Protein powder is a convenient way to get more protein in your diet. It is a healthy sports supplement and essential post-workout nutrition for the repair and development of muscles. However, you might gain weight if you don’t use it correctly.
One of the most common protein powder mistakes is having too many servings of protein powder. As a result, your overall calorie intake might increase, causing you to put on extra pounds.
If you consume more calories than you burn from any food, including protein powder, your body will store the excess calories as fat. However, the correct amount and type of protein powder nourishes your body and does not contribute to weight gain.
Learn more about the protein powder mistakes that might make you gain weight.
Types of Protein Powder
Protein powder is, as the name suggests, powdered protein. Different protein powders are available, with varying degrees of quality. Knowing the difference between the various protein powders can help you make an informed purchase or even prevent you from gaining excess weight.
Research shows that whey protein can significantly increase muscle mass and weight. Hence, underweight people often include whey protein to enhance daily calorie intake and promote weight gain. Whey protein is a byproduct of the cheese manufacturing process. The liquid (whey) is separated and dried during cheese processing to obtain the protein powder.
Casein is a milk protein collected and used as a supplement to promote muscle building.
It is a plant-derived protein supplement suitable for vegans and provides several essential nutrients that support overall health.
Egg protein powder helps you acquire the additional proteins you need to grow and repair muscle after an intense workout.
Soy Protein Powder
Dehydrated soybean flakes get broken down into a powder. For anyone trying to gain weight, soy protein powder is a good supplement.
Pea protein powder increases strength and muscle mass and is preferred by those who are allergic to dairy or eggs. According to research, pea protein increases muscle thickness and is an alternative to Whey-based protein powder.
How Does Protein Powder Cause Weight Gain?
How much weight you gain from consuming protein powder depends on the powder and how often you eat it. Protein powder, by itself, won’t make you gain weight.
You gain weight when you consume more calories than you burn. Overconsumption of protein powder (with other additives) may lead to caloric surplus, which leads to weight gain.
Bloating is another common side effect of consuming too much protein powder. It makes you feel puffier and can give the appearance of weight gain in the belly area.
Protein powder blends that contain more carbs and calories than other blends are specific for people trying to put on weight. However, protein powder with ingredients that support weight loss goals is also available. Besides the ingredients, the timing and quantity of protein powder consumption also influence your weight gain.
The protein powder mistakes behind weight gain are:
Overeating Protein Powder
If you consume more protein powder than the recommended limit, you will ingest more calories overall, leading to weight gain. In addition, if you don’t work out after following a high-protein diet, the increased calorie intake will exceed your basal metabolic rate.
Not Measuring Protein Powder
Read the nutrition label to check how many scoops you need to meet the daily requirements. Taking more scoops of protein powder, especially when making smoothies, can disturb the balance between carbs and sugars. People often take too much protein powder when using smaller scoopers, misleading them to eat more carbs and sugar, which might make them gain weight.
Buying Whey Protein Concentrate
If you’re lactose-intolerant, you may have trouble processing whey protein concentrate, which can cause inflammation. Weight gain is a side effect of inflammation, so you may want to choose whey protein isolate instead. Isolate contains less lactose than whey protein concentrate.
The HealthifyMe Note
It is crucial to monitor your intake of protein powder to help manage your weight. You will gain weight if you consume more calories than you burn, regardless of whether those calories come from protein powder or other sources. To determine how much protein powder you should consume to maintain a healthy weight, consult a nutritionist at HealthifyMe.
How Much Protein Powder Do You Need?
The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for protein is between 0.8 and 1 g per kilogram of body weight. A standard dosage for protein powder is about 1–2 scoops (around 25–50 grams) per day, preferably after workouts.
Moreover, age, gender, and physical activity are crucial measures to determine the amount of protein you need. For example, a person with a sedentary lifestyle requires less protein than someone active. Therefore, discuss with a qualified professional to determine your body’s appropriate protein needs.
To meet your daily protein needs, in addition to consuming protein-rich foods like yoghurt, lean chicken, soybeans, milk, kefir, chia seeds, hemp seeds, almond butter, tofu, and soy milk, you can also use protein powder.
If you overeat protein powder, you may consume more calories than you burn and see an increase in weight. However, this only occurs if you’re not careful with portion sizes and don’t factor in the other nutrients you’re ingesting. Protein powder itself doesn’t cause excess weight gain or fat buildup.
How much protein powder you need each day depends on your age, gender, body composition, and physical activity level. Therefore, it’s essential to speak with a qualified nutritionist before making any changes to your diet.