High protein, low carb diets are the hottest thing since weight loss and body building became a trending lifestyle.
Dieters are consuming protein and its supplements and shunning junks and carbs in the hope of losing weight. Body building are busy gobbling down all the protein bars and shakes in sight.
In case you don’t understand the big deal about protein, protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues.
Protein is also important for you to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. It is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood.
Body builders and dieters, who are on a weight loss plan take protein supplements in order to get faster results.
Protein supplements come in weight gainers, protein bars, meal replacements and powder forms. Protein powder is very popular and widely used by dieters and body builders as well.
Protein powders are very popular for good reason. These are:
- Protein powders are more convenient than high protein foods like meats, fish eggs and dairy
- Protein powders are usually fat and cholesterol free, or they may contain a little fraction of the fat
- You can save more money compared to high protein foods like meats and fish
- Protein powders taste great
See why we recommend this super effective mass & strength gainer for men and women
So how does protein powder aid in weight loss?
As you start your weight loss journey, you might question why protein is placed so high. How does taking protein powder really help you lose weight?
Protein powder can stand in for the main foods when you really need a protein option. Protein powder can help you lose weight and improve muscle gain.
Don’t feel that the muscle gain is not needed. When you are trying to lose weight, you still need to retain your muscle or even add more.
Replacing a high calorie breakfast with a smoothie that contains protein powder is one beneficial way to aid weight loss.
The weight you are trying to lose is excess fat, you won’t want to just shed fat and look skinny. The muscle helps you achieve a toned and healthy looking body.
Here are reasons why protein powder should be your weight loss pal:
- Protein Powder Boosts Energy
Protein powder is helpful during your workouts. The energy boost you get from the powder can help you push your muscles harder during your sweat sessions so you’ll burn more calories.
- Protein Satisfies and saves calories
When you start your weight loss journey, protein powder is important because protein helps you feel full longer. Having protein around slows down digestion making you more satisfied and less likely to go back for more.
If this happens regularly, your calorie savings can help you loose weight.
- Protein Uses More Of Your Energy
The Thermic effect of food (TEF) is the energy we use to digest food into small, absorbable components.
Protein has a higher TEF compared to carbs and fat. This means you are actually burning more calories to process protein than to process carbs and fat.
- Protein Promotes muscle repair and growth
There will be an increase of protein needs especially after bouts of intense exercise. This means that increasing your protein intake on your workout days is beneficial.
If you strength train, consider taking your protein powder right after your training session when the muscle is sensitive to nutrients that it can use to repair and grow.
- It boosts metabolism
Protein requires more energy to process, so it boosts your metabolism. Getting less than the ideal amount of protein will make it difficult for your body draw upon fat reserves.
So how do I use it for weight loss?
All said about the benefits of protein powder for weight loss, you begin to wonder how you can use it in your weight loss plan.
You can take your protein powder by making a protein shake or smoothie, you can add it to your breakfast by adding it to your breakfast cereal, and you can also sprinkle it into your last meal of the day- this keeps your amino acids in your body at elevated level as you sleep.
You can also mix your protein powder in milk as milk is also a source of protein.
However, milk contains lactose, so people with lactose intolerance should not try this method.
You can also take your protein with water. Protein powder mixes much easily with water due to the lower density of the liquid.
Are there different types of protein powder?
Not all proteins are created equal. To help you navigate the confusing world of protein powder and select the best for you, we have highlighted the common types of protein powder marketed and the uses for each of them.
The types of protein used in protein powders are divided into two categories; the animal source proteins and the vegetable source proteins.
Animal source protein includes milk protein derivatives like whey and casein protein, beef and egg white protein.
Vegetable source protein includes soy, rice, pea, hemp and sprouted grain protein.
However, the animal proteins are superior to the plant protein both nutritionally and taste-wise. The most popular of the animal protein is whey, while pea, soy and rice are the most popular of vegetable protein.
- Whey protein powder
Whey protein is a milk protein . It is by far the most popular type of protein used in protein powders.
For most users, whey protein tastes best, it is of high quality, and in terms of price, it is the most economical.
Whey protein has been shown to help repair muscles post strength session, and increase muscle strength and size when consumed within two hours of your workout.
Whey protein comes in three varieties which are whey concentrate, whey isolate and whey hydrolysates.
Whey concentrate is more economical per gram of protein. It has a low lactose level which is well tolerated by people who are with lactose intolerance. It contains trivial amount of fat and carbs relative to your overall nutrient intake.
Whey Isolate on its own is fat free, which is good for those trying to eliminate as much fat from their diet as possible.
It is lactose free. This is good for lactose intolerant individuals who are still sensitive to the little amount of lactose in whey concentrate.
