and sugars in the liquid, leaving a final product that is almost 100% protein by volume. This makes whey protein great for dieters who want to hold onto their valuable muscle. Athletes, fitness enthusiasts and vegetarians find that whey protein helps them attain specific training goals and enhanced energy levels.

Whey protein has other properties that have health benefits, including the presence of certain biologically active nutrients that enhance the immune system and even stave off muscle wasting.

Whey Protein Benefits:
 Whey Protein is not stored as fat as easily as carbohydrates.
 Whey Protein decreases your hunger between meals.
 Whey Protein helps strengthen your immune system.
 Whey Protein increases energy levels, especially during low-calorie dieting and helps shorten recovery time between exercise sessions.
 Whey Protein helps repair and build new muscle.

Each type of protein has a specific biological value. The higher the value, the better it works. Whey protein has the highest biological value (bv) of any protein, 104. Beef has a bv of 80 and soy protein with a bv of 74. That means whey protein is 23% more effective than beef and 29% more effective than soy protein at helping you body build lean muscle! Unlike other proteins, like casein, which is another form of protein in milk, the speed at which whey protein is digested makes it an ultimate source of protein following exercise when your body requires amino acids promptly to aid with recovery.

why whey protein

Top 10 reasons to consume WHEY:

1. Boost Immune System – Whey protein includes high levels of the amino acid cysteine, which produces glutathione, a potent antioxidant that maintains immune health. One of the first indications in patients with autoimmune diseases is a decrease in glutathione levels. Many studies have proven adding whey protein to patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, cancer, and HIV can greatly enhance their immune system. Scientists discovered that whey proteins stopped the growth of breast cancer cells in test tubes. It was also proven that when patients ingest at least 24 grams of whey a day they had a noteworthy reduction in the size of cancer tumors.

2. Enhance Infant Formula– Whey protein contains alpha-lactalbumin and is the main nutrient in human breast milk. This makes whey protein a very important nutrient to include in infant formulas and should be the first protein consumed by babies. Good news to mothers, the Journal of Pediatrics, found that formulas with whey protein have been shown to help reduce the length of crying spells in babies with colic. Always check the ingredients list on your infant formula, not all contain whey because it costs more.

3. Benefit Cardiovascular Health –Adding whey along with your doctor’s prescription can be a great balance to help your heart. Clinical research discovered that whey protein reduces blood pressure in individuals who are borderline hypertensive.

4. Increase Lean Body Mass– Our muscles need branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) during long periods of exercise and added stress; which can also have a negative effect on the immune system. Whey proteins are naturally high in BCAAs that are easy to digest. It immediately supplies the muscles with high quality protein it is screaming for; which directly correlates to an increase in physical performance and enhanced body composition.

5. Contribute to a Positive Mood– Stress is a well-known cause of a decrease in serotonin levels in the brain; which can cause depression. Clinical studies found that including whey protein is helpful in enhancing moods and in boosting serotonin levels because it is high in tryptophan, a natural relaxant. Whey is great for people with high stress lifestyles and elevated cortisol hormones.

6. Superior Protein Source for Lactose, Casein or Gluten Free Diets- Whey protein isolate is the purest form and is over 90% protein. Whey protein isolate contains only trace amounts of lactose, therefore people with lactose allergies can safely enjoy whey. It is also a great protein source for people with Celiac disease who are on gluten or wheat protein-restricted diets.

7. An Appetite Suppressor – One of the nutrients in whey protein, glycomacropeptide, stimulates the release of cholecystokinin, which is an appetite suppressing hormone.

8. Stave off Osteoporosis – Osteoporosis affects over 25 million Americans. We have the highest rate of hip fractures, yet we have the highest intake of calcium in the world, next to Sweden. Studies show that low protein intake, including low levels of animal protein consumption, was directly related to increased levels of bone loss. Impact exercise, such as walking, and sufficient amounts of protein in the diet can enhance bone health and may help to reduce the frequency of osteoporosis.

9. Help Protect against Ulcers and Acid Reflux – Lactoferrin, a nutrient in whey protein, is a known inhibitor of many forms of bacteria that is responsible for digestive problems; such as gastritis and ulcers. In addition, recent animal studies show promising results that it also kills the bacteria responsible for acid reflux.

10. Aid Wound Healing – People who have burns or are recovering from surgery require additional protein in their diet. Exciting new studies indicate whey protein nutrients promote the growth of new body tissue.


