T Nation

Protein Shake vs Meal Replacement Shake?

First time post so I hope I don’t botch this too much. In between meals(especially at work) I know I need to get protein into my body, but should I just be doing a whey shake or do you guys recommend a Meal Replacement shake which will also have carbs of course? I’m currently in a 33/33/33 fat loss regiment courtesy of CW’s “Muscle Revolution” which I just read if that helps out.

look i used mrp’s and thought they were the best thing invented after tv lol , but i found out quikly that i couldn’t stomach maltodextrin . so i handed it out to a friend it’s like throwing 100$ out of the window. so now i get whey and throw in some oats , milk , pb , honey , bananas , icecream what ever i choose to blend it with and atleast i know what am i gulping

[quote]cobrakai wrote:
First time post so I hope I don’t botch this too much. In between meals(especially at work) I know I need to get protein into my body, but should I just be doing a whey shake or do you guys recommend a Meal Replacement shake which will also have carbs of course? I’m currently in a 33/33/33 fat loss regiment courtesy of CW’s “Muscle Revolution” which I just read if that helps out.[/quote]

It’s impossible to give a general answer since there are many different products being labeled as “meal replacement shake”.

During a caloric deficit, protein will be used for energy instead of cell synthesis and thus will be at least partially wasted. This, plus the effect of insulin make a meal containing calories superior to a meal made up of nothing but protein.

Certainly the best option would be to prepare some sort of meal (protein source, some complex carbs or healthy fats and some sort of vegetable/fruit) in a tupper-box or something. If for whatever reason (can’t think of anything but laziness) that isn’t an option, prepare your own “meal replacement shake” by adding various ingredients to your whey.

Deciding only between a pure whey shake and a meal replacement is impossible without more detailed information on the rest of the diet, yourself, your schedule etc etc

Thank you for the replys guys. So Pet, you don’t advocate protein shakes in between meals? If I follow the 1.5g of protein per/lb of bodyweight, that has me up over 300 grams of protein per day. That’s a crap load of tuna and chicken breast each day. I thought I was supposed to have a 40g/protein 2-3x per day. See, this is why I am a beginner haha.

[quote]cobrakai wrote:
Thank you for the replys guys. So Pet, you don’t advocate protein shakes in between meals? If I follow the 1.5g of protein per/lb of bodyweight, that has me up over 300 grams of protein per day.

That’s a crap load of tuna and chicken breast each day. I thought I was supposed to have a 40g/protein 2-3x per day. See, this is why I am a beginner haha.[/quote]

Well, the thing with the 1.5g protein per lb of BW is this : too much protein doesn’t do any harm whereas too little protein does, it slows progress.

Trends come and go, first it was low fat, then it was low carb, now people are told to consume very high amounts of protein. Truth is, the ‘normal’ western diet does not contain enough protein for a athletic lifestyle. But truth is also, that excess of any of the three macro nutrients will make you fat, and protein is not an exception to this rule.

1.5g/lb BW is certainly more than you will ever use for synthesis, but, as mentioned before, consuming too much causes no harm and you ‘overfeed’ a little on protein to be on the safe side plus some redundancy.

Also, limiting diet only to amounts of protein (or to rations of protein/fat/carb) is not optimal and won’t lead even close to optimal results, as there are many, many other factors to consider.

Well, enough rambling. I don’t think anyone will hurt his progress by consuming 1g protein per lb of BW. You are supposed to consume some sort of protein every ~3 hours (because the body cannot ‘store’ it like carbs or fat, if the amino acids in your bloodstream are used up, the synthesis stops.).

If you sleep ~8 hours, is makes ~7 meals. With an average of 30g protein per meal, it comes to ~210g protein per day, close to perfect for a average 200 lb male :slight_smile:

Consuming protein shakes in between meals is certainly superior to eating only 3 times per day. It’s also better to drink a whey shake in between meals as long as you are not getting enough (less than 1g per lb of BW) protein.

But, consuming a real meal (even if its only some turkey with a little brown rice and broccoli) is superior to a whey shake under most circumstances. And a meal replacement shake (self-made, mix some whey with milk, low fat yoghurt, fruit and oats - done.

Search online for recipes, there are tons) is superior to a whey shake as long and your other meals are small enough (caloric wise) that you won’t create a caloric excess big enough to get fat.

7-8 meals may sound like really much when you are switching to an athletic-oriented lifestyle, but in reality unless you are bulking, all meals except the breakfast are quite small.

Cytogainer and iso-mass have both been pretty good to me. Vanilla shake cytogainer+milk tastes pretty good. Honestly though protein shake vs meal replacement more of less depends on the other macros in your diet. If there isn’t room for the extra carbs use a regular protein shake.