3

votes

Do protein drinks really make you fat?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 14, 2012 at 7:58 AM

I know the common conception in the paleo community for a long time has been that one really should get their food from whole sources and avoid processing of any kind. This conception continues when it comes to protein drinks. It has been said that Whey protein is insuligenic and shouldn't be consumed as it will cause you to gain mass in both muscle and fat by spiking your insulin levels. I have always been a firm believer in this and have always done what I can to get other to buy into Salmon and Sweet Potatoes as a post workout meal versus a protein shake, however I've begun to notice lately the guys in the gym that are making the biggest gains consistently are also the guys that don't necessarily subscribe to this philosophy. Pound some weights then drink a shake. They are quite a bit stronger than I am and don't seem to be experiencing any unsightly weight gain as a result. Some have even gotten leaner and bigger from what I can tell. What has been your experience? I've recently started a new job and have gained free access to the corporate gym; a 2nd gym other than my Crossfit gym. I generally do the 5-3-1 strength training and short metcons at Crossfit as well as volume work at the corporate gym. The issue I have is that my corporate gym is 1.5 hours from home so I feel that I am going to need to add a shake post workout to avoid any catabolism, but wouldn't want to do so if that means becoming chubby again. I currently started eating a "Rise" bar after my workouts. 31 5'7 145 lbs Type 1 diabetic looking to get strong. Eat a very clean autoimmune paleo diet with the exception of eggs, grassfed butter, and kefir. Sleep 8 hours a night. Good blood sugar control.

Currently eating one of these after a workout: http://risebar.com/products/almond-honey/

Any alternatives ?

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on September 28, 2012
at 12:37 AM

Excess carbohydrates are so rarely converted to fat in humans it is almost a non event. Just because its possible does not mean it happens.

E8fbc8067e64d0994aa70171601e68fd

(297)

on September 27, 2012
at 09:26 AM

Bill1102inf You are so wrong, it boggles the mind. It is absolutely possible to store fat just from carbohydrate intake alone. You don't need to have eaten fat to store fat. The liver converts excess carbohydrates to fat just fine.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on September 22, 2012
at 07:05 AM

do you have a web link for the 'baby food', i'm interested to have a look

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 22, 2012
at 04:54 AM

If you eat nothing but carbs it will be lean body mass (LBM) that will dramatically be reduced, not fat mass. How do you think LBM can be maintained without essential amino acids?

6371f0ae0c075ded1b8cd30aafd4bf16

on September 22, 2012
at 04:37 AM

@ James barlow. I believe I was misinformed as to the true meaning of the word rhetoric. I changed the question.

E6c14efded576a0bea38a2fe2beced6a

(689)

on September 21, 2012
at 03:19 PM

Sorry but I just could not get past the first line. So a basic tenet of the entire lifestyle is rhetoric? Maybe we should stop all the rhetoric about avoiding sugar and exercising as well.

014e7a87621b34bead8645fde586f6cd

(100)

on September 21, 2012
at 01:32 PM

Yep. I was drinking them before bed and other times. Since dropping them altogether for 2 week, I have seen a HUGE change in how my clothing fits. Protein shake not good.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on September 20, 2012
at 07:14 PM

You would see a positive change in body comp if you 'just ate carbs' for a month as long as you kept your intake at or below TDEE

68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on September 19, 2012
at 12:58 AM

Not really. Go ahead and eat just carbs for a month and you will see negative changes in body composition. Who cares if you lose some fat when the fat loss will be accompanied with serious muscle loss and deficiencies in many important nutrients.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on September 14, 2012
at 06:35 PM

I love the down votes from people who have no clue about how the human body works. Go ahead and eat nothing but carbs for a month and you will lose fat. Its pretty simple and your down votes are pretty dumb.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 14, 2012
at 01:02 PM

I wonder how much protein you really need post work out? IDK jack about the area, but its probably not as much as people consume. Excess protein goes into an endless conversion into glucose, so thats probably the source of the insulin spike. Normally insulin spikes after working out are supposed to be good, because it improves muscle insulin sensitivity....but for a diabetic, id be inclined to be careful messing with things that might off your control...I guess you could try it once, and test ur BG response..

