You probably know already its value in muscle building, now it’s time to learn how to use protein powder for weight loss.
Protein powders are one of the most commonly used supplements by bodybuilders and athletes. Besides being quickly and easily absorbable by the body, it is a very convenient and effective solution to any active person’s protein deficiency, whether he or she is aiming at bulking up or toning down his or her physique.
While there are possibly twice as much written or oral discussions that highlight protein’s principal function in muscle building, its likewise indispensable role in weight loss cannot be downplayed. The truth is protein can influence the formation of new muscle strands and depletion of fat cells’ structures more than any other macronutrients.
In this article, we will try to put more emphasis on the effects of protein supplementation in the area of weight loss. But before we go on the how, let us answer first the what, when, why and where of our topic.
What are the protein powders available in the market?
There are actually 2 major categories of protein powders that you can buy: milk-based and plant-based.
- The milk-based kinds are whey and casein.
The two are the main proteins found in milk, which is separately derived during the production of cheese. Both contained all the 9 essential amino acids needed for building and maintaining muscle mass and can be processed into protein powders. Whey is the liquid material left when the cows’ milk used in the process has coagulated (about 20% of the milk). Casein, on the other hand, which is the remaining 80%, makes up most of the cheese. On a side note, human milk is 60% whey and 40% casein.
Whey is the most popular protein powder among bodybuilders and athletes. Since it is quickly and easily absorbed by our system, it can be taken before, during and after a workout. There are 3 types of whey available in the market: Whey Concentrate (the most recommendable); Whey Isolate; and Whey Hydrolysate.
A 9-month study conducted by the University of Connecticut Human Performance Laboratory wherein the number of test subjects are divided into three groups. One group was given whey protein supplements, one group with soy protein, and the last one with carbohydrates. The result published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition stated that the whey group showed to have gained more muscles and lose more body fats than the other two groups.
- The most common plant-based kinds are soy, pea, hemp, and rice.
If you have lactose intolerance or simply preferred plant-based supplements, there are still several options available for you. While all mentioned above are excellent sources of extra protein, only Soy also contains all the 9 essential amino acids found in whey and casein. Hemp, on the other hand, is also a good source of both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
When should you start taking protein powder supplements?
If you are getting enough protein from your regular diet of healthy foods such as lean cattle and poultry meat, fatty fish, eggs, and other excellent sources of the said macronutrient, then you probably don’t need the supplements. However, if you will engage in high-intensity workouts to optimize muscle gain and fat-loss, then your body can definitely use additional protein-building amino acids. Whey has a high leucine content, which is known for its anabolic property.
Good quality and untainted protein powders are safe and effective and can be taken by any teenage or adult person within the recommended daily amount for a particular age and bodyweight. Even pregnant women can drink protein shakes.
Why should you consider taking protein powder when trying to lose weight?
One of the first things anybody does when trying to shed unwanted pounds and unsightly flabs is by dieting. While creating a caloric deficit by cutting back on some of the fattening foods you love will definitely help in dropping excess weight and enabling you to fit in your old favorite jeans again, keeping it that way for a long time is another story.
One problem with just dieting instead of having a comprehensive fitness program in place is that you will not only have a sudden drop of energy, your body may also utilize some of the proteins in your muscles for energy, resulting in loss of mass and strength. This is what would happen if your body starts sensing that it is not getting the same nourishment as before. Even your metabolism will slow down to compensate for the loss of energy source.
Supplementing with low-carb and sugar-free protein powders will not only help avert said problems but will also aid in alleviating hunger fangs and giving you the energy needed for doing muscle building and fat-burning workouts.
Where can you purchase protein powders?
Other than from reputable online retailers, there are several health stores and even supermarkets that sell a gamut of products from highly respected sports nutrition companies. It is best to do some prior research and taking the time to read the labels before making a decision. Try to shun products that contain refined sugars such as fructose, sucrose, etc.
How to use protein powder in weight loss?
Protein powder is, of course, best consumed as a shake that you can use as rehydrating during and after weight training or other athletic activities such as a morning run, a dance class or a pick-up basketball game. Just dilute 20-25 grams of powder in a tall glass or a gym bottle of cold water, shake well, and it’s ready to drink.
I am not gonna lie to you, whey in its purest form does not really taste good. Remember, it’s a by-product of curdled milk. In powder form though, you can buy flavored variants such as chocolate, vanilla or strawberry. It will be better though if you can find a product with no refined sugar or artificial sweetener in the composition. However, there are various healthy ways to make protein powders more enjoyable or at least downright palatable. You can include it in fresh fruit shakes or smoothies by simply running it in the blender with ice cubes, bananas, berries, carrots, pineapples, and other delicious and fiber and antioxidant-rich fruits, veggies, and nuts. The possibilities are actually limitless if you are creative enough in mixing flavors. But stick to fresh and organic ingredients for your health’s sake.
Thanks for reading and we hope you find this piece helpful and informative.
Short description: [This article provides some practical and useful information about protein powders and how they can be used in achieving healthy weight loss. It presents some very simple answers to the what, when, why, where, and how aspects of taking said sports and nutritional supplement.]
Chester Peterson is the founder of HeroMuscles.Com, the father of two children. I workout every day and I really want to share with you my knowledge and experience about my passion on this blog. It would be great if you dropped by, read what I wrote and left some comments. Connect with him at Twitter