Do You Need a Protein Shake to Lose Weight?
Protein is an important nutrient for weight loss and "forming" your body. Doesn't matter if you're male or female. To keep it simple, when trying to lose weight, hit your protein factor and stay under your caloric ceiling. Each person has a different requirement and that's something you want to discuss and plan with your coach.
Your average person does not need a protein shake to meet their daily requirements, but I'm assuming anyone reading this is actively lifting weights or doing some sort of resistance training.
Protein shakes are an easy and convenient way to add more protein to your diet, especially when access to quality high-protein foods is limited or you have a hard time hitting your protein factor. For people who are vegan or vegetarian adding a protein shake is very helpful! But they are not magic.
What Types Of Protein Shakes Are There?
1. Whey protein: Quickly absorbed, dairy-based. Contains all the essential amino acids.
2. Casein protein: Slowly absorbed, dairy-based. Contains all essential amino acids.
3. Soy protein: Plant-based and contains all essential amino acids. Also contains soy isoflavones, which may provide some health benefits.
4. Hemp protein: Plant-based and high in omega-3 and omega-6 fats, but low in the essential amino acid lysine.
5. Rice protein: Plant-based and low in the essential amino acid lysine.
6. Pea protein: Plant-based and low in the non-essential amino acids cystine and methionine.
Some brands contain a mix of different types of protein powder. For example, many plant-based brands combine types to complement each other's amino acid profile.
There are studies that protein affects your hunger hormones and can help decrease appetite. Protein shakes can be a convenient way to add extra protein to your diet. However, keep in mind that too much can still lead to excess calories, therefore weight gain.
There are also studies that a high protein breakfast will reduce your caloric intake by 135 calories later in the day. Try it out. Log your food and see how you feel.
A high-protein diet — especially when combined with strength training — may help you build muscle, therefore increasing metabolism.
Most people can easily get enough protein without using shakes. That being said, these supplements are an easy, safe and delicious way to add protein in your diet. I would recommend using them if you have a hard time getting enough protein or they are a convenient breakfast or snack to hold you over.
Remember, the key to losing weight is burning more calories than you consume. Choose healthy foods — such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein — and stay active.