Combining two incomplete protein sources in one meal to provide a significant amount of all essential amino acids is called protein combining. For example, grains are lower in lysine and legumes are lower in methionine. Eating grains and
together will provide a considerable amount of all essential amino acids. This concept originated in the early 1970s to ensure
were getting all the essential amino acids needed for good health. Protein combining can be a very complicated process and we now know that it is
Whatever amino acid one food lacks can come from other foods you eat throughout the day. Obtaining the full spectrum of essential amino acids can easily be done through variety. Research indicates that eating an assortment of minimally or unprocessed foods throughout the day will provide all essential amino acids needed for a healthy adult.
Protein, along with fat and carbohydrates, is essential to human health. We often think of protein as a single nutrient but it is actually made up of amino acids, each with a slightly different structure. Certain amino acids can actually be made by our body and are referred to as nonessential amino acids. The remaining nine amino acids are considered essential. Our bodies cannot make these amino acids so they must be provided through food. Essential Amino Acids:
Consuming all essential amino acids is necessary for optimal health. Animal sources of protein, such as eggs, dairy, meat, fish, and poultry contain a high amount of all essential amino acids. For this reason they are called a complete and
high source of protein
. Plant sources of protein, such as legumes, nuts, seeds, and vegetables tend to be low in one or two essential amino acids. For this reason they are called incomplete sources of protein. As long as you consume all types of amino acids throughout the day, you are in good shape. Combining proteins in one meal is not necessary even though it was and is popular for many dieters.
You already know that eating protein is key when it comes to feeling satisfied with your meals and maintaining a weight loss effort. Protein helps build flubber-frying lean muscle mass, after all. But it seems that many of us have gotten into a rut, relying on just a few primary sources of the stuff. Not only can this cause taste bud fatigue, it can also deny your body of health-boosting nutrients found in protein-rich foods you’re overlooking.
To help you break free of your oh-so-boring grilled chicken and egg routine, we’ve compiled a list of the best-ever proteins for weight loss across every food category. Whether you’re a fan of fish, can’t deny your love of dairy or stick to a meat-free meal plan, we’ve got the best options for your waistline.
Read on to get in the know and be sure to pick a few of our suggestions up next time you head to the grocery store.
FRUITS & VEGETABLES
Protein Payout: 1 cup (cooked), 41 calories, 5 grams of protein
Popeye’s favorite veggie is a great source of not only protein but also vitamins A and C, antioxidants and heart-healthy folate. One cup of the green superfood has nearly as much protein as a hard-boiled egg—for half the calories. Looking to get the biggest nutritional bang for your buck? Be sure to steam your spinach instead of eating it raw. This cooking method helps retain vitamins and makes it easier for the body to absorb the green’s calcium content. Add a handful to soups, omelets, pasta dishes and veggie stir-fries, or simply steam it and top with pepper, garlic, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. And don’t feel like you have to double down on the greens. Spinach is one of the 10 greens healthier for you than kale.
Protein Payout: 1 cup, 139 calories, 6 g protein
Tomatoes are packed with the antioxidant lycopene, which studies show can decrease your risk of bladder, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancers, as well as reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Just one cup of the sun-dried version will lend you 6 grams of satiating protein, 7 grams of fiber and ¾ of your RDA of potassium, which is essential for heart health and tissue repair. They’re also rich in vitamins A and K. Use them as a pizza topping, a tangy addition to salads, or snack on them right out of the bag.
Protein Payout: 1 cup, 112 calories, 4.2 g protein
The highest-protein fruit, guava packs more than 4 grams per cup, along with 9 grams of fiber and only 112 calories. With 600 percent of your DV of Vitamin C per cup — the equivalent of more than seven medium oranges! — the tropical fruit should merengue its way into your shopping cart ASAP. And while you’re at the store, be sure to pick up some of these other surprising high-protein foods.
