I can’t tell you how many times someone has asked me a question like, “Is whey protein good for me?” Or, “Whey protein is for bodybuilders. I shouldn’t use it if I don’t want to bulk up, right?”
On one hand, it excites me; after all, it’s a good sign she’s interested in looking, feeling, and performing her best. On the other hand, I can’t help but want to drop my head into a double facepalm because such a misguided perspective is still so pervasive. So let’s set the record straight!
Is Whey Protein Good for You?
If you’re a person who’s looking to lose fat, boost metabolism, add lean muscle tone, control your appetite, crush cravings, manage your body weight, boost your immune system, improve glycemic control, support heart health, and age healthfully, gracefully, and beautifully, then the answer is a resounding YES. You see, supplementing with whey protein is good because it’s been shown through research to promote a laundry list of health benefits. These range from better body composition to better appetite control to better immune function to better blood pressure to healthier aging and more. So whey protein is pretty much the “king” of proteins!
Here’s a quick reminder on the benefits linked to higher protein diets:
- Boost and preserve metabolic rate
- Suppress appetite, reduce cravings, and lead to better food choices
- Accelerate fat loss
- Preserve calorie-burning lean muscle and build muscle tone
- Prevent weight regain
- Support weight-loss maintenance
- Promote recovery from exercise and reduce activity-related soreness
- Improve carbohydrate management
- Support heart health
There’s more, but you get the gist: higher protein diets help you look and feel your best.
How Do You Lose Weight with Protein Shakes?
Protein shakes that contain whey protein can help you lose weight in multiple ways. For starters, despite their best intentions, most people are not very good at properly estimating portion sizes, which results in overeating, putting the kibosh on weight loss. When you replace meals with protein shakes, you take the guesswork out of the equation and easily control calories, a fundamental and necessary component of weight loss. Along those lines, studies show that when folks replace meals with protein shakes, they tend to lose more weight. Not all proteins are created equal though. You see, whey protein is especially nifty because it does a better job (compared to other proteins) at suppressing hunger hormones (such as ghrelin) and boost hunger-busting (satiety) hormones (like GLP-1, GIP, and CCK).
And that’s not all. While many folks focus on weight loss (i.e., the numbers on the scale), what we really want for a lean, tone appearance and long-term weight maintenance is FAT loss combined with muscle gain or maintenance. And according to research in The Journal of the American College of Nutrition, “The current body of literature supports the use of WB [whey protein], either as a supplement combined with resistance exercise or as part of a weight loss or weight-maintenance diet, to improve body composition…” Which is exactly what we’re looking for!
Can You Take Protein Shakes as a Meal Replacement?
You better believe a protein shake can be used as a meal replacement! In fact, protein shakes can not only be used as meal replacements, they can also be used to replace calorie-dense, junk food and snacks. They can also be used around your workouts to boost energy levels and accelerate recovery. And they can even be used at nighttime to satisfy your appetite and sweet tooth—instead of going for that ice cream.
Basically, protein shakes are food, and when you choose a high-quality, great-tasting protein shake made with natural ingredients, you’ll support better overall diet quality, boost your metabolism, control your appetite, reduce cravings, and promote weight management.
How Many Grams of Protein Do You Need Per Day?
But “how much” do you need? Great question! To enjoy the many health and fitness benefits of higher protein diets, a good starting point is to consume around 0.7 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day for an otherwise healthy person. So, if you’re 150 pounds, that’s about 105 grams of protein per day. Don’t worry, a little more won’t hurt.
There you have it: why whey protein is good for women. Here’s to looking and feeling your absolute best!