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 14, 2012
at 12:36 PM

Thats a _weird_ ass comment. Bodily energy storage is an blatently obvious biological need, regardless of the macro, otherwise we either need to be eating all the time, or get lethal hypoglycemia between meals.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on September 14, 2012
at 08:17 AM

Insulin spike after exercise is welcome, so that's not a good reason to avoid protein drinks. Then again, Alan Aragon makes a compelling case that chocolate milk is as good as most, if not all, protein drinks.

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10 Answers

3
E8fbc8067e64d0994aa70171601e68fd

(297)

on September 14, 2012
at 09:09 AM

Protein shakes consumed any other time aside from the post-workout window and maybe during carb refeeds can often be the source of unwanted fat gain... Mostly because of how people use them.

It is a fact that the usable calories from a meal increases with the amount of processing done to the food. Protein shakes are designed to offer no resistance to absorption. Thus even while on paper, a protein shake may have the same calories as (say) a handful of almonds, the actual energetic intake as well as the endocrinological effects of the almonds will be less than the shake.

So yeah, protein shakes consumed at the wrong times -- I.e. treated as "food" interchangeably with proper meals -- can definitely make you fat.

014e7a87621b34bead8645fde586f6cd

(100)

on September 21, 2012
at 01:32 PM

Yep. I was drinking them before bed and other times. Since dropping them altogether for 2 week, I have seen a HUGE change in how my clothing fits. Protein shake not good.

1
40befdb27ebc5f02993523f3625bc8c5

on September 22, 2012
at 03:21 PM

From personal Experience, I do not think that they do. I have been taken a Myofusion protein drink every day after my workouts and have gotten noticeably leaner. I was not overweight to being with, but I have managed to gain around 8-10lbs and lose body fat while drinking protein shakes, so the blanket statement that they make you fat is not true.

0
65f4d7124e4ea2c9cba27ed7c71ba976

on September 23, 2012
at 12:08 AM

I think that the real problem is that the shakes are so concentrated and people think they need 150 grams of protein a day. If you are having 60 gram protein shakes after your workout, yea, that might make you fat to have a days worth of protein in 20 minutes.

0
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on September 21, 2012
at 05:56 PM

Who told you that protein shakes make you fat? Some protein shakes can, but then they aren't protein shakes- they're protein/carb/fat shakes. A protein shakes consisting of nothing another than isolated/concentrated milk proteins which leaves you with at around a 5/1 protein/carb ratio will not make you fat under isocaloric conditions.

That being said, whey is highly insulinogenic, and at least one study shows that individuals stay leaner with a casein based shake over a whey based shake

http://www.ergo-log.com/wheycas.html

0
6371f0ae0c075ded1b8cd30aafd4bf16

on September 21, 2012
at 01:27 PM

I think I've found a suitable alternative. Organic baby food. It is easy to carry, easy to find, inexpensive, and slightly less processed. Organic Beef with some Organic Sweet Potatoes.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on September 22, 2012
at 07:05 AM

do you have a web link for the 'baby food', i'm interested to have a look

0
2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on September 20, 2012
at 11:59 PM

protein shakes wont make you fat, unless you are already in a caloric surplus

0
D4d0165711da841beafe7292b710a532

on September 20, 2012
at 11:45 PM

too much of anything will make you fat. too much meat, too many carbs, too much fat, too many beers...

protein powder also often contains BCAAs and creatine- the latter of the two makes you retain water and bloat a bit.

i take a protein powder if i am short on time and notice that it does help me recover faster between my crossfit workouts, but i don't try to base my meals around it. if you are going to take one i would look for the cleanest protein that doesn't contain additives. progenex is the one my gym pushes, but i use jay robb egg or whey because i have a hookup on it :)

0
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on September 14, 2012
at 03:26 PM

Whey protein will help you bulk up, and as long as you are training properly, you will put on muscle. Milk proteins have a relatively simple purpose- turn the cute little calf into a big cow. The question among paleo circles is, is this a good idea in humans? I suspect it can be a good idea assuming it is a temporary thing. Part of the underlying problem with the standard American diet/lifestyle is that we are always getting growth signals. Most likely, such a growth cycle would have have happened during summer.

