Over recent years there has been a massive growth in the use of protein powders among your gym-goer. Once the preserve of the hardcore bodybuilder, protein shakes are being seen as a solid way to complement and supplement a well-prepared diet and nutrition plan, whether your goal is to gain muscle mass or loss excess body fat.
However, while many more folks are seeing the benefits of protein powders, there is still a lot of confusion regarding the issue of unwanted weight gain, in particular an increase in body fat. Which leaves many folks asking themselves”will protein powders make me fat?”
This article will attempt to clarify this issue and provide advice to those who are interested in adding protein supplements to their nutrition plans but unsure of whether it is right for them.
Protein Is Less Easily Stored As Fat
The first point is that while protein itself does contain calories, it is not as easily stored by the body as fat, compared to other nutrients like carbs and fat (obviously!). Taking in excess protein than your body requires will often be partially flushed out in your urine, as opposed to being stored as fat.
However, in saying this it is important to emphasise that you should take in the quantity of protein that is appropriate for your body type and situation. Taking in too much will result in an unbalanced diet and possible fat gain.
Are You Over-Maintenance In Daily Calories?
This leads us on to the second point of whether protein powders make you fat, and that is daily calorie levels.
Whether a person gains weight or not is dependent on whether or not they are in a caloric surplus or caloric deficit- in other words are they consuming more calories than they burn or less. If they’re burning less, then they’ll gain weight; if they’re burning more, then they’ll lose weight.
So what does this have to do with protein powders? Well, protein shakes will increase your daily calorie count, so be sure you know what your current daily count is before you take them.
Also, you may find that folks who take 3 or 4 shakes per day may say they ended up getting fat. Well, to be honest 3 or 4 per day is too many…only hardcore bodybuilders and athletes could probably get away with that much, and even they would prefer to get their extra calories from extra meals, rather than relying on protein shakes.
So, take a look at your goals and identify what your calorie needs are, then choose a protein that fits the bill in order to supplement your diet and help you achieve the calorie levels that you want. This should prevent the protein powders making you fat.
What Else Is In Your Shake?
Finally, another big reason why folks think protein powders can make them fat is the lack of understanding about what they are buying and putting into their stomach.
Unfortunately there are a number of protein powders on the market that are marketed as weight gainers. These are perfectly legitimate, however they are often very high calorie shakes that contain additional carbs, fats and sugars. They are more like meal replacements.
So, if you’re looking for pure protein and buy one of these weight gainers, you may throw your nutrition plan out of whack and end up gaining excess body fat, by taking on additional calories, carbs and fats that you hadn’t bargained for. Be sure to analyse the contents of any protein before you buy it to see what’s really inside your shake.
So you see that a protein shake on its own is unlikely to make you fat. However it is very important to know whether they will fit into your current diet and nutrition plan.