If you’ve done any amount of research for weight loss, you’ve probably come across many variations of questions on protein such as does protein powder help with weight loss? Should I be a bodybuilder first to resort to consuming protein powder?
While protein powders, or more specifically protein shakes, are heavily associated with bodybuilders and athletes, there’s much more to them than that.
As you may or may not know, a good metabolism is a key to weight loss. A high metabolism means you break down what you’ve consumed throughout the day at a higher rate, thus converting the calories into energy much faster—and getting enough protein boosts your metabolism.
Protein has many different kinds. Each of them has unique characteristics and benefits. As such, each protein powder is different as well and provides different health benefits.
Depending on you and your weight loss needs, you can choose to stick to one kind or incorporate a mix of them into your diet. They are easy and convenient to use, and a good alternative to those that don’t have enough access to quality high-protein foods.
If you can consume a quality whole-food source of protein three to four times a day—ideally a gram of protein per pound of body weight or whatever is appropriate for your body type—then you may decide not to use the powder at all. Otherwise, this is a godsend alternative, especially for those busy and always on-the-run people.
We have prepared an in-depth guide that should help introduce you better to protein and protein powders.
What You Should Know About Protein
You must have several questions: what is protein and how is it related to weight loss and health? Why should you bother with it at all?
It’s difficult to think about protein in terms of how it will help you with your weight loss journey if you don’t even know what it is and what it can do for you. Let’s dive deeper and see what’s the big fuss about it.
Protein is a macronutrient found throughout every part of your body including your hair. It is essential in building and maintaining body tissue and muscles, and it is what makes up the enzymes that power necessary chemical reactions throughout the body.
The lack of protein can cause growth failure, loss of muscle and muscle mass, and a weakening of the respiratory systems, heart, and immunity.
At this point, you may have already realized how vital protein is. Alarmingly, research has shown that millions of people around the world do not get enough protein that their bodies need.
Thus, it has become one of the many things we all should be conscious of on our journey to weight loss and healthier lifestyles.
Weight Loss and Protein: Does Protein Powder Help with Weight Loss?
The next question to answer, then, is what exactly does protein do for weight loss?
Like we have mentioned earlier, protein plays a vital role in boosting your metabolism, which is responsible for turning the calories in the food that you consumed into energy. Now, how does protein powder help with weight loss?
Protein powders, mixed into protein shakes, can decrease your appetite and suppress hunger. It does this by increasing the levels of appetite-reducing hormones and reducing the levels of the hunger hormone called “ghrelin.”
Moreover, it also keeps you feeling full longer, preventing you from overeating and decreasing the number of calories you intake during a day.
Another way is that protein powders, in combination with strength training, help build your muscles. This speeds up your metabolism because muscle burns more calories than fat.
Last, but not the least, diets that are high in protein are especially known for helping people lose belly fat.
Surely you’ve heard of the yo-yo effect? Well, protein’s effect on appetite, metabolism, and muscle mass will also help you prevent getting back the fat that you patiently and diligently worked so damn hard to lose.
The effect they have on preventing muscle loss and metabolic slowdown will ensure that you keep the muscle and not the fat, even when you alter your current routine or have days where you can’t keep up with your exercise routine.
However, remember that while protein powders are a convenient way to meet your required protein intake, consuming too much will obviously lead to excess calories. And we are all aware that too much of anything more or less cause you harm than good.
What Protein Powder Is Best For You
Now that we’ve explained how does protein powder help with weight loss, you might have just decided that protein shakes would be a great addition to your routine. The only bugging thing to worry about now is that there are so many kinds of it out there on the market and you don’t know which is the best one to choose.
What you need to know is that different kinds of protein have a variety of effects on the body, so the first thing you should do is look into what kind of results you need.
There is no universally acknowledged “superior” type of protein for protein powders or shakes, outside of quality control, as it will all depend on you and your diet.
Among the common types of protein powders found on the market are Whey, Hemp, and Soy Protein. Whey Protein is quickly absorbed into the body and is great for when you want to feel less hungry.
Meanwhile, Hemp Protein is plant-based and high in omega-3 and omega-6 fats but contains slightly lower amounts of the vital amino acid lysine. Lastly, Soy Protein, which is also plant-based, contains a good amount of all needed amino acids.
Across the board however, all protein powders on the market contain the needed amino acids, albeit in different amounts. The deciding factors will be the other health benefits each offer and your personal preferences.
With all these in mind, hopefully, we have helped you decide whether or not to incorporate protein powders into your diet.