Protein Payout: 1 medium vegetable, 60 calories, 4.2 g protein
Ghrelin is your body’s “I’m hungry” hormone, which is suppressed when your stomach is full, so eating satiating high-fiber and high-protein foods is a no-brainer. The humble artichoke is a winner on both counts: It has almost twice as much fiber as kale (10.3 g per medium artichoke, or 40 percent of the daily fiber the average woman needs) and one of the highest protein counts among vegetables. Boil and eat the whole shebang as a self-contained salad (why not add a little goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes?), toss the leaves with your favorite greens and dressing, or peel and pop the hearts onto healthy pizzas and flatbreads.
Protein Payout: 1 cup, 118 calories, 8 g protein
It’s enough to make Popeye do a spit take: Despite their wimpy reputation, a cup of green peas contains eight times the protein of a cup of spinach. And with almost 100 percent of your daily value of vitamin C in a single cup, they’ll help keep your immune system up to snuff. Layer them into a mason jar salad or add them to an omelet to boost eggs’ satiating power. Speaking of omelets, check out these other fat-burning ways to eat eggs.
Protein Payout: 4 oz strip steak, 133 calories, 26 g protein
When it comes to steak or burgers, go grass-fed. It may ding your wallet, but it’ll dent your abs. Grass-fed beef is naturally leaner and has fewer calories than conventional meat: A lean seven-ounce conventional strip steak has 386 calories and 16 grams of fat. But a seven-ounce grass-fed strip steak has only 234 calories and five grams of fat. Grass-fed meat also contains higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, according to a study published in Nutrition Journal, which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Concerned about your ticker? Keep it healthy by eating more of these foods that decrease your heart disease risk.
Protein Payout: 4 oz, 166 calories, 23 g of protein
While grass-fed beef is an excellent choice, bison’s profile has been rising in recent years, and for good reason: It has half the fat of and fewer calories than red meat. According to the USDA, while a 90 percent lean hamburger may average 10 grams of fat, a comparatively sized buffalo burger rings in at two grams of fat with 24 grams of protein, making it one of the leanest meats around. But wait, taking a chance on this unexpected meat will earn you two healthy bonuses: In just one serving you’ll get a full day’s allowance of vitamin B-12, which has been shown to boost energy and help shut down the genes responsible for insulin resistance and the formation of fat cells; additionally, since bison are naturally grass-fed, you can confidently down your burger knowing it’s free of the hormones and pollutants than can manifest themselves in your belly fat.
Speaking of belly fat, blast it away with the help of these six moves for six-pack abs from personal trainers.
Protein Payout: 4 oz patty, 194 calories, 29 g protein
Lower that eyebrow you’re raising. Ostrich meat is the rising star of the grill. While it’s technically red and has the rich taste of beef, it has less fat than turkey or chicken. A four-ounce patty contains nearly 30 grams of the muscle building nutrient and just six grams of fat. Plus, one serving has 200 percent of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin B-12. This exotic meat can also help whittle your middle: Ostrich contains 55 milligrams of choline, one of these essential nutrient for fat loss. And it’s not as hard to find as it sounds—ostrich is increasingly available in supermarkets around the country.
Protein Payout: 4 oz, 124 calories, 24 g protein
A longtime enemy of doctors and dieters, pork has been coming around as a healthier alternative of late — as long as you choose the right cut. Your best bet is pork tenderloin: A University of Wisconsin Study found that a three-ounce serving of pork tenderloin has slightly less fat than a skinless chicken breast. It has 24 grams of protein per serving and 83 milligrams of waist-whittling choline (in the latter case, about the same as a medium egg). In a study published in the journal Nutrients, scientists asked 144 overweight people to eat a diet rich in fresh lean pork. After three months, the group saw a significant reduction in waist size, BMI and belly fat, with no reduction in muscle mass! They speculate that the amino acid profile of pork protein may contribute to greater fat burning.
