Whey Protein and Weight Loss

A while back I found a study regarding the possible benefit of whey protein supplementation for weight loss:

Ninety overweight or obese subjects were divided into three groups.  Subjects were given either whey protein, soy protein or a carbohydrate drink to consume twice a day (this was a double-blind study, meaning neither the subjects nor the ones measuring the results knew who was receiving what kind of supplement).  Subjects were not given any instruction on changing their diets other than to drink the supplement 2x a day.

Measurements were taken every 10 days, with the final measurement being taken after 23 weeks.  Those taking whey ended up with 1.8 kg lower body weight and 2.3 kg lower fat mass than the group who took the carbohydrate drink.  Waist circumference was also smaller in the group who drank whey.

The study also found those who drank whey had lower levels of fasting ghrelin (a hormone associated with creating hunger).1

My Thoughts:

We shouldn’t read too much into one study, and we shouldn’t see whey protein as some kind of “magic bullet” for weight loss.  Losing fat, after all, ultimately comes down to a negative calorie balance.

Having said this, it seems there may be an advantage to using whey supplements if weight loss is your goal.  You’d need incorporate it into a good diet and exercise program. 



1. Journal of Nutrition: Whey Protein but Not Soy Protein Supplementation Alters Body Weight and Composition in Free-Living Overweight and Obese Adults

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