Then there are those who want to live forever. Currently the big idea is to reduce protein to under 20g a serving so that you don't trigger MTOR. This worked in worms. The paleo response to that is the same as any proposition to a steady state- we seem to thrive with variation, which means there probably ought to be some growth, some triggering of MTOR (milk proteins do trigger MTOR), ostensibly followed by some period of not triggering growth so that the body can focus on clean up and repair.

So, essentially, I look at it like it is a drug. If you want to use it, get the cleanest product you can find (so many of these things have soy, artificial sweeteners, and other crap you don't want), and use it for two months or so. Most of the advantage should be gained during that time, with adequate exercise. Then get off of it and focus of keeping what you've got with real food and training.

Let me add something else to the equation- creatine. If folks are drinking whey, they are probably taking creatine too. If you aren't taking creatine- well, it actually seems safer than milk proteins, and it is pretty cheap (just get plain old creatine monohydrate).

0
98266ae0c87836d4bb714b6d31cacbf9

on September 14, 2012
at 08:15 AM

Well comparing your gains to other people is really not the best idea, because you might not know the intensity they put in their workouts diet. How are the gains you've been achieving if there was nobody to compare to?

And no protein drinks do not make you "fat". Although it's not the best option for a post workout meal. Personally i don't like eating after a heavy lifting session, so my post workout is raw milk, egg yolks and berries/banana, almonds and maybe some coconut oil. Raw milk is a great source of protein, i would recommend trying it out and see if it works for you.

-9
1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

on September 14, 2012
at 10:39 AM

Insulin spikes only cause fat gain when fat is consumed and then stored. Insulin is not some magic fat generating hormone, fat MUST be present. The conversion of carbohydrate to fat DOES NOT OCCUR in any meaningful amount in the human body. SUGAR does NOT turn to fat in 99.9% of instances. Instead if TDEE is consumed via carbs, much dietary fat is stored. Get it yet?

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on September 14, 2012
at 06:35 PM

I love the down votes from people who have no clue about how the human body works. Go ahead and eat nothing but carbs for a month and you will lose fat. Its pretty simple and your down votes are pretty dumb.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 14, 2012
at 12:36 PM

Thats a _weird_ ass comment. Bodily energy storage is an blatently obvious biological need, regardless of the macro, otherwise we either need to be eating all the time, or get lethal hypoglycemia between meals.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on September 20, 2012
at 07:14 PM

You would see a positive change in body comp if you 'just ate carbs' for a month as long as you kept your intake at or below TDEE

68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on September 19, 2012
at 12:58 AM

Not really. Go ahead and eat just carbs for a month and you will see negative changes in body composition. Who cares if you lose some fat when the fat loss will be accompanied with serious muscle loss and deficiencies in many important nutrients.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 22, 2012
at 04:54 AM

If you eat nothing but carbs it will be lean body mass (LBM) that will dramatically be reduced, not fat mass. How do you think LBM can be maintained without essential amino acids?

E8fbc8067e64d0994aa70171601e68fd

(297)

on September 27, 2012
at 09:26 AM

Bill1102inf You are so wrong, it boggles the mind. It is absolutely possible to store fat just from carbohydrate intake alone. You don't need to have eaten fat to store fat. The liver converts excess carbohydrates to fat just fine.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on September 28, 2012
at 12:37 AM

Excess carbohydrates are so rarely converted to fat in humans it is almost a non event. Just because its possible does not mean it happens.

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