Will Protein Supplementation Make You Gain Weight?


Will Protein Supplementation Make You Gain Weight?

1175317_705414316159000_794830464_nThere is a misconception amongst many of my female personal training clients that consuming protein supplements or protein powder will bring about weight gain.  While you can gain weight if you’re drinking a protein supplement it is not specifically the protein supplement that is causing the body to increase in weight.  Muscle is composed of protein but when you add protein to your diet it is not automatically stored as muscle in the body.

It must go through a process where the body breaks the protein down into amino acids which are considered the building blocks of the body.  Once it has been broken down into amino acids the body will do one of three things with it: it will use it for necessary functions in the body,  it will burn it for energy, or it will store it as fat in your fat cells.  It is important to remember that anytime you eat more calories than you burn, your body will store the excess calories as fat regardless if it is a protein powder or any other calorie laden food or supplement you consume.

So why would you even add a protein supplement to your diet?  Ideally, it is most beneficial to meet your body’s protein requirement by eating healthy sources of protein such as lean meats and eggs, but with a busy schedule this can be a challenge.  The American Dietetic Association (ADA) recommends 0.8 to 1.0 gram per kilogram of body weight of protein per day and for athletes or active people this may be slightly higher.  Rather than skip a meal, a protein supplement or shake is a convenient way to make sure you are getting the protein you need to sustain a healthy diet and lifestyle.

For more information about protein supplements, nutrition, and exercise, or if you’ve been thinking about hiring a personal trainer, contact us.


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