Does Protein Powder Make You Gain Weight?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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Does protein powder make you gain weight? Consuming protein powder will not make you gain weight provided that what you are within maintenance calories for your meals that you are eating daily. The reason why protein powder won’t make you gain weight by itself is because most protein powders per 1 scoop serving is about 120 to 150 calories. So that is not enough calories that will tip you over the scale.

Being able to add protein powder to your meals like breakfast meals like oatmeal or wheat pancakes will make you fuller and help suppress your appetite throughout the day. The protein powders that are of high quality contain the three-branch chain amino acids which are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These are essential and can’t be produced by your body. It is either obtained through food or dietary supplements.

Does protein powder make you gain weight? Photo Credit: iStock-RHJ

BCAA’s whey protein helps to stimulate muscle tissue growth more so than any unique protein powder. The best sources of BCAA’s in food are:

Ground Beef- 3.5 oz- contains 4.5 grams of BCAA’s

Chicken Breast- 3.5 oz- contains 5.5 grams of BCAA’s

Whey Protein Powder- 1 scoop- contains- 5.9 grams of BCAA’s

Pea Protein Powder- 1 scoop- contains- 4.5 grams of BCAA’s

Canned Tuna- 3.5 oz- contains- 4.6 grams of BCAA’s

Salmon-3.5 oz- contains 4 grams of BCAA’s

Ground Turkey-3.5 oz- contains- 3.2 grams of BCAA’s

Eggs- 2 eggs- contains- 2.6 grams of BCAA’s

Parmessan Cheese- 1 oz- 2.2 grams of BCAA’s

Milk- 1%- 8 oz- 1.8 grams of BCAA’s

Greek Yogurt- 1 cup- 4.1 grams of BCAA’s

Most protein rich foods contain high amounts of BCAA’s and if you consume enough protein in your diet then BCAA’s supplements are not necessary. BCAA’s supplements have been proven to build muscle, decrease muscle fatigue and alleviate muscle soreness.

How To Choose A Healthy Protein Powder?

One of the best ways to look at a protein powder is to scan the label and make sure that the calories are low, and the protein is high. If the calories are 150 or less and 20 grams of protein per serving, then that is a good goal to aim for. Because protein powders are a dietary supplement and don’t need FDA approval before hitting the market it is easy for people to create a protein powder with a bunch of fake fillers and minimal protein ingredients.

There are even some supplement companies where their supplement facts label doesn’t match the ingredients in the bottle. That is why third-party independent lab tests are important to check the validity of the ingredients in the bottle.

Why Everybody Needs Protein?

Everybody needs protein as it is an important macronutrient. It helps to build muscle growth, keep your bones strong, repair cells and then serves as a building block to your hormones. Many people turn to protein because it is low in calories and can keep you satisfied and make you feel fuller between meals. Protein powders are low in fat, portable, easy to access and can easily be added to meals as an extra protein boost.

Weight Management

There are some review studies that have shown that higher protein intakes of 25 to 30 grams per meal can improve weight loss and weight management. There was a 14-week study where overweight and obese women were given a high protein and high carb restricted diet. The high protein group lost more body fat than the high carb group.

Some of the most popular protein powders are:

  • Whey protein which contains 9 essential amino acids and is a quickly absorbed protein.
  • Pea Protein, which is a plant, based protein and less allergenic alternative to soy.
  • Soy Protein, which is a plant, based protein and offers all the essential amino acids.
  • Casein protein which is slowly absorbed and offers all the essential amino acids.
  • Hemp protein is plant based and contains all the essential amino acids. It is rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.

“The reason why protein powder won’t make you gain weight by itself is because most protein powders per 1 scoop serving is about 120 to 150 calories. So that is not enough calories that will tip you over the scale.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike

The Bottom Line is protein powder that will not make you gain weight provided that the calories you are consuming through your meals are in the maintenance calorie phase. Protein is essential to building muscle and keeping your bones strong.

If you have any interest in trying any of our Ethical Supplement  products to help you heighten your immune system or assist you with your fitness, weight loss or health goals. You can get a discount below at this link. ?utm_source=blog 


  1. Heather J Leidy, Peter M Clifton, Arne Astrup, Thomas P Wycherley, Margriet S Westerterp-Plantenga, Natalie D Luscombe-Marsh, Stephen C Woods, Richard D Mattes, The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 101, Issue 6, June 2015, Pages 1320S–1329S,
  2. Galbreath M, Campbell B, LaBounty P, Bunn J, Dove J, Harvey T, Hudson G, Gutierrez JL, Levers K, Galvan E, Jagim A, Greenwood L, Cooke MB, Greenwood M, Rasmussen C, Kreider RB. Effects of Adherence to a Higher Protein Diet on Weight Loss, Markers of Health, and Functional Capacity in Older Women Participating in a Resistance-Based Exercise Program. Nutrients. 2018 Aug 11;10(8):1070. doi: 10.3390/nu10081070. PMID: 30103509; PMCID: PMC6115985.
  3. Haghighat N, Ashtary-Larky D, Bagheri R, Mahmoodi M, Rajaei M, Alipour M, Kooti W, Aghamohammdi V, Wong A. The effect of 12 weeks of euenergetic high-protein diet in regulating appetite and body composition of women with normal-weight obesity: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Nutr. 2020 Nov 28;124(10):1044-1051. doi: 10.1017/S0007114520002019. Epub 2020 Jun 9. Erratum in: Br J Nutr. 2021 Sep 28;126(6):959. PMID: 32513334.
  4. Moon J, Koh G. Clinical Evidence and Mechanisms of High-Protein Diet-Induced Weight Loss. J Obes Metab Syndr. 2020 Sep 30;29(3):166-173. doi: 10.7570/jomes20028. PMID: 32699189; PMCID: PMC7539343.

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