Joe Manganiello, of "Spider-Man," "Magic Mike" and "Justice League" fame, is known for his ultra-defined abs and his love of smoothies made with whey powder, water and banana to boost his bodybuilding.
But you don't have to be aiming for a cinematic physique to use whey powder to build and retain muscle - especially as you're losing weight, doing resistance exercises or getting, ahem, older.
Whey is a protein that separates out from milk when cheese is made. It contains the amino acids leucine, isoleucine or valine. So how much and what kind of whey protein might make sense for you?
- If you have liver or kidney issues, be careful about increasing your protein intake without talking to your doc.
- Some studies find there's a limit to how much is beneficial. As a rule of thumb, if you're a highly active person or you're on a weight-loss regimen and want to preserve muscle mass, then a daily intake of 0.45 to 0.68 grams for every pound you weigh should do it. If you're sedentary, aim for 0.36 grams for every pound. But if you are obese, do NOT follow these recommendations - they'll result in super-high doses. Take what you would if you were a BMI of 25 to 27.
- Folks who get gassy or bloated from whey proteins should try whey isolate or hydrolysate. Vegans can use a plant-based protein powder.
Whatever form you choose, try adding it to pasta sauces, drinks, casseroles and soups. That's the whey!
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.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.