People use protein powders for a multitude of reasons.
Some for a meal replacement, others as a supplement, and some to bulk up.
One very common reason though is for fat/weight loss.
With the knowledge that getting enough protein is important but perhaps not having enough of it in your diet to obtain the results you want, a protein powder may be the best answer.
This article will explore the following five options to examine for the right protein powder for you:
our top 5 picks
Importance of Protein for Fat Loss
Protein is an essential nutrient needed to aid in weight loss.
If one is getting enough protein in their diet, the benefits of a boosted metabolism and a reduction in appetite can help lead to loss of body fat without the loss of muscle.
If one is not getting enough protein for their diet alone, turning to protein shakes can be the answer.
What is a protein shake?
Simply put, it is a drink made from adding a protein powder to either water or any liquid base of your choosing.
The decision to take protein powder can be for a number of reasons but the most common are: to supplement your diet, to bulk up muscle, and to loss weight.
One can either purchase the protein powder themselves and mix it at their leisure or, as some brands offer, purchase a pre-mixed liquid shake.
The most common types of protein powders you are likely to run into, and their key features, include:
Whey - whey is dairy-based and is absorbed into the system quickly. Has all the essential amino acids.
Casein - casein is dairy-based and is absorbed more slowly. Has all the essential amino acids.
Soy - Soy is a plant-based protein. Has all the essential amino acids.
Hemp - hemp is a plant-based protein that is high in Omega 3 fatty acids and low in the amino acid lysine.
Rice - rice is a plant based protein and is also low in the amino acid lysine
Pea - pea protein is plant based and is low in the non-essential amino acids cysteine and methionine.
A quick note about plant-based proteins. As you can see, many are lacking one or the other amino acid.
To help ensure the consumer is provided with the full breadth of amino acids, many brands will combine the types of proteins used.
What can protein powders do for weight loss?
Protein aids in suppressing hunger in mainly two ways.
The first is the it increases the appetite reducing hormones in the body while simultaneously lowering the levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone.
The second way in which protein helps with weight loss is that it provides you with a feeling of fullness for a longer time.
In one study, those who ate a higher protein breakfast consumed upto 135 fewer calories throughout the day than those who did not take in as much protein.
While shakes are a fast and convenient means to adding in extra protein, it is important to note to take care to only consume as much as you need.
Too much protein, or of anything, can lead to excess caloric intake.
A key number to remember is that, if you’re looking to lose weight, about 20 grams of protein per shake is essentially enough to reduce the feeling of hunger.
Another great way having enough protein in your diet helps weight loss is the increase to your metabolism.
A faster metabolism equals more calories burned in a day.
The metabolism is a set of chemical processes that aid in keeping an organism alive.
For the purpose of this article, it is the process of burning calories to aid you in being able to live life.
With a higher metabolism, which will burn fat, combined with strength training, can lead to increased muscle build up.
More muscles, which burn more calories than fat, will then in turn continue the process of getting you to your ideal weight and tone.
Heightening your intake of protein, due to the “thermic effect of food” can also speed up your metabolism due to the calories, or energy, needed to digest and metabolize the protein compared to other nutrients.
The fat lost during consumption of high protein diets is usually taken from the belly area.
A longer lasting effect of upping your protein intake is that the heightened metabolism, reduction in appetite, and the muscle growth could lead to aiding in you from regaining the fat you had lost.
In short, proper protein intake is a cyclical win that sustains itself.
What is the best protein for you?
Well, that depends on what effects you wish the protein to have on your body.
Whey, for example, is absorbed more quickly than casein, which in turn helps you feel less hungry for a period of time.
Another factor is the quality of the protein.
As mentioned earlier, whey, casein, and soy provide all the amino acids your body needs.
So it is important to remember the types of protein and their benefits as well as what sources of protein you're consuming.
Most Popular protein powders For Weight Loss
Check out the list below for our top 5 recommendations.
Legion Whey+ is made from all natural whey isolate, providing the consumer with a dietary shake that is sugar free and sweetened with organic stevia.
