It’s true that most people assume that adding protein, especially a protein supplement, to their diet will increase their calorie consumption thus leading to weight gain, not a loss. Quite the opposite is true, however.
If you take in too many calories of any kind, more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. But adding protein to your diet adds a new dimension. Adding protein helps to build muscle and this, in turn, helps to increase metabolism. Increased metabolism will help the body burn more calories all day long, whether you are working out or sitting at your desk.
Reasons to Add a Protein Supplement:
People who exercise need more protein to fuel their muscles. When you finish a workout, your muscles need to be fed within thirty minutes or they will begin to breakdown, using your own muscle tissue for fuel. You don’t want that, as it is counterintuitive to a workout. It can undo all your hard work.
Taking in a protein supplement after you exercise will combat this. It will keep your metabolism revved and keep the calories burning.
If you are someone who feels sluggish during the day, finding they never have the energy to do what they want–like a workout after a long day at the office, you need a protein supplement to give you energy. Replace your current breakfast or lunch with a delicious protein shake (try chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry!) to keep focused and on track. More protein and fewer carbs equal to more energy.
And if you are trying to lose weight and build lean muscle, a protein supplement is essential. Adding grams of protein will help you build lean muscle and muscle takes up less space than fat, so you will also lose inches. And, it increases metabolism. Again, this helps burn calories all day long and you’ll lose weight.
How to choose the right protein supplement
Whey protein is typically the biggest seller, as it comes from milk, and is often most easily available, and cheapest. It is usually the most popular type of protein supplement used by bodybuilders.
Lately, doctors have told us that too much soy in the diet is not good for us, so look for a protein powder that is not a soy protein powder. Look for whey protein, pea protein, or even rice protein powder, although rice protein often includes a great deal more sugar.
Look for a protein that is bio-available. This means it is used quickly by the body and there is no waste (you get all the good stuff!).
That’s the next thing–look for a protein supplement that does not include a great deal of added sugar. Why add sugar if you don’t need to? Some people will find that they don’t like the taste of some protein powders that have low sugar, so it’s a trade-off. Also, avoid preservatives if at all possible. Look for a protein supplement that is organic and all-natural if available. These often cost a little more, but your health is worth it!