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Do Protein Shakes and Meal Replacements Really Work?


Jul 20, 2018

Millions of Americans are more concerned about their health and weight than ever before. To stay in tip-top shape, it's crucial that you get the right amount of protein through solid food.

However, continually prepping healthy meals every day can be stressful, especially for those who lead busy lifestyles. This is where protein shakes come into play. As long as you have a quality whey protein and water or low-fat milk, you should always be able to reach your protein macros.

Meal replacements when consumed with healthy foods, can help you lose weight quickly. They are a nutritionally balanced meal substitute that is calorie-controlled. Similar to a protein shake, meal replacements are convenient and include enough nutrients to keep you feeling full throughout the day. They are defined as any modified food that promotes optimal health and its benefits in improving quality of life. Meal replacements can come in the form of shakes, protein bars or energy bars. If you're following a low-calorie diet, meal replacements make it easy to track your daily caloric intake.

1. Are Protein Shakes And Meal Replacement Shakes The Same?

A: Protein shakes, and meal replacements can both support athletic performance and body composition. However, they do differ from one another when it comes to their nutritional benefits. Meal replacements contain more calories than protein shakes because they are intended to act as a "meal" and be more filling. Meal replacements generally contain added minerals and vitamins whereas protein shakes focus on calcium and protein.

2. What Does A Meal Replacement Do?

A: Meal replacements are calorie-controlled meals that are designed for rapid weight loss while preserving lean muscle mass. Their job is to provide you with the proper amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates in as little calories as possible. When your calories are restricted, glycogen runs low and your body begins to pull your fat stores for energy. Meal replacements are ideal for those who are obese or need to lose a significant amount of weight.

3. Will I Gain Weight Using Meal Replacements?

A: While meal replacements are incredibly effective at losing weight, if not taken correctly, you can gain weight. A mistake that a lot of people make is they consume a meal replacement while eating a regular meal. This is counter-effective as you aren't limiting your caloric-intake you're eating excessive calories which will cause weight gain. Choose a meal replacement that contains the right amount of fiber to help you stay full. Replace breakfast or lunch or both with a meal replacement and eat a well-balanced dinner for optimal weight loss.

4. Can Protein Shakes Help Me Build Muscle Faster?

A: Protein shakes are packed with everything you need to build muscle mass including carbs, protein, vitamins, minerals and fats. They are easily absorbed into your body with no wait time. Protein is essential for repairing the microdamage done to your muscle fibers after an intense workout. The amino acids that can be found in protein shakes will expand those fibers and repair your muscles boosting endurance, stamina, and strength.

5. How Many Protein Shakes Should I Drink Per Day?

A: It's vital that you try to meet your daily protein requirement through solid food. Protein shakes should be used to help you reach that requirement if you either are not hungry or are too busy to cook. The number of shakes that you will need to drink depends on where you are at with your protein macros.

Choosing either a meal replacement or a protein shake will depend on your diet and weight loss goals. Protein shakes and meal replacements can be found at any grocery or health food store. Consult a doctor before using any supplements, as they may have unwanted side effects.

The information contained in this article should not be used to replace the advice, care, diagnosis or treatment from a medical doctor, certified personal trainer, therapist, dietitian, or nutritionist.


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