Whether you are looking to kick start your current weight loss plan or gain muscle in the gym, protein powders can very helpful. However, if you are diabetic you need to take extra care when choosing a protein powder.
Ensuring that the supplement you choose fits with your current lifestyle and dietary needs is very important. Read on to find out exactly what the best protein powder for diabetics is.
Who Are Protein Powders Designed For?
There are a number of protein powders available, all of which are usually marketed for specific uses.
For example, you can find protein for weight loss, powders for bulking up and gaining muscle and meal replacements. Traditionally though, most people tend to use protein powder as a post workout shake in order to aid their fitness goals.
The Benefits Of Protein Powder
Protein Powder Aids Weight Loss While Preserving Muscle
If you are starting a serious weight loss program, especially if you’re attempting to improve or reverse the effects of type 2 diabetes, following a very low calorie diet (VLCD) is a good plan. Programs such as the blood sugar diet can be a great way to lose weight fast.
One thing to be careful of is that restricting calories to this level can cause your body to break down muscle as you workout while it attempts to hold onto your fat stores. Drinking a protein shake post workout can help preserve muscle and burn more calories.
Protein Powder Controls Hunger
If you are trying your best to complete a weight loss program, constantly feeling hungry can be a huge obstacle. However, research has shown that drinking shakes with 50 grams of whey protein can reduce the hormones which tell the brain you’re hungry for up to four hours. (source)
Protein Powder Can Help You Beat Stress
If you are feeling stressed, run down and even depressed, studies have shown that whey protein can increase serotonin levels in the brain. This could help you to cope with stress more effectively. (source)
Protein May Fight Cancer
Several studies have shown that the use of whey protein could help fight against some common cancers. (source) These include prostate and colon cancer.
Protein Powder and Diabetes
Studies have shown that supplementing with whey protein could enable you to manage your blood sugar better. (source)
Research suggests that using a whey protein shake before meals, even those with high sugar contents, can drastically lower your blood sugar. Therefore, using a protein supplement could be beneficial to those with type 2 diabetes in helping them to manage the disease.
How to Choose the Right Protein Powder
Despite the obvious benefits using a protein supplement can provide, before considering trying a protein powder, it is important for people with diabetes to really evaluate whether it is necessary.
The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine recommends that adult males consume 56 grams of protein per day, while women only need 46 grams daily. (source) This suggests that if your daily protein needs are already being met with dietary protein, supplementation may not be necessary.
According to the American Diabetes Association sufferers of diabetes are at high risk of developing kidney disease. (source) Therefore, if your kidneys are not working to the best of their ability consuming too much protein can be dangerous.
With this in mind it is important to note that although the products I will discuss here are specifically aimed at diabetes patients, it is imperative you consult with your physician before trying anything new.
If you want to increase your dietary protein you can do so without the use of supplementation. If you are recommended to avoid protein powders there are plenty of protein rich foods you can add to your diet. You can also consider using some of these protein rich foods to make your own protein packed shake. Some protein rich foods include:
Nevertheless, if you are confident a protein powder is a good solution for you and want to give protein a try then there are a couple of things to look for.
Ideally, try and find a protein powder which states it is specifically for diabetics. Many supplements which are not intended for diabetics are packed with artificial flavors and can in turn be high in sugar.
I have looked at a number of diabetic protein powders available and have chosen my top three to share with you today. I have listed some pros and cons for each as well as left you with my overall favorite.
And The Best Protein Powder for Diabetics Is…
My favorite has to be the Glucerna Nutrition Shake for a number of reasons. Firstly because this is just for diabetic patients and its use is recommended by doctors. This is what you need when you want to choose a supplement that is going to be safe for you to use.
It has a low dose of protein for people looking to use it for the gym. However for those who don’t really know how much protein they are already getting in their daily diet, a lower dose might be a safer option.
Moreover, being a small, ready made shake is simple and convenient. You can just throw it in your bag and have it whenever. No mess or fuss. So I think overall this brand is the one I would try.