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On Choosing A Diet Plan: Meal Replacement vs. Protein Shake

Both protein shakes and meal replacements can really support your body composition and reach your athletic performance goals.

In order to start the discussion between the two of the most effective ways of losing weight, defining each term will be helpful. It’s essential that people know what they are all about before engaging themselves with these diet plans.

Protein shakes are milkshake-like beverage that contains protein. This powdered substances are frequently mixed with milk, water, or juice. You have probably heard guys from the gym talking about consuming protein shake after each workout.

Source: Powders for Life

According to online medical journal Web MD, protein shakes use different types of protein in varying amounts. They may include the following:

Whey Protein – It has high levels of all the essential amino acids, and branched-chain amino acids derived from the process of making cheese from milk.

Casein Protein – Popularly known as milk protein and contains glutamine and casomorphin. Soy Protein – It comes from soybeans containing isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen.

Egg-white Protein – This one is a lactose- and diary-free protein.

Rice Protein – It is frequently combined with pea protein powder to acquire superior amino acid profile.

Pea Protein – It’s a hypoallergenic protein with a lighter texture than most other protein powders. Pea protein has an amino acid profile similar to that of soy.

Now, let’s define meal replacement. It ca be a drink, bar, or soup which is intended as a substitute for a solid food meal. Normally, it has controlled quantities of calories and nutrients. Some drinks are in the form of a healthy shake.

The recommended meal substitute should be nutritious, satisfy hunger, and will not sabotage your weight-loss efforts.

Protein shakes are for building muscle mass and improving muscles, while meal replacement keep your calories balanced and decrease caloric intake for weight loss.

These two weight loss diet plans have different purposes and formulations. Now, let’s see what makes the two different from each other.

Protein Content


Protein Shake – A typical protein shake has 25 grams of protein per serving.

Meal Replacement – The protein serving varies widely. However, it is intended to have lower serving of protein. Meal replacement shake has only 10 grams per serving.

Working Out


Protein Shake – You need to consume this before and after hitting your home gym for work out. It is necessary to take it because it helps in muscle repair and body nourishment. Without protein, all the effort of working out will be wasted.

Meal Replacement – More often than not, it does not focus on doing regular exercise but it is still recommended to do so. Your workout sessions will be all about cutting fat and burning unnecessary calories. Meal replacement recommend to skip a meal closest to the time of your exercise and intake a shake instead.

Vitamins and Minerals


Protein Shake – Most of the time, it does not have any additional vitamins and minerals except those provided by the protein source such as calcium from whey protein.

Meal Replacement – A lot of meal replacements have vitamins and minerals like Vitamin D and Folic Acid.

Calorie Intake


Protein Shake – Typically, weight loss shake don’t focus on how many calories one shake will provide. Whey protein is considered as the lowest calorie protein shake, with 101 calories per serving.

Meal Replacement – It focuses on how to keep calories low while hunger is being limited.

Fat Content


Protein Shake – Normally, they are low in fat with just 3 grams or fewer per serving.

Meal Replacement – The fat content here varies. Usually, a meal replacement that is lower in carbohydrates tend to be higher in fat.

Carbohydrate Content


Protein Shake – It has less than 5 grams of carbohydrates because they are not designed to be full meals.

Meal Replacement – It has full carbohydrate content to make it like a real meal. It contain dietary fiber that aids in digestion and help in taking fewer calories the whole day.

It is important that you should consult first an expert or your doctor before jumping out in any diet plan. In this way, you can avoid any unnecessary harm on your body in the future. Stay healthy, fit and fab!

About the blogger:

Candice Larson is fitness enthusiast. She is an avid reader fitness and health, travel, and just anything that is interesting.

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