Exciting benefits of dairy protein include:
- Wellness & healthy aging
- Weight management
- Increased strength
- Exercise support
- Immune support
Dairy protein remains the top protein choice for health- and nutrition-focused categories like sports and infant nutrition. Not only is it a high-quality protein, but extensive research behind dairy protein points to potential benefits ranging from weight management to immunity to healthy aging.
Exciting benefits of dairy protein include:
During the pandemic, consumers stocked up on dairy products. An essential ingredient in staple dishes from breakfast cereal to pizza, dairy offered consumers comfort with its delicious taste and texture. But consumers also show a high awareness of dairy as a healthy food choice—a theme that’s prominent in this year’s top dairy trends.
In addition to containing key vitamins and minerals (like calcium), dairy is a high-quality source of protein that meets the body’s needs. With consumer interest in protein already high, there’s a perfect opportunity to expand upon their knowledge of what dairy protein may offer.
Here’s a look at five areas where scientific research points to some exciting potential benefits of dairy protein:
A number of studies indicate the potential of dairy proteins to support overall health and wellbeing. For example, dairy proteins may reduce cardiometabolic risk factors1,2 and help maintain healthy blood glucose levels.3,4 Another aspect is healthy aging, with dairy proteins potentially playing a role in supporting continued strength and activity as people age, particularly when combined with exercise.5,6
Many consumers look for foods and beverages that can help their weight management efforts. Researchers have found dairy protein may help people feel fuller for longer, which, in turn, can help support weight management.4 Other research shows a connection between dairy proteins such as whey, casein, and milk protein concentrates and body composition, including increased lean muscle mass (which may boost metabolism)7 and decreased waist circumference.8
Protein is an essential component of muscle, making it a priority nutrient for workout support. However, researchers continue to provide evidence that all proteins are not the same when it comes to muscle benefits. Several meta-analyses (which assess the results of multiple studies to determine the weight of the evidence) indicate whey proteins may lead to greater improvements in strength and muscle mass compared to other protein sources.9
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The potential muscle benefits of whey protein may also extend to muscle rebuilding, repair, and maintenance. For example, studies show consuming whey protein after exercise supports an increase muscle synthesis and speed the rebuilding of muscle.10,11 In addition, it supports reduction of muscle soreness and improve muscle function and performance in the next workout.12,13,14 Research also points to the role of whey protein in reducing fatigue during endurance sports.15
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, potential immune benefits of dairy proteins provide an important area of exploration. Much of this research focuses on bioactive proteins in milk—including lactoferrin, alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin, glycomacropeptides, and immunoglobulins. For example, research shows lactoferrin may bind to harmful molecules and trigger an immune response,16,17,18,19,20 while alpha-lactalbumin may increase antibodies’ response to infection.21,22
Each of these research areas holds opportunities to speak to consumers’ most important health and wellness concerns. Staying on top of the latest science and sharing this information with consumers can help them understand the full value of products formulated with dairy protein.
Glanbia Nutritionals offers a range of dairy protein solutions—from whey protein isolates to milk protein concentrates—in process-stable, easy-to-use powders for a variety of applications. Our dairy proteins are ideal for RTD beverages, powder drink mixes, bars, bakery products, frozen desserts, and more. When you choose Glanbia Nutritionals, you choose a partner with dairy protein expertise that can support your product every step of the way.
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