Is A Protein Shake A Meal?

If you are focused on getting good nutrition and you want to be an efficient as possible, a lot of people consider using protein shakes as a meal replacement.

This is especially common with people who drink protein shakes regularly as part of their diet or meal plan, and feel that these drinks fill them up enough to substitute a standard meal.

Is A Protein Shake A Meal?

However, for the people who do this regularly, they can start to wonder if this practice is healthy, or whether it may cause any long term issues.

Another common form of confusion is getting protein shakes and meal replacement drinks confused and treating them as interchangeable.

This could not be further from the truth and meal replacement shakes are designed to be actual meal replacements as the name suggests, while as the name of protein shakes suggests, they are just used for increasing protein intake, but could help fill you up too.

Because of the common confusion between these drinks, and the fact that so many people confuse them with each other, as well as treat them like each other, we have put this article together to help you work out if a meal replacement shake, or a protein shake, is the right choice for you, and when they are appropriate.

Meal Replacement Shake Or Protein Shake?

Lots of people who are dieting have a focus on weight loss as an attempt to live healthier, and because of this, they are often looking for methods to make this more efficient and a less tiresome process.

Because of this many people turn to meal replacement shakes, or protein shakes, depending on the diet they are following.

It does not help that these products are often stored next to each other in shops and the packaging can often be very similar. Because of this, people often get them confused and are unsure which suits them best.

A lot of people think that they are similar enough that they will get the same results, but unfortunately for these people, this is not the case.

If you end up drinking meal replacement shakes for the reasons you should drink protein shakes, you will not get the desired results, and the same can be said for drinking protein shakes when you should be drinking a meal replacement shake.

And more importantly, when should you be eating actual meals instead of drink instead.

This article will go through when the best time is to be using either of these options, and when you should be choosing neither.

When Should You Choose A Meal Replacement Shake?

Is A Protein Shake A Meal?

Meal replacement shakes are a more new approach to having a meal, and while they are very popular, and they are very efficient, this does not mean that they are always the most effective.

These shakes can be good as an option occasionally, especially if you are in a rush, but because of all the additives, and unnatural ingredients which are often used in them, they should not be a consistent choice for you to be drinking. 

If you are going to choose to use a meal replacement shake, then make sure they are providing nutritional factors which will aid you in the long run and will cover areas which you may miss with your standard diet.

But, starting to rely on these shakes is not a sustainable approach to weight loss.

When Should You Choose A Protein Shake?

Protein shakes stand out from meal replacement shakes because they are not designed with the purpose of weight loss in mind, and are instead most commonly used to get lean muscle gain.

Protein shakes are most commonly used by gym goers and athletes who need a high protein intake to sustain their diets, and need protein to ensure that they are properly recovering from the training which they are doing.

Your body needs protein to ensure that it is working properly, and if you do not intake enough protein, your body will start to suffer by getting a worse metabolism, and fragile bones.

However, even if you regularly intake protein shakes and they sometimes feel like they fill you up enough to replace a meal, they will not be effective like this and this is not how they are intended to be used.

Protein shakes are instead made to supplement a standard diet instead of replacing any parts of it. They are simply there to ensure that you get enough protein to meet your daily requirements.

This is why they are most commonly drunk right after or right before doing exercise.

If you are looking to progress your lean muscle growth, you should be drinking protein shakes, but not as a replacement for meals as this will just lead to your body suffering from missing other dietary groups in the long run.

While some people do also use protein shakes to aid them in weight loss, this is not what they are designed for and will not work that well to help you with this.


When it comes to choosing whether you want to drink meal replacement shakes or protein shakes, the main consideration you should be making is what your goals are.

These drinks are relatively true to how they are advertised in what they are providing your body.

If you are looking for a drink which will give you the energy and nutrition you will get from a standard meal, make sure to find a meal replacement shake which will do this.

But, if you need to boost your daily protein intake to help with training, then of course protein shakes are the way to go.

But, what should be kept in mind is making sure that you are never relying on either of these options too consistently as the effects will start to show, especially for meal replacement shakes.

While protein shakes are relatively harmless when used as intended, do not try to treat them like a balanced meal.

Jenna Priestly
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