I think discovering protein powder was a turning point in helping me lose the weight that seemed like it would NEVER go away. I always thought of it as something only bulky bodybuilders used to pump up. But I did some research that showed me the best whey protein for weight loss is actually a great tool for building lean muscle and burning fat.
There are lots of great options for protein powder available now. You can read more about the different kinds in my post on the best protein powder for weight loss. Since whey is a dairy product, some people can’t tolerate it. That’s why it’s great to have so many other vegan or non-dairy options.
However, whey protein powder is well known for a reason. In this post, I’ll tell you
- What makes whey protein powder (compared to other protein powders) so powerful for weight loss?
- What to look for on the label of a whey protein powder
- The 6 best whey protein for weight loss brands
What is whey protein and why is it good for weight loss?
Whey is the liquid produced during cheese manufacturing. This liquid is captured and converted into a dry powder with lots of protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals that support lean muscle growth and fat burning. (1)
It’s technically still a dairy product, but it contains less than 1% of the sugar in dairy products called lactose. This is why some people with lactose intolerance can actually enjoy whey protein with no problem. (2)
Whey contains a specific amino acid called leucine. Leucine is a branched chain amino acid that is especially good at building muscle to burn fat. (3)
Leucine helps muscles recover from workouts quicker, so it’s easier to stick to an exercise plan and feel great. (4) Whey is also known as a “complete protein” which means it contains all essential amino acids to help with building lean muscle and repair. Building lean muscle is key in burning fat.
What to look for in the best whey protein for weight loss
- High in protein – 20-30g (Keeps you satisfied so you don’t eat more than you need)
- Low carb – less than 5g per serving (Too many carbs can undo all the good of protein powder. Need more low carb ideas? Get 7 Easy Low Carb Crock Pot Recipes & Meals (Healthy & High Protein))
- Low sugar – less than 3g per serving (A little sugar can be burned up, but too much get converted directly to fat stores)
- Bonus – Grass-fed (High in omega-3 fats which reduce inflammation, joint pain, help improve sleep and are good for your skin!) (5) (6) (7) (8)
Ingredients to AVOID in your whey protein powder
- 1. Ion exchange (degrades amino acids so you don’t get the health benefits) (9)
- 2. Bioactive peptides (they can be overly processed and create free-radicals that age you and could even be linked to causing cancer) (10)
- 3. Artificial sweeteners (such as Splenda, aspartame, and Stevia) can actually make you feel hungrier and undo the benefits of protein powder.
- 4. Dextrose, maltodextrin, maltose, and sucralose (these are sneaky names for sugar)
Best whey protein for weight loss
You might recognize the first three choices from my first post on the best protein powder for weight loss. My readers asked for more options for whey protein specifically, so I’ve added to my list below!
Best whey protein powder for weight loss
Whey protein is a complete protein source which means it contains all essential amino acids. Leucine is one of these amino acids that helps with muscle recovery.
Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder, 100% Whey Protein Isolate – Serving size 1 scoop = 100 calories, 25g protein, 0g carbs, 0g sugar
Naked Nutrition Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder – Serving size 2 scoops = 120 calories, 25g protein, 3g carbs, 2g sugar
Talk about plusses of choosing a protein powder with fewer ingredients – less processed, less inflammatory. Gums and fillers sometimes make you feel full for longer because they’re hard for your body to digest. (11)
Tera’s Whey Simply Pure Whey Protein, Bourbon Vanilla – Serving size 2 scoops = 110 calories, 21g protein, 4g carbs, 3g sugar
Raw Organic Whey, Cold Processed, Grass-fed, Unflavored – Serving size 5 Tablespoons = 97.5 calories, 21g protein, 2g carbs, 2g sugar
Natural Force Organic Grass-Fed Whey Protein, Unflavored – Serving size 1 scoop (the scoop is big) = 100 calories, 20g protein, 2g carbs, 0g sugar
Natural Force Organic Grass-Fed Whey Protein, Vanilla – Serving size 1 scoop (the scoop is big) = 110 calories, 20g protein, 1g carbs, 1g sugar
Let me know if you try any of these whey protein powders for weight loss and what you think the best whey protein powder for weight loss is!