Protein Powder

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Protein powder is a good way to supplement your weight loss diet menu, but when you search for protein powder, you will quickly find that there are many varieties on sale and it can become confusing as to which type to get. There are also weight gainer protein powder formulas which would be inappropriate for our goal here.

 

The types of protein powder:-

Whey Protein

This is made from milk, normally from the liquid that separates from the solids during cheese making. It is high in protein and is considered a full protein source.. Whey protein comes as a Whey Protein Isolate or Whey Protein Concentrate and Hydrolyzed Whey Protein.

 

Whey Protein Isolate  is the most pure type of whey protein and contains 90% or more protein.  It is good for people with lactose intolerance as it contains little to no lactose.  This form of protein is very low in fat, but costs slightly more than the other types.

Whey Protein Concentrate. The amount of protein in whey protein concentrate can vary greatly and it is best to check the individual product label, but is generally in the region of 80% protein. The concentrate is between 4% to 8% lactose and also has a higher fat content.

Hydrolyzed Whey Protein has been partially broken down, breaking  apart the bonds linking the various amino acids. The formula is slightly more bitter, but the process allows the protein to be absorbed by the body faster than concentrate or isolate. The hydrolyzed version is also more expensive than the concentrate and isolate.

 

Casein

Casein is also produced from milk and comprises 80% of the milk protein, while whey is 20%. Casein contains all of the benefits of whey and has a slow absorption rate in the digestive system, resulting in your cells  being supplied with amino acids at a lower level over a longer period of time.

 

Non Dairy Protein Powders

Plant Based

A lot of  plant-based foods do contain all of the essential amino acids, but they might not contain adequate  amounts of one or more specific essential amino acid. On their own, they don’t appear to be as effective as whey.

 

There are various formulas available, such as –

Hemp Protein

Brown Rice Protein

Soy Protein

Pea Protein

 

Other Non Dairy Protein Powders

Meat or Egg based –

Egg White Protein

Collagen Protein

 

How and why should we use protein powder in a weight loss diet?. The best use of protein powder is to add it to a shake that is used for a meal replacement. My research suggests to me that Whey Isolate or Casein protein powders are the most effective. This is because they both have high levels of leucine. This is a branched chain amino acid which promotes muscle synthesis, or the growth of muscle. Muscle burns  more calories than fat, so the more muscular you become, the easier it is to lose weight. You have to play your part though, the protein powder doesn’t’ grow muscle on its own. You will need to follow a weight training program. A high quality protein powder will allow your muscles to recover from exercise faster while supplying the necessary nutrients for muscle growth.

 

Shake recipes can be found everywhere, but we need to be aware of the calorie content. A weight loss shake should contain quality protein, with minimal sweeteners and artificial flavorings. A shake can be made with milk, but it would be more appropriate to use water, almond or coconut milk. Add a suitable fruit or fruits, and maybe a leafy green.Be sure to add up the total calorie count when you start to experiment. A quality protein powder will have minimal artificial ingredients such as sweeteners, flavorings and colorings.

 

My instinct tells me that Casein is preferable for weight loss because of it’s high leucine content and slow absorption rate. It appears to release nutrients over a period of time and also seems to make the body feel full for longer. I have seen some claims to  back this up but no concrete conclusions, just my instinct.

 

My bottom line advice is:-

 

Use Whey Protein Isolate powder or Casein powder.

 

Buy as pure a product as you can get.

 

Minimal to no sweeteners, flavorings or colorings.

 

Use the powder of your choice in shakes, yogurt, soups, and anything else you feel will be compatible.

 

Keep track of the protein content and calories that you consume daily.

 

Begin a weight training program to employ the extra protein to good effect.

 

Always choose organic, and the most additive free foods.

 

Be careful of sugar substitutes and sweeteners, they may sabotage your weight loss efforts. Be aware that many flavored protein powders use sweeteners.

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