Whey protein might improve the nutrient content of the diet and also have effects on the immune system.
People commonly use whey protein for improving athletic performance and increasing strength. Whey protein is also used for asthma, diabetes, weight loss, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- Athletic performance. Regularly consuming whey protein by mouth while also regularly exercising increases muscle strength and athletic performance. But it seems that both must be done consistently to see benefits.
Possibly Ineffective for
- A lung disease that makes it harder to breathe (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD). Taking whey protein by mouth doesn’t seem to help COPD symptoms.
- Weak and brittle bones (osteoporosis). Taking whey protein by mouth for up to 2 years doesn’t improve bone density in older adults.
There is interest in using whey protein for a number of other purposes, but there isn’t enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Children: Whey protein is likely safe for children when used in amounts commonly found in food or when included in infant formulas.
Milk allergy: If you are allergic to cow’s milk, avoid using whey protein.
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