Protein Payout: 3 oz, 77 calories, 16 g protein
You already knew fish was rich in protein but you might be surprised to learn that halibut tops fiber-rich oatmeal and vegetables in the satiety department. The Satiety Index of Common Foods, an Australian study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, ranks it the number two most filling food—bested only by boiled potatoes for its fullness factor. A separate Australian study that compared the satiety of different animal proteins found a nutritionally similar white fish (flake) to be significantly more satiating than beef and chicken; satiety following the white fish meal also declined at a much slower rate. Study authors attribute the filling factor of white fish like halibut to its impressive protein content and influence on serotonin, one of the key hormones responsible for appetite signals. Just make sure you avoid tilapia.
Protein Payout: 3 oz, 121 calories, 17 g protein
Don’t let salmon’s relatively high calorie and fat content fool you; studies suggest the oily fish may be one of the best for weight loss. (In fact, it makes our list of the fatty foods that will help you lose weight.) In one study, participants were divided into groups and assigned one of three equicaloric weight loss diets that included no seafood (the control group), lean white fish, or salmon. Everyone lost weight, but the salmon eaters had the lowest fasting insulin levels and a marked reduction in inflammation. Another study in the International Journal of Obesity found that eating three 5-ounce servings of salmon per week for four weeks as part of a low-calorie diet resulted in approximately 2.2 pounds more weight lost than following an equip-calorie diet that didn’t include fish. Wild salmon is leaner than farmed, which is plumped up on fishmeal; and it’s also proven to be significantly lower in cancer-linked PCBs. So go wild — literally. This is a protein-rich fish you don’t want to miss!
Protein Payout: 3 oz, 73 calories, 16 g protein
Tuna or to-not? That is the question. As a primo source of protein and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), canned light tuna is one of the best and most affordable fish for weight loss, especially from your belly! One study in the Journal of Lipid Research showed that omega 3 fatty acid supplementation had the profound ability to turn off abdominal fat genes. And while you’ll find two types of fatty acids in cold water fish and fish oils—DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)—researchers say DHA can be 40 to 70 percent more effective than EPA at down-regulating fat genes in the abdomen, preventing belly fat cells from expanding in size. But what about the mercury? Mercury levels in tuna vary by species; generally speaking, the larger and leaner the fish, the higher the mercury level. Bluefin and albacore rank among the most toxic, according to a study in Biology Letters. But canned chunk light tuna, harvested from the smallest fish, is considered a “low mercury fish” and can–and should!–be enjoyed two to three times a week (or up to 12 ounces), according to the FDA’s most recent guidelines.
Protein Payout: 3 oz, 70 calories, 15 g protein
Fish and chips won’t help you lose weight, at least not out of the fryer. But research suggests a regular serving of Pacific cod, the fish that’s typical of fish sticks, may keep you stick thin. One study in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases found that eating five servings of cod per week as part of a low-calorie diet for eight weeks resulted in an extra 3.8 pounds of weight loss compared to a diet with the same amount of calories but no fish. Researchers attribute the satiating and slimming properties to cod’s high protein content and amino acid profile, which can help regulate the metabolism. No wonder Captain Birdseye looks so smug!
POULTRY & EGGS
Protein Payout: Quarter-pound turkey burger, 140 calories, 16 g protein
Lean and protein-rich, turkey is no longer an automatic substitute for red meat–this bird deserves props on its own. A quarter-pound turkey burger patty contains 140 calories, 16 grams of protein and eight grams of fat. Additionally, turkey is rich in DHA omega-3 acids—18 mg per serving, the highest on this list—which has been shown to boost brain function, improve your mood and turn off fat genes, preventing fat cells from growing in size. Just make sure you buy white meat only; dark contains too much fat. And know that you’re doing your health a double solid by grilling at home: Restaurant versions can be packed with fatty add-ins to increase flavor. Not your problem, since it’s going straight from the grill to your plate (ideally with the best spices to burn fat and peppers mixed in).
