Covid-19! SARS-COV2! Alpha Beta Gamma Delta! Covishield! Covaxin! Corona Virus!
Since the beginning of this new torturous covid era, all we get to hear and see is coronavirus infecting humans monstrously and destroying lives rapidly. It has affected most of us in numerous ways that we do not even wish to discuss. All we are waiting for is a new era without covid or travel back to the old days when it did not even exist! Leave alone the strict norms and the new normal! We are still tiredly struggling to find a way to digest this new way of life. However, we have to take care of our so-called ‘health’ that we so gently and carefully nurture. We must effortlessly work towards enhancing; our immunity by consuming an ample amount of good food, maintaining our balanced diet and, following a healthy lifestyle to protect ourselves and our dear ones from any form of illness.
Let us have a basic understanding of the term immunity. Our immunity works in a way to protect our bodies. It helps the body to prepare and fight against various disorders. It plays the role of the body’s defense system. And how do we improve this immunity? Many health fads got famous over these months about increasing immunity to develop protection against covid. Eat this, drink that, do this and do that! Some worked, some did not! Immunity does not form in a day like some miracle! It takes time for your body to build the blocks of your immunity wall. According to the known science and biology of the human body, the best way to improve your immunity is to eat healthily, exercise daily and regularly, and bottom-line stay fit. And what exactly includes in eating healthily? We have been taught since our very childhood that we are supposed to eat good food. The same rule applies even right now. Eating healthy includes eating food and food products providing; you with a rich source of proteins, vitamins, and minerals that will help you build up your immune system and make you stronger.
Taking care of our health and fitness comes along with food supplements that provide us with essential vitamins and minerals that are generally deficient in our day-to-day food. Many food supplements are fortified, with elements; what we call ‘immunity boosters’ Whey protein is one such food supplement consumed by people over the years as protein shakes or smoothies after the workout or as breakfast. It provides the body with the required energy and nutrition to support muscle growth and development.
Whey protein is nothing but the remaining proteinaceous water when milk is processed to form milk products like curd or cheese. This protein is typically a mixture of alpha-lactoglobulin, beta-lactoglobulin, serum albumin, and immunoglobulins. Vegan-friendly protein powders also exist! They are products from protein-rich sources like soy, pea, rice, hemp, pumpkin, etc. They are also fortified and are rich in essential amino acids. Whey protein, in general, being a complete protein, is a rapid source of protein that provides fitness folks the required muscle gain and acts as a supplementary energy source by supplying the desired amino acids needed by the body.
Certain studies have shown that whey protein not only helps in muscle growth but has some anti-microbial activity. That means it helps the body to fight against microorganisms. It also provides anti-inflammatory protection, as in protecting the body against minor reactions towards injury and infection.
Whey supplements consist of essential amino acids like- alanine, arginine, glycine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, tyrosine, etc. And vitamins, particularly B-group vitamins and vitamin A. Minerals like calcium, copper, zinc, etc. You can always check the ingredient list of your whey protein box for the contents. But I will mention again that they are a rich source of immunoglobulins and essential amino acids that are a part of our immune cell structure system. Also, let me inform you that these amino acids play a vital role in many functions of our human body, which in turn, contribute to boosting our immunity. So you are not only developing muscle growth but also improving your immunity. In whichever way or whatever form you consume your whey supplement, that will not affect its immune response.
This year as the vaccination drive has started, I have also come across some queries regarding drinking whey protein shakes after getting a vaccination against covid. Generally, after the vaccination, you are advised to take a rest for the initial few days. As your body reacts to the vaccine and forms antibodies, and hence helps in developing your immune system. After few days, you can carry on with your daily workout routine. And so, you can continue with your diet regime which also, includes your protein shakes. You can take protein shakes during your rest period also. As mentioned above, it will simply boost your immunity and will not affect your immunization process. But if you do not give enough rest to your body and overestimate yourself post-vaccination, you might feel fatigued for longer than usual.
But if you are a covid-positive patient and currently reading this article, firstly, get well soon, and I hope you get back to your daily routine once again very soon. I would request you to completely rest and, do not exert your body with heavy workout routines. Fitness can wait but, life does not! You can continue drinking protein shakes depending upon your health status but, if your nutritionist asks you to follow a particular diet, I would suggest listening to your doctor.
Bottom line, I would recommend consulting your doctor about taking whey supplements if you are suffering; from covid or are admitted for the same. Rest, covid-negative humans can continue their diet plans and workout routine. You are only working towards a better lifestyle, and there is no harm in it.
In the end, stay safe, get fit, and most importantly, do not forget to wear your masks! Protect yourself and your loved ones.