After hours of comparisons weighing the pros and cons – here is the definitive guide to a variety of protein powders for weight loss!
First, you have to understand why incorporating a protein powder can be vital to weight loss. Depending on your lifestyle (and workout routine), your daily amount of protein will vary. As a general rule, and for a sedentary lifestyle, you will require 0.40 grams of protein for every pound of body weight. On the other end of the spectrum, if you are strength training you will require up to 0.80 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Let us assume that we fall somewhere in the middle; working out about three times a week and at a moderate pace. In our case, we will need about 0.48 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
This what these numbers look like in a chart:
|DAILY PROTEIN REQUIREMENT||Activity Level: Sedentary||Activity Level: Moderate||Activity Level: Endurance Training||Activity Level: Strength Training|
|Your Weight: 135 pounds||54 grams||65 grams||81 grams||97 grams|
|Your Weight: 150 pounds||60 grams||72 grams||90 grams||108 grams|
|Your Weight: 175 pounds||70 grams||84 grams||105 grams||126 grams|
For most Canadians, the amount of protein isn’t really the problem, with an average amount of 0.55 grams per pound of body weight. The problem is the type of protein! Protein powder is a great way to get the required protein without the saturated fat and cholesterol. Yay!
Now, you might be wondering why we need so much protein. Well, every single cell in our body contains protein – so that’s pretty important.
Nevertheless, protein can:
- Reduce the signs of aging
- Increase bone strength
- Improve muscle power
- Balance hormones
- Lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of coronary artery disease
- Help you to lose weight
Losing weight by increasing lean protein uses a process called thermogenesis. Thermogenesis means that your body is using up stored energy, burning more calories, and it is using fat that is stored in love handles, muffin tops and saddlebags for fuel. Protein consumption can equal an extra 250 calories burned without the effort.
Another bonus is that you will feel full so will have want and need less food. The effect of a high protein diet is that it will increase fullness for longer, causing you to eat less food on a daily basis. For this to work though, protein must be coupled with fiber. What is the easiest way to do this? SMOOTHIES! Check out the 9 green smoothies in my 48 hour green smoothie challenge.
Now that we can agree that Protein Powder is awesome, it is time to start incorporating it into our daily routine.
1. Whey: the most popular protein powder
We feel that traditional whey protein is a bad idea because even though it may contain 20g or more of protein, less than half of it can be broken down and absorbed in the amount of time it is spent digesting. There is also an insulin spike associated with it, so it actually reduces the body’s ability to burn fat. Traditional whey powders have a similar impact on blood sugar to that of a marshmallow or soft white bread.
According to the BioTrust website, it is possible to get the positive benefits of whey without the downsides. The website says, “the trick is to combine whey with other medium-speed and slow-digesting proteins such as milk protein and micellar casein, respectively.” Recommended here is BioTrust’s Low Carb Vanilla – with a whopping 24 grams of protein per serving size. Of course, sometimes less is more, so you can use ½ the serving size and still get a decent amount of protein.
2. Garden of Life Raw and Organic: the winner For a vegan alternative (to whey)
Whether you are allergic to casein or lactose intolerant, a vegan option will be best protein powder choice for you. The best choice for flavor, ingredients and bioavailability, is Garden of Life: Real RAW Vanilla. Made up of organic sprouted grains, seeds, beans and legumes- this protein powder has the full spectrum of essential amino acids and then some. It also has probiotics, a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals and digestive enzymes specific to protein. The price is great too at only $1.35 a serving.
Here it is:
The Definitive Guide to Protein Powder! Our favorites are listed under each type of protein powder category and they have been broken down by price, ingredients and amount of protein.
|Type of Protein||Brand and Flavor||Serving Size/ Protein per Serving||Avg. price per Serving||Total Fat/ Chole-sterol||Total Carb||Type Of Sugar||Good Ingredients||Bad Ingredients|
|WHEY||BioTrust: Low Carb Vanilla||38g/24g||$3.50||2g/25mg||8g||Stevia, Erythritol, Monk Fruit Extract||Hormone free whey, digestive enzymes||Casein, lactose, “Natural Flavors”|
|BROWN RICE||Sun Warrior: Classic Protein Vanilla||21g/15g||$1.42||0g/0mg||4g||Stevia||Gluten free, Non-GMO, no artificial flavours||None|
|SOY||Nature’s Plus:Spiru-tein Vanilla||34g/14g||$2.19||0g/0mg||11g||Fructose||Non GMO soy,Digestive enzymes||Not G-F, soy contains phyto-estrogens, cheap Vitamins and Minerals added|
|COMBIN-ATION||Vega: Vega One French Vanilla||37g/15g||$2.49||3g/0mg||11g||Stevia||Vitamins, Minerals, omega 3s, Chlorella, probiotics||“Natural Vanilla Flavors”|
|COMBIN-ATION (RAW and Organic)||Garden of Life: Real RAW Vanilla||23g/17g||$1.35||0g/0mg||4g||Stevia||Sprouted grains, beans, legumes and seeds, probiotics, digestive enzymes, vitamins and minerals||None|
|HEMP||Manitoba Harvest: Hemp Pro||30g/20g||$2.49||3.5g/0mg||9g||Coconut Sugar||Hemp protein concentrate, organic coconut sugar, organic vanilla flavour, natural plant extracts.||None|
|PUMPKIN SEED||Omega Nutrition: Pumpkin Seed||15g/9.5g||$0.75||1g/200mg||1.5g||No sweetener||Only 1 ingredient: Organic pumpkin seeds||None|
N.B. Soy is included because it is second in popularity to whey, but because of its effect on estrogen and has the potential to cause estrogen dominance, it is not recommended.
The most common way to use protein powder is to add it to a smoothie, if this is the case for you make sure your smoothie contains a lot of fluid because protein powder can be dehydrating.Also, add fiber as this will help improve the feeling of fullness for longer – 1 tablespoon of chia seeds or ground flaxseed will add 5g of fiber. Most of all be creative, check out my recipe for a Creamy Berry Green Shake below.
As the weather is getting cooler (-19 here in Orangeville today!!!) many people will start to move away from their smoothies and onto a warmer kind of breakfast. Oatmeal is a great choice and adding protein powder to your oatmeal is a great way to add a protein source to a grain.
Start with 2 tablespoons of warm (not boiling) water or milk in a bowl. Pour a scoop of protein powder into the bowl and mix until smooth. If the consistency is too clumpy, add small amounts of water or milk until it mixes smooth. Once the oatmeal is cooked or warmed, add the warm protein mixture to the oatmeal and stir until blended. Enjoy!
Creamy Berry Green Shake
Makes 1 Serving
2 scoops BioTrust protein powder
½ cup frozen mixed berries
½ small frozen banana
2 handfuls of spinach (you can’t taste it)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp ground chia seeds
Combine all ingredients and blend for 90 seconds.