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I’m not interested in building big muscles, would a protein supplement help me?

Many adults that simple want to improve their health and body shape are unaware of how important getting enough protein is to their results.

Earlier studies have indicated that when females don't get enough protein, they may lose valuable muscle during an attempt at weight loss. Recent studies indicate that the strategic use of a protein supplement to increase protein intake is a safe, effective way to improve some markers of health and body composition. 

One study - a double-blind randomized clinical trial, compared the relative effectiveness of a higher protein and conventional carbohydrate intake during weight loss on body composition and physical function in older women.

Thirty-one overweight women (mean age over 60) were prescribed a reduced calorie diet and macro-nutrient profile of 15%, 65%, 30% energy from protein, carbohydrate, and fat, respectively. One group was assigned to add whey protein shakes or maltodextrin (a carbohydrate) (2 × 25 g/day) supplementation for 6 months.

Body composition (fat and lean body weight) was assessed via DEXA, strength, balance and physical function were also assessed with a battery of performance tests.

The group with extra protein from the supplement lost significantly more subcutaneous (belly) fat mass and actually gained a little muscle over the 6 months. They also performed better in some of the balance and muscle performance tests.

The bottom line...Just a couple of servings of a protein supplement to boost protein intake each day can improves body composition even if you aren’t interested in building big muscles.

The results of this study are supported by others that have showed females using protein supplements to increase protein intake (by 30-50g a day), can improve body composition – particularly a reduction of stomach fat, during exercise training. 

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