When buying a whey protein product, “Whey Protein Isolate” is the highest quality you can buy; which has at least 90 percent protein with only trace amounts of fat and lactose. Also check the sugar count; some brands add way too much sugar to make whey taste like candy and get you hooked on their product…and that sugar isn’t going to help our waist line! If you do decide to try whey protein powder, it’s important to read the ingredients on the product closely. Some whey protein powders have added ingredients that can be counter-productive to your goals. For example, whey protein “gainer” powders have tons of extra calories added to them in the form of sugar in order to increase their calorie content for people who are trying to gain weight. Jay Robb is a superior weight loss brand that uses stevia to sweeten their whey. Whey protein can be purchased in health or nutrition stores, in many large grocery stores, or directly from suppliers on the Internet.

Click HERE to find the ones I prefer on sale.

There are many ways to consume whey protein as it can easily be added to water, unsweetened almond milk, or coconut milk. It can also be added to softer solid foods or used as an egg replacement in many baking recipes.

why whey protein

I’m not one to “drink” my calories…I like to eat! So, I use whey in many of my recipes, including chocolate chip cookies, animal crackers, bread sticks, cinnamon bread

I always use Jay Robb Whey because:
1. Sourced from grass fed cows not treated with rBGH (Growth Hormone)
2. 25 grams of protein per serving!
3. No sugar, No aspartame, No fat
4. No artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners
5. No casein, msg or gluten
6. Made with stevia

These recipes can be found in my cookbooks. Thank you so much for your love and support!

Testimony of the Day

“After years of not watching what I ate, I finally found myself at my highest weight ever at age 49. I was also going through some tough times in my life; going through a divorce, not by my choice. I was at a crossroads in my life; being single now after 15 years of marriage and a father to 2 wonderful boys and trying to juggle work amongst all of that. I started talking with a friend who encouraged me to get back on my feet again, telling me that it’s easy to lose the weight and which in turn will make you feel good about yourself and give you energy.

I figured, “Why not. What do I have to lose, besides the weight.” It took a very short time to get used to eating differently, it much was easier than I expected. When I started eating low carb and high fats and took out the grains, I saw results immediately. I saw the weight come off very quickly and it wasn’t hard at all. As a single dad, I am able to eat my eggs for breakfast and take a lunch that I pack each day and still have a homemade meal at night. I really enjoy the foods I eat and it’s not hard at all to take the time to make sure what goes in the mouth is made at home and not from a box and to pack a lunch is so easy. I sometimes use a crock pot to cook meats or soups that are ready to go when I walk in the door after a long day of work. I have lost approximately 40 pounds and am eating better than ever. I have a more satisfied digestive system as well, not dealing with gas and diarrhea like I used to. I am slowly learning as I go, taking baby steps to eliminate one thing at a time. I really don’t miss the way I used to eat, especially after hearing so many people comment on how “skinny” I look. It makes me feel good about myself and I am once again getting some self confidence back. Thank you Maria for all you do.”

If you want to get started on your path to health like Bill, click HERE to get started.

why whey protein


About Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 12 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of "Dairy Free Ketogenic Cooking" and "Keto.". Click here for Keto.: http://amzn.to/2EfrECi Click here for Easy Dairy Free Ketogenic Cooking: http://amzn.to/2ClSqLc


  • Can do mom says:

    I have added whey protein to my diet for about the past year. I started with soy protein but when I began watching my sugar intake I switched over to EAS whey protein. They have both chocolate and vanilla at Sam’s Club, which is where I buy mine. I have not seen the Jay Robb brand but I’ll have to check it out.

    I add whey protein to everything! If I’m baking, I throw a scoop in. If I’m eating oatmeal, I throw a scoop in. I frequently heat a large glass of almond milk for breakfast and add a scoop of protein powder and that’s my quick and easy breakfast. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, Maria,
    My first time ever commenting on ANY blog, though I read many:)
    I have a question for you about Jay Robb whey protein isolate: Many years ago, I used his product every day, but that was before it became the isolate form (it was whey concentrate back then). I did fine with it until he changed the formula, and then started to notice that I got extremely jittery after drinking my morning shake, every single time, almost as if I had taken speed. Have you heard of this happening, and do you have any explanation for it? I have since switched over to the Jarrow unflavored brand, which is from concentrate. I don’t feel speedy from it, but it doesn’t “go down” as smoothly, and there is some bloating and cramping. Thanks so much for any input you might have!