Protein Payout: 3 oz. cooked breast, 142 calories, 26 g protein
A 3 oz. cooked chicken breast contains only 142 calories and 3 grams of fat, but packs a whopping 26 grams of protein — more than half of the day’s recommended allowance. But the go-to protein can be a fail on the taste front. (Our casual poll on the taste of plain breast elicited answers ranging from “air you cut with a knife” to “wet sock.”) The good news: With just a little creativity, you can make it a savory post-gym dinner or an impressive date-night meal. Check out these 7 fat burning ways to make chicken for some culinary inspiration.
Protein Payout: 1 egg, 85 calories, 7 g protein
Eggs might just be the easiest, cheapest and most versatile way to up your protein intake. Beyond easily upping your daily protein count, each 85-calorie eggs packs a solid 7 grams of the muscle-builder! Eggs also boost your health: They’re loaded with amino acids, antioxidants, and iron. Don’t just reach for the whites, though; the yolks boast a fat-fighting nutrient called choline, so opting for whole eggs can actually help you trim down. When you’re shopping for eggs, pay attention to the labels. You should be buying organic, when possible. These are certified by the USDA and are free from antibiotics, vaccines, and hormones. As for color, that’s your call. The difference in color just varies based on the type of chicken—they both have the same nutritional value, says Molly Morgan, RD, a board certified sports specialist dietician based in upstate New York.
BEANS & LEGUMES
Protein Payout: 1/2 cup, 109-148 calories, 7-10 grams of protein
Beans are good for more than just your heart. They’re loaded with proteins, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that can benefit your brain and muscles, too. Not to mention, they digest very slowly, which can help you feel fuller, longer, and fuel weight loss efforts without causing feelings of deprivation. Look for easy-to-use, pre-cooked BPA-free varieties that come in a pouch or a box. Add them to soups and salads or mix them with brown rice and steamed vegetables to create a hearty—yet healthy—dinner. Big into snacking? Mix black beans with some salsa and corn, and serve with some whole grain crackers (just make sure they are one of our go-to healthy crackers for weight loss) in place of your favorite packaged dip.
Protein Payout: 1 cup, 230 calories, 18 g protein
Here are some pretty amazing proportions: One cup of lentils has the protein of three eggs, with less than one gram of fat! Their high fiber content makes them extremely satiating, and studies have shown that they speed fat loss: Spanish researchers found that people whose diets included four weekly servings of legumes lost more weight and improved their cholesterol more than people who didn’t. Eat them on their own as a side or simmer them into a soup.
Protein Payout: 2 tablespoons, 191 calories, 7 grams of protein
This creamy spread is downright addictive. While eating too much peanut butter can wreak havoc on your waistline, a standard two-tablespoon serving provides a solid dose of muscle-building protein and healthy fats. According to a 2014 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming peanuts can prevent both cardiovascular and coronary artery disease — the most common type of heart condition. Look for the unsalted, no sugar added varieties without hydrogenated oils to reap the most benefits. If you’re tired of plain old PB&J sandwiches, try stirring the spread into hot oatmeal, smearing it on fresh produce, or blending it into your post-workout smoothie. And for some seriously slimming smoothie inspiration check out these 10 smoothie recipes for weight loss.
Protein payout: Two slices, 138-220 calories, 8-12 g protein
Not all breads are carb bombs waiting to shatter your weight loss goals. This nutrient-dense bread is loaded with folate-filled lentils, protein and good-for-you grains and seeds like barley and millet. To boost the flavor of your slices, make a veggie sandwich overflowing with wholesome nutrients. On two slices of sprouted whole-grain bread combine tahini-free hummus, avocado slices, roasted red peppers, cucumbers, onions, spinach and tomatoes, one of the healthiest foods on the planet.
Protein Payout: 1/4 cup, 180 calories, 7 grams of protein
This nutty-flavored gluten-free grain may be small, but it packs a mighty nutritional punch. It’s loaded with fiber, essential amino acids, calcium and vitamin C — a nutrient not typically found in grains. To reap the benefits, trade your morning oatmeal in for a protein-packed teff porridge. Combine a half cup of teff with one a half cups of water and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Let it come to a boil before turning the heat down to low and letting it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and top with apples, cinnamon and a dollop of natural peanut butter.
