Protein Supplements Promote Fat Loss
Whey protein is not just a muscle-building supplement – it is also an effective weight-loss agent and appetite suppressant.
In a 12-week study conducted out of the ATN Centre for Metabolic Fitness at Curtin University of Technology in Australia, scientists tested two types of protein (whey and casein) on overweight and obese individuals aged between 18 and 65. These subjects were divided into three groups:
1. Whey Protein Group
2. Casein Protein Group
3. Glucose and Sugar Group
Groups 1 and 2 consumed two servings of 27 grams of protein a day, half an hour before breakfast and dinner. At the end of the 12-week study, the whey protein group had lower levels of fats and cholesterol. In this group, blood triglycerides dropped by as much as 11% and LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) dropped by 9.6%.
While neither group showed any changes in body weight, the whey protein group had lower plasma insulin, which is the ideal state for lipolysis or fat loss. In this respect, whey protein is the superior source for weight loss, as casein has been shown in studies to raise LDL cholesterol. This is probably due to its lack of the amino acid cysteine.
But before you dismiss casein altogether, let’s take a look at these two proteins and their benefits.
Casein vs. Whey Protein – A Comparison
Whey protein makes up 20% of the proteins found in milk, whereas casein holds the lion share at 80%. The most prevalent factor separating casein and whey protein is the absorption rate. Whey protein absorbs faster in the body, which leads to a quicker delivery of vital amino acids to the muscles for protein synthesis. This makes it the ideal candidate for pre- and post-workout nutrition. In contrast, casein is slower absorbing and so it prolongs anabolic support for up to seven hours after consumption.
Studies show that protein helps increase lean muscle mass and the leaner you are, the more calories you burn.
Another benefit of supplementing with whey or casein is that protein helps you to feel fuller for longer, which helps to control your appetite and puts a stop to cravings and snacking. Casein is also an effective weight-loss supplement, as its slow-absorbing rate releases protein into the blood stream over a longer period of time, resulting in a prolonged feeling of fullness.
Whey protein is also rich in BCAAs, particularly leucine, isoleucine and valine – the three most essential amino acids in the quest for lean muscle mass. Leucine is the one key component you want to watch out for when choosing a protein powder. It is ultimately responsible for charging the metabolism to produce muscle protein.
As a rich source of BCAAs, whey protein helps keep blood glucose levels stable, which reduces your appetite. Studies done on whey protein show that these bioactive peptides promote ghrelin, which is an appetite hormone that sends messages to the brain telling the body it is full.
Avoiding insulin spikes in your diet is a sure-fire way to reduce fat accumulation and ensure the healthy functioning of the body.
Every bodybuilder knows that training is only about 20% of the big picture; the other 80% is all about nutrition and timing it right so that the effects promote muscle building and fat loss. Whether your goal is to build lean muscle, bulk up or lose weight, supplementing with a high quality protein powder before and after you work out will help you reach these goals effectively and efficiently.