Protein powder is often considered as a food intended only for people who want to increase their muscle mass and recover after heavy training sessions.
Protein powder is also useful as a potential supplement that helps weight loss. And weight loss occurs exactly as you want: you get rid of fat and get an athletic body. Proteins help to feel satiety and stimulate metabolism.
Now the question is what is the best protein powder for weight loss?
Let’s start with some definitions.
What Are The Proteins?
Proteins are macronutrients that play a plastic role in our body. This means that their main purpose is to build new tissues, to form antibodies and to develop and repair muscle mass.
Unlike carbohydrates, proteins do not have an energetic role in our bodies, but that does not mean they cannot be turned into energy if the opportunity emerges.
Wait! I said they did not have an energetic role, but if you consume them you get energy. Confusing, right?
Well, you should know that although your body does not turn your protein into a source of energy, if you go through a long period starvation, such as keeping a strict diet, then your body will call the last solution to transformation proteins in energy.
This means that muscle, antibodies or hormones will be destroyed and used as a fuel when you follow a strict diet based on limiting carbohydrate intake.
Since muscle mass is a calorie-conscious consumer, even when you stay at rest, that means you will want to keep it at all costs.
How Many Proteins Should You Consume?
Answer: At least 1 gram of protein per kg/body. This means that for an overweight person who has 1 meter and 70 centimeters and 120 pounds, the indicated protein consumption would be 120 grams a day.
If you want to develop muscle mass, to consume more calories and get faster results, you should consume between 1.8 and 2 grams of protein per kg body per day. Following the example above, that would mean 240 grams of protein.
The Best Protein Sources
There are many sources of protein, including red or white meat, eggs, dairy products, nuts or soybeans, but first of all you need to know that protein, in turn, is divided into two categories:
- Complete, contain all the necessary amino acids
- Incomplete, contain only a few amino acids
As a general rule you should follow, the proteins that come from plants do not have all the amino acids required by the body, that means they are incomplete.
The animal proteins, such as meat, dairy and eggs are complete sources of protein.
Except for protein shakes, which are extracted from dairy, soy or egg, other protein-rich foods also contain other macronutrients such as fats or carbohydrates. That’s why it’s inappropriate to say you only eat protein.
One of the rules is not to combine fruit with proteins, but this is impossible given that a normal banana has 1.1 grams of protein, an orange 0.9 grams of protein or kiwi one gram of protein.
The best sources of protein are those containing as much protein as possible without a high-calorie intake. It’s about the so-called calorie protein ratio.
What Is Protein Powder?
Protein powder sold in packages at natural products stores, in sports halls, and in some large chain stores, comes from animal or vegetable sources.
Dairy-derived whey is the most common, but you can also find protein powder from brown rice, peas, hemp, pumpkin, flax seeds. Mixtures that combine vegetable sources such as hemp, brown rice and peas are also available.
When you are short on time and do not have access to whole proteins such as meat, cheese or fish, protein powder is a quick and convenient alternative.
Mix a spoonful of protein powder in water, milk or juice and shake it in order to incorporate it; you can mix the protein powder and smoothie, add it to the morning cereal or mix it in yogurt.
An amount of between 15 and 25 grams of protein per spoon is equivalent to 90-120 grams of lean meats or one tofu cup.
How Protein Helps You Lose Weight
A sufficient amount of protein is essential in the process of losing weight.
It helps you feel satiated and prevents sudden increases in blood sugar, which often make you have cravings.
Also, proteins require more energy from the body to digest than fat and carbohydrates.
As you remove calories and start exercising, an adequate intake of protein supports the maintenance of weak muscle mass.
The weight loss process occurs when you create a caloric deficit or burn more calories than you consume.
If you do this without exercise, the body will most likely use fat-free tissue as fuel, and most of the weight removed is the muscle mass.
Eating enough protein as part of daily meals helps combat this effect.
Proteins are a powerful ally in the process of losing weight for several reasons:
- Proteins are the most satiating macronutrients, so you can eat less and still feel full.
- Proteins increase thermogenesis, heat production in the body.
- They also increase energy consumption because the body burns more calories when digesting protein than when digesting carbohydrates or fats.
