Protein powder is a popular supplement used by gym-goers, dieters, and athletes. Despite its reputation in recent years, the benefits of protein shake powders have been heavily debated. Some studies show increased muscle mass and decreased body fat with supplementing protein.
Protein Powder Isn’t a Magic Potion
Protein powder might seem like a magic potion that can help you lose weight, but it’s not. If you’re drinking protein shakes on a regular basis and not seeing results, you may want to take a look at your diet. Protein powder shouldn’t be your only source of protein or calories, and it shouldn’t be used as a meal replacement. There are certain powders that are designed to be a meal replacement and if that is something you want, you can get those.
Protein powders are often marketed as a way to boost your protein intake and lose weight. While they do contain protein, they can also contain fat, sugar, and carbohydrates. If you’re using them as a meal replacement or snack throughout the day, you could consume more than half of your daily recommended caloric intake in one sitting (or two sittings).
If you’re just starting with protein shakes, start slowly. Drink one shake per day with an appropriate amount of water (a half-cup for every 20 grams of protein). Adjust the amount of liquid based on how much you have leftover from your meal (if any). If you feel full after drinking one serving size, cut back on the serving size for that particular shake until it feels right for you.
Don’t Underestimate How Much You’re Eating
In a world of fitness bloggers and Instagram fitness gurus, protein powder has become the go-to supplement for muscle development. But does protein powder cause weight gain?
It can, and here’s why:
Protein powders are often used as a meal replacement or post-workout snack. You might be consuming double or triple the recommended daily serving of protein in one sitting.
Don’t underestimate how much you’re eating! You may think that one scoop of protein powder is enough, but it really isn’t. You need to do your research on the recommended servings per day and adjust accordingly.
People use protein powder to increase their daily intake of protein without eating a lot of food or taking extra time to cook each meal. As such, it’s often used by athletes trying to bulk up or build muscle mass — especially since protein helps keep you feeling full longer than carbohydrates do.
When Can You Expect to See Weight Loss?
The answer to this question depends on how much extra protein you’re adding. Also, whether or not you’re also reducing your overall calorie intake. If you’re adding a scoop of protein powder to an already balanced diet and exercising regularly, then it may be several weeks before you see any noticeable results.
How Much Protein is Too Much?
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, roughly 55 grams per day for women aged 19-50 years old and 65 grams per day for men in that age group. That amount will help support growth and prevent deficiencies in children and adults who are healthy or active but may not be getting enough protein in their diet through food alone.
Suppose you’re trying to lose weight or maintain your weight. In that case, you might want to keep your daily intake below this RDA level — especially if you’re following a restrictive eating plan like intermittent fasting or counting calories religiously with an app such as MyFitnessPal or Lose It!
You don’t have to worry about your protein powder causing you to put on a few extra pounds if you know how much you’re using and how to take the supplement properly. Protein powder has its place in a balanced diet. Still, it’s important not to forget about the other aspects of good nutrition—proper sleep, regular exercise, and plenty of fresh produce.