Weight Loss
Moderators: devilish_patsy, spoiled_candy, nycgirl, Mollybygolly

Protein Powder - Bad for weight loss? Creates stomach problems?

Quote  |  Reply

I had someone tell me that protein powder shakes have something special about them that makes everything else I eat "stick" even if I'm in the right calorie count for weight loss. I have a really hard time believing that, so I thought I'd ask the experts on here :) So, if I take protein powder every morning with a glass of skim milk (140 cal & 27g of protein for the powder only), and keep it in my calorie limit of 1350ish, is there something magical I don't know about protein powder that will make all my other calories "stick" and me gain weight? and "That's why people drink protein shakes to gain weight."

And a second question - I've been drinking my protein in lieu of eating my lucky charms at breakfast time for the past week. I heard this can lead to stomach problems (like ulcers, reflux, etc) especially since I always take in the shake with an empty stomach. Fact or fiction?

I have a feeling both are fiction, but heck, what do I know? Any enlightening remarks?

18 Replies (last)
Quote  |  Reply
I've never heard that about protein shakes. As far as I know, protein shakes do not have any magical properties. That said, protein is pretty easy to get in a normal diet. I eat mostly vegetarian, and yesterday I got about double the amount of protein I need without even thinking about it. Unless you're a body builder or hardcore athlete, if you're eating enough calories, you're probably getting enough protein.

Protein shakes do not cause stomach problems unless you have some kind of special sensitivity to them. If they cause problems for you, then stop drinking them. Otherwise, they are safe.

gain weight

as in muscle weight from lifting weight (muscle repair after microtears)

protein is turned into energy if its not used in growth, repair of tissue or hormone synthesis

also when they drink protein shakes............................. its on top of the calories they are eating already as they cant fit in the time to eat a good five or 6 meals of "good/muscle building protein". i.e. someone who is trying to build muscle eats a disgusting amount of calories or tries to .. t'is called "bulking up" (its to give muscles More than they need to build the muscle so as not to limit it by nutrients needed [i.e. negate a limiting factor])

it wont make your weigh stick, calories are calories are calories are calories

not sure about stomach problems, it can be a strain on your kidneys if you over do it

why not try porridge/oats with half a teaspoon of sugar and some raisins (or a non-citrus/dry fruit of your choice), fills you up quite a bit and slowly releases energy) of some wheaty/oaty cereal?


[p.s. if ive said something wrong feel free to say so]

It's just extra calories, not something that makes you retain more.  Used sensibly, there's no problems with using them unless you have an intolerance for the source protein (eg whey)

Yeah, I figured calories were calories. I just started drinking protein because I had a hard time fitting it in, plus I've been working out my muscles with weights in addition to cardio to lower my body fat percentage. My sore muscles were lasting longer than I thought they should, and I figured I didn't have the protein to repair it. I figured a good easy, decently-caloried, low fat way to get protein in was to drink it. This way I don't have to worry about cooking chicken breasts every day or eating too much tuna fish, etc. Plus, my husband has an extreme bean allergy, so they can't be in the house. What are some good ways anyone else gets protein in?

As for porridge, oats, etc: maybe if I'm feeling sassy. I haven't had a problem with feeling too hungry during the day. The only time I feel like I NEED to eat is like around 4 pm between lunch & din, then I have a little cheese & bread, hunger crisis averted!

Quote  |  Reply
I eat a lot of cottage cheese, yogurt, milk, eggs, tofu, legumes, nuts and seeds. Those are good choices, along with meat, fish and chicken.

I read on-line that protein powders with whey and creatine were just by-products of the dairy industry production  that they didn't have anything to do with so instead of throwing it out they started marketing it to weight lifters and heath enthusiasts so it is really just over processed junk, not to mention the sugar or worse the artificial sugars and flavors in some......if you want to up your protein its probably best to do it naturally with foods.

I use non-GMO soy protein powder for my steel cut oats and smoothies.  No problems with my stomach and the increase in protein has actually made me feel better.

I use hemp protein and I haven't experienced any problems! I've heard bad things about taking too much protein powder, but I thought it would have to be an extremely excessive amount.

