PrintHow Much Protein for Blood Sugar Control?

How often have you heard the key to health is maintaining healthy blood sugar? These days, with processed foods, sugary sodas, and a nation enamored with quick-fix dieting, exposure to simple sugars is running rampant. High blood sugar can have disastrous effects on cell membranes, blood vessel lining, weight management, and even your mood.

With your health in mind, Isagenix is devoted to providing nutritious meals that deliver your body necessary sugars and carbohydrates without driving up your blood sugar. How can we do this? As new research supports, protein may be the answer when it comes to balanced nutrition and balanced blood sugar.

Eating meals with at least 20 grams of whey protein, in fact — comparable to the amount found in IsaLean Shakes and Bars—helps stave-off harmful spikes in blood sugar, a recent study reports.

Incremental blood glucose response after meals containing either glucose alone (control), or glucose plus either 5, 10 or 20 g of protein.

Incremental blood glucose response after meals containing either glucose alone (control), or glucose plus either 5, 10 or 20 g of protein.


You may be familiar with the glycemic index—a measure of the impact that a food has on your blood glucose. Lower glycemic foods have been shown to help weight management and weight loss. This study, published in Nutrition Journal, shows that 20 grams of whey protein decreases the glycemic effect of a carbohydrate drink.

Ten healthy subjects drank either a sugary control beverage or the same beverage with an additional 5, 10 or 20 grams of whey protein. Blood glucose was measured after 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120 minutes.

The researchers reported that “blood glucose concentrations were significantly reduced at 30, 45 and 60 minutes after the 20 gram protein meal when compared to the control.”

Whey protein is rapidly digested, which may help explain why it also combats spikes in blood sugar, they suggested. While any amount of whey protein seemed to favorably influence glycemic response, the researchers found that the 20 gram supplement of whey protein had the greatest ability to maintain stable blood sugar.

Whey’s enhancement of glycemic control may be explained by its ability to slow absorption of sugars or, possibly, the stimulation of insulin by the amino acid leucine. Whey protein is especially high in leucine, an amino acid that is prized for stimulating muscle growth. Insulin is like a key—it opens the door for glucose to enter cells. The authors said that leucine is “insulinogenic.”

Whey’s leucine may stimulate insulin secretion, or perhaps stimulate the production of other hormones involved in blood sugar regulation.

Reference: Petersen BL et al. A whey protein supplement decreases post-prandial glycemia. Nutr J 2009; 8(47): 1-5. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-8-47

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