  • As for the formula of Jay Robb, I am not sure. I haven’t heard of these symptoms before. I know that amino acids in general help with energy.

    I emailed the company to see if they have a response.

    Have a great day!

  • Bryan says:

    Good post.

    I was taught eggs had the highest PER – and were considered the “perfect” (balance of essential amino acids) protein.

    Why do you believe whey is better than egg white (i.e. Jay Robb Egg White Protein)?

  • I do like their egg white protein, but since they are lacking the nutrients of the yolk, I feel that (if you aren’t allergic to whey) this is a better choice. Taste is also a factor:)

  • Maddy says:

    Its really awesome, thanks for sharing and after reading your post i add whey protein to everything! If I’m baking, I throw a scoop in. If I’m eating oatmeal, I throw a scoop in.

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Dear Anonymous –
    I emailed JayRobb and this was their response…

    Our whey isolate has 0-sugar and a concentrate usually contains 3 or more grams of sugar per serving. I am not sure what could be causing the jittery feeling unless she is mixing our whey protein with juice. And, a whey isolate is just a whey concentrate filtered more to remove nearly all the milk sugar from the product. –Jay

    Hope this helps!

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, Maria,
    Thanks for following up on this for me. I have always used a tiny bit of fresh-squeezed orange juice with my whey, but I did that with both the concentrate and isolate. The product I use now, Jarrow’s unflavored variety, has zero sugar, as well. I wonder if the jitteriness has to do with low blood sugar, because the isolate gets absorbed more quickly and efficiently, and doesn’t sustain me for as long? Or, maybe the stevia in Jay’s products has something to do with the phenomenon. I’ll keep experimenting:)

  • Jack says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • Anonymous says:

    I used to drink jayrobb protein drink. and was on one of his diets which worked for a while.The drink didn’t affect me as feeling jiddery but the drink gave me headaches. I tested it so i know it was the drinks which gave me the headaches. so I quit drinking it and started with another brand. A good brand but more sugar than jays brand which i like to stay away from.

  • mcctra says:

    Hi Maria,
    Have you ever looked at MRM 100% natural whey? It seems to be close to Jay Robb. The only thing I see is carrageenan and Lo Han Guo. Are these two things safe? I know they one is plant and one is seaweed but i am not sure if there are reasons not to ingest. I have just found your blog and LOVE it. I am learning so much!

  • Nicole says:

    I have recently been trying to research which protein I want to add to my morning. I received a free sample of Vega nutritional shake which I liked and the stats on it seemed great! It is a vegan protein, so I was wondering if you had any opinion on that versus Jay Robb. I am looking for a breakfast meal replacement.

    Thank you!

    • It is ok. I wish there wasn’t “sprouted whole grain brown rice protein” and that is why the net carbs are a little higher than they need to be (7g) but otherwise it looks ok. 🙂

  • Mari says:

    Maria, how do you feel about creatine powder/supplements, and would they be an appropriate substitute for whey/egg white protein in your recipes? Thanks!

  • derozic says:

    I’m curious Maria, you refer to “Athletes, fitness enthusiasts and vegetarians find that whey protein helps them attain specific training goals and enhanced energy levels.”

    Since whey protein is an animal byproduct, what is your preferred vegan protein powder solution?

    Love your books and your work!!!

  • Brian says:

    I found this protien and was wondering if it has any hidden things in it? My stores dont have Jay Robb and they looked his up on the internet and told me this is what they carry this is comparable,

    vitamin world has this but I seen suculose in it.

  • Hi Maria,
    we cannot use Jayrobb due to the processing in factory with wheat because of Celiac. I’ve looked for another similar product, but it’s hard to know what’s best. We eat organic so naturally I would choose that but I can’t seem to find an organic whey protein isolate. What do you think of this one?http://www.nowfoods.com/Sports/Products/Protein-Powders/M014822.htm
    What would you pick as your second choice if you could not use JayRobb? thanks!

  • Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know if Jay Robb Whey protein is from A1 Milk or A2 Milk?

    • Hi, I contacted Jay about this and here is his response.