Protein Payout: 1/4 cup, 161 calories, 6 grams of protein
While you may have never heard of this hearty whole grain before, it may become your new favorite. This wheat-rye hybrid packs 12 grams of protein per half cup and is also rich in brain-boosting iron, bloat-busting potassium, magnesium and heart-healthy fiber. Use triticale berries in place of rice and mix it with soy sauce, fresh ginger, cloves, shiitake mushrooms and edamame to make a healthy, Asian-inspired dish. If you prefer to firing up the oven to using the stove, use triticale flour in place of traditional flour in your baking.
Protein Payout: 1 oz, 117 calories, 8 g protein
Here’s an excuse for a wine-and-cheese hour: The schmancy Swiss cheese contains 30 percent more protein than an egg in one slice, plus one-third of your RDA of vitamin A. If you’re looking to indulge, keep your serving to the size of four dice, and moderate your vino to one glass for women, two glasses for men, to get the bad-cholesterol-lowering benefits of the antioxidant resveratrol. And better yet, stick to the #1 wine for rapid weight loss.
Protein Payout: 7 oz, 150 calories, 20 g protein
Yogurt may be one of your key allies in weight-loss efforts. A study printed in the Journal of Nutrition found that probiotics like the ones found in creamy, delicious yogurt helped obese women lose nearly twice the weight compared to those who did not consume probiotics. Both sets of subjects were on low-calorie diets, but after 12 weeks, the probiotic poppers lost an average of 9.7 pounds, while those on placebos lost only 5.7. Bonus: the subjects who were given the good bacteria continued to lose weight even after an additional 12 weeks, an average of 11.5 pounds to be accurate! The group that didn’t get the probiotic boost? They maintained their 5.7-pound initial loss but didn’t trim down further. The good bacteria in probiotics can help ramp up your metabolism and improve your immune system, but it pays to be picky about your sources. Yogurt’s a great way to get a.m. protein and probiotics, but to get the healthiest yogurt you’ll have to read labels; most are packed with added sugars that exceed their protein levels. To speed up the process, use our indispensable guide to the best brand name yogurts for weight loss.
Protein Payout: 8 oz, 110 calories, 8 g protein
Organically raised cows are not subject to the same hormones and antibiotics that conventional cows are; no antibiotics for them means no antibiotics for you. Grass fed cows have been shown to have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids (good) and two to five times more CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) than their corn and grain fed counterparts. CLA contains a group of chemicals which provides a wide variety of health benefits, including immune and inflammatory system support, improved bone mass, improved blood sugar regulation, reduced body fat, reduced risk of heart attack, and maintenance of lean body mass. While skim milk may be lowest in calories, many vitamins are fat-soluble, which means you won’t get all the benefits of the alphabetical nutrients listed on your cereal box unless you opt for at least 1%.
NUTS & SEEDS
Protein Payout: 1 oz, 138 calories, 5 g protein
One of the hallmarks of a balanced diet is to have a good ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3s. A 4:1 ratio would be ideal, but the modern American diet is more like 20:1. That leads to inflammation, which can trigger weight gain. But while eating a serving of salmon every day isn’t exactly convenient, sprinkling chia seeds—among the most highly concentrated sources of omega-3s in the food world—into smoothies, salads, cereals, pancakes or even desserts is as easy a diet upgrade as you can get.
Protein Payout: 1 oz, 158 calories, 9 g protein
Dr. Lindsey Duncan, a nutritionist who’s worked with Tony Dorsett and Reggie Bush, is a big fan of pumpkin seeds. “A handful of raw pepitas or dry roasted pumpkin seeds can give you a natural jolt to power through a workout,” he says. “They’re a good source of protein, healthy fats, and fiber, keeping you feeling full and energized longer, and contain manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc, which provide additional energy support to maximize gym time.” Throw them into salads and rice dishes or eat them raw. Looking for more delicious ways to eat pumpkin? Check out these 8 amazing ways to eat pumpkin this fall!
