Bottom Line: Are Protein Shakes Good For Weight Loss
While our experts do believe that protein shakes can help with weight loss, they also agree that it’s always best to rely on whole foods first. After all, protein shakes, despite their filling nature, may actually make you snack more.
“Protein shakes are not food, so they may not give you the satisfaction you would get from eating,” Reisdorf says. “Also, it is easy to add a ton of extra calories via fruit or other additives to a protein shake. That won’t help with weight loss either.”
“Smoothies for weight loss can be challenging, as there are several studies that point to the effect of chewing and satiety,” agrees NutriBullet‘s registered dietitian Sherene Chou. “Meaning, feeling satiated through the act of chewing and eating foods evidence suggesting that chewing may decrease intake and self-reported hunger.”
While most people, Wolbers notes, “are unable to consume all that protein from whole foods,” the high levels of vitamins and minerals contained in whole foods make them a superior choice because losing weight increases your nutrient needs and “protein powders are good , but not great.”
“Overall, I would say that using protein shakes with moderation combined with a healthy diet loaded with fruits and veggies is the best way to lose weight,” Djordjevic says.
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- Protein shakes are good for weight loss because they are satiating and may boost metabolism.
- Replace a meal, like dinner, with a low-calorie, no added sugar protein shake to lose weight.
- It’s best to make your own protein shake with fruits, nut butter, and a sugar-free protein powder.
However, despite their prevalence in almost all supermarkets and health food stores, protein shakes are not a magic wand when it comes to losing weight and being healthy.
Here’s what you need to know about protein shakes for weight loss, and if they’re right for you.
Is Protein Helpful For Dieting
Protein, carbs, and fat are all digested slightly differently. Protein is one of the nutrients that slows down the digestive process. Food stays in the stomach for longer, so your brain thinks youre full and satisfied.2
This slow digestion rate also means that protein doesnt cause significant changes in blood sugar levels like high-carbohydrate foods do.
A low-sugar and low-fat protein shake can also be a great low-calorie snack alternative. It can keep you feeling more satisfied than a high-carb snack, like a handful of pretzels or a cookie. Additionally, theres no evidence of any potential side effects of protein supplements in healthy individuals.4
High-protein food sources can also be more satisfying in terms of volume. They tend to be lower in calories per gram than foods high in fat and carbs, so you can consume larger quantities for fewer calories. This volumetric approach to eating is more satisfying when it feels like your portions arent limited, and this can helps keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Summary: When foods high in protein take a longer time to digest and prevent blood sugar spikes, we feel fuller for longer periods of time and are less likely to overeat.
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The Most Popular Protein Powders Include:
Whey Protein: available as whey concentrate, whey isolate and hydrolysed whey. This form of protein contains all nine essential amino acids.
Casein: This protein is slowly absorbed by the body and contains all nine essential amino acids.
Soy protein: A plant based protein containing all nine essential amino acids.
Hemp Protein: A plant- based protein, high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Rice Protein: A plant- based protein, lower in essential amino acids.
Pea Protein: A plant- based protein containing all nine essential amino acids
Summary: Protein shakes are drinks made from protein powder or another liquid. Theyre convenient for adding protein to your diet when access to food is limited.
Which Is Better For Weight Loss: Whey Concentrate Or Whey Isolate
Both whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate offer many similar benefits. The difference is that whey protein isolate goes through a more rigorous filtering process to make the end product purer.
As a result of the filtering process, whey protein isolate contains a higher percentage of protein . Whey concentrates can be as low as 35% pure protein and contain more carbs, lactose, and fats than isolate powders. Additionally, isolates are often smoother and dont have the gritty aftertaste of concentrates. Whey isolate is clearly the superior choice of the two when it comes to weight loss because it provides more protein.
However, whey concentrates are the cheaper option. If you can afford whey isolate, go for it! But if not, theres no problem adding some high-quality whey concentrate to your diet so that you can still receive the benefits of whey protein powder.
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How Do A Protein Shake Help With Weight Loss
Getting enough proteins can help support a healthy metabolism and reduce your appetite. It can also help you lose body fat without losing muscle. Drinking protein shakes is an easy way to add protein to your diet and help with weight loss.
If youre trying to lose weight, drinking a protein shake before going to bed can help burn calories even as you sleep. When you drink a protein shake, it promotes MPs while pushing your metabolism into over-activity.