Whey isolates tastes slightly better than the concentrate, but its consistency is a little thinner, without the fat.
Whey hydrolysates are often used in clinical nutritional applications because they are pre-digested and partially broken down and so they are easily absorbed.
Read the best 10 Whey Protein Supplement to Ramp Up Your Fitness and Muscle
- Casein or Milk Protein Powder
Like whey, casein protein comes from milk and it is actually the primary protein found in cow’s milk.
Unlike whey protein, casein protein however digests slower due to a complex interaction with stomach acids, which results into a slower release of essential amino acids, which makes casein the preferred choice in situations when a slow release of nutrient is needed.
- Soy protein powder
Soy protein is a preferred choice of vegetarians. Soybeans are another form of plant-based protein that still contains all the essential amino acids.
So protein can be compared to whey protein in terms of stimulating muscle growth after a tough strength training session.
The possible downside of soy protein is that the isoflavones can interact with hormones like estrogen and potentially skew hormone levels when consumed in excess. Increased intake of soy could lead to lower testosterone levels in men.
- Rice protein powder
Rice protein is a 100 percent plant protein that has nearly the same benefits as whey protein. It is gluten free, making it a safe and economical choice for people with gluten allergies.
Rice protein is low in certain amino acids like Lysine, which is a downside. This means that relying solely on rice protein as your only source of protein is not a good idea.
The best option for you is to pair rice protein with other source of plant protein or animal protein, if you want to incorporate it into your diet.
- Pea protein powder
Pea protein is 100 percent plant protein and is made from yellow peas and towers above common protein powders in a few regards.
Pea protein is naturally fat and cholesterol-free. It is ideal for you if you are with lactose intolerant.
Pea protein is completely gluten free, which can help individuals avoid gastric distress when supplementing frequently.
The downside to pea protein is that it is deficient in the amino acid- Cystine
- Hemp protein powder
Hemp protein is gotten from cannabis sativa plant. It is one of the richest plant proteins as it contains all the 21 amino acids.
Hemp protein has a similar amount of calories per scoop as whey, but it contains about 4 grams of fat and less protein.
- Vegan protein powder blends
Vegan protein powder blends harnesses the power of hemp, peas, rice and more- all in the same bottle. It has become an increasingly popular choice among vegetarians.
Vegan protein powder blends is gluten free, dairy free and soy free. It contains all the important amino acids.
It is great choice for vegetarians.
So how do I know which one is best for me?
While commencing your weight loss journey, it is important that you select a protein powder that best supports your weight loss goals.
A major step to choosing the right protein powder for you is to identify the nutritional values within that specific protein.
Make sure you check the calorie per serving, fat content, and carbohydrate count. Also remember that the liquid used when mixing your protein can have a major impact.
Many protein powders also contain added sugar for flavor and this increases calorie count.
So, if you are going to be taking protein powder, it is vital that you read the nutrition label first just to know how much sweet stuff you are putting into your body.
You need to eat low calorie healthy food throughout the rest of the day to make up for the extra calories from the protein powder.
If you don’t, you will be taking too much calories and will end up adding more weight.
Is protein powder better than weight or fat loss supplements?
There are a number of fat burning supplements in the market, no doubt. These supplements are formulated to burn off excess fat from the body.
You may be asking yourself, when there are fat burning supplements, why should you use protein powders for the purpose of weight loss.
Fat burners and weight loss supplements can help support fat loss by boosting metabolism, maintaining healthy appetite and minimize cravings. They can also optimize workout potential by increasing energy and focus.
Protein powder does these and even more. Protein will help you repair muscle and promote growth.
When you are trying to loose weight, all you need to lose is the excess fat and not your precious muscle, as this is what gives the body shape and form. Isn’t that your reason for weight loss? You want a well shaped body.
Fat burners will aid in weight loss but not retain, repair and build your muscle.
A high quality protein powder will help you burn fat and improve your body composition. So taking a good protein powder is a key to successful weight loss journey.
Fat burners contain stuff that makes you loose weight. This good stuff are mostly supposedly good stuff, some of it not necessary and of it have not been tested in long term studies.
Some fat burners or weight loss supplements may come with side effects like anxiety, insomnia, elevated blood pressure, worsened health conditions, dehydration because some of their ingredients have not been tested.
If you have to choose between protein powder and fat burners, choose protein powder.
When it comes to buying protein powders for weight loss, you do have a diverse choice. The type of protein you choose will be reflective in your dietary needs and food preferences.
If you don’t know which to choose out of the varieties with good nutritional values for users, consider consulting your instructor or a certified nutritionist to review your current diet, your goals and intended use so as to make the best decision for you.