Is Your Whey Protein Powder Causing You To Gain Weight?

protein shake

Is Your Whey Protein Powder Causing You To Gain Weight?

The true answer that you don’t want to hear is – it could be. Like most foods and drinks,
whey protein contains calories. Depending on what whey protein you have, the amount of calories
could vary quite dramatically. They key to making sure your whey protein powder isn’t making you
gain weight is to make sure you aren’t taking too much.

Overall, weight gain is caused by a surplus of calories. This means that if you consistently
take in more calories than you burn, you will put on bodyweight. While some of this weight could
be muscle, there’s a good chance you will gain some fat with it. How much weight you gain depends
on how large your calorie surplus is. Typically, one would need a calorie surplus of 3,500 in order to
gain one pound.

How many calories your whey protein contains will vary on the type and brand. Whey
protein isolate products typically contain less calories than whey protein concentrates, and have
more protein and less carbs/fat. In general, 1 serving of protein powder contains anywhere from
110 calories to 180 calories. While that may not seem like too much of a difference, multiple
servings a day could impact weight loss.

Let’s say you set up your diet to lose 1/2 pound a week. This means you must eat 250
calories less than you burn per day. Now let’s say you consume 2 servings of whey protein a day –
but you underestimate the calories. Depending on how much you’re off by, you could be
significantly slowing weight loss or even causing weight gain.

Calorie miscalculation is often the culprit for slowed weight loss or weight gain.

While wheyprotein on its own will not magically cause weight gain, it certainly could contribute. So if your
results haven’t added up to what you’d hoped for, it can never hurt to double check your math!

About the author

MSc Epidemiology MSc Exercise and Nutrition Science CITI Human Subjects Training for Research Certified Sports Nutritionist Certified Personal Trainer

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