Having a beach body is something every person aspires to, it not only looks photoshoot ready but also helps in grabbing a lot of attention.
Whey protein has been incredibly famous within the bodybuilding community but do you know that the same whey protein has also been proven very effective in cut down body fat and improving body composition.
A high protein diet is one of the best ways to boost the muscle building process while trimming down the fat.
Problem is, it’s not always possible to fulfill the body’s protein requirement through whole-food, this is when protein supplements come into play.
Why whey protein?
The general thumb rule is, if you want to lose fat while developing muscle mass then it’s essential to include a high quality source of protein in your diet.
Protein supplements can be derived from various sources, including Dairy, Eggs, Pea, Hemp, Plant-based, Beef, etc. In general, a high-quality protein depends on four factors:
- Amount of protein per serving: How many grams
- Digestibility: Can your body break it down?
- Amino acid Profile: What’s really inside the protein? The exact content of EAA, Non-essential amino acids, Semi-essential amino acids.
Whey protein has been proven to be the most potent protein supplement with the highest rate of absorption, best amino acid profile, and its cost-effective as well
Another reason why athletes supplement with whey protein is because of its purity and low calories. Sometimes catching up with protein requirements may mess up with total calories consumed. For example: eating a whole egg gives about 7 grams of protein but contains about 80 calories while a scoop of whey protein gives 22-25 grams of protein while being only 120 calories only.
So protein supplementation found to be a very effective alternative to fulfill the protein requirements while staying in a caloric deficit.
How whey protein helps in weight loss:
Whey protein has been scientifically proven to gain muscle strength and size but how exactly does it affect weight loss? Let’s have a look at six reasons that prove whey protein to be an effective solution to weight loss.
1- More muscle mass:
Whey protein has been proven very effective in improving muscle mass by speeding up the recovery process and enhanced protein synthesis, Leucine (1) is the most anabolic amino acid that whey protein contains in abundance.
How does more muscle mass helps in weight loss:
- Contradictory to the common belief, building lean muscle tissues is the best way to lose weight fast.
- Muscles consume more energy for maintenance, the body’s metabolic rate shoots up naturally when you gain new muscle tissues.
- Boost in metabolic rate also results in improved ability to burn more calories.
- More muscle mass means improved strength as well, which increases the training intensity. Improved training intensity not only increases performance but also burns more calories.
2- Decrease hunger craving:
Whey protein not only heals the damaged muscle tissues but also makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time.
Protein is by far the most satiating macronutrient among all three ( protein, carbohydrate and fat). But not all the protein supplements are created equal.
Some research papers have revealed that Whey protein is far more effective in making you fuller for a longer period of time.
Feeling fuller and satisfied not only limits the calorie intake but also reduces the frequent hunger craving which is the primary reason behind weight gain.
3- Requires more energy:
Human body requires more energy in breaking down protein in comparison to carbs or fats.
Every food item has its own thermic effect which determines the amount of energy it requires to break down into smaller compounds. Including more protein with every diet will ensure the boost in calorie burning too.
4- Improves cognitive function:
Amino acids are not only for muscle health, our central nervous system (CNS) also requires a number of amino acids to function at its optimum capacity.
Some of the essential amino acids that helps in improving cognitive functioning are:
- Tryptophan: it’s an essential amino acid that acts as a precursor of serotonin. Availability of tryptophan to the brain can alter behavioral factors such as alertness, level of depression, aggression, and pain sensitivity.
- Tyrosine: it is a precursor of neurotransmitters: norepinephrine, dopamine, and epinephrine. This amino may assist in improving mental performance in stressful situations (2).
- Histidine: Histidine is used to produce histamine; it's a neurotransmitter that plays a critical role in the body’s immune response, digestion, sexual function and sleep-wake cycles.
- Threonine: Its amino acid that plays an important role in fat metabolization (3)
Improved cognitive function results in better mental clarity and elevated allergy levels.
5- Improved quality of sleep:
Supplementing with whey protein before bed may help in improving the quality of sleep.
Whey protein is high in essential amino acid called “Tryptophan (4)”, its an amino acid that acts as a precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that regulates your appetite, sleep and mood.
A 12-weeks trial was conducted to investigate the effect of whey protien on sleep quality of overweight and obese adults. It was found that the consumption of a greater proportion of energy from protein while dieting may improve sleep in overweight and obese adults.
How to use protein for weight loss
Timing plays an important role too, consuming protein at certain times ensures maximum benefits. Best time to have whey protein:
- Just after your workout session: It's the time when your body is most receptive to the protein supplementation. Body is exhausted in a post-workout period and it absorbs the aminos fairly quickly.
- Before bed: Body’s natural recovery process kicks in while in a deep state of sleep, supplementing with the scoop of whey protein before sleep ensures maximum recovery while your body is resting.
- With morning coffee: A scoop of whey with morning coffee not only fuel your muscle with vital aminos but also keep your feel fuller and satisfied for a longer period of time.
How much protein for visible results?
It’s essential to consume 2g of protein per pound of body weight.
But when you are cutting down bodyweight then it’s essential to stay in a caloric deficit state as well.
It’s best If you can fulfill the body’s protein demand through whole food but if you can't then supplementing with whey protein can help you boost the protein intake.
2-3 scoops of whey protein can deliver 70-80 grams of protein that is very effective to get visible results. 1-2 scoop of whey protein as a post-workout shake may help in accelerated recovery and reducing muscle soreness.
Whey protein vs plant protein?
The human body is capable of producing most of the required amino acids but 9 essential amino acids are required to be fed through food sources. That’s the reason they are called ESSENTIAL.
If you are someone who has digestibility issues with milk products then whey protein might not be for you or you should be looking for the highest quality Hydrolysed whey protein. Plant protein is the best choice for those who are vegan or can’t digest dairy products.
But, most of the plant-based proteins lack the optimum ratio of aminos and that makes them less potent when compared to whey. If you can digest whey then it might be the best source of protein for you.
Not all supplements are created equal and we suggest you use both to analyze the changes in strength and recovery.
Creatine vs whey protein for fat loss:
Confused between supplementing creatine or whey protein for fat loss? Why not both?
Fact is creatine supplement is dirt cheap and has been time and tested over the years for better strength development and reducing stored body fat by increasing ATP production.
Creatine has also been scientifically proven to be 100% safe and it is one of the most favored supplements of every pro-athlete. It not only increases energy production but also accelerates the fat burning process by boosting the metabolic rate.
Creatine has its own fat loss benefits and whey protein has its own set of benefits, a combination of both the supplements can actually help in experiencing results at an accelerated pace.
Supplements should always be used to supplement the whole food not to replace the whole food. We never recommend any reader to totally switch to the supplements instead of whole food.