Protein Payout: 1 oz, 164 calories, 6 g protein
Think of each almond as a natural weight-loss pill. Combined with a calorie-restricted diet, consuming a little more than a quarter-cup of the nuts can decrease weight more effectively than a snack comprised of complex carbohydrates and safflower oil—after just two weeks! (And in this study of overweight and obese patients, after 24 weeks, those who ate the nuts experienced a 62 percent greater reduction in weight and BMI!) For optimal results, eat your daily serving before you hit the gym. Almonds, rich in the amino acid L-arginine, can actually help you burn more fat and carbs during workouts, a study printed in The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found.
Protein Payout: 1 oz, 157 calories, 5 g protein
Cashews are a good source of protein, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and copper, and shouldn’t be overlooked as one of your go-to nuts. Magnesium boasts a myriad of health benefits such as helping your body relieve various conditions like constipation, insomnia, headaches and muscle cramps, as well as regulating the immune system and supporting brain function. They also contain a good amount of biotin, which will help keep your locks shiny and lustrous.
For men and women, there’s more to sculpting a better body than simply building muscle. For anyone looking to get in great shape, weight loss and fat burning are vital to your overall appearance and protein can be a great way to enhance your efforts.
However, many people looking to lose weight, are under the impression it’s better to focus on cardio and simply cut calories, rather than eating a protein-rich diet.
Unfortunately, many individuals who want to lose weight, only believe Protein is for gaining mass and adding serious amounts of muscle.
The truth is, using protein for weight loss can make a huge difference in how quickly you burn fat and lose weight and is crucial to helping you reveal a ripped, sexy physique. Protein can help improve your physique in several ways as it helps you lose weight including:
- 1. Protein Prevents Muscle Loss
- 2. Protein Boosts the Metabolism
- 3. Protein Suppresses the Appetite
Proteins are made of long chains of amino acids. There are 22 different types of amino acids and the body needs all of them to function properly. There are, likewise, many different types of protein, all helping the body in different ways and to different extents. Depending on what you’re eating, the protein in your food has various applications in your body.
Click Here to See the Best Protein Powders for Weight Loss
How Can You Use Protein for Weight Loss?
Although protein is vital for a wide variety of bodily functions and processes, protein can help you lose weight in three key ways:
1. It Prevents Muscle Loss During weight loss, our bodies often lose muscle mass, but leucine has a direct signaling effect on muscle which prevents this process from occurring.
The great news often overlooked when consuming a high-protein diet is the fact that the weight you do lose will mostly be fat, not muscle. Whereas on a strictly high-carbohydrate weight-loss diet, much more muscle mass is lost, generally resulting in up-and-down results.
2. It Boosts Your Metabolism
There is an important element found in high doses of quality protein called leucine. This chemical can revitalize a slow, sluggish metabolism. Most individuals who add regular exercise to their routine while taking protein notice a significant boost in energy as their metabolism begins to work harder.
A high-protein breakfast can increase your metabolic rate by thirty percent for as long as twelve hours, the calorie-burning equivalent of a three to five mile jog. Fats and carbohydrates are easy for your liver to use, increasing liver metabolism by only four percent. Whereas protein must be taken apart and re-assembled for use elsewhere in your body.
This dynamic effect of protein has recently been shown to be the key in supporting your natural ability to burn fat at a faster rate when consuming a diet higher in protein.
3. Appetite Suppression
Consuming higher levels of protein is an effective way to control your appetite. Individuals participating in a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported greater satisfaction, less cravings and greater weight loss and fat reduction after increasing protein to 30% of their diet. While tracking their diet, individuals consumed an average of 441 fewer calories each day.
