Supplements of whey protein (like UltraMeal from Metagenics) may improve body weight without restricting energy intakes or habitual diets in obese and overweight adults, suggests a new study by scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Fifty-six grams of whey protein (WP) per day for six months were associated with a two percent reduction in body weight, compared to a group consuming an equal amount of calories from carbohydrates, according to findings published in the Journal of Nutrition.
The study, funded by USDA and the U.S. Whey Protein Research Consortium (USWPRC), found that the whey protein supplement was associated with a reduction in levels of a hormone called ghrelin, which is reported to serve as a hunger signal and may boost food intake.
USDA researchers wrote “habitual consumption of supplemental protein may result in improved body composition and incremental, but ultimately significant, weight-loss.”
This research is consistent with my recommendations that higher protein diets, and whey protein in particular (Metagenics UltraMeal) helps weight management and body composition.
I recommend exercise and Ultrameal shakes.
USDA researchers recruited 73 overweight and obese adults and randomly assigned them to receive two 200-calorie beverages a day, consisting of 28 grams of whey or soy protein, plus carbohydrate or carbohydrate alone per serving for 23 weeks. No other instructions were provided about diet.
At the end of the study, the researchers report that the whey protein group’s body weight was approximately four pounds lower than the carbohydrate group, and their body fat was five pounds less than the carbohydrate group.
In addition, a one-inch reduction in waist size was reported in the whey group, compared to the carbohydrate and soy protein groups.
“Short-term weight-loss requires energy restriction, and higher protein diets may assist in this acute weight reduction; however, protein supplementation, particularly WP, in overweight and obese individuals may assist in long-term maintenance of body weight without energy restriction.”
The Journal of Nutrition; Published online ahead of print.
Whey protein has large amounts of high Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) and is often used as a post-workout recovery drink They contain cysteine – which increases Glutathione, a powerful endogenous antioxidant enzyme.
The concern about whey protein is that it can have some potential adverse effects, because it greatly elevates insulinemia – although it can be therapeutic for diabetics in the short term. I suspect that whey protein could be detrimental long term, as hyperinsulinemia can down-regulate the insulin receptor and lead to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance underlies the Metabolic Syndrome, and is implicated in various other diseases, such as Acne, Alzheimer, various cancers, Coronary Heart Disease, Myopia, PCOS, etc.
We have alternatives if you are allergic to whey or concerned about long term effects. UltraMeal shakes are also made from soy or rice. I would swithch out my protein powder sources every six to eight weeks. Snack on lean meat and seafood because these are very good sources of BCAA. If you want a protein drink immediately after strength training to speed recovery and increase muscle mass, I would suggest ~9 grams of essential amino acids, using Metagenics BioPure Protein along with bluberries or a banana.
Twenty grams of protein is the magic number to ingest for muscle-building, half before and half after your workout.
Here’s a list of 5 great snack ideas:
Chicken, Turkey, or Tuna (3 oz)
14-22 grams protein
Wrap it in a piece of lettuce or enjoy it by itself. Four slices of chicken or turkey provide 14 grams of protein, while half a can of tuna has nearly 22 grams of protein.
18-19 grams protein
Hard-boiled eggs are most convenient, but eggs are easy to scramble. Put them in a grab & go container and enjoy a little before & after your workout. For those of you that know me, I have always thought eggs are a great food.
Chocolate 2% Milk (16 oz)
About 17 grams protein
A study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition shows that chocolate milk may be the ideal postworkout beverage for building muscle
FitFood. This is a protein powder – Whey or Dairy-free, Soy-free (21 g per 2 scoops)
21 grams protein
This shake product made by XYMOGEN supports healthy body composition; immune support; cardiovascular health; healthy glycemic management and weight management. Mix it with rice milk or almond milk instead of water if you want a bit more protein. Order by calling 1-800-647-6100 or online @ XYMOGEN.com. Email me for my PIN #.
Greek Yogurt (5.3 oz container)
15 grams protein
Greek-style yogurt is packed with protein. Skip yogurts with fruit and sugar; to add flavor, drop in a few berries, nuts or cottage cheese.