Did you know that protein powder is used by lots of people around the world on a daily basis? If not, let me tell you all about it!
I will explain what it is, and how it works. Once you understand the basic concept of it, we will move on to the really interesting questions: How does it affect weight loss? And, what is the best protein powder for weight loss?
What Is Protein Powder?
Protein powder basically is what it sounds like; protein in the form of a powder. It can be manufactured from a variety of sources. Rice, milk, egg, soybeans, pea and hemp are all used – although the two most popular protein powders are made from milk. These two are whey protein and casein, and they are widely used among bodybuilders and other serious athletes to supplement their diet.
Before consumption, the powder is mixed with milk or water to produce a drinkable milkshake. In order to make the milkshakes easier to drink, the manufacturing companies have added a variety of flavors – for example strawberry, vanilla and chocolate. Nowadays, protein milkshakes actually taste great!
So, why are casein and whey protein the most popular powders? Although not scientifically proven, they are considered to give the best effect when it comes to muscle recovery and muscle growth.
Out of the two, whey protein is most widely used. Its popularity depends on four things that also make it highly suitable to consume prior and directly after training:
- It contains all nine amino acids that are essential for humans
- It is soluble in water (which means it’s easy to mix with water or milk)
- It has the highest concentration of cysteine of all protein powders
- It is a “fast protein” (the body will quickly digest and utilize it)
Casein, on the other hand, should not be taken during training, but instead just before going to bed. Because of the stomach’s low pH, the acid sensitive casein forms a gel that takes longer time to digest. This means that the amino acids extracted from the casein are distributed to the muscles over a much longer period of time compared to whey protein.
Although protein supplements are mainly used by bodybuilders and athletes to repair and build muscles, it is also used for a couple of other reasons. Vegans, vegetarians and other people that doesn’t get enough protein can benefit by supplementing their daily diet with it.
And it can also help if you are trying to lose weight. If that’s your purpose, make sure you choose a low-carb and low-fat protein powder. Otherwise you might end up heavier than you started.
What Is The Best Whey Protein Powder?
A top whey protein powder is Optimum Nutrition’s Whey Gold Standard. It’s the world’s best selling protein powder. It is available in nine different flavors, so if you don’t like one taste, you could always try another. Chocolate is perhaps the most popular flavor, so I can really recommend that you try a chocolate whey protein powder.
All three products below come highly recommended by the customers (as you can see by the Amazon Rating and Customer Reviews).
|Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard||Body Fortress Whey Protein Powder||EAS AdvantEdge 100% Whey Protein|
|Protein*||22 g||30 g||26 g|
|Carbs*||2-3 g||7 g||7 g|
|Fat*||2.5 g||2.5 g||2 g|
|Customer Reviews||921 Reviews||183 Reviews||132 Reviews|
*The amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat specified in the chart are all per serving.
Now we have three great choices when it comes to building muscles. But please be aware that they contain 2-3 grams of fat per serving, which means they are not optimal for losing weight. If weight loss is your primary objective, keep reading and I will present more suitable protein products.
If you are a woman, you might be asking: What is the best whey protein powder for women? Well, it’s no different than for men. If dropping excess pounds or kilograms is your goal, find the product with the lowest content of fat and carbs. If not, try one of the three powders above. They are great for building muscles.
How Does It Affect Weight Loss?
This might come as a surprise to some people, but when you are trying to lose weight by eating less calories than you need, the body will burn not only fat, but muscles as well.
Protein is the primary building block for muscle mass, and the body will use it to repair damaged muscle fibers as well as build new fibers. So with the help of protein powders, you can prevent, or at least minimize, the starved body from breaking down muscles.
Ok, fine. I add protein supplements to my low-carb and low-fat diet. How does that help me lose weight? The answer is, in two ways:
- Protein is good at keeping hunger away, which means that you more easily will be able to follow and maintain a low-calorie diet.
- More muscles equals higher metabolism – meaning your body needs more calories – meaning it burns more fat (because of the low-fat, low-carb diet).
So by adding the right weight loss protein powder to your diet, losing weight doesn’t have to be that hard anymore. Just make sure it has low amounts of both fat and carbohydrates. If you pick the wrong powder, that contains a lot of calories, your body will never begin to burn any fat since it’s already getting all the calories it needs.
What Is The Best Protein Powder For Weight Loss?
Ok, you are not reading this because you want more muscles but because you want to lose weight. Fine! You should opt for a casein based powder. Why? Because of the same reasons I mentioned previously. It takes time for the body to digest casein (it’s a “slow protein”, remember?), which means that the amino acids are portioned out to the muscles for a longer time. It will be easier to maintain your muscle mass, and thus it will be easier to burn your excess fat.
Just to summarize: The best protein powder for weight loss should be based on casein, and it should have as low content as possible of fat and carbohydrates. Here are my top three choices:
|ON 100% Casein||Micellar Casein||Complete Casein|
|Protein*||24 g||20 g||25 g|
|Carbs*||3 g||0 g||1 g|
|Fat*||1 g||.4 g||1 g|
|Customer Reviews||550 Reviews||26 Reviews||39 Reviews|
*Protein, carbohydrates and fat specified in the chart are grams/serving.
For best result, take one scoop before you go to bed. You could also use it as a meal replacement, or simply between meals to fight off hunger and stay on track with your low-calorie diet.
It is important to remember that it is possible to build muscles and lose weight without the use of protein powders. Chicken, tuna, milk and lean meat are all examples of great natural protein sources that is 100% sufficient for the normal person. However, protein shakes and powders is an easy way to get top quality protein in very little time spent. They can really make your everyday life easier when you don’t have the time or energy to spend hours cooking and shopping for groceries.
And of course, some people really need protein supplements because they are athletes or bodybuilders, or because they follow a vegan diet. So all in all, quite a lot of people benefit from the use of protein powders. Do you?