In another study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, individuals on a high-protein diet combined with regular exercise saw improved weight loss and fat loss in addition to healthier blood fat levels. While researchers aren’t exactly sure how protein helps to limit the appetite, research continues to show dieters who incorporate a protein-rich diet with regular exercise have better control over their appetite and calorie consumption.
How Much Protein Do You Need for Weight Loss
In addition to contributing to muscle growth, protein can help you lose weight so effectively that learning how to incorporate it into your diet may be the only weight-loss program you’ll ever need. If you use it to boost your metabolism, protect your muscles and control your appetite, you can be sure you are losing pure fat, and at a faster rate than ever before.
The ideal amount of protein varies for every individual. To get the benefits of a protein-rich diet, it’s recommended individuals consume between three-fourths of their ideal body weight to three-fourths of their actual body weight in grams.
For example, if an individual weighs 200 pounds and their ideal weight is 175 pound, that person should aim to consume anywhere from 130 to 150 grams daily. Because every gram of protein is equal to four calories, your protein intake should be around 520 to 600 calories or about 25 to 30 percent of your overall calories.
If you have a difficult time incorporating protein into your diet, the best weight loss pills usually contain ingredients that help with muscle building and protein supplementation.
We have reviewed hundreds of protein powders, and the product we feel most confident in recommending is Myotein. It gives you all the benefits of a protein powder, as well as other pre-workout ingredients, at a completely affordable price.
Casein protein may be a suitable supplement for weight loss in combination with exercise and a regulated diet. It may help to build muscle and suppress the appetite. However, it might not be suitable for those with an allergy to milk or are lactose intolerant.
With more people looking to lose a few pounds and lead a healthier lifestyle, supplements are becoming a popular addition to the modern diet. It is believed that protein may be the best macronutrient for aiding in weight management. It is thought to help you to build and maintain muscle, which might enable you to lose weight. While you may have heard of whey protein, casein protein has supposedly become a popular supplement for weight loss. It is claimed that casein offers the unique advantage of the slow release of amino acids, which could last for several hours. In this way, casein is believed to be a more efficient protein source. It is important to examine casein protein to see if it has the potential to aid weight loss efforts.
What is Casein Protein?
Casein is thought to be the main protein that is found in milk. It is believed to account for nearly 70-80% of the total protein in milk and to contain the minerals calcium and phosphorous. Casein is said to be a complete protein and is thought to contain all of the essential and non-essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids that our body supposedly needs. These are claimed to be important for maintaining and building muscle, making protein an important macronutrient for weight management.
A study found that casein could be better than whey protein in helping to build muscle mass, particularly when the athlete has a below ideal muscle mass. This is thought to be the case because casein is supposedly a slow release protein compared to whey. Casein is claimed to have a gel or clot-like ability in the stomach, which means it may provide a slow but sustained release of amino acids and this might last for several hours. This is said to provide better utilization by the body, especially if it is consumed before bed. It is believed that sleep is the best opportunity for muscle repair and casein may aid growth throughout the night and might offer a steady release of amino acids.
How does Casein Protein Aid Weight Loss?
It is believed that casein protein may allow you to lose weight by helping to maintain and build muscle. It is thought that casein contains all of the amino acids your body needs to repair muscle tissue after exercise, which may help to build muscle mass. Building muscle might lead to burning more calories, which may mean burning fat. Of course, just consuming casein protein may not mean that you lose weight. It is claimed that it is regular exercise that is most important. A study concluded that 45 minutes of exercise was able to increase the metabolic rate for 14 hours in young males. This could mean that more calories are burned, potentially even after you have finished your workout. Thus, it may the combination of exercise and casein protein, which could help you to lose weight.