      “Hi Maria!
      Great to hear from you and a good question!
      The cows have not been tested to see if they are A1 or A2 producers but the primary cows are:
      Black Brindled Danish Dairy Cow (most common)
      Danish Red Brindled Cattle
      Red Danish Dairy Cow
      Jersey Cow
      We filter the whey to the point that there is almost no casein remaining in our whey, which is the benefit of a whey isolate. With that said, I am not sure if it would matter if it is from A1 or A2 milk, unless you were consuming the milk whole. –Jay”

  • ash ma says:

    Maria, I was reading that if we suffer from acid reflux, we must avoid dairy. i am confused on this though, isnt whey protein cosidered dairy? Thank you. I have two big containers of wehy and i would hate to stop my whey consumption if its making my gerd worse. thank you…Also, is egg white okay for acid reflux?


    • It depends somewhat on what allergy is causing the acid reflux. It could also be a gluten allergy causing the dairy sensitivity. But yes, whey protein is dairy. You can try egg white protein powder. Also, egg are ok too. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I have been making your chocolate shakes with the cream cheese,a little cocoa (not as much as your recipe as it was too chocolaty for me), left out Swerve, and put a few strawberries in it. Also used Almond Milk. Delicious! But I seem to belch it after, and one day I had diahrea. Do you think it is from the Stevia. Since I don’t like eggs, this is a great morning breakfast for me. Will my system get used to it, do your think. Thanks. Vicki

    • Are there any other ingredients? I wouldn’t think cream cheese, cocoa, almond milk, strawberries and stevia would cause any issues. Unless there is a sensitivity to diary (cream cheese). 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      No other ingredients. Maybe I’ll leave out cream cheese and see.
      Thank you.

  • Mikeal says:

    Thank you

  • Hi Maria!

    Just stumbled on your blog today and I LOVE IT! Already made your hummus and it was delicious!

    I am in search of a whey protein but have some restrictions (I am lactose intolerant and a vegetarian) Also having some digestive issues which I am treating now (ulcer). Is there a vegetarian option or vegan option you would recommend that’s in the same price range and tastes good? Is there a lot of dairy in the whey that it would cause stomach issues for someone who is lactose intolerant?

    Thanks for your help!


  • Bree says:

    Quick question: Stevia contains maltodextrin which is from corn, right? Is the reason you’re okay with this because it doesn’t spike glycemic levels? I also worry about the maltodextrin being gmo, which I try to avoid like the plague.

  • Aimee says:

    Why not just use actual whey? We throw it in baked goods, smoothies, etc. I understood it to be better than any powder.

    • cemmerich says:

      I haven’t used whey but it would bake differently. Also, plain whey has a quite a bit of sugar. 🙂

  • Karin says:

    Hi Maria!
    I discovered your website a couple of weeks ago, and have been drooling over the recipes ever since, as I have been off gluten, sugar and dairy for years 🙂 I have some questions about ingredient substitutions, though. A lot of your recipes require either whey protein or egg white protein, for which you recommend Jay Robb, but according to the information I’ve found online these can contain traces of gluten. I’m a celiac and must avoid even traces… Would any egg white protein do? Or can you think of any other substitutions that would work for baking (even if it’s a gluten-free flour, eg. rice, buckwheat…)? I live in Europe, which makes getting some of the ingredients very difficult, so any and all suggestions would be very much appreciated!
    While I’m at it, can I use another sweetener instead of Just like (brown) sugar and swerve? Can they always be substituted by Erythritol and/or stevia?
    Thank you so much for your help, and your lovely recipes. I’m very much looking forward to trying them all 🙂

  • Olya says:

    Does this whey protein come from raw cow’s milk? I try to only consume raw dairy

    • cemmerich says:

      Here is the description from their site:
      Only cold-processed cross-flow microfiltered whey protein isolate is used as the protein source and this material comes from farm-raised, pasture-grazed, grass-fed cows not treated with the synthetic bovine growth hormone rBGH.

  • karaann says:

    Hi Maria,

    Absolutely love your site!! Have just read Keto-Adapted, am on day 26 of following your program and I am already noticing a difference. Have tried many of your recipes and have enjoyed all of them thoroughly. I am 200 pounds overweight, 62 years old and have been living a very sedentary life for years due to chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, congestive heart failure and a constant issue of back pain. I am just getting back to the gym so my workouts are pretty lame right now. My question is, would it benefit me to be using the whey protein?

    Also, I seem to be having a difficult time coming up with enough fat foods some days to maintain 80% of my total calorie intake as fat. Do I need to limit my calorie intake at all?

