Meal replacements shakes vs Protein shakes: how they differ

Meal replacements shakes vs Protein shakes: how they differ

Meal replacement shakes and protein shakes can support your body composition and athletic performance goals, even if there are significant differences in the benefits. While the exact details of a healthy diet vary between products, many share similar attributes, so choosing whether to consume shakes or food isn’t straight forward. Consult a physician before using any supplements, as they may have undesirable side effects.



Meal replacement shakes are intended to be more filling and contain more calories than protein shakes. Although Meal replacement shakes are higher in calories than protein shakes, they are usually lower in calories than real foods, which can help with diet. Whey protein shakes are usually the lowest protein shake with 101 calories per serving, and some can contain 120 calories. The same amount of food contains between 250 and 400 calories.

Protein content

Protein shakes usually provide about 25 g of protein per meal, while the range of protein substitutes varies greatly. Substitutes for general health foods may be less than protein, 10 g per movement, while those intended for muscle building and diet might be 40 g. Proteins provide amino acids that build muscle but can also help with weight loss. A study published in the October 2009 issue of “Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases” explains that a high-protein diet can help you lose more weight and fat than a low-protein diet.


Carbohydrate content

Protein shakes usually have less than 5 carbohydrates, because they are not intended to be a complete diet. Meal replacement shakes usually contain carbohydrates to make the profile of a healthy diet look like real food. Substituting a healthy diet will have dietary fibre, a nutrient that helps digestion and makes you feel full, helping you to burn fewer calories throughout the day.


Fat content

Protein shakes are usually low in fat, with 3 g or less, while the fat content of a Meal replacement shake varies. Substitution for a low-carbohydrate diet is often high in fat and can help with low-carbohydrate diets. High carbohydrate movements are usually low in fat. You may want to replace other omega-3 fatty foods, as a study published in October 2010 suggests that they may help with fat loss and muscle gain.


Vitamins and Minerals

Whey proteins do not usually contain any additional vitamins and minerals other than those provided by a protein source. For example, cheese made of whey protein, a dairy product, provide calcium. Although not all dietary supplements contain vitamins and minerals, many do.


When you’re starting your diet or starting to bulk, it can be difficult to know if Meal replacement shakes are right for you or protein shakes. There are things like nutrient density and vitamins to take into account which can be complicated. If you want to lose weight fast then meal replacement shakes are beneficial, but if you are mainly looking to build muscle, go with protein shakes.