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Protein shakes mainly contain protein, a bit of fat and carbs. On the other hand, an entire meal would consist of a wide variety of micro and macronutrients that your body needs to survive and grow. Protein shakes should not serve as a replacement for meals.
Why are protein shakes a bad meal replacement?
Protein powders are a supplement and not a meant as a replacement for food simply because they do not contain enough to fuel your body. It is recommended that you follow a balanced diet where most of your calories come from real food. The goal of protein shakes is simply to help you reach your daily protein target.
In addition to protein, your body needs fats and carbohydrates to function properly. Most protein powders also lack the vitamins and minerals needed to maintain most of your bodily functions.
A good example of a healthy meal is a salad and chicken breasts with brown rice and vegetables. The meal would contain anywhere between 350 and 1000 calories, depending on the size. It would have a wide variety of nutrients, including vitamin B, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, niacin and vitamin A. This meal lacks fat, however, which could be included in the salad in the form of olives or other fat-rich foods.
Protein shakes can partially replace a meal
Protein powders can be used as a partial meal replacement when, for example, you have only fat or carbohydrate-rich foods and lack protein. Foods like that can be rice, potatoes, olives, and others, lacking enough protein to fuel your muscle growth. If you find yourself eating such a meal, adding a protein shake to supplement it is a good idea.
Some people are also not fans of eating breakfast. If you are one of them, consider mixing protein powder with fruits or yogurt and making a smoothie to start the day with a kick. Adding a protein shake between meals can decrease your overall appetite and lead to weight loss and increased metabolism.
Is protein powder a good supplement for weight loss?
Protein powder is considered among the best supplements to promote weight loss. It can be used to boost your metabolism, as well as to lower your appetite levels between meals. Moreover, protein shakes promote muscle growth and better recovery, so that you would be able to perform even better on your next cardio workout session.
Are there any side effects of excessive protein intake?
Consuming large doses of protein, regardless of it being from protein shakes or food, might cause diarrhea, constipation, nausea, bloating and cramps. It might also reduce your appetite and make you feel fatigued. It is not recommended to consume more than 30% of your daily calories from protein.
How often can you drink protein shakes?
Most professional athletes and amateur gym goers consume between one and three protein shakes per day, which usually contain between 25-30 grams of protein each. Anything between these numbers is safe and can be used in your day-to-day life, depending on how active you are.
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