Casein protein may also act as an appetite suppressant, which could help you to lose weight. Protein in general is thought to be a satisfying macronutrient, which may stave of cravings later on in the day. For example, a study found that a high protein breakfast might help you to manage your weight. As casein is thought to be a slow release protein, it may help to promote feelings of satiety for longer and might help to fuel your body throughout the day. This could help you to regulate and reduce your calorie intake to potentially lose weight. Again, it is important to recognise that casein protein on its own may not induce weight loss. It is thought that a calorie deficit is needed to lose weight, meaning you may need to consume fewer calories than your body needs during the day. This is thought to make your body use fat stores for energy, which could lead to permanent weight loss on the scales. Combining a calorie deficit, exercise and casein protein could mean you get rid of the weight you want to lose.
Clinical Studies on Casein Protein
Clinical studies that have been carried out suggest that casein protein may be able to aid in weight loss efforts. A study found that ingestion of casein after exercise resulted in net muscle protein synthesis. This may mean that you are able to maintain and build muscle effectively with this supplement. Another study found that casein could be better than whey protein in helping to build muscle mass, especially when the athlete has a below ideal muscle mass. This may be encouraging for those that are just starting out on a new exercise regime and are looking for a supplement to help achieve results.
However, a study looked at whey and casein protein to compare the effects of consumption on the body composition and performance of collegiate female basketball players. Both were consumed pre and post exercise for eight weeks. The study found that the combination of resistance training and pre and post exercise protein supplements may increase performance and might decrease body fat. This suggests that despite the supposed difference in absorption rate and bioavailability, they may both be good for weight management. Thus, casein protein may not be better than whey protein, but findings suggest it is just as good as whey protein for weight loss when combined with exercise.
A study that was not directly linked with casein protein may be interesting to bear in mind. It found that a diet rich in dairy calcium intake might enhance weight reduction for those with type 2 diabetes. As it is thought that casein contains high amounts of calcium, this might suggest that it may be able to aid in weight management. However, further studies should be carried to provide more evidence of this theory.
Side Effects Associated with Casein Protein
It is thought that casein is one of the best proteins to consume in terms of digestibility. Therefore, it is believed that casein protein should be fine for most people to take as a supplement. A study reported no side effects of casein protein, despite the fact that the total protein intake exceeded recommendations for endurance athletes.
However, some protein powders may cause stomach discomfort and bloating if they are taken in large amounts. If you experience further side effects such as abdominal pain or diarrhoea, you may be lactose intolerant. Side effects such as swollen lips or hives may also indicate that you could be allergic to casein. It may be best to consult a doctor if you notice any of these symptoms.
One study thought that although diets high in protein may have beneficial effects on satiety and weight control, it might increase acid load to the kidneys. Further studies will need to be conducted to confirm these findings.
Is there Anybody who shouldn’t take Casein Protein?
While it is thought that most people should be able to take casein protein as a supplement, it may not be suitable for those that have an allergy or intolerance to milk. For people with an allergy to milk and dairy it might be best to avoid using casein protein, as this may cause serious side effects. For those that are lactose intolerant, again casein may not be suitable for you to consume. It might cause side effects such as abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhoea.
If you have existing kidney problems, it is thought that casein may not be safe to consume. Although research has indicated that there is not strong enough evidence to suggest detrimental effects of high protein intake on kidney function in healthy people, those with existing problems may be better to avoid using casein.
Where to Buy Casein Protein
As casein protein is supposedly growing in popularity, it should be an easily found supplement in health and fitness stores on the high street. There are many brands available that differ in quality, flavour, added ingredients and price. Casein protein can also be found online in stores such as Amazon or from sellers on Ebay.
In conclusion, casein protein may be a suitable supplement if you are looking to lose weight. Casein may help you to build and maintain muscle when combined with exercise, which could burn more calories and potentially fat. This supplement may also suppress the appetite as a supposed slow release protein. Taking casein protein alongside exercise and a regulated diet may mean you can lose weight. However, casein might cause side effects if it is taken in large amounts and may not be suitable for those with allergies to milk or are lactose intolerant. As a precaution, it may be best to avoid if you have existing kidney problems. Casein protein is thought to be widely available on the high street and online.