Can Whey Protein Make You Fat?

January 27th, 2015
can whey protein make you fat

When it comes to powdered supplements, one of the biggest concerns (especially for women) is the issue of fat.  With the promise of gained muscle mass comes the worry that not only the scale will betray you but so will your waistline.  Most supplements will add a bit of weight gain but there is a difference between fat and weight gain.


Weight gain vs. Fat

When it comes to weight gain and weight lifting, most men are very pleased to see the digits on the scale steadily increase.  Women, on the other hand, tend to look at it as a real problem.  Whatever your view on weight gain during training might be, not to worry.  The weight you see is muscle and not increased fat storage.  Muscle is a lot more dense than fat.  As your muscle amount builds, your weight increases and fat decreases.

The same holds true if you weren’t taking protein – except your muscle gain would be less. According to Body Ripped Magazine, “The ONLY situation in which protein will make one “GAIN WEIGHT” is when it is included in a WHOLE nutrition program designed for muscle gains paired with a heavy-duty strength training program.”


The benefits

The benefits of taking a whey protein supplement far exceed the possible weight gain.  Amino acids are the body’s building block and so incredibly important.  Whey protein packs a powerful punch containing 9 amino acids.  It is a complete protein with maximum amino acids which helps to increase metabolism which in turn burns fat.

These particular amino acids cannot be produced by the body and have to be ingested.  Sure, you can eat a ton of eggs, but you will be causing more harm by increasing your fat intake and cholesterol.  Whey protein is second in protein amount to eggs but is much lower in fat.  Because it is a powder, it gets dispersed into your body’s system quicker.


Whey proteins added advantages

Whey contains cholecystokinin.  According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, cholecystokinin is a hormone secreted by the duodenal mucosa.  This hormone helps to reduce appetite.

Further, whey protein contains high levels of tryptophan.  Serotonin comes from tryptophan.  Consuming whey protein increases your tryptophan levels which in turn increases your serotonin levels.  This serotonin, causes that “feel good” sensation and causes better appetite control.  Whey protein also increases insulin sensitivity.

According to, “Insulin is responsible for fat storage.  With a higher level of insulin sensitivity, your body has better control over fat storage.”  When you combine the whey protein with a high protein diet, it will reduce weight gain from fat.


Go for Pure

Although it has been established that whey protein will not make you gain weight, there is another issue at hand that should be addressed.  If you are like most people who weight train and body build, the saying “my body is a temple” is no joke.  You carefully consider what you put into your body and are constantly looking for ways to improve it.  Whey protein powder helps with both areas.

First, and foremost, as with everything else you put into your body, you want the purest.  Whey protein powder is all natural and pure – well, that depends, in part, by the company producing it.  Pure whey protein powder has no fillers or additives.  Check the label and make sure that the ingredients do not list fillers and additives.

So, in keeping with the goal of putting only the best substances in your body, whey protein is the best powdered protein.  The improvements to your “temple” are enhanced with whey protein.  Whey has been proven to aid with allergies, diabetes, recovery of lost muscle strength and as a nutritional supplement (added to baby formula and nutritional drinks aimed at the elderly who suffer lost muscle strength and agility).

Too much gain?

For those taking whey protein, most likely you will see a few pounds increase.  We have established that this is muscle gain.  But what if you are taking whey protein and gaining a lot of weight?  According to the UCLA medical center, “If you are not working out hard enough or frequently enough, a high-protein diet may lead to unwanted weight gain. If you notice an increase in body fat, try increasing your workout intensity or frequency.”

So, if your weight gain is more than a few pounds, you aren’t working out hard enough or you’re consuming too many calories from your diet.  If you feel you are at your maximum capacity load and cannot increase weight or length of time spent working out, you might want to adjust your total daily calorie intake.  Decrease the amount of carbohydrates or fats and see if there is a difference.

Don’t be confused, if you sit around and do nothing all day and consume whey protein powder, you will gain weight.  Whey protein is to be used in conjunction with a routine exercise plan.  If you are considering whey protein powder, you are probably already in a good routine.


Know your body

As you continue to work out, watch the quality of food intake (eat clean) and are consistent with your whey protein powder, keep this in mind.  You are doing the absolute best for your body and your body is like no one else’s.  You need to watch how your body reacts to different exercises – which are really increasing muscle tone and strength.  You need to watch what you eat – is it full of fillers, sugar and bad carbs or is it natural and filling? You need to watch what whey protein does for you – improved skin, hair and muscle quality.  You should see some incredibly positive changes in your body from before you began your healthy life of exercise.

You should be proud and never compare your body to another’s.  You are unique – your overall health and wellbeing is what is important.  It takes dedication and hard work to get your body in the shape you desire.  You are making healthy choices and making your body the best it can be.  Put your mind at ease, whey protein powder will only help you achieve the goals you have set for yourself.