Protein shakes are made by mixing a protein powder in water or another liquid.
Protein powders are made from various sources. The most common types are:
- casein protein
- hemp protein
- pea protein
- rice protein
- soy protein
- whey protein
Protein shakes are popular among athletes and bodybuilders to help them get more protein and gain muscle mass.
More recently, they are becoming popular for their potential weight loss benefits.
How Protein Shakes Might Help You Lose Weight
Protein-rich foods have been shown to decrease appetite and promote better eating habits. This is likely due to the fact that protein takes longer to digest than carbs or fat, so you feel fuller for longer and therefore tend to eat less.
Protein shakes provide an easy and effective way to increase your protein intake, which may help you lose weight by reducing your hunger for high-calorie foods.
In addition, drinking protein shakes may encourage you to exercise more and be more active, which will lead to burning more calories and helping you lose weight.
Why You Might Not Lose Weight With Protein Shakes
There is a potential downside to drinking protein shakes and exercising more if you are trying to lose weight.
Exercise and muscle gain are growth processes, not weight loss.
So while you may be burning more calories and losing some fat, you may also be gaining muscle mass. And since muscle is denser than fat, you may not see a noticeable change on the scale.
Ultimately, this is likely beneficial. Although your body weight might not change as much as you want it to, you will probably be healthier with less fat and more muscle.
Other Ways to Increase Your Protein Intake
If you’re trying to lose weight, protein shakes might help, but you probably don’t need them.
A healthy and varied diet that includes protein-rich foods will likely provide all the nutrients you need. Foods such as:
Many delicious recipes incorporate these foods into meals and snacks.
Protein shakes may be a better option than other drinks, such as sugary sodas or fruit juices, but supplements are rarely a good substitute for a healthy diet.
If you are trying to lose weight, consult with your doctor or a dietitian to create a personalized plan that is nutritious and right for you.