    Thank you for all you do. I will be eating this way for the rest of my life and tell everyone I come into contact with about your program. My daughter got me interested and now my sister, brother, niece and her family are learning to eat this way.

    You are awesome!!!!

    • cemmerich says:

      I would try eating in a window each day. So eat first meal around 9-10am then another meal by about 4pm. This is an intermittent fast and should be easy to do if keto-adapted (you will stay full with all the healthy fats). This will kick up your weight loss. This will also reduce calories as it is hard to eat too much in just 2 meals.

      My meal plans make it really easy to follow and get 80% fat. I just added an intro package for Advanced Keto which is designed just as I described above (it is included in the 30 day Accelerated meal plans too). 🙂

      • karaann says:


        Thank you so much for getting back with me. I have been doing the intermittent fasting all along as that has what my body has wanted my whole life. I usually don’t have my first meal until noon to 1 PM. Then I eat again between 5 and 6 PM. I usually have a snack an hour after my evening meal. The snacks have been satisfying my craving for a treat. I love the Keto Fudge and the Fudge Ecstasies are phenomenal.

        My order for the supplements you recommend will be shipping this week so that should also help. I will be weighing myself on Wednesday as it will be day 28. I will give you an update as to how I’m doing. I can tell that I have dropped weight though. I know this is important yet I’m trying not to make that my main focus. My stomach has definitely gone down but I haven’t bothered to measure as I have a very large hernia which would be included in the inches. I am focusing on learning what is healthy for my body and getting healthier than I’ve ever been in my life. I know with that the weight will come off.

        Again, thank you for your passion for food and living a healthy lifestyle. Tomorrow I’m off to assist my niece in cleaning out her kitchen and shopping for foods that will allow her to cook Keto-Adapted meals.

        Onwards and upwards.

        God Bless you and your family – Kara

  • Lynn Tapper says:

    Maria – have you ever heard this about whey protein?
    (perhaps the person who gets jittery after using Jay Robbs is experiencing this?)

  • Jessica says:

    Hi Maria,
    I would like to order one of the Jay Robb products. I have used unflavored whey protein isolate that I found at GNC but I don’t like the smell that it has b/c it can also be tasted in the finished product (aka your tortilla chip recipe). Does either of the Jay Robb unflavored proteins have a smell or taste? Which would you say is more neutral? I can’t get my hands on them here so I have to order them online…Thank you!!

  • Jess says:

    Hi Maria,
    I’m reading your keto adapted book and you mention taking the amino acids leucine and lycine together. I’m having trouble finding leucine. Can you recommend a brand you use? Is it pure or in a combination? Not sure if it’s available in Canada or not.

  • Dee says:

    Hi Maria,

    Would you recommend whole egg protein powder over egg white protein powder? The nutritional profile is as follows: 11.4g fat, 14.4g protein, 1.1g carbs in a 30g scoop. Do you know if this will bake the same way as egg white protein powder does in your recipes? Thanks in advance 🙂

  • rachel says:

    I have aleays heard that undenatured whey is the best option. What are your thoughts on this one? Its is also from grass fed organic cows from new zealand. Has amino acids and also ionic alfalfa.


    I love all your recipes!

  • carrie says:

    I have a question about protein powders. I apologize if you’ve answered this previously, but I didn’t see it asked anywhere. Recently I learned that I’m sensitive to dairy/whey & eggs. Is there another Maria approved protein powder option for someone with those allergies? Or are any of them the “least bad” to use as a replacement for shakes & in your recipes? Thank you!

  • lily says:

    I haven’t been able yet to lose weight with keto, and after reading your books suspected I might be getting too much protein and sabotaging my diet through gluconeogenesis. Does whey protein make sense in my case? I’d like to use your baked goods recipes that rely on whey powder, but perhaps I should stay away from them if I’m worried about too much protein.

  • Bella says:

    When you call for vanilla whey protein in your recipes, are you counting on it containing a sweetener? For example, you recommend Jay Robb’s product, but it contains stevia. Is this factored into the total sugar needed in a recipe? What if I’m using an unsweetened whey protein?

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      I now recommend egg white since whey gets digested too fast. I usually use unflavored egg white.

  • K Stanley says:

    I was wondering if grass fed collagen powder could be used in place of the egg white protein powder in your recipes. I am new to keto and on a very limited budget, so I’d like to use what I have if it will work.