When people ask me about taking whey protein powder as a supplement their biggest concern is often: will whey protein make me fat? I have been asked this question so many times that it makes sense to finally answer it once and for all in a blog post!
Impact of Whey Protein on Weight
First things first, it is important to understand what whey protein actually is before you consider taking it. Whey protein is simply a fast absorbing protein source derived from milk. Some people are concerned that taking a whey protein supplement will make them fat, but would you ask the same question when drinking a glass of milk or eating a steak? The likelihood is probably not. Whey protein is simply protein in powder form.
You probably wouldn’t hesitate to eat another protein source, but for a number of people whey protein is viewed with suspicion. This shouldn’t be the case. It is not whey protein that will make you fat, but your diet as a whole. Whether you gain or lost weight depends entirely on what you’re eating and drinking, and how much exercise you are doing on a regular basis.
How Do You Gain Weight
There is a lot of information online about how you gain weight, but the process of gaining weight is actually very simple. If you consume more calories than you use then you will gain weight. Alternatively if you use more calories than you consume, then you will lose weight.
If you want to gain weight then you need to be in a calories surplus and if you want to lose weight, then you need to be in a calories deficit. This means that you need to define your goal. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to gain weight or lose weight? You then need to track your calories to make sure you’re controlling what you eat. Eating an excessive amount of calories on a regular basis will lead to weight gain.
Consuming protein power alone will not make you fat. Taking protein powder will increase your protein intake and subsequently increase the amount of calories you’re consuming. If you’re training regularly and burning calories in the gym, then you may need to consume extra protein to help muscle growth and repair. However, if you’re not exercising regularly, then you probably won’t be burning calories. This means that if you’re consuming protein shakes then you will be having additional calories and may be in a calories surplus depending on what else you’re eating. This means you will gain weight and if you’re not weight training, then this weight will most likely be in the form of fat, not muscle.
Protein shakes are not a miracle muscle growth stimulant. They should be taken to increase your protein intake to support muscle growth and repair.
Should You Use Whey Protein?
Whey protein is a lean protein source and protein is vital for muscle growth and repair. If you’re training regularly then it’s important to eat enough protein. To do this you need to workout how much protein you need to build muscle and then make sure you’re eating enough protein on a daily basis. If you lead a busy lifestyle then getting enough protein from your meals alone can be difficult. Protein powder provides a highly convenient way to increase your protein intake.