Is whey protein effective without carbohydrates

Whey proteinFoodWhey protein is the name given to the protein from whey. Whey is produced in cheese production. It is the liquid squeezed out of the curdled milk. The whey protein contains all the essential amino acids and is quickly absorbed from the digestive tract. It is also rich in branched chain amino acids. Whey protein is used to promote the development and maintenance of the muscles. It is taken about thirty minutes before and after weight training or exercise. Whey protein is also used as a dietary supplement for adequate protein intake and for weight loss. Possible adverse effects include gastrointestinal discomfort.

synonymous: whey protein, whey protein


Whey protein is available in retail and specialist shops from various suppliers as a powder without flavor or with different aromas.

The German name is actually whey protein or whey protein. However, the English term has caught on and is more common.

Structure and properties

“Whey protein” is the protein contained in → whey (whey). Whey is produced in the production of cheese. It is the yellowish to green liquid squeezed out of the curdled milk.

The main component of the products are proteins with all essential amino acids: beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, serum albumin, lactoferrin, immunoglobulins, glycomacropeptide and enzymes. Whey protein contains a high proportion of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), i.e. leucine, isoleucine and valine.

In addition, the products may contain lower proportions of carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins.


Whey protein supplies the muscles with the amino acids required for building and maintaining it and increases protein synthesis. It is quickly absorbed in the digestive tract - in contrast to casein, the other milk protein. Whey protein is also said to have various health benefits. For example, it contains cysteine, which is important for the synthesis of the antioxidant glutathione.

The clinical effectiveness is controversial. According to an EFSA report from 2010, there is insufficient scientific evidence for the claimed areas of application.

Areas of application (selection)
  • For building and maintaining muscles, for example in bodybuilding and sports.
  • As a dietary supplement for adequate protein intake, for example in the event of a lack of appetite, cancer, pressure ulcers, convalescence or AIDS.
  • For making processed foods such as baby milk.
  • For overweight and obesity.

According to the instructions for use. Whey protein can be taken half an hour before or after a workout. The powder is usually prepared with water or milk. It can also be used to fortify cold or warm dishes.


Whey protein should not be taken in case of hypersensitivity. A complete list of precautionary measures is not available.


Proteins can inhibit the absorption of levodopa. Further interactions are possible. Therefore, the products should generally not be taken at the same time as other medications.

unwanted effects

When taking high doses, gastrointestinal complaints such as diarrhea, nausea, flatulence and abdominal pain can occur.

see also

Whey, milk, cheese

  • Devries M.C., Phillips S.M. Supplemental protein in support of muscle mass and health: advantage whey. J Food Sci, 2015, 80 Suppl 1, A8-A15 Pubmed
  • EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA). Scientific opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to whey protein. EFSA Journal, 2010, 8 (10), 1818
  • Instructions for use
  • Handbooks and encyclopedias of food technology
  • Marshall K. Therapeutic applications of whey protein. Altern Med Rev, 2004, 9 (2), 136-156 Pubmed
  • Patel S. Emerging trends in nutraceutical applications of whey protein and its derivatives. J Food Sci Technol, 2015, 52 (11), 6847-58 Pubmed
  • Product information

Conflicts of Interest: None / Independent. The author has no relationships with the manufacturers and is not involved in the sale of the products mentioned.

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This article was last changed on January 15, 2017.
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