Meal Replacement Shakes vs Protein Shake

Today let’s talk about meal replacement shakes vs protein shake. What are the differences between them? Why we should understanding it? It’s because understanding the very use and kinds of them is crucial especially during diet program.

Both, meal replacement shakes and protein shake can support athletic performance and body composition goals. Though they are significantly different in terms of nutritional benefits. While the precise nutritional contents are different between brands, a lot of products share the similar overall characteristic.

That’s why deciding whether to choose meal replacement or protein shake should be quite simple depending on your goals. Since these products might obtain undesirable effects, it’s best to consult to a doctor before taking them.

Meal Replacement Shakes vs Protein Shakes

Meal Replacement Shakes vs Protein Shake: The Main Difference

The primary difference between meal replacement and protein powder are basically the ingredients. Normally, a protein powder mainly consists of whey protein.

Protein powders tend to not include various minerals and vitamins which are usually advisable for a balanced meal. This is because they are designed to be taken as an addition of a balanced meal, instead as replacement.

Protein powders alone don’t include sufficient amount of carbohydrates, fiber or vitamins to maintain energy in the body the way that balanced meal can.

Protein Content

Protein shakes normally provide approximately 25 g of protein for each serving, which quite different with the protein’s range of meal replacement powder.

Meal replacements meant for overall health could has lesser protein content, in about 10 g per serving, while those meant for dieting and muscle building might contain as high as 40 g.

Protein usually contain amino acids for muscle building, yet may also support in weight reduction. A study shows that high protein diets could help you lose more fat and weight as compare to low protein diet plans.


Meal replacements are meant to be more filling since they consist of more calories as oppose to protein shake. Though the calories in meal replacements are higher than protein powder, they still have lower calories than whole foods, which can support weight loss.

Protein shakes containing whey protein isolates usually has the lowest calorie, which is about 100 calories for each serving, as other might contain about 120 calories. Meal replacement shakes normally contain approximately 250 to 400 calories.

Fat Content

Protein shakes are commonly low fat, with about 3 g or less fat, while the fat in meal replacements are varies. Meal replacements that are low carb usually have higher fat content, which still be useful if you’re in a low carb diet.

Higher carbohydrate shakes usually contain lower fat. You might need to get a meal replacement that contains omega 3 fats; since research suggest that omega 3 fats can help muscle gain and fat loss.

Carbohydrate Content

Normally, protein shakes contain carbohydrates less than 5 g, since they aren’t meant to be full meals. To make its nutritional profile similar to a real meal, meal replacement shakes usually contain some carbs.

Meal replacements that are advantageous for dieting would include dietary fiber, which is nutrient that is good for your digestion track and help keep you full for several hour and consume less calories.

Vitamins and Minerals

Protein shakes mostly doesn’t contain any additional minerals and vitamins beside those obtained from the protein source. For instance, shakes made of whey protein, which is a dairy product, contain certain amount of calcium.

Though not all meal replacement shakes include added minerals and vitamins, many actually do.

How to Choose

Protein powders are advisable to be consumed after workout routine or before going to bed. Eating is advisable within 30 to 45 minutes after exercise, yet you don’t always have the time to get home and prepare healthy meals in that timeframe.

Having protein powder enables you body to take amino acids which may start muscle repairing your worked muscles after exercising. In the other hand, meal replacement powders usually have a higher fiber due to its added minerals and vitamins to fit the standard as a balanced meal.

Though it is not advisable to replace all of your meals, if you used to skipping your meals or tend to go 5 to 7 hours without eating, the meal replacement powder is an excellent way to maintain energy levels and metabolism till you have the time to prepare a balanced meal.

The Bottom Line

Knowing what to choose requires you to understand what you really need. Make sure that whatever meal replacement or supplement you choose would give you the best benefits. Good meal replacement shakes or protein shake should be able to keep your body energized, fight cravings, maintain your metabolism up, while help repair torn muscles after working out.

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