The whey isolate protein is a grass-fed, lactose-free, lean powder.
The absence of dairy makes for easier digestion for some and fulfilled dietary needs for others.
Whey+ offers a low carb and low fat ingredient list, in addition to no sugar for a lean product.
The flavor options for Whey+ are the classics of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.
Whey+ adds in no artificial sweeteners, food dyes or other chemical or junk fillers.
By being low-carb, low-fat, and being sweetened with stevia, Whey+ can be incorporated into any diet plan.
By using whey isolate rather than whey concentrate, the product is providing a higher percentage of whey in each serving with isolate containing about 90-95% whey and concentrate having 50-80% whey).
In addition to getting more whey, isolate is lactose free as opposed to the possibility of some concentrates not being.
The ALPHA ISO - Whey Protein Isolate Powder offers its consumers 27 grams of pure whey isolate per scoop.
For minimal lactose and fat, ALPHA isolate is processed four times using ultra and microfiltration, hydrolysis, and ion exchange to help ensure the best quality.
Claiming its bragging rights with its low lactose and absence of cheap fats found in other protein powders, ALPHA ISO points to its quality control measures to set them apart.
The processes used seem to be rather unique with their cold processed filtration for their whey protein isolate combined with the other filtration systems to provide the clean, lean final product of whey protein.
MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder offers its consumers 25 grams of protein coming from five sources to provide you with fast and slow digesting proteins to help keep you feeling full and fueled for longer.
For the user who wishes to bulk up through use of this product, athletes will be happy to know that MusclePHarm is banned-substance tested and certified by Informed Choice.
This formula is primed for athletes wishing to reach optimal recovery time, building of muscle, and support strength training.
By adding in digestive enzymes, the formula is made for the ease of absorption.
This product uses whey protein concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate.
Concentrate is the closest to the proteins obtained from whole food consumption.
Whey hydrolysate is an amino acid that is fast absorbing, especially compared to whey concentrate and isolate.
While offering a product that is gluten free, MusclePharm does contain milk, egg, and soy. Consumers sensitive to these ingredients should take note.
This organic whey protein is obtained from USDA certified, grass fed cows from family owned farms in northern California.
With the options for flavor of Cacao Bean, Vanilla Bean, or Coffee Bean, this protein shake is sure to satisfy your taste buds as well as your waist.
Offering 20 grams of protein in each scoop, the consumer will be getting 42% of their daily intake of protein each time.
Offering ingredients that are USDA organic, non-GMO, paleo diet friendly, kosher, and gluten free, the ingredients are sure to offer the health factor many consumers will be looking for.
The ingredients of this protein powder are simple.
Organic whey protein concentrate, organic vanilla flavor, and organic stevia leaf powder.
The flavor option of coffee bean does contain 36.6 mg per servicing of caffeine so consumers should be aware of how this may affect their body.
This protein powder offers a USDA Certified Organic, raw, plant based, high protein, vegan powder that aims at weight loss while using raw sprouted organic ingredients.
It’s claim to the top is that it makes use of several clinically studied ingredients (svetol green coffee bean extract, chromium, and organic cinnamon).
These ingredients aim to aid in fat burning, maintaining a healthy blood sugar level, giving a boost to your energy level, and weight loss.
The added raw organic ashwagandha is to help in fighting those cravings of hunger.
With 28 grams of plant protein, this product offers more protein per serving that some of its competitors.
This level of protein, in addition to the ingredient list above, is a great tool for fat burning and fighting those cravings.
This product offers organic, kosher, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and non-GMO plant based protein.
This list opens up a larger audience base than those who do not fit these qualifications.
Offering 170 calories, 28 grams of protein, 9 grams of fiber, and less than 1 gram of sugar.
Not to mention this protein shake is Non-GMO Project certified.
Of the choices presented in this article, the product that rose to the top was the Garden of Life Organic Meal Replacement.
For its dairy free qualities along with the heightened intake of protein per serving, it seemed to offer the most protein while welcoming a larger base of consumers when compared to the other products.