The One Thing You Really Need to Know About Protein Powder

If you’re serious about losing weight and getting in shape, you’ll be consuming a protein supplement on a regular basis.

It really is that simple.

We go into the detail here but, in a nutshell, protein does three awesome things:

1. It boosts your metabolic rate

2. It makes you feel fuller for longer

3. It helps preserve/promote muscle mass 

Still not convinced?

Well, it’s been found that the reason why low-carb diets are so effective for weight loss isn’t so much about reducing carbs as it is increasing protein.

And it blows me away when folks finally get round to consuming more protein and then appear stunned by the results.

Make no mistake, this stuff works!

Now, consuming 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day from food can get very expensive, very quickly so supplementing with a good protein powder is an absolute must for regular folks.

But the obvious question is what the hell does “good” mean?

OK, the textbook answer is one that’s high in the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs): leucine, isoleucine and valine.

Put it this way, if protein was an 80’s action movie, the BCAAs would be Arnold, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis.

So, we just look for a protein powder with a high BCAA content, right?

After all, it’s written in big letters right there on the label.

Which means comparing them is quick and easy, and we can make sure we get the biggest BCAA bang for our buck.

Unfortunately, doing that is probably a complete waste of time!

Why? Because those numbers stated on the label are unlikely to be accurate.

Some folks at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey tested the actual BCAA content of six popular protein powders and published them alongside the manufacturer’s claimed figure.

Here’s what they found.

So the actual level of BCAAs was somewhere between 14 and 67% of the claimed figure.

Just imagine popping the hood of your brand new Aston Martin V12 Vantage and finding anything from a V8 to a lawnmower engine nestled in there.

That’s the kind of thing we’re talking about here.

But the bottom line is a high protein intake is super-important for getting in shape.

Which means we’re left with this:

• Protein supplements work (proved by studies, anecdotes and personal experience)

• Supplement labeling is pretty much meaningless

So here’s my take.

Until rigorously-enforced testing and labeling becomes mandatory (don’t hold your breath), I’m just going to go with whatever protein powder tastes best.

For me, that’s EAS’s Chocolate Whey Protein.

I’ve been eating this along with my daily “breakfast of champions” for close to a year, and during that time I’ve stayed around 10% body fat.

And it’s the same protein powder I consumed every day when I lost 61 lbs in 27 weeks.

Now, is that all thanks to this protein powder? Of course not, but it’s another piece of the puzzle.

Hell, even if it contains no BCAAs, there’s probably a really strong placebo effect and that alone is well worth having.

(Just check out how powerful “placebo-steroids” have been found to be!)

The reality is I’ve tried a ton of other chocolate protein powders from companies like Optimum Nutrition, Twin Lab and Dymatize, and they never really hit the spot.

Ultimately, the best protein powder is the one you actually enjoy consuming and, for me, that EAS’s.

So, don’t obsess about things like the claimed number of grams of protein or BCAA content per serving.

Simply find a flavor you enjoy and stick with that.

– Tim

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Images: Bigstock

References:

Relatively high-protein or ‘low-carb’ energy-restricted diets for body weight loss and body weight maintenance?

Measurement of BCAA and protein in nutritional supplements: a novel laboratory exercise

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