How Whey Protein May Affect Weight
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The first group was asked to add protein drinks made with whey to their normal diets, the second group drank protein drinks made with soy protein, and the third group drank carbohydrate drinks.
Study participants weren't told which group they had been assigned to. All the drinks, which were drunk twice daily, at breakfast and dinner, had the same number of calories: They also all had had 52 grams per packet, for a daily total of grams of added protein or carbs.
Researchers tracked participants' physical activity levels, weights, waist sizes, lean and fat body mass, and blood levels of hormones related to hunger and metabolism. They also had people keep records of the other foods they were eating. The researchers made sure participants were drinking the shakes during random urine tests for levels of a chemical tracer they had added to the powders.
When the study started, there were no significant differences between groups, researchers report. Throughout the study, all the groups ate roughly the same number of average daily calories , about 2, After six months, people drinking the carbohydrate shakes had gained a little bit of weight , about 2 pounds, which appeared to be mainly added fat, compared to where they started.
But people drinking the whey protein had lost a little bit of weight and body fat, about 2 pounds. Additionally, while the other groups saw little change in the size of their waists, the whey protein group lost about an inch around the middle. Researchers say a couple of things may help to explain the weight and fat loss seen with whey protein.
People in the whey protein group had significantly lower blood levels of the hormone ghrelin than people eating the soy protein or carbohydrate.