It's something I've talked about before but I'm very passionate about it.
Too often people are scammed into buying products with BooTea or Skinny Coffee getting a lot of stick (and rightfully so).
But for me, Diet Protein is up there with the very worst.
Long-story short, it doesn't work. It's a scam. DON'T BUY IT!
If you'd prefer to listen to 3 experts talk it through in detail (with some humour thrown in), then check click the image below. It also covers Women's Protein powder which is just as worse as Diet Protein!
An important point to note
In my experience, people chose a Diet Protein because they are looking to lose fat but also keep their protein intake high to maintain muscle mass.
So they think that Diet Protein magically helps strip fat while maintaining muscle mass. BUT THAT'S NOT THE CASE!
So the question as to whether it works should be: does it help me lose fat more so that other protein powders?
What's in Diet Protein to make it "diet"?
No 2 Diet Protein formulations are the same but there 3 main ingredients in most of them - CLA, L-Carnitine & Green Tea Extract.
Below I tell you what they are and what the science is saying (we used Examine.com to help review research papers).
Abbreviated from Conjugated Linoleic Acid (does that help?)
What is it? A mixture of fatty acids made predominately from vegetable oils.
What's it supposed to do? Help burn fat by apparently converting food into energy more efficiently.
Is it proven to help fat loss? NO.
After reviewing 167 scientific articles, Examine conclude that it's considered ineffective for weight loss & fat mass to the high degree of unreliability in the results, with most evidence suggesting no effects.
The nail in the coffin for me is that The EFSA (European Food Safety Authority), rejected a health claim that CLA leads to body fat mass reduction.
What is it? L-Carnitine is a compound produced by the body from amino acids lysine and methionine that is found in food (mostly beef)
What's it supposed to do? Helps fat loss by giving a marginal increase in energy to allow you to exercise more...
Read that again.
So it only helps give you a little bit more energy (with research showing that's mainly only when you're deficient) so you can exercise more.
That's not we signed up for!
Is it proven to help fat loss? NO.
After reviewing 272 scientific articles, Examine conclude that limited studies in otherwise healthy youth and adults fail to note an effect on fat loss or oxidation.
Again the only research to show a benefit includes a daily 200mg serving helped to reduce fatigue only in elderly people because it leads to an increase in physical activity.
1 serving of Diet Protein tends to have 125mg.
So maybe give you Nan a few servings a day so she can hit the Air Assault bike for 20 hard minutes.
3. Green Tea Extract
What is it? Green tea is a plant frequently steeped in hot water and drunk as tea. It exerts most of its benefits through water-soluble polyphenols (frequently referred to as catechins) extracted from the leaves, into water, which is then consumed.
Green Tea Extract has around 40-50% of catechins.
What's it supposed to do? Helps by assisting with lipid oxidation (breaking down of fats)
Is it proven to help fat loss? Yes. Kind of.
After reviewing 260 scientific articles, Examine conclude there appears to be a fat reducing effect associated with green tea, but it is minor and unreliable & only at high doses of 800-1000mg of green tea extract.
1 serving of Diet Protein typically has 100mg.
So it works but you'll need to consume 8-10 Diet Protein shakes per day. Just when we thought these shakes might help us lose weight while we binge on Netflix...so close!
So let's summarise
- Does 100mg of green tea extract help me lose fat? – NO
- Does 250mg CLA help me lose fat?? NO
- Does 125mg L-Carnitine help me lose fat??? NO
In a world where we're all conscious about "fake news" I'm surprised these brands pushing Diet Protein for 20% more than their other products are getting away with it.
For me to KNOW that it works, if the big corporate brands making millions from selling this product to customers could send me consistent research that shows diet protein vs "normal" protein (say a whey protein isolate) is better then I'll eat my hat, flip flops and attempt to consume one of your shakes... if it doesn't make me sick first ;-)
Advice from the experts
A high protein diet helps you lose weight. There are countless research papers to prove this.
So yes a protein shake as a meal replacement can work wonders but my point here is Diet Protein is no better than any other protein source for doing this.
Pick a shake you enjoy that has lower calories.
Isolate is best.
WHEYD is better :-)