Amino Acids are the Whey Forward for Weight Loss

According to new research, adding essential amino acids and whey protein to your diet can increase your fat loss, as well as boosting your wellness.


The study was led by Robert Coker, PhD, an associate professor of geriatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Coker compared 2 kinds of meal replacements – a protein replacement without essential amino acids and one with whey protein and essential amino acids. He says that whey was the winner as ‘Essential amino acids, included as part of a meal replacement, along with whey protein, improved the synthesis of muscle and led to a greater loss of fat’.


Coker studied 12 obese men and women, all 65 to 80 years old, who were all allotted 1200 daily calories regardless of which group they were in. 11 people completed the 8-week programme, and although the meal replacement with whey and amino acids did not preserve lean muscle tissue much better than the other meal replacement, it did boost fat loss. The group without amino acids and whey lost an average of 2.5% fat, whereas the group with amino acids and whey had 41.8% body fat at the start but 36.3% at the end, though both groups lost roughly 7% of their total body weight.


According to leading experts, increasing fat loss during a weight loss programme improves your wellbeing, as it means you’ll have a better and healthier body composition, and it promotes inflammation and insulin resistance. Coker says that the greater reduction in body fat may have been triggered because the whey and amino acid supplement ‘increased muscle metabolism’.


Coker argues that although the study was done in older, obese adults, the strategy could also work for younger adults. ‘I think the answer potentially is yes’ Coker says. Though his study looked only at obese 65-plus individuals, other research has indicated the approach could help younger people.


Coker’s study was partially funded by HealthSpan, which is a company that makes a whey protein product. Though the product studied by Coker is not available to the public, many whey protein supplements are sold over the counter.

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