Protein is one of the three macronutrients, along with fat and carbohydrates. It has gained notoriety in the fitness industry as the macronutrient for muscle growth, performance and recovery. That’s why protein powder is the most popular sports supplement in the world, according to this recent review. But all protein powders are not equal, and some are more effective than others: whey or vegan protein? Which protein powder is best for weight loss? How does protein powder help with fat loss? In this article we’re going to cover some of the best protein powders for weight loss that you can buy in Australia today. Let’s get started.
What is protein powder?
Protein powder is a nutritional supplement designed for people in sports, on-the-go, for weight loss and toning, and to supplement a lower protein diet like the vegan diet. There are many different types of protein powder, the most common being whey, casein or plant-based powders made typically from pea or brown rice.
Protein powders are powdered derivatives of the protein source from which they came, for example whey comes from milk, and pea protein comes from… you guessed it - peas.
What is the difference between whey vs. vegan protein powder?
There are a few key differences between whey protein and vegan protein powders, the first, and obvious one being the suitability for different diets: whey is dairy while vegan proteins are suitable for vegans, plant-based eaters and those with lactose allergies or intolerances. An estimated 75 percent of the human population has a reduced ability to digest dairy - which means that plant based proteins can be a great option for you.
However, if you don’t have any problems with dairy, whey protein shakes are typically preferred as they are more bioavailable. This means that a higher percentage of the protein is absorbed and used by the body, and is easier digested. Plus, whey is a naturally complete protein meaning it has all the nine essential amino acids.
Many vegan protein powders combine a variety of protein sources to try and hit all the essential amino acids.
How can protein shakes help with weight loss?
Protein has the highest thermic effect of any macronutrient - you burn up to 35 percent of the total calories just during digestion. The thermic effect of food refers to the energy required for digestion, absorption and disposal of ingested nutrients. This contributes to your total daily energy expenditure - so can help you burn more calories just by adjusting your diet.
This was supported in a 2004 study by Nutrient Metabolism, that showed that a high protein diet increased the metabolic rate of the participants and promoted satiety throughout the day, resulting in less total calories consumed. There are many other reasons why many struggle to lose weight and some may surprise you.
Another mechanism for protein helping with fat loss is its role in exercise performance. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and protein is the building blocks of muscle. During exercise, you need circulating amino acids for muscle protein synthesis (muscle growth) and muscle repair. This can help you increase your muscle mass and muscle size, which equates to exercise performance.
What are the best protein powders for weight loss in Australia?
This protein powder is the number one supplement for weight loss, because it contains zero fat, zero sugar, zero gluten, zero added creamers, virtually zero lactose, only one gram of carbohydrates and only 105 calories per serving! What more could you want?
It comes in the widest variety of flavours than pretty much any other brand, offering unique and delicious flavours like orange creamsicle, salted caramel and red velvet; making it a fan favourite. It is made from whey protein isolates and hydrolysed whey protein - a formula that isolates the protein content to maximize muscle growth without the excess calories.
This protein powder comes from high quality lean grass-fed whey, a unique offering that may appeal to you if you care about the source of your supplements. Aside from its astounding quality, this protein powder is packed with BCAAs and digestive enzymes to optimize digestion and boost your sports performance.
This powder is one of the best on the market due to its formula: it contains unusual ingredients like tryptophan, arginine, MCT oil, green tea and chromium picolinate. These ingredients have been added to enhance your mood, metabolism and immune system whilst providing 24g of protein per serving.
The difference between whey and casein protein powder is the digestion time. Casein digests slower than whey, meaning it is gradually absorbed to keep a steady flow of amino acids being delivered to the muscles. This supplement is a great choice to take before bed, to ensure that your muscles have enough nutrients for muscle protein synthesis and repair, and to prevent muscle breakdown (catabolism).
This protein powder is made from hydrolysed bovine collagen. Collagen, another type of protein powder, is becoming increasingly popular due to its high bioavailability, low caloric load, peptide profile, gut benefits, it’s dairy-free and supports healthy bones and connective tissue.
Collagen protein powder is a great alternative to whey because it’s dairy free, and a great alternative to plant-based protein if you struggle with digesting grains or legumes. If you want to read more about this protein powder, check out this post that covers some scientific research that has been conducted on this product.
So far we’ve covered whey, casein and collagen, so here’s the final review and it’s a plant-based vegan protein powder by White Wolf Nutrition. It is made from Belgian golden-yellow peas as the predominant protein source, with the addition of superfoods, MCTs and a vegan prebiotic. This unique all-in-one formula helps the pea protein to be maximally and easily absorbed.
It contains 22.2 grams of protein per serving, a figure that is substantially higher than other vegan protein powders, and the best part is it tastes amazing - coming in flavours like salted caramel and iced coffee. It’s a go-to choice for vegans!
If you’re looking for the best protein powder for weight loss in Australia, these are our top five choices that are suitable for a variety of different dietary restrictions, flavour preferences and goals. Consuming a protein shake a day will help with fat loss by boosting your metabolic rate and keeping you fuller for longer. Want to see more protein powder options?