Protein is a key ingredient in a healthy diet and lifestyle. It is undoubtedly one of the many cornerstones of the health and wellness field.
The truth is that the sale of protein shakes has increased by close to 20%, all which is for a good reason.
It's been proven that protein plays a crucial role in losing weight and getting your body into shape. In fact, protein shakes have become the most popular choice of supplement among people who are looking to drop a few pounds.
Drinking a protein shake instead of taking a full meal will provide enough calories and nutrients to help you achieve your weight loss goals.
However, not all protein shakes are nutritionally equal. Therefore you need to spend more time examining the ingredient labels and nutrition facts before making your choice.
The increased sales of protein shakes have been mainly due to the advantages associated with these meal replacement supplements.
Let’s take a quick look at the advantages.
Advantages of Meal Replacement Protein Shakes
There are several reasons why you will probably skip your regular meal in favor of a protein shake.
Protein shakes are usually portable, convenient, and quick to prepare and low in calories to help with the weight loss process.
Here are some of the advantages.
There have been various research studies carried out that has found that obese individuals who took protein shakes lost more weight over a period compared to those who just cut down on calories.
It is thought that protein shakes provide better weight loss results since protein is believed to be more satiating than fats or carbohydrates.
Protein shakes naturally have an advantage over complete meals when it comes to convenience.
Meal replacement shakes usually are easier to carry, quick to drink and easy to prepare. In most cases, there is no preparation involved.
Since they will provide your body with nutrients and help keep your stomach full, protein shakes are a better option as compared to skipping meals completely.
While protein shakes have lots of positives, such as convenience, easily digestible nutrients and portability, they also have their downsides.
From serious health risks to subpar nutrition, the downsides are many.
Disadvantages of Protein Shakes
Here are some disadvantages of protein shakes.
Meal replacement protein shakes are normally designed to be rich in protein, which means that they often fail to provide sufficient carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.
Even when a commercial protein shake is fortified, it will not offer the same level of nutrition as that of whole foods.
In fact, doctors have proven that whole foods have an added advantage over supplement products, such as meal replacement shakes, because they naturally have antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber and other substances not present in shakes.
Many nutritionists acknowledge that replacing meals with protein shakes could be a good weight loss strategy, but their use can be deemed less viable if they are taken over the long term.
Over time, you are likely to develop nutritional deficiencies if you replace almost all meals with shakes, or you could even regain the weight you had initially lost after you resume your previous eating habits.
A Few Nutrition Facts
A healthy protein shake must have a very small percentage of fat and added sugar, but contain calories that will keep your stomach full for hours. In addition, healthy shakes will have a high fiber and protein content.
The danger with protein shakes is that the low amount of calories they provide could leave you feeling weak and tired which can be dangerous in some leisure and work situations.
The bottom line is that protein is essential for a healthy body to build and repair tissues, and if you are incorporating exercise into your weight loss strategy, then taking additional protein shakes will help your body recover and be stronger, but protein shakes should not be a replacement to healthy and nutritional meals.