Protein supplements are a type of bodybuilding supplement used to increase weight, induce muscle growth and improve athletic performance. These supplements are typically made from whey, which is a milk protein, a by-product of cheese making.
Studies show that whey protein contains the highest level of protein digestibility corrected amino acid score or PDCAA. PDCAA is the measure of protein digestibility and amino acid content. Whey contains more branched amino acids or BCAAs than other sources of protein. It also contains more leucine than other types of protein supplements.
How Protein Supplements Promote Weight Loss
Induces Protein Synthesis
The leucine content of protein supplements helps trigger protein synthesis. This is a biological process that requires a significant amount of calories to complete. The process itself promotes weight loss. At the same time, protein synthesis stimulates fatty acid oxidation.
Protein is more filling than carbohydrates. Unlike carbohydrates, protein takes a while to be digested by the body. As such, protein supplements help boost the feeling of satisfaction so you don’t overeat. Studies show milk proteins contain glycomacropeptide. This is a peptide that stimulates the production of cholecystokinin or CKK in the gut. CKK is a type of intestinal hormone released after eating a meal to signal satiety.
New studies suggest that protein supplements – particularly whey – may affect a person’s food intake. This development is linked to the CKK content of milk proteins. In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Surrey in England, they compared the effects of whey and casein on appetite and satiety hormones including CKK. Researchers found that CKK reacts to milk proteins more effectively than casein, increasing satiety response to a mixed meal.
Boosts Insulin Sensitivity
Did you know that high protein foods can increase insulin sensitivity and reduce body weight? According to Aussie researchers, high dietary intake of protein resulted in reduced energy intake. They are attributing this effect to the satiating effects of protein compared to fat or carbs. Lab mice fed a high protein diet lost more weight than lab mice fed with high carbohydrates diet.
In addition, they found a 40% reduction in plasma insulin concentration among lab mice fed with high protein foods. Insulin sensitivity is associated with improved blood sugar control and reduced fat storage. When the body responds to insulin, you don’t experience intense cravings or persistent hunger pangs. All these can contribute to significant weight loss.
Induces Fat Burning
Protein supplements help regenerate lean muscles. And to maintain a leaner physique, the body has to burn off more stored fat to keep the muscle mass lean. Studies show that balanced proteins, carbs, and fat consumed before exercise can affect a person’s body weight and body composition.
A French report found that lab rats that consumed high protein foods and 1-hour exercise burned off stored fat as opposed to mice fed with carbs. Mice fed with carbs burned off the sugars from the food they ate instead of their stored fat. This shows that high protein foods trigger fat loss while carbohydrate-based foods increase stored fat in the body.