Summer is nearly upon us. And, as it draws closer, the pressure to be “beach ready” is steadily increasing.
People use all sorts of tactics to get their summer body, including a host of supplements, intense workouts, and dietary adjustments. But, what about vanilla whey protein powder?
Although most people tend to think of whey as a means of “bulking,” it can also be a powerful tool toward toning up for the summer. And vanilla whey is just delicious.
But, how can whey help you slim down for the beach? Is there anything special you should keep in mind regarding vanilla whey protein powder, specifically?
Increased Muscle Mass
As mentioned, whey is pretty directly linked with gaining muscle for most people. Which makes sense. Since it is a complete protein, whey contains all of the amino acids that your body needs to perform at its best and build any type of tissue it might need – including muscle.
Unfortunately, many individuals have a misconception that if they gain muscle they're going to get big and bulky rather than lean.
That's just not how this works. Bulk, like that seen on bodybuilders, takes years to cultivate. It doesn't happen overnight.
In order to achieve those effects, those athletes need to follow a course of high-calorie dieting and specifically-designed workouts. The protein in whey alone isn't enough to do that.
It will, however, provide your body with what it needs to rebuild your muscle fibers after your workouts so that they are stronger, more efficient and more visible.
Reduced Caloric Intake
High protein intake, though, can help your weight loss efforts in a pretty interesting way: by suppressing your appetite.
This was vividly demonstrated by a 2004 study that allowed subjects on a high-protein diet to eat as much as they wanted. Their caloric intake and weight was compared to subjects who were asked to follow various other diet protocols, including some that controlled caloric intake.
By the end of the study, the high-protein group lost more weight and routinely ate fewer calories, even though they felt full.
More so than carbohydrates and fat, protein has a powerful impact on the hormones that control your appetite. Through this mechanism, whey protein will allow you to fell fuller for longer, even when you aren't eating as much.
At the same time, protein is structurally very complex – meaning that your body has to work that much harder to break it apart. Simply by increasing your protein intake, you can make your body burn as much as 100 extra calories each day.
One study, that used an overall high-calorie diet, even observed this effect adding 260 calories to a subject's daily energy expenditure.
Picking Your Protein
But, at the outset, we specifically mentioned the merits of vanilla whey protein powder.
While vanilla protein is delicious and can easily be combined with other flavors to increase your protein intake, there are a few things you should be on the lookout for.
Very often, protein powders claiming to be “vanilla flavored” achieve this effect through the use of a variety of artificial flavorings. Occasionally, this is done through technically natural compounds – but it's still not real vanilla.
Look for a product that uses only natural vanilla flavors.
Similarly, vanilla flavored protein powders are generally stuffed with artificial sweeteners to heighten the taste. You'll want to avoid that as well.
Seek out protein powders that use the minimum amount possible of natural, organic sweeteners.