Calorie Bargain or Calorie Rip-Off: Are the Claims Really True?
Pages in this Story:
- Hershey's Reserve: Is It Better Than Regular Chocolate?
- "Don't Go Hungry" Campaign by Post Cereal: Will It Fend Off Hunger?
- Special K Protein Water: Does It Really Cut Down on Hunger?
- Diet Coke Plus: Are These Vitamins and Minerals We Need? Is It Worth Drinking?
Special K Protein Water: Does It Really Cut Down on Hunger?
A colleague of mine started buying this by the case at Costco (a "superstore") because he was convinced it was helping him shed pounds. I didn't want to burst his bubble, because sometimes a placebo effect can work. However, I wondered if the claim was accurate. We know that naturally occurring protein (including whey protein from milk) can reduce hunger. "There's been a lot of promising research on the weight-management benefits of incorporating whey protein into your diet when you're also exercising," says Zied.
But what about this drink, which has 50 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein per serving? According to Lona Sandon, MEd, RD, a professor of nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, "There is currently no evidence to suggest that drinking protein- and fiber-enhanced water will curb your appetite." And Zied adds, "The added sugar -- 6 grams here -- which provides half the calories, makes this essentially sugar water. And while it has a few vitamins and minerals, which probably can't hurt, in general, I'm not sure this protein water is going to reduce hunger or fill you up too much unless it's paired with real food and more calories. Also, the drink contains phosphoric acid, which in excess can deplete bones of calcium and promote fractures and bone loss if you fill up on too many of these and don't get ample daily calcium from dairy sources such as milk."
Bottom line: It shouldn't be a water replacement, but if you're going to have a snack -- yes, a snack -- this could be an okay choice because of the 5 grams of whey protein and the 5 grams of fiber.
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