Grab your cheatsheet
When investing in a workout supplement, you are right to be wary about whether it will do more harm than good, particularly if you are concerned with keeping your weight down.
There are supplements aimed at making you gain weight, but is whey protein powder one of them?
And even if that isn’t the aim of the product, can it still have this effect?
In this article, we will explain what whey protein supplements actually are and how they can affect your weight when used regularly.
What is whey protein powder?
Whey protein powder is a workout supplement derived from milk, used by millions worldwide to help them build muscle.
Whey protein contains all nine of the essential amino acids required to ignite muscle protein synthesis. It helps our bodies recover after exercise and gives us the fuel to be great athletes.
There are a few different types of protein supplements, including plant protein powders, pea protein powders and casein protein powders.
But we love whey because it has plenty of high-quality protein, making it a highly effective workout fuel.
Can whey protein make you gain weight?
The only thing which will make you put on weight is consuming more calories than you burn. The only way to lose weight is to create a calorie deficit.
Whey protein powder, as a base product, is low in calories (usually around 100 kcal), but you still have to count this as part of your daily calorie intake.
So no, whey protein powder doesn’t make you gain weight as long as you make sure you keep the number of daily calories you consume within your daily targets.
If you have spent any time working with a personal trainer or a nutritionist, they will likely have instilled the importance of getting your macros right. What they mean by this is ensuring you get the optimum percentages of protein, fat and carbohydrate.
Getting this right is vital to increase our lean muscle mass, ensuring good digestive health and regulating our hormones.
Hitting your protein target is necessary to combat spikes in blood sugar, helping us maintain good energy levels throughout the day. It can also reduce our chances of high cholesterol and safeguard us against a number of diseases.
The macro most people struggle to get enough of is protein. It is common for us to have high-fat and high-carbohydrate diets as we are more likely to have cravings for fatty, sugary foods and, in general, protein-rich foods are more expensive. Whey protein powder is an easy, cost-effective way to improve your daily macro make-up.
Can whey protein powder aid weight loss?
A high-protein diet can encourage weight loss through two different mechanisms. First, it increases satiety, i.e. we feel less hungry if we keep our protein levels up throughout the day.
Secondly, protein has a higher rate of diet-induced thermogenesis compared with carbohydrates and fats. The process of digesting protein-rich foods actually burns more calories compared to foods with minimal or no protein.
Theoretically, you can still lose weight by eating sugary, low-protein foods all-day… but it is much harder and you are likely to feel hungry even when you have consumed your full recommended daily calorie intake.
You will feel lacking in energy and a poor diet can cause bad moods and concentration problems.
Can I use whey protein to help me gain weight?
If you want to use whey protein for weight gain, you can. You can add it to an existing diet plan that is already high in calories. It can be a convenient way to get an extra 100 kcal into your daily intake without eating more food.
However, the best workout supplement to encourage weight gain is Mass Gainer. Crazy Nutrition’s MASS GAINER has been carefully designed to give you everything you need to bulk up, build muscle mass and increase your strength. It’s great for hard gainers and anyone who struggles to put on weight.
How should you use a whey protein supplement?
People will often add whey protein powder to pancakes or brownies and label them “healthy”. While adding whey protein does improve the overall nutrition content, it doesn’t mean that this sweet treat is automatically low in calories.
If you want to lose weight, the best way to have your whey protein powder is by shaking it up with water. This keeps the protein-to-calorie ratio high and still gives the effect of feeling fuller for longer.
Can I take whey protein supplements if I am trying to maintain a healthy weight?
Short answer, yes!
Whey protein powder is a great addition to a diet or weight maintenance plan. It makes you feel full, reduces cravings and doesn’t drastically increase your calorie consumption.
If you are exercising regularly, it will also give you the fuel you need to train harder and it will give your muscles plenty of nutrition. A high-protein diet is vital if you want to create a lean physique.
But the main thing to remember is that you need to be in a calorie surplus to gain weight, and so as long as you stick to your calorie limit whey protein powder will not make you gain weight.
If you want a quality whey protein powder, then you can check out our Crazy Nutrition TRI-Protein here.
Is whey protein gluten-free? Everything you need to know…
What is whey protein (and do you need to take it)?