This protein supplements article is actually a question from our audience. We love it when our audience asks us questions. Sometimes we get some that we hear a lot, or we know lots of people would like to see the answer to, so we’re answering them publicly. If you have a health or fitness related question don’t hesitate to contact us!
So, our CrossFit lover Lisa, put the question to us:
“I stopped using protein supplements a couple of years ago because I went on an ultra-low sugar diet which just didn’t allow for any of the protein products I had. Though nowadays I’m finding that particularly on a calorie monitored diet, I’m not hitting my protein targets and probably not building muscle like I should be. What should I do?”
This question covers two subjects we get asked about often.
“Will protein shakes make me ‘bulky’?”
“Are proteins shakes always high in calories?”
So, we can start answering that by addressing the calories concern. Firstly, almost everything has some calorie value to it. Typically, fats, carbohydrates and proteins also have similar calorie values per gram consumed. But this does vary slightly dependant on the source. So, yes, protein does have a calorie value, no protein is without calories. But the common misconception is that all protein supplements contain high calories. In the same way, there is also a common misconception that all protein supplements contain moderate to high sugar content.
Protein Supplements and Stereotypes
The protein supplement market is HUGE. As such there is a very wide variety of products available and each are very different. Because protein shakes are associated with the world of big mass monster bodybuilders, they have developed a reputation for causing bulk. Something which is greatly frowned upon by many fitness enthusiasts, particularly women and guys looking for a leaner physique. Though this fear is unfounded. The reality is that the big swollen bodybuilders are likely using protein shakes designed specifically to support gaining size and muscle mass.
The products used by these guys typically have an equal or greater ratio of carbs to protein. By that we mean that if a shake had a 30g protein content, it would also have a carb content of 30g or higher per serving. Some of which will usually be from sugars. These products are created this way purposely to support the very high protein and overall calorie needs of those looking to increase mass. There is even a whole category of products referred to as ‘Mass Gainers’. This does not represent all protein supplements.
There is a huge market for zero fat and zero sugar or virtually zero sugar protein supplements which are often created specifically with the lowest calories possible. If you’re highly concerned about your calorie and sugar consumption, then these are the kinds of products you need to be looking at.
Our suggestion would be to look at Whey Isolate protein products as these are extra refined and filtered forms of whey which not only digest faster but come with naturally lower associated carbohydrate ratio. There are even some product ranges known as Diet Whey. These products are not only low in calories and sugar but often contain additional ingredients to support weight loss or feeling full for longer. It’s also typical for most Vegan protein powders to be low calorie when compared to their whey protein counterparts.
Protein Supplements with Low Carbs and Sugar
The right protein supplements will be out there somewhere for you, you just need to look a little deeper past the negative stereotypes to find the product to suit your personal needs.
For an all-round low carb and low sugar protein powder we recommend considering Sci-Tec – Iso Whey. Virtually all flavours have 0g sugar and less than 0.5g total carbohydrates for 21-25g of protein per serving. Not to mention being under 90 calories a scoop. So, ultra-lean as far as a whey product goes. What you will have to keep in mind though is that these low-calorie shakes are harder to flavour and don’t have the same milky consistency when mixed with water as other shakes, they do tend to be on the thinner side. No pun intended… Ok maybe a bit.
Before signing off though we can’t stress enough that increased protein intake will have a direct positive influence on your ability to lose weight (fat) and we would recommend to any gym enthusiast of aesthetic body chaser, to maintain a high overall daily protein intake whether it’s from protein supplements or indeed through your food diet.