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Blood sugar issues from whey protein powder?

Answered on May 08, 2014
Created May 05, 2014 at 4:09 PM

I bought a new protein powder at Whole Foods - Organic Food Bar Vanilla Whey. It lists only 1.6 grams of carbs and 25g or protein per scoop. Since using it, I could tell that it didn't satiate me well and was causing blood sugar issues because only 3 hours after I used it I would feel major hunger pangs (like I used to when I ate a SAD diet with a lot of carbs for breakfast). With other protein powders my hunger would come back slowly after 4 - 5 hours. I've also noticed that since using this my waistline has really ballooned (which always means excessive carbs for me).

I tested my blood sugar after 3 hours and it showed 97 which is high for me.

I use this in a smoothie with coconut milk, about 10 blueberries, spinach, 1 T. of chia seeds, unsweetened almond milk and a few drops of stevia.

I'll stop using this product but wanted to throw a general question out to the community as to whether anyone has experienced weirdness with some whey protein powders (insulin spikes, etc.) despite it being what looks like a low carb product?

Thanks very much

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 06, 2014
at 05:20 PM

The cephalic phase insulin release hypothesis is bunk. Only studies that have been discreditied have shown an significant increase in insulin production.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 06, 2014
at 05:17 PM

whey protein is a tool to increase your protein consumption -- primarily immediately after working out. It is NOT a meal replacement.

3e710fab7063494ce6010566704764ed

(15)

on May 06, 2014
at 12:06 AM

whey is more insulinogenic than bread. that plus a signifcant amount of the protein is converted into glucose

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6 Answers

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0
Bfd70bb38267fcc2d762063d691fa226

(723)

on May 06, 2014
at 02:23 AM

The same thing happens to me when I have whey protein. This is likely due to the fact that it digests quicker than other forms of protein like casein. The quick digestion is why people consume whey after exercising. They consume quickly-digesting food like simple carbs. Fats and proteins like casein are not usually consumed after workouts because they digest slower. To sum up, when you digest something quickly, your blood sugar will likely spike and then fall. Many find this to be the case with whey since it is one of the fastest-digesting proteins.

0
46fa1375917ff826684235046fbf4115

(128)

on May 08, 2014
at 11:37 PM

Thank you all for the wonderful replies...what a great community! I have been experimenting the past few days with some suggestions here... trying lower amounts of protein, etc. Am thinking this is just an issue of rapid digestion as flowers suggested. I also think that I'm generally not operating in fat-burner mode since my diet has been sketchy lately... so given both, I think I may just be off in general.

Is all good... a sign that I'm more in touch with my body and also a signal that I need to get back on track (and perhaps look towards meat and/or eggs for breakfast).

0
Medium avatar

on May 06, 2014
at 07:25 AM

Whey proteins have insulinotropic impacts and decrease the postprandial glycemia in sound subjects. Expansion of whey to dinners with quickly processed and assimilated starches fortifies insulin discharge and decreases postprandial blood glucose trip.

0
E24390f6d880f9144cdf7ab13220a84a

(3)

on May 06, 2014
at 02:27 AM

Your symptoms don't make sense to me. Whey protein is insulinemic. It causes insulin to rise, which will in turn cause glucose to fall. Further, it is the rapid *decline* in glucose that would cause hunger pangs, not a rise.

Putting my thinking cap on here, what may have happened is that you over-dosed on the amount of protein, and your body then converted the excess into glucose through gluconeogenesis.

Let's do some experiments. Try to repeat the same recipe but reduce the amount of protein in the shake and observe your glucose *before* the shake, one hour after, two hours after, and three hours after. My guess is we can find a protein level where you will not see that rising glucose. Document that for yourself because it may guide you to an appropriate per-meal protein level for other meals as well.

0
5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on May 05, 2014
at 11:12 PM

I had serious blood sugar crashes after only a protein shake in the morning. I switched to a couple cups of home made bone broth with 2-3 tbsp beef gelatin, an egg and some fruit and feel wayyy better.

0
0094a53b26cab5e73a9a9d474c89deec

on May 05, 2014
at 10:41 PM

Whey products that have artificial sweeteners in them cause insulin spikes in me that are worse than when I cheat and eat SAD foods like ice cream. I had a quest bar for the first time today (first ingredient is whey, also has sucralose in it) and my blood sugar spiked so badly that I was simultaneously ravenous and nauseated within 15 minutes of eating it. I've now had a steady headache all day. My advice- pick a protein powder that isn't so heavy on whey (like egg white, or brown rice powder) and is sweetened with stevia (if at all), or just go with whole foods.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 06, 2014
at 05:20 PM

The cephalic phase insulin release hypothesis is bunk. Only studies that have been discreditied have shown an significant increase in insulin production.

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