Do Protein Supplements Cause Weight Gain?

One of the most common misconceptions in nutrition is that protein supplements contribute to weight gain. We asked Mark Robinson, dietitian and expert for BSc supplements to offer up some advice on the topic and so we can answer the question – do protein supplements cause weight gain?

The facts around protein and weight gain

First, let’s address protein as a macronutrient. Unlike carbohydrates and fats, protein isn’t primarily used by the body as a fuel source and converted into fat. Yes, excess intake of protein can result in it being stored as fat, but first it has many other uses. It acts as building blocks for muscle tissue and plays a vital role in a whole range of bodily functions, including metabolism and hormone regulation.

Protein can be really beneficial for those who are trying to lose weight and adjust their dietary intake, because it is highly satiating, meaning it helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods. Satiety can lead to reduced overall calorie intake, as it can help curb cravings and prevent overeating. Increased protein consumption is a good option for people trying to reduce their carb intake for weight management, especially when they lead an active lifestyle and still need to fuel their bodies adequately and support recovery.

What’s more, protein has a high thermic effect, which means that the body expends more energy to digest and metabolise it compared to carbohydrates and fats. This increased calorie expenditure can contribute to a higher metabolic rate, making it easier to maintain or lose weight over time.

During periods of weight loss or calorie restriction, protein plays a crucial role in preserving lean muscle mass. When you consume an adequate amount of protein, your body is better able to repair and rebuild muscle tissue, which can help prevent muscle loss and promote a toned, lean physique.

bsc dietitian protein supplements weight gain

Considerations when choosing a protein supplement

Quality is key when it comes to protein supplements. A good protein supplement is not only rich in protein but also low in calories, sugar, and fat. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right protein supplement for you:

Minimal Ingredients for Maximum Benefits:

  • When it comes to protein supplements, simplicity is key. Generally, the fewer ingredients listed on the label, the better. Opting for products with minimal additives, fillers, and artificial flavors ensures a cleaner and more natural supplement. Look for options that prioritise quality protein sources without unnecessary additives, such as artificial sweeteners or preservatives.

Quality Protein Sources and BCAA Content:

  • The quality of protein in a supplement is paramount. Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), including Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine, are essential for muscle growth, repair, and recovery. When choosing a protein powder, pay attention to the BCAA content, as a higher value associated with these amino acids indicates a superior product. BCAAs not only contribute to the overall protein quality but also play a crucial role in supporting athletic performance and muscle synthesis.

Added Digestive Enzymes for Optimal Digestion:

  • Digestive enzymes are another important factor to consider when selecting a protein supplement. These enzymes aid in the breakdown and absorption of nutrients, making them essential for optimal digestion and nutrient utilisation. Specifically, look for products that contain added digestive enzymes, such as lactase, which helps break down lactose from milk proteins. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who may experience digestive discomfort or lactose intolerance.

Assess the Nutritional Profile and Macros:

  • Finally, take a closer look at the nutritional profile and macronutrient composition of the protein supplement. Ensure that the product aligns with your nutritional goals and dietary requirements. Pay attention to factors such as protein content per serving, carbohydrate and fat content, as well as overall calorie count. Depending on your specific fitness goals, you may prefer a protein powder with higher protein content and lower carbohydrates and fats.

Thanks to Mark Robinson for this article.
Mark is a Dietician and the Nutrition-Science Executive at BSc.

About BSc

Shaping the future of sports nutrition – this is what BSc® aims for. At its heart are innovative technologies and sustainability, which will be combined with history in order to create a healthier fitness + athlete who’s passionate about their performance yet conscious about how they live life off-the-field/gym as well.

Some more articles you might enjoy:

healthy winter foods

5 Steps to Prevent Winter Weight Gain

Any health professional who works in health and fitness knows the occupational hazard that arises at this time of year – cancellations – a lot of them explained by weak excuses such as, “It’s too cold”, “I am not feeling motivated”, “I am just going to wait until the weather gets better”. Unfortunately, when we

Read More »
sports nutrition for female athletes

Female Athletes Endorse Athena Sports Nutrition for Women

A new sports nutrition range has just hit our shelves that has been designed specifically to meet the needs of athletic females. Vitaco Health, known for leading sports nutrition brand Musashi, have launched ATHENA Sports Nutrition for women, with several well known Aussie athletes on board as ambassadors to the brand. What is ATHENA Sports

Read More »
are sports drinks better than water

Are sports drinks better than water?

Sports drinks can be valuable for athletes and individuals engaging in intense, prolonged physical activity. However, for most people and everyday hydration needs, water is the preferred choice due to its simplicity, lack of added sugars, and overall health benefits. When deciding between sports drinks and water, it’s important to consider your goals and whether

Read More »
is caffeine really a diuretic

Is Caffeine Really a Diuretic?

For a long time, caffeine has been widely accepted as a diuretic. The popular belief is that consumption of caffeine increases urine production, and subsequently increases the risk of dehydration. In recent years, however, there have been several studies that challenge this long-held view and offer a better understanding of how caffeine affects the body.

Read More »
Scroll to Top