Sleep, genetics, your training program, what you eat and stress all play a role in how your body looks and how you feel. If you've made changes to what, when and how much you eat as well as your training program but you still can't seem to drop that stubborn body fat, consider how the bodybuilding supplement whey protein may help.
What Is Whey Protein?
Whey protein is a milk protein that is the liquid by-product of cheese production. In supplement form, whey protein comes in three main forms:
- Whey Protein Concentrate: Contains some fat and lactose and between 29% - 89% protein depending on the specific product. Whey protein concentrates often have more bioactive compounds.
- Whey Protein Isolates: Contains minimal fat, cholesterol and lactose and 90% or more protein.
- Whey Protein Hydrolysates: Are often used in clinical nutrition applications because they are predigested and partially broken and therefore easier to absorb.
Whey protein has the highest protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAA) - a measure of both how well a protein is digested and how well it supplies the amino acids needed by an adult. In addition, it is a complete protein meaning it contains all essential amino acids. Whey also contains more branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) than any other source of protein and more leucine than other types of protein.
Several studies indicate that whey protein is beneficial for increasing muscle protein synthesis. Consume whey pre- or post-training and you'll tip the scale in favor of muscle growth and strength gains over time. But, there are a number of other benefits associated with whey protein.
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How Bodybuilding Supplement Whey Protein Can Help You Shed Body Fat
Add whey and drop weight? It sounds too good to be true but it may work.
- Whey Protein Is Rich in Leucine: Leucine plays a key role in protein synthesis, a process that burns through quite a few calories. In addition, it stimulates fatty acid oxidation.
- Whey Satiates Your Appetite: Studies show that whey may satiate your appetite better than some other types of protein. Milk proteins contain glycomacropeptide - a peptide that stimulates the cholecystokinin (CCK). CCK is an intestinal hormone that is released after eating a meal and it signals satiety.
- Studies Show Supplemental Whey Helps People Drop Body Fat: There are at least two studies where scientists examined whey protein supplementation and weight loss. In one study at the University of Oklahoma, scientists told both groups of participants not to change their diet. However, one group was given a nutrition supplement containing whey (300 calories, 40 grams of protein) once per day for two weeks and twice a day for the remaining eight weeks of the study. Both groups engaged in a supervised resistance and endurance-training program for 10 weeks.
After the 10-week study, both groups decreased fat mass but the exercise + food supplement group showed a significantly greater decrease in fat mass (-9.3% versus -4.6% in the exercise-only group). The supplemented group also showed significant gains from pre- to post-test in muscle mass and significant decreases in total and LDL cholesterol.
A 2006 study found that adding 60 grams of whey protein per day, in comparison to 60 grams of soy protein or 60 grams of carbohydrate, led to significant decreases in body fat and weight after 6 months.
Additional Tips To Help Shed Body Fat
- Use a food journal and write down everything you eat. Studies show that people who log their food intake every day are more likely to lose weight than those who do not.
- Seek the advice of a sports nutrition expert who has the education (a degree in nutrition or nutrition biochemistry) and experience in nutrition to help you.
- Check the forums and the transformations for information on how others have dropped fat pounds.
- If you are having problems losing weight yet you feel you are doing everything right, talk to your physician. Low levels of certain hormones, hypothyroidism and other conditions can make weight loss more difficult.
If you want to shed body fat, it makes prudent sense to incorporate whey protein into your routine. As a bodybuilder, this is something you should already be doing. After all, why spend time in the gym trying to get a better body (health and physique) if you aren't going to eat the right foods to support the changes you are striving for? Try whey, if nothing else, you'll likely notice an increase in strength.