What You Should Know
Whey protein is used as a powdered protein supplement and as an ingredient in many weight loss shakes and bars. Protein is clinically proven to decrease appetite between meals and offers a fantastic source of prolonged energy. There can be too much of a great thing, however. When too much whey protein or meat protein is consumed, the body transforms it into carbohydrate energy and quickly metabolizes and stores said energy.
Whey protein is not all created equal. Some products contain huge amounts of sugar while others offer a zero carbohydrate alternative by sweetening the whey protein with an artificial sweetener. Added vitamins and nutrients allows the dieter to drink a protein shake knowing they are receiving all the benefits of eating without all the stress of counting calories, fat, carbohydrates and protein grams.
List of Ingredients
Protein powder from milk.
There are three significant varieties of whey protein – sugar added, partially sugar added and sugar free. The calories in the protein aspect of whey are simple to calculate. For every gram of protein there will be four calories. This cannot be changed or altered by any weight loss supplement or powder. Calories represent how much energy the body uses converting a food to a useable form of fuel.
Sugar based whey protein will often taste like chocolate, strawberry, vanilla or cookies and cream – to name a few. These protein powders offer all the benefits of protein, but tends to negate the appetite suppressing quality by adding sugar that will raise blood glucose and then drop it in the dirt signaling the body to eat more simple carbohydrates like sugar.
Some whey protein companies attempt to mask artificial sweetener taste by adding 1/2 sweetener and 1/2 sugar. The end result tastes great, but the sugar crash may still be a problem. No sugar whey protein, often described as sugar free or low carbohydrate. Specialty brands often pick up the zero carb name. When choosing whey protein, zero carbohydrate is the best way to go.
Whey protein has a reputation of being difficult to mix in water or juice. A shaker with a grated top to break up protein powder pieces works best when a blender cannot be used. Blenders allow dieters to add fruits, yogurt or ice to their protein smoothie making a delightful treat.
When comparing prices, whey protein is all over the map. Generic brands retail for about $15 per three pound container. Designer proteins can cost $100 or more for the same size.
- Protein is proven to decrease hunger between meals.
- Protein can be inexpensive.
- Not all whey protein is zero carbohydrates.
- Sugar added to whey protein ups calories to uncomfortable dieting levels.
We love whey protein. The effect of appetite suppression may not be as strong as some dieters would like, but it can add an extra boost between meals or at night when supplementation is not suggested. For the price, a quick whey protein shake in the morning is a great way to start the day with a low calorie meal that keeps away the mid-afternoon urge to snack.