Protein powder is usually mentioned in the context of growth and maintenance of muscle.
However, many people are increasingly catching onto the fact that a protein is also found in meal replacement products.
It is therefore vital that you chose the best protein powder, as traditional protein powders can often be high in carbs and calories.
High-protein ketogenic diet
The most famous of the diets is the keto, or ketogenic diet, which involves high fat, an adequate amount of protein and low carbs.
It is named after the process that goes on in the body when you strictly limit carbohydrates.
The body goes into ketosis, meaning it starts burning fat rather than carbs.
If discussed first with your doctor and followed responsibly, a keto diet can be a great way to kick-start your metabolism.
This is where diet protein shakes can really help. They can act as a meal replacement or on-the-go snack to stop you from breaking your diet when it is hard to find carb-free food.
Meal replacement shakes
When it comes to diet protein powders versus traditional protein powders, it is important to know a little about the nutrition behind it.
Take one of the most popular protein powder brands, USN, for example. Their regular chocolate protein powder provides a massive 53g of protein in each serving, but also 77g of carbohydrates. It is designed to help people gain muscle and weight.
Meanwhile, USN diet whey protein, known as USN Diet Fuel, has 25g of protein per serving, but just 17g of carbs.
Similarly, USN Diet Fuel vegan protein powders have 26g protein and 19g of carbs. The USN diet protein range also includes an ultra low-carb range that is perfect for those following a strict keto diet.
We love PHD diet whey powder, which is also high-protein and low-carb, as it comes in such fabulous flavours.
One of its most famous is the birthday cake protein powder, but there is also banana, belgian chocolate, chocolate peanut, cookies & cream, salted caramel, and chocolate & raspberry, as well as the standard flavours of strawberry, vanilla and chocolate.
PE Nutrition from Holland & Barrett, offers a range of products to help with muscle growth, maintenance and athletic performance.
This all depends on your dietary preferences.
If you eat meat and/or dairy products, then you could choose whey protein, which is a by-product of the cheese and milk industries.
It tends to be cheaper than plant-based protein powders and it is almost always “complete”, meaning it contains the full range of amino acid proteins we need.
It also comes in far more flavours than vegan protein powders.
On the other hand, plant-based protein powders made from soya, hemp, rice and peas have come a long way in recent years, such as the USN Diet Fuel Vegan mentioned above, or Women’s Best Vegan Protein Chocolate.
Women’s Best Vegan Protein Powder contains 21g of protein – women tend to need slightly less protein than men – and just 1.4g of carbs per serving, which makes it a perfect diet protein shake.
Protein is one of the three macronutrients that make up a healthy human diet. Along with carbohydrates and fat, protein is required to give us the energy we need to survive and thrive.
Many people choose protein shakes to manage their weight because they are a convenient source of protein.
Most protein powders contain whey because milk-based diet whey protein is great at helping you to feel fuller for a longer length of time.
It is also quickly absorbed by the body and contains all essential amino acids.
Vegetarian and vegan protein powder, on the other hand is made using plant proteins, which can include pea protein, soy protein or rice protein among others. Some contain a range of protein sources.
Yes and no. Low calorie protein powders are can only help you lose weight when used in conjunction with an exercise plan. This will also help you build lean muscle.
A sensible way to diet, protein supplementation works in part because protein is satiating.
Not only that but digesting protein requires more calories too, meaning that even resting you are burning more cals.
Using high protein drinks to manage your weight is simple and convenient but it can be all too easy to go overboard.
For a successful protein-based diet use your shakes as a meal replacement only, not as a snack between meals. A protein shake for breakfast, lunch or both, combined with a healthy, balanced dinner is ideal.
And while it might be tempting to zhuzh up your shake with milk, berries or other additives, this only contributes to calorie count – simply mixing with water is the best option.
A sensible diet driven by protein meal replacement is considered safe and concerns over the effects on kidney and heart health appear to have been overstated.
Choosing a protein shake low in added sugar is key for good health and a successful diet, as is eating sensibly during meal times.