Supplements and other protein drinks are presented as miracle solutions for women who want to be healthy, lose weight but do not have time to prepare full meals everyday. And with the support of celebrities who tout their virtues, protein shakers have enjoyed a huge boom in terms of popularity.
But are the benefits of protein supplements also obvious? And can they really help you lose weight?
What does a protein supplement contain?
Protein supplements contain powdered proteins, such as soy or whey proteins (whey, a by-product of the cheese manufacturing process). Flavors are added to the powder so that once mixed with milk or water, the shaker resembles a milkshake-like drink.
Recommended portions vary, but usually contain about 20 g of protein. The recommended average daily protein intake is 46 g per day for women and 64 g per day for men.
Protein intake, associated with the practice of fitness exercises, has long been encouraged in order to gain muscle mass. However, research conducted in the United States by the Obesity newspaper in 2007 revealed that significant protein intake – such as the amount of protein contained in a protein shaker – can also contribute to decreased levels of the ghrelin hormone, which has an appetite suppressant effect.
These studies have led to making protein supplements extremely popular and being marketed as a solution to lose weight. These products are therefore no longer reserved for gym addicts and professional bodybuilding practitioners.
It’s the practical side that has made protein supplements such popular drinks, especially with women who have a busy life and do not have time to prepare well balanced meals to lose weight.
These women are fully aware of the importance of a healthy and balanced diet, but they do not always have time to deal with it. They are looking for a convenient and easy way to increase their protein intake, and protein supplements are actually a quick and simple solution.
The supplements do not guarantee you a weight loss
However, experts claim that the simple fact of drinking protein shakers will not guarantee a weight loss or a development of your muscle mass.
It is not just by drinking protein supplements that you will succeed in making a difference. You need to do fitness exercises while consuming these protein drinks.
A carefully prepared, well-balanced diet composed of healthy foods would have similar benefits in terms of weight loss (but would be better in terms of nutrition).The supplements intended to promote weight loss contain of course proteins, but they are also high in fiber. You can provide your body with proteins by natural means, such as consuming dairy products at strategic times of the day. They will help you not only to gain muscle mass, but also to lose fat. Egg whites, dairy products and meat are good sources of natural protein.
You can get the same benefits as with shakers by having a holistic diet. Protein supplements are therefore not necessary, but some people find that they are more convenient, this is the main reason for their popularity.
A balanced diet is always needed
Beware of the addiction to protein supplements when it comes to weight loss.
Proteins can reduce appetite when they have an important part in your meals and they can help reduce the feeling of hunger between meals. But diets that are only based on protein supplements only work because you reduce the amount of calories you consume in a day.
It is not the proteins themselves that will make you lose weight, it is because you will consume fewer calories from carbohydrates.
Although these types of diets allow quick results that may seem significant to you in terms of weight loss, this loss is only due to the reduction of water amounts in the lean tissues.
It is important to keep a balanced diet, even if you drink protein drinks. Protein shakers should not replace other foods with real nutritional value, such as fruits and vegetables, or other foods containing important nutrients such as carbohydrates and fiber.