Weight Loss Advice – The Best Protein Shakes

gym shake woman

Weight Loss Advice – The Best Protein Shakes

By now we all know the benefits of reducing carbs and increasing protein to help with weight loss, it is in fact one of the most common pieces of weight loss advice, but how much do you need and what’s the difference between them?

Protein is found throughout the body; in muscle, bone, skin, hair and almost every other body part. It is a vital nutrient that serves many functions from growth and repair, weight management, manufacturing of hormones and neurotransmitters as well as roles in immune system support. Our protein needs depend on our age, size, and activity level. The standard method used by nutritionists to estimate our minimum daily protein requirement is to multiply the body weight in kilograms by 0.8.

Therefore someone weighing 68kilos needs at least 55g of protein a day. Some population groups are of risk of consuming lower protein from their diets and may not be receiving all the essential amino acids their bodies need. These include vegetarians who avoid all animal produce such as eggs and cheese, older adults and those with conditions that lead to malnourishment such as cancer. Ageing also leads to muscle mass decline and this can become worse with reduced physical activity.

Nutrition Tips – Whey protein shakes and weight loss

Protein supplements provide essential amino acids that the body cannot make and is best used when trying to fill the gap when not enough protein is present in your diet. Whey protein shakes are the most popular protein available, mainly because it is one of the highest quality sources of protein available. It is quickly and easily digested and offers promising results for those wanting to lose weight. Whey protein helps with weight loss by:

  • supporting satiety
  • boosting lean body mass
  • promoting fat burning
  • reducing calorie intake
  • low in fat and carbohydrates, so lower in calories

Whey is rich in branch-chained amino acids (BCAAs) such as leucine and valine, which are the building blocks of muscle, and more muscle means more calories burned. Whey protein isolates are a byproduct of the cheese making process. When milk it turned into cheese, it is separated into liquids and solids. The solids are turned into the cheese product and the liquid is used to make whey supplements. The liquid is filtered and purified, and then placed in special drying ovens to remove the moisture. This dry powder substance is then packaged and sold as whey powder.

Whey on its own has a bland flavour, however it is versatile and can be mixed with any liquid to make it suit an individuals taste. Evidence suggests that consuming whey before meals may help limit subsequent hunger and food intake, and that ingesting whey before exercise may enhance the fat-burning effects of the workout. Since the effects of whey appear to last approximately two to three hours, staggering whey intake throughout the day may help weight management. A healthy breakfast could include one or two scoops of whey in a bowl of porridge, while a mid-afternoon snack might be a whey-based shake with a piece of fruit.

scoops of protein powder

There are a huge variety of whey protein shakes available on the market. Protein powders in different flavors that can be mixed with water, milk or juice to create a protein shake. Some are ready made and are sold in cans or bottles to be drunk on the go. There are protein powders with nil to low carbohydrates and others that contain a higher ratio of carbohydrates to protein, which may benefit endurance athletes. Protein powders also come with added ingredients depending on the individual’s goals.

Using protein shakes for weight loss is becoming more popular and some are made up with fat burning substances and herbs such as green tea extract, chromium, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Some also contain caffeine. For individuals wanting more strength and energy protein powders containing creatine and extra BCAAa’s are available.

Casein protein

Casein is the most abundant protein in milk and has a slower rate of digestion so releases amino acids over time. This makes it a good choice for preventing muscle breakdown. Most women take casein protein at night, which allows the product to repair and build muscle during sleep when the body is in an anabolic state.

Vegan sources of protein

There are alternative proteins made from pea, hemp, and rice, which are free from dairy, lactose, soya and gluten. If you avoid dairy or have dairy allergies or intolerances they are suitable alternatives. Soya protein is widely available however because of the controversy related to its adverse effects on health it is best to avoid or opt for a reputable GM free brand.

Pea protein is a low allergenic protein that contains a balanced supply of amino acids, good digestive quality and a protein level of eight five percent and has a light, flurry texture.

Hemp protein is naturally rich in all the essential amino acids and also contains the essential fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6 in addition to dietary fiber.

Rice protein- Brown rice can be treated with enzymes that will cause carbohydrates to separate from proteins. The resulting protein powder is then sometimes flavored or added to smoothies or health shakes. Rice protein is commonly mixed with pea protein powder to create a more complete protein source.

Word cloud for WheyNutrition Tips – Common misconceptions of protein shakes

Myth 1: I’ll bulk up too much

Fact 1: Many individuals believe that protein shakes will lead to bulking up of muscles and images of toned men with 6 packs advertising protein drinks doesn’t help! Whilst protein does feed the muscle and during rest periods when the body is in anabolic state the muscles can grow and strengthen with protein and other nutrients. A woman’s body cannot bulk up because women have lower testosterone. Female body builders train extensively to achieve the look they want. The majority of women want to look slim and toned.

Myth 2: All protein shakes are meal replacements

Fact 2: Protein shakes are more like a snack. They can be consumed with food to make a meal complete and to provide extra protein. A meal does not consist of protein on its own and carbs and fats are the other two important macronutrients. However some ready prepared high protein diet shakes do contain added vitamins, minerals and super foods that can be used as meal replacements.

Side effects of protein powders

No tolerable upper limit exists for protein however as a caution an intake of no more than three servings per day is advised. It is best to follow the guidelines of the protein source you are consuming. It is further advisable to read the label of the protein shake products before you buy and to opt for a pure quality protein without artificial sweeteners and added ingredients. Lactose intolerance sufferers may experience bloating, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea and nausea with some whey or casein protein mixes.

So which is the best protein shake for weight loss?

There are some marketed for weight loss and made up with fat burning substances and herbs such as green tea extract, chromium, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Some also contain caffeine. For individuals wanting more strength and energy protein powders containing creatine and extra BCAAa’s are available.

Whey protein is the best way to supplement extra protein for people who do not get enough from their diet. Whey protein shakes can be used as a snack anytime and for people who can tolerate dairy it is quick and easy to digest and balances blood sugar which reduces carb cravings, provides fuel for muscle and boosts metabolism which burns more calories aiding weight loss. Find out how to lose two dress sizes in three weeks here.

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