Whey protein is an excellent, healthy, popular nutritional supplement for athletes and adults. However, many parents wonder if it is suitable for their children due to its popularity. To answer this question, let’s look at whey protein, its benefits, and the ideal age for its use.
What is Whey?
Whey protein is a dairy protein from cow’s milk. In addition, it is a highly bioavailable protein, meaning it is quickly and easily absorbed and digested. Generally, whey protein can be divided into two types, whey concentrate, and whey isolate. Whey concentrate has higher levels of natural precursors like bioactive peptides, lactose, and fat. In contrast, whey isolates are much purer and are composed chiefly of protein with negligible amounts of fat and sugars.
Why Use Whey?
Whey protein is a versatile supplement that can be used in various ways. A whey protein shake is ideal for children who may not have had food for a while. For instance, if your child wakes up late for school and has no time to eat breakfast or needs a snack before playing after-school sports. A shake can provide the necessary nutrition until lunch or dinner.
Additionally, a whey protein shake after a game is also very beneficial. When a child participates in an individual sport, such as soccer, football, baseball, or running, within 20 minutes after a game, the body is very sensitive to absorbing nutrients. Therefore, any nutrients consumed during this time are quickly absorbed, helping to speed up recovery. Whey is the perfect solution!
To ensure your children are prepared, you can have pre-made shakes stored in their backpacks, ready to drink when hunger strikes. The primary purpose of whey protein is to provide quick nourishment to help maintain a healthy metabolism. It is a healthy addition to a child’s diet due to having all the essential amino acids. In addition, you can add fruits like bananas and strawberries to make the shake even more nutritiously potent.
Is Whey Safe for My Child?
Having discussed the benefits, the next question is, at what age is whey protein suitable for children? Generally, according to the CDC, whey is safe to consume from one year old and up. It is suitable and useful when used appropriately for nourishment quickly. Although whey is very effective, your child’s diet is still recommended to be mainly solid food.
- The CDC recommends that children can safely take whey protein from ages one to three at 13 grams daily.
- From four to eight years old, 19 grams per day.
- And as for teenagers, girls have 46 grams and boys 56 grams.
From the age of 14 and up, whey protein can be used the same way an adult consumes it.
Moderate and Appropriate
Whey protein can be a beneficial supplement for kids and teens when consumed in moderation. It can be a convenient source of protein when a child is unable to eat a balanced meal. However, it’s important to remember that it should not be used as a substitute for a balanced diet that includes a variety of whole foods. It’s always best for kids and teens to get their protein from whole food sources whenever possible.
- lean meats, poultry,
- nuts, and
- dairy products.
The Risks are Whey Little
There are also some important things to consider, like the potential risks of consuming large amounts of whey protein. Excess whey protein intake can put a strain on the kidneys and may contribute to dehydration. It’s also important to remember that the FDA does not regulate protein supplements in the same way they regulate food.
In addition, be cautious if your child has an eating disorder, a food allergy, or a health condition that affects their growth and development or consuming whey protein. It is always best to speak with your healthcare professional before giving your child any supplements.
Always investigate the protein you are giving to your children. Make sure they are not full of sugar, sweeteners, artificial flavors, or colors. Furthermore, understand if there are any metal elements like mercury, arsenic, lead, and cadmium in your powder. Finally, if you consume whey often, you will want to find a natural product.
Go to the Clean Label Project for more information and natural and pure whey protein.