WHEY PROTEIN FOR WEIGHT LOSS: DOES WHEY BURN FAT?
There’s no question about it: when it comes to high quality muscle building protein, whey is king.
Its extremely high bio-availability and superior amino acid profile make it ideal for anyone looking to maximize their muscle size and strength gains.
But about whey for weight loss?
Aside from its ability to provide a top notch protein source for recovery in between workouts, whey protein appears to have a few direct benefits when used as part of a fat burning diet as well…
Whey Protein & Fat Loss: Benefit #1
If you’re trying to lose body fat, you have to create a calorie deficit by consuming fewer calories than you burn. Quite simply, you have to eat less.
Although the goal is certainly not to starve yourself, it’s perfectly normal to experience increased feelings of hunger when your body is in a calorie deficit.
It’s well known that protein is the most “filling” of the 3 macronutrients (the other 2 being carbs and fats), and it appears that whey protein may be especially effective at curbing hunger during periods of calorie restriction.
It appears to exert these effects via two different pathways…
1) One of the individual subfractions found in whey, “glycomacropeptide”, stimulates the release of CCK (cholecystokinin), which is a hormone responsible for controlling hunger.
2) Whey protein appears to suppress the production of ghrelin, another hormone that stimulates the appetite.
Whey Protein & Fat Loss: Benefit #2
Improved Mood During Calorie Restriction
Feeling moody, irritable and even borderline depressed are not uncommon when you’ve been following a fat loss diet for an extended period of time.
It’s simply a natural reaction when the body is not receiving all of the energy it needs from your diet.
Whey protein contains high levels of the amino acid “tryptophan”, which aids in the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is involved in regulating mood, but that is depleted when calories are restricted.
By naturally raising serotonin levels, whey protein can help to regulate your mood during your cutting phase. And if you feel good, you’re obviously more likely to stick to your diet all the way through.
Whey Protein & Fat Loss: Benefit #3
Increased Fat Burning During Exercise
Several studies have demonstrated that when used as a pre-exercise protein source, whey can actually increase the percentage of body fat that is used for fuel during the session while simultaneously sparing more lean body mass.
However, it should be noted that these studies were conducted in animals and that further human research is needed in this area.
The findings are very interesting nonetheless.
Whey Protein & Fat Loss: Wrapping It Up
The fact remains: whether your goal is to gain overall mass or reduce your body fat levels, whey continues to show that it is quite simply the most valuable source of protein out there.
It has the highest absorption rate of any protein on the planet, the best amino acid profile, beneficial effects on the immune system and overall health, and as I’ve outlined in this article, direct fat burning properties as well.
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