- Finally, proteins help build weak muscle mass when you also have a resistance training program. The more muscle mass increases, the higher the basal metabolic rate, this signifies the number of calories you burn when you do nothing.
When it’s about weight loss and supplements, the easiest thing to do to sell any powder or pill is to mention the magic word: weight loss.
Sorry to disappoint you, but there is no such protein powder to help you lose weight.
Foods with negative calories or slimming foods do not exist because weight loss does not actually consist of the food you consume, but it’s about the balances between how much you eat and how much you burn.
Even so, there is a partial truth in this idea because some foods favor more weight loss than others. This is mainly due to the calories they contain and the way they are divided into categories of macronutrients: proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
Generally speaking, the best foods for weight loss are those that contain an abundance of micronutrients and are satiated while having a low calorie and fat content and added sugar.
The products you need to avoid when you want to lose weight are those dense in calories, lots of fat and added sugar that does not give you the same feeling of satiety.
In this category, as you probably guessed, are: chips, sweets, chocolate, fatty dairy products – like all those wonderful things but forbidden in “diets.”
How To Choose The Right Protein Powder
Read the ingredient label and make sure the brand you choose does not contain artificial sweeteners (stevia is OK because it is a natural herbal sweetener of the same name), supplements, preservatives or calories in addition to carbohydrates.
The type of protein powder you choose depends largely on your personal preferences. If you plan to use protein powder as a support for your exercise plan, whey and casein are good choices because they digest fast and support the increase in lean muscle mass.
Maybe you did not know, but you can buy the protein powder from the eggs and, although it is very expensive at the moment, but it comes with a number of benefits: has a high biological value, slowly digested (even slower than casein), has very low fat and carbohydrate content.
If you have food restrictions that require a limitation of dairy consumption, you should choose peas, rice, hemp or other vegetarian version.
Protein-based animal powders can cause digestive problems for some women, such as gas or bloating, and if you suffer from it, you should choose variants of rice, peas or hemp.
A good protein powder meets several criteria:
- It does not have to taste like milkshakes but should have good taste and mix well. If it tastes bad, I do not think you’ll keep it
- It should provide as many proteins as fewer calories, with a low carbohydrate and fat content
- It should be affordable and provide a good value in terms of cost
- Use a protein powder without artificial sweeteners, dyes or other chemicals simply because it would reduce total exposure to chemicals, but it’s a little difficult to ask for it from the products on the market.
Use a protein powder without artificial sweeteners, dyes or other chemicals simply because it would reduce total exposure to chemicals, but it’s a little difficult to ask for it from the products on the market.
How To Consume Protein Powder And Protein In General
Protein powder can replace whole foods when you are in a hurry or you need to take a meal with your protein, but meat, tempeh, fish, chicken, beans and eggs are the best choices when it comes to meeting the required calories.
Whole protein sources have other nutrients and are usually not as processed as protein powders.
You can use protein powder as a snack before or after a workout to support muscle growth and restoration.
It is a convenient option because it is desirable to consume protein as close as possible to the end of the exercise session to take advantage of the most benefits.
Protein powder in a smoothie with blueberries and almond milk is a quick breakfast when the alternative is avoiding breakfast.
Eating a pretzel or a donut that will only increase your blood sugar quickly enough to be hungry again shortly thereafter.
How You Prepare A Nutritional Protein Shake
Whatever type of protein you decide to add to the shake, if you use it to replace a main meal, make sure it also contains other nutritious ingredients including a healthy mix of proteins, healthy carbohydrates and fats, and at least 200 calories.
Choose a low calorie base such as skim milk or almond milk, soy, rice or coconut, low in fat.
Fresh or frozen forest fruits have fewer calories, soften the drink and add fiber, other food components that help satiety and help control your caloric intake.
You can also add a handful of spinach leaves full of fiber. For healthy fats, add 30 grams of nuts or seeds or one-fifth of avocados.
I personally use hemp protein in the morning shake.
Today you learned about proteins, what are they, how many you should consume and the best sources to get them.
You also learn about the protein powder and sadly, that there is no magic protein powder which washes away your extra weight.
But you have some good choices when it’s about to use protein powder as a support for your exercise plan: whey, casein and egg powder.
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