Protein vs. Meal Replacement Shakes: Do You Know the Difference?

In the era of great development and innovative research, supplements are a welcome relief for the person needing a bit of dietary help. With the fixation on appearances, fitness, gaining muscle and weight loss, there are two phrases which are used incorrectly many times. This innocent mix up can totally defeat the purpose of a specialized diet and it may cause frustration to the person disciplined enough to undergo a regimen.These two phrases are the Protein Shake vs the Meal Replacement Shake.
Using the product name as a guide, one may begin to realize that they both have a similar function. The differences are really based on the desired outcome of the consumer.
So, lets kick things off by looking at the desired end result of using a protein shake.
To Gain Muscle use a Protein Shake
A protein shake is designed for the person looking to gain more muscle mass rather than weight loss. The phrase “muscle weighs more than fat” may be used a lot, but is not totally accurate. Muscle is denser, it takes up less space, uses more calories and feels heavier; but one pound of muscle weighs the same as one pound of fat.
For example, if the aim is to drop a few clothes sizes, using a protein shake you can weigh the same and lose inches from your waist. On the other hand, if the aim is to move numerically from weighing 165 pounds down to weighing 135 pounds, a protein shake may not be the best choice.
The reason for the difference lies within the mechanism of each supplement and the activity preceding each use. A protein shake is ideally to be used before, during or after a really intense workout. During an intense workout, the muscle fibers experience microtears. These tears create the spaces needed for a protein shake to work and will add more fiber as the muscle heals. When this process is done, more overall muscle mass will be added and that bulking up usually strengthens the targeted areas.
Meal Replacement Shakes and Weight Loss

On the other side of the coin, a meal replacement is designed to replace entire meals. A quick peak at the ingredient list should show the presence of a lot more carbohydrates than found in a protein shake; there are also the presence of: vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, a small amount of sugar and in many cases a hunger blocker. The idea here is to replace entire meals while providing the body with all the essential nutrients to prevent starvation.
Quick side note; starving the body may cause more fat to be sorted when a meal is had instead of converting it to energy. This of course defeats the point of a diet, right?
The specificity of the ingredients is designed to give you not just the right number of calories but also the right types of calories. The hunger blocker is also included to suppress the desire to eat more than is necessary since weight loss is the ultimate destination.
Before you undertake any workout regimen or any hop onto a quick fix diet, please check with a nutritionist to have a meal and supplement plan tailored to your needs and goals. If this is not possible, do some reading to prevent wasted money and months of needless frustration.

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