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Protein Shakes and Hunger


I currently work out Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I also end up doing cardio on Thursday and Saturday. The days that I lift, M,W and Friday if I have a protein shake as advised before a workout, my appetite increases 10 fold. My normal schedule is wake at 0430, shake at 0500 workout until 0550, shower, dress and go to work. I will have breakfast around 0900, but then I am hungry for the rest of the day. While I am trying to build muscle, I also need to drop some weight so I watch my calories like a hawk. (There is one cheat day a week, or I think I would loose my mind.)

Here is the question: The days I work out but do not drink the protein shake, I do not have the same hunger for the rest of day. Why if I am giving my body more calories, would it continue asking for even more?

Thoughts, feedback?




Does your protein shake have any carbs or sugar? That feeling hungry all day is what happens to me if I eat sugar and/or carbs in the morning. On the rare occasion we start the day with a doughnut or pancakes, I am wrecked for the rest of the day.

If it's not sugar, my only other guess is that your metabolism is speeding up from the combination of weight training and protein consumption. Do you notice a difference in how hot or cold you feel?

What's your normal breakfast?


Whey can be fairly insulinogenic by itself.


Your workout is also different. If you're not going as hard on the cardio as you are in the weight room, maybe it's simply because the lifting is much more taxing.


It's because your metabolism speeds up when your body is getting more calories. If you deprive your body of nutrients, which is what you're doing on the days that you don't have your protein shake, your body isn't going to be as hungry because it basically goes into survival mode and utilizes it's own mass for nutrients. An extreme case of this would be like a POW, that's why they get so small and skinny. You're body is utilizing those calories you should be eating more if you are trying to build muscle.

An average protein shake is like maybe 120 calories? made up by either a protein concentrate or isolate? (hopefully isolate) this is not at all enough to sustain your workout, it is enough to get your body from the gym to your kitchen. I would suggest eating when you get home from the gym, don't be afraid that you're going to gain fat, just eat clean. Also you will not be able to gain muscle while losing fat without any pharmaceutical help. Human bodies don't work like that, you need to have a caloric surplus to gain muscle, and you need to have a caloric deficiency to lose fat.

You can't do both at the same time. If you DO gain muscle however, and your BF% were to stay the same, your BMI would be improved and you might look a little better. However, if you want to lose fat, your body needs a 3,500 calorie deficiency to lose 1 lb of bodyfat. I would look at your priorites and go from there, would you rather maintain your muscle mass and try and lose some fat? Or would you rather gain muscle, and hopefully try and stay the same BF% so as to make your metabolism speed up naturally, be stronger, look better, and also make it easier to lose fat in the future as your metabolism is faster now?

Personally I tried to do both my first 3 years of training, the results was a stagnant frustrating 3 years of wasted training. This advice goes for both male and female since I'm not quite sure. (queenbee?)


Although I did like most of what you said I disagree with the survival mode analysis. If the OP ate a regular dinner the night before he would have plenty of stored nutrients in his body to fuel the workout without the need to break down tissue.

The protein shake (we know nothing about) is signalling the release of insulin which counteracts the cortisol awakening response.

Coincidentally we are in agreement on the solution; skip the pre-workout shake and just eat when your finished.


Sorry, I did not see the replies to my question until today.

Total Carbs, 7 gm Sugars 4gm.

I don't notice any temp changes, but this time of year I am always too hot. My normal breakfast happens at work at around 1000hrs and is two eggs, 1oz of breakfast meat, 2 oz of pico all scrambled together and reheated at work. 4 cups of coffee with the very first one with a tblsp of heavy cream.

Salad a lunch and meat and veggie dinner.


LOL! First QueenBee is female. Secondly the shake is 240 calories and is Whey Protein Isolate, it is a NOW Sports product.

I need to loose the fat, but it wouldn't hurt my feelings to have all the fat I have now, turn into muscle. While I know that is not possible, I figured I would loose some fat gain a lot more muscle and when I was comfortable in my skin, the scale would not matter one bit.

I look forward to my 30 to 45 minute workout in the morning. I have now gotten to the point that I would rather lift then do any form of cardio. I do walking two times a week and I play Frisbee with the dog, I feel that is enough of cardio and would like to focus on getting stronger. (Much stronger, when I was much younger I could pick up 200lbs and walk away with it, I don't think I could get 200lbs off of the floor right now.

Well did I answer your questions or did I go off on a ramble? Sorry!


Further clarification: On the days that I am not lifting I am not drinking the shake, but with that said, I am still eating 2200 to 3500 calories depending on the day.