Combining a high protein diet with strength training helps build muscle by helping metabolism and energy production. By building muscle, you can keep your metabolism healthy if you are eating less because of a recommended weight loss plan.
Since an extreme calorie restriction can cause muscle loss, protein shakes help maintain a healthy metabolism and lean muscle. It can help you gain the weight back once you go off the restrictive diet.
Protein is one of the important nutrients for fat loss for many reasons. It reduces the hunger hormone ghrelin to curb your appetite. Studies have shown that higher protein consumption can cause less hunger throughout the day.
Protein kills hunger pangs by suppressing the hunger hormone and promoting leptins satiety hormone. If you feel less hungry, you eat less and reduce the chance of weight gain.
Is It Bad To Drink Expired Protein Shake
Even after opening, the products quality will be barely affected. This is provided you kept it away from moisture and sun exposure.
That means the powder may still be safe for consumption past the expiration date. This doesnt apply to a shake youve left out in the sun for a few hours.
Be sure to apply caution, give it the sniff and taste test first. Look for signs of moisture exposure or mold.
Takeaway: expired protein powders might still be safe if they were kept away from heat, moisture, and sunlight.
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First Do Protein Shakes Make You Bulk Up
Some peoplewomen especiallyworry that in consuming protein shakes, they’ll lose weight but increase bulk. But our experts explain that this is far from the case. While Wilcock notes that protein shakes are indeed designed to help muscle growth, you actually need to do three things to really grow bulky muscles: lift heavy weights, get adequate recovery, and consume more protein. Increasing protein intake alonewhether in the form of food or shakeswill not suddenly turn you into Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“In essence, the body is lazy,” says Wilcock. “A protein shake on its own is no different to eating a couple of chicken breasts. It can help with the sufficient nutrition part, but without the stimulus and then the recovery, the body will carry on as normal.”
“Protein just supports the exercise you are doing,” adds Robert S. Herbst, personal trainer, and 19-time World Champion powerlifter. “If you do heavy squats, bench press, and curls and then eat protein, you will put on muscle mass. If you row for half an hour and then have protein, you will be lean and long.” In fact, gaining this sort of lean, long muscle can actually help your weight loss goals over the long term.
And protein shakes can even help counteract the muscle loss that is a natural side effect of a calorie deficit.
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Does Protein Speed Up Your Metabolism
Not in any notable way. Your metabolism is largely determined by your genetics, activity levels, overall quality of the diet, and current body fat levels.
To change your metabolism you need to make pretty drastic changes. Going on a diet is one such thing. It involves reducing your food intake, and meal choices.
Altering your overall diet composition can also help. This is because protein metabolism is not very cost-effective. Your body has to work extra hard to metabolize it .
Fat and carb metabolism, in contrast, is more efficient. This means carb and fat-heavy diets can make your weight loss journey slightly longer.
A protein-heavy diet may make fat loss a tiny bit easier. However, those are major diet changes. Whether or not youre drinking protein shakes is just a tiny piece of the puzzle. Too little to have any impact in isolation.
Takeaway: protein shakes have no notable impact on metabolism.
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Can Protein Shakes Be Used As A Meal Replacement
Protein shakes arent designed to be meal replacements, but if you are looking to swap out your meal for a more convenient shake, youll need to bulk it up with other ingredients rather than just protein powder and water.
You want to make sure that your shake contains other macro and micronutrients such as carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals. Then you can be confident youre consuming something as nourishing as a full meal. Adding a scoop of peanut butter, swapping water for milk, or adding oats and fruit to your shake is a great way to pack nutrients in.
Summary: Protein shakes can be a great component of a meal replacement if you also add a source of carbohydrate and healthy fats.
Protein Shakes Reduce Appetite
While this might be true, this effect is not just limited to shakes as you get similar benefits from eating high-protein foods such as steaks or, better yet, eggs. There is no need to gulp down a shake if you prefer to chow down a steak or eat a nice piece of grilled chicken. That said, protein does suppress appetite and keeps you full longer by stimulating the peptides that reduce the appetite. A high protein diet, in general, is linked with increased satiety and increased sleeping metabolic rateall good things for weight loss.
Bottom Line: While protein shakes can aid weight loss, this effect is not unique to the drink.
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Do They Make You Bloated
Protein shakes in general probably wont make you feel bloated, but it might be a side effect of other ingredients in your shake or your diet.
