Meal Replacement Shakes Vs Protein Shakes – What’s the Difference?

Meal replacement shakes

If you are unsure what the difference between a meal replacement shake and a protein shake are, you are not alone. These two are easily confused, but the easiest way to remember the primary difference between the two is by the name. If you want to replace a meal, then you are looking at a meal replacement shake, and if you need to pack in some protein, then a protein shake is the one you want. Now you are probably wondering how they are different and which one you should choose. Here are some tips on the differences.


Meal Replacement Shakes

  • Meal replacement shakes were developed to help you lose weight by replacing a meal and creating a calorie deficit because you didn’t eat a meal. They work to reduce the number of calories you consume while replacing necessary vitamins, minerals, and some calories your body needs to run.
  • Meal replacement shakes are typically between 250 to 400 calories a serving and average about 10 grams of protein per serving. The shakes are also a good source of fiber to keep your digestive system running as it should.
  • They do have some protein to help decrease muscle loss if you are not working out while you are using the meal replacement shakes. Meal replacement shakes are designed to help you lose weight, and you will whether you work out or not. If you are losing weight and not working out, you can experience muscle loss. The meal replacements have enough protein to help your body keep from breaking down muscles for essential protein.
  • Many replacement shakes contain a hunger blocker to help curb your appetite and improve your weight-loss results.
  • Meal replacement shakes are not designed to replace all meals. The recommendation is to replace one meal, and no more than two meals a day. You still need a healthy diet along with the shakes to make sure you are taking the necessary nutrients your body needs.


Protein Shakes

  • Protein shakes help to build and tone muscle fibers by giving you the protein you need to build them up after workouts. Protein shakes are a good way to deliver protein to your body quickly.
  • Protein shakes average about 25 grams of protein per serving and anywhere from 101 to 120 calories a serving.
  • They can help improve protein intake if you eat a vegan or vegetarian diet. They are also good for women because they have a tendency not to get enough protein in their diet. Good protein shakes are high in protein but low in the things you don’t need, such as carbohydrates, fats, and sugars.
  • Protein shakes also contain performance-boosting vitamins to help round out your workout and improve your overall energy, endurance, and recovery time.
  • Protein shakes are designed as supplements to deliver protein and are not intended to replace meals. They will not have enough vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients you need throughout the day. You still need to eat a healthy diet.


The Verdict

As you can see, meal replacement shakes and protein shakes are designed differently to accomplish different goals. If your goal is to lose weight, then the meal replacement shakes may be what you are looking for to decrease your calorie intake and curb your appetite.  If you’re working out and looking to build muscle and increase your body’s recovery abilities, or if you need to increase your protein intake, then you will want to use a protein shake.  Used correctly, either type of shake can help you achieve your fitness goals.

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