Original Post by fancypandy:

I read on-line that protein powders with whey and creatine were just by-products of the dairy industry production  that they didn't have anything to do with so instead of throwing it out they started marketing it to weight lifters and heath enthusiasts so it is really just over processed junk, not to mention the sugar or worse the artificial sugars and flavors in some......if you want to up your protein its probably best to do it naturally with foods.

 fancypandy- it's not only a 'byproduct' but a valuable nutrition source option for many people trying to lose weight-- of course, a balanced healthy diet of micro and macro nutrients spread thru the day for better glycemic control is optimal-- but please don't make protein powder of whey derivative sound like their crap similar to diet pills or other diet fads-- they are a valid option to increase protein, especially when you do cardio or weight training!

they do not cause 'weight to stick' or stomach problems, unless you do have certain allergies to dairy-- whey has been a byproduct of dairy production since humans started eating dairy-- it's a valuable byproduct-- hell, think of it like recycling if you have to, but don't disparage it just yet!!! Just fyi- not bashing! just want to clear up it's a valuable source of digestible protein if you need additional grams per day!!!




I use both whey and soy protein powders for shakes.  I never realized that I didn't get enough protein until I discovered that I was losing more lean body mass than fat, in the first 35 pounds that I lost.  Instead of the 60/40 fat to muscle, it was 43/57.  I started paying a lot more attention to protein, and I get as much as I can from food, but I have a very hard time getting enough unless I add a protein shake to my day--generally, after workout.  But some ays, I add a vanilla protein powder to juice in the AM to increase the protein.  Since I started using the powder, my weight loss has slowed a little, but it's significantly more fat than muscle now.
I gained 7 pounds as a result of drinking protein shake....never again....I have decided to eat more meats, cheese and tc to get my protein..I have loss the 7 but I feel like I could have been closer to my goal....
Quote  |  Reply

You have to approach protein shakes in reguards to the rest of the food you are eating. Take notice of the calories and fit it in your diet. Protein shakes in themselves will not make you gain wait if you are sensible about it, but you can't expect them to not count.

As for stomach problems, I know this one first hand. Soy protein will not (in most cases) upset your stomach, but whey protein will make you belch or pass gas a little bit, to combat this get some Papaya Enzyme (available at GNC and a lot of other places) and take 2 right after your protein shake. They are only 5 calories each so you don't have to worry about it upsetting your diet, and they will help your stomach to digest the whey protein better.

If you want to take Whey protein powder, I highly recommend Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey. It tastes good, it's instantized (better mixing), has more whey protein isolates than any other brand (best and most expensive protein), it's %79 protein by weight, acts fast, and has lactase and aminogen to aid in digestion. I may sound like a commercial, but the stuff is great. Smile

well I didnt do the research myself so I was just sharing what I heard..... It probably also depends on what kinds you use :) Im not really sure how true or untrue that is.....thanks

hey fancy-- thanks for being a 'good sport' on my respose--

darn boards where you have to type can make anyone- me included- sound so snotty sometimes!!!

just wanted to say whey works for some of us! it's valid if you need protein!


My nutritionist had me put whey protein in everything (soup, V-8, pudding) when I was sick and was having trouble eating enough cals and nutrients (If I ate a normal amount, I would vomit - NOT intentionally.  I hate to vomit.)  Obviously, I was already having stomach problems and I don't think she would have suggested the protein powder if it was hard on the digestive system.  Didn't taste too great, though :)

i ate nothing! but one protein shake a day and lost 14-17 lbs in 12 day. Then the weight loss stopped. Now ive gained 3 pounds back. No one can say its what else im eating cause im eating nothing else. So they were effective for 12 days, but beyond that im going a different route. Im choked.Cry And please no rude comments about my eating habits or how "unhealthy" i am. Im aware of my issues and am seeking treatment. I just needed to post this about the protein powder.




Pretty sure they're both fiction. FWIW, I have nasty problems with acid and general stomach/intestine issues, and I can drink protein shakes without symptoms if they're high-quality and don't contain things I'm allergic to.

They cause weight gain when ON TOP of a maintenance diet. As substitutes for junk food, or to boost calories up to a healthy sub-maintenance level, they won't.

18 Replies