Many high protein products also contain extra fibre to help you feel full, which can cause gas and bloating, so if this is a concern for you, opt for a protein shake without added fibre.
Since protein does slow the digestive process, your stomach may feel fuller than after a meal of pure carbohydrates. If youre feeling bloated, try keeping your shakes simple and add water instead of milk. If you find bloating with one type of protein try soy or another vegan blend instead.
Reasons Protein Shakes Are Great For Weight Loss
A key ingredient of a healthy diet and lifestyle is protein, and it is, without a doubt, one of the cornerstones of the health and wellness industry. In fact, the sale of protein supplements in the UK has increased by 17.4%, according to The Financial Times. And for good reason. Protein has been scientifically proven to be a key factor in weight loss and getting into shape. Protein shakes are some of the most popular choices among the masses when it comes to losing weight. What is it that makes these protein shakes so beneficial to weight loss? Here are ten reasons why protein shakes are great for shedding those extra pounds.
To help you navigate this article, we’ve included a table of contents linking to each section:
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Dark Chocolate Banana Nut
If you want your weight loss smoothies to taste like dessert, this recipe should be your go-to. Four words that combine to sound like a jam session at Ben & Jerry’s house. The density of the banana will have you convinced you’re drinking a milkshake, while the omega-3s in the walnuts will keep your mind sharp and your belly lean.
- Â½ banana
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- â cup plant-based chocolate protein powder
- Water to blend
NUTRITION: 280 calories / 3 g fat / 31 g carbs / 7 g fiber / 9 g sugar / 31 g protein”
Increased Heart Attack Risk
A recent animal study published in the journal Nature Metabolism showed that high protein diets may directly affect cardiovascular health, potentially increasing the risk of a heart attack.
Researchers evaluated two groups of miceâone fed a high fat, high protein diet , and the other a high fat, low protein diet. It turned out that the mice on the high fat, high protein diet developed significantly worse arterial plaque than the mice on the high fat, low protein diet.
What’s more, the plaque in the rodents’ arteries was of the unstable variety that tends to break apart and increase heart attack risk.
“Our study shows how and why dietary protein leads to the development of unstable plaques,” says Dr. Babak Razani, an associate professor of medicine from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO told Medical News Today. “A couple of scoops of protein powder in a milkshake or a smoothie adds something like 40 grams of proteinâalmost equivalent to the daily recommended intake.”
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When You Drink Protein Shakes Every Day This Is What Happens To Your Body
Protein shakes have never been more popular. As a report in Healthline advises, the most well-known and beloved dietary supplement is used predominantly to add extra protein to your diet in order to help you meet your fitness goals. Protein shakes are easy, affordable, and particularly handy for anybody looking to up their intake on the go.
Protein shakes work mainly to promote muscle gain and to help improve performance during workouts and, afterwards, for recovery. They also prevent muscle loss and could even help with weight loss, particularly around the stomach. But, do we need to be drinking protein shakes every day? And what happens if we do?
Can Protein Shakes Make You Gain Weight
Yes, and that can happen for a couple of reasons:
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Can You Have A Protein Shake Before Bed Only If You Work Out Regularly
No. Anyone can have a protein shake before bed because it has many advantages. Shakes are a convenient option to ensure youre incorporating enough protein into your diet. Everyone needs a certain amount of protein in their body for muscle growth. The pre-sleep protein shake gives you the added advantage of muscle growth during sleep. It also improves sleep and may help in weight loss.
Types Of Proteins In Shakes
While foods such as milk, meat, eggs, legumes, and poultry contain a lot of protein, powders and shakes are a high-quality source of protein. They sell these supplements as liquids, capsules, and powders that you can mix with water or any other liquid to complement your diet.
These drinks can be very handy for people trying to hit their daily protein targets or those that do not have high-quality sources of protein at hand. Some proteins in them include:
- Dairy-based casein protein with all essential amino acids
- Dairy-based whey protein, which is quickly absorbed and has all the essential amino acids
- Plant-based hemp protein a rich source of omega-3 and -5 fats but a low source of essential amino acids such as lysine
- Plant-based pea protein low in non-essential amino acids such as methionine and cystine
- Plant-based rice protein, low in essential amino acids such as lysine
While there are brands that will go for one protein source, some mix the plant-based protein sources with the dairy-based ones to enhance the protein shakes amino acids profile.
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