A low-carb protein powder is a dietary supplement that contains a high amount of protein and a low amount of carbohydrates per serving. The exact definition of what is considered "low carb" can vary, but generally, products that contain less than 4-5 grams of carbs per serving are considered low carb.
Low-carb protein powders typically use protein sources such as whey, casein, soy, egg, or pea protein, and may also include additional ingredients such as fiber, healthy fats, and natural sweeteners to enhance the nutritional value and flavor.
Low-carb protein powders can be beneficial for individuals who are following a low-carbohydrate diet, such as the ketogenic diet, or those who are trying to manage blood sugar levels. Protein is important for maintaining and building muscle mass, and can also help to promote feelings of fullness and satiety, which can be beneficial for weight management.
Studies have shown that high-protein diets can be effective for weight loss and improving body composition, particularly when combined with regular exercise (1,2). Additionally, a review of research found that low-carb diets can lead to greater weight loss and improvements in blood sugar control compared to higher-carb diets (3).
- Pasiakos SM, et al. Effects of high-protein diets on fat-free mass and muscle protein synthesis following weight loss: a randomized controlled trial. FASEB J. 2013 Jun;27(6):S49-50.
- Helms ER, et al. Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2014 May 12;11:20.
- Bueno NB, et al. Very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet v. low-fat diet for long-term weight loss: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Br J Nutr. 2013 Oct;110(7):1178-87.