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A lot of people ask me if protein shakes are good for weight loss. My answer is always the same: it depends.
Protein shakes can be a helpful weight-loss tool when used correctly. But, like all things related to weight loss, they’re not magic. If you’re not careful, you can easily consume more calories than you burn, which can lead to weight gain, not weight loss.
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Protein shakes are often associated with bodybuilders and athletes, but they can also be helpful for people who are trying to lose weight. While protein shakes alone won’t lead to significant weight loss, they can be a helpful part of a calorie-reduced diet.
Protein is an important nutrient for weight loss. It can help you feel fuller longer and preserve muscle mass as you lose fat. including protein-rich foods in your diet can boost metabolism and reduce hunger (1, 2).
However, shakes aren’t necessary to get these benefits — you can get them from whole foods, such as chicken, fish, legumes, and eggs. protein shakes can be a convenient way to increase your protein intake or enhance your weight loss efforts.
This article reviews whether protein shakes are effective for weight loss.
What is protein shake?
A protein shake is a dietary supplement typically made from soy, whey, casein, or eggs. They are usually sold in powder form and mixed with water, milk, or juice to make a drink. Protein shakes are often taken by athletes or bodybuilders as a way to help rebuild muscle after exercise. Some people also use them as part of a weight loss plan.
The benefits of protein shake
Protein shakes can be a great way to help you lose weight. They can help you feel full and satisfied after a meal, and they can help you reach your goals. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind when you’re using protein shakes for weight loss.
Helps to lose weight
When it comes to weight loss, protein shakes have been shown to be effective in helping people lose weight and keep it off. One study showed that those who drank one protein shake per day lost more weight and fat mass than those who didn’t drink protein shakes.
Protein shakes can also help you lose weight by preserving muscle mass as you lose fat. Studies have shown that people who consume more protein tend to have less body fat and more muscle mass. This is because protein helps to build muscle, and muscle burns more calories than fat.
If you’re looking to lose weight, Protein shakes can be a helpful addition to your diet. However, it’s important to remember that they are not a miracle solution, and they should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise program.
Improves muscle mass
Protein is the building block of muscle, so it’s no surprise that protein shakes are often associated with gains in lean muscle mass. One study in older adults showed that consuming a supplement containing both protein and carbohydrates after resistance exercise increased muscle mass and strength ( 34 ).
Another study in young men observed that those who consumed a whey protein supplement immediately after working out increased their muscle mass and strength more than those who didn’t take a supplement ( 35 ).
Additionally, a third study in women showed that consuming a protein shake along with exercising helped preserve muscle mass during weight loss, compared to not taking a shake or only exercising ( 36 ).
Thus, if you’re looking to improve your muscle mass or strength, protein shakes may help.
Protein shakes can help you lose weight by reducing your hunger and cravings. A high protein diet has been shown to boost metabolism and reduce appetite, helping you lose weight. Protein shakes are a convenient way to increase your protein intake, and they can be used as a meal replacement or a snack between meals.
The side effects of protein shake
May cause weight gain
While protein shakes are beneficial for weight loss, they may cause weight gain if you consume too many calories while drinking them. Each shake typically contains between 200 and 400 calories, which can add up quickly if you’re not careful. If you drink two shakes per day and don’t cut any other calories from your diet, you’ll likely gain weight.
May cause digestive issues
Although protein shakes can be beneficial, they may cause some side effects, such as bloating, gas, cramps or diarrhea. This is often due to lactose intolerance, as whey protein comes from milk. If you are lactose intolerant and consume whey protein, you may experience some uncomfortable side effects. To avoid these side effects, choose a whey protein that is lactose-free or isolate-based.
Protein shakes can help you lose weight if they’re used as part of a calorie-controlled diet and exercise plan. However, there’s no guarantee that protein shakes alone will help you reach your weight loss goals.