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Can You Have A Protein Shake For Breakfast?

Written by Charmaine Canlas, RPh

Protein shakes are convenient, portable and healthy. It is a popular way to stay fit and add nutrition to your diet.

Having a protein shake for breakfast is better than eating junk food or skipping meals in the morning.

However, is it healthy to have protein shakes in the morning?

This article will look into the benefits of drinking a protein shake for breakfast and how to do it properly.

Want to see our full list of the best meal replacement drinks? Here are the ones we recommend on Wellness Warrior.

Is Having Protein Shake For Breakfast Good For You? What Experts Say…

Protein Shakes

Protein shakes are usually targeted at gym buffs, bodybuilders, and athletes. However, protein shakes can be beneficial for anyone.

It is an excellent way to boost your immunity and support your fitness goals.

Protein intake is crucial because they are the building block of several organs in the body. In addition, your tendons, hormones, and muscle growth are also influenced by your intake.

The Dietary Reference Intake report for macronutrients reported that the average sedentary man should eat 56 grams of protein per day, while a woman will need 46 grams.

However, eating an all-protein diet is not healthy. A protein shake is an excellent addition to your diet, but you cannot replace all your meals with a protein shake.

You should aim for 10%-35% of your calories from protein. Other macronutrients are also essential.

A well-rounded diet is recommended to meet all nutritional needs.

Nevertheless, a high-protein shake added to your diet is found to be safe and beneficial.

Even if you exceed the daily recommended intake of protein, there are no harmful adverse effects.

Furthermore, people who work out and have an active lifestyle need more protein in their diet.

Therefore, a high protein breakfast can support recovery, stamina, and immune function. In addition, it can ensure that you are getting enough protein.

Protein timing as a dietary strategy to optimize the response to exercise has been investigated in multiple studies.

Fitness enthusiasts have varying opinions on when to take their shakes and supplements.

Some studies suggest that they are beneficial whether you take your protein shake for breakfast or after a workout.

Taking adequate amounts of protein with a healthy lifestyle is the key factor in maximizing your results.

What is a Healthy Protein Shake?

You should know what type of protein is best for your needs.

There are different ways to customize your shake. For example, protein shake recipes can be found online to make your shake taste better and have added nutrients.

Always check your protein powder’s nutrition label and ingredient list before purchasing.

Some may contain fillers, artificial additives, or sweeteners.

What you put in your protein shakes is also essential. Depending on your goal, the ingredients you put in a serving can lead to weight gain or promote weight loss.

Ingredients such as milk, nut butter, seeds, oats, and fruits are healthy ingredients you can add to your protein shake for breakfast.

Ultimately, ensuring that you take enough protein with balanced meals and other nutrients will benefit you most.

Protein Sources

Protein sources can be obtained from whey protein or plant-based protein.

Both of them have their advantages. It depends on whether you are vegan or have a sensitivity to whey.

1) Whey protein

Whey is a popular source for bodybuilders.

The body can rapidly digest whey. An optimal dose of 20-25 g is recommended. It can increase strength gains during workout sessions.

Some individuals start their day with a jog, workout, or have physically demanding work.

Whey protein added to your breakfast can help your muscles recover. This promotes fat loss and muscle growth.

Other milk proteins are casein and egg protein powders. They are traditional animal-based proteins.

2) Plant-based protein

Plant-based nutrition has gained attention in fitness and research. Supplement companies have become more inclusive in considering the diets of individuals.

Plant proteins are more sustainable, as health and environmental concerns are being raised in animal protein consumption.

However, animal source proteins have been more investigated. Therefore, the bioavailability and other benefits may differ.

Soy, wheat, and pea protein are popular in shakes and supplements. They are easily digested and low allergenic.

They make great protein shakes for breakfast as it is less likely for you to experience digestive issues.

They are appealing to people with sensitivity or allergies to dairy.

Benefits of Drinking a Protein Shake for Breakfast

1) Healthy and Convenient Breakfast

Protein shakes are a convenient way to make sure you don’t skip breakfast

It requires minimal preparation time to make them. It can prevent you from missing a meal while adding essential nutrients.

If you want a healthy protein shake for breakfast, you can prepare ingredients in advance.

Freezing fruits, seeds, and vegetables to mix with your protein powder every morning can save you more time.

Moreover, you can put your shake in a tumbler and bring it to work or the gym in the morning.

2) Drinking Protein Shakes for Weight Loss

Dietary and lifestyle changes are essential in promoting weight loss.

A particular method found to be effective in a 2008 study is a lower calorie intake and a higher protein intake.

Several clinical studies have proven that adding more protein to your diet reduces body weight and enhances body composition.

A diet high in protein is effective in a standard calorie and low-calorie intake.

Furthermore, clinical trials that lasted 6 months to a year found that protein can prevent regaining weight after weight loss.

According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 25 to 30 grams of protein in a day can increase satiety and aid in weight loss.

Another study states that 20-grams of protein during exercise is sufficient to maximize muscle protein synthesis.

Replacing breakfast with a quick meal rich in protein such as a shake can boost your metabolism and reduce your daily calories.

It is a practical and healthy weight-loss strategy. 

  • Protein can increase satiety, reducing hunger and cravings
  • Promotes thermogenesis, burning calories faster
  • Increase glucose metabolism
  • Maintains fat-free mass and decreases fat mass

Hence, a low-calorie diet high in protein is beneficial for your fitness and health. However, remember to moderate your intake of high-calorie food. Drinking shakes high in protein does not guarantee losing weight if you do not monitor your daily calorie ingestion.

You can consult your doctor or a registered dietitian to have a better perspective on the caloric intake you need to lose weight.

High-protein and low-calorie recipes can be found online or suggested by your dietitian.

3) Protein Shakes for Building Muscle

Protein in the diet is an essential building block for muscle protein synthesis.

An inadequate protein intake is associated with the breakdown of muscles, leading to loss of lean muscle mass.

Therefore, high protein intake can have long-term beneficial effects on the mass and size of muscles.

If you supplement your diet with protein in the morning before a strenuous day, it can prevent your muscles from being damaged.

A high-protein breakfast can ensure that you can improve recovery, build muscle, and maintain lean body mass.

Skeletal muscles are supported by muscle protein synthesis and breakdown. Your protein ingestion regulates this.

Resistance exercise combined with protein shakes can promote skeletal muscle health, improving your workout results.

Nutrient timing has been linked with reaching optimal performance and muscular-related outcomes.

It was found that regardless of nutrient timing consumption of protein, its benefits for an individual are similar.

Your muscles can benefit from protein in numerous ways.

  • Support muscle growth
  • Maintain muscle mass
  • Gain muscle more muscles
  • Maximize strength gains from workout

Conclusion

Protein shakes are versatile. You can easily customize your shake depending on your needs and preferences.

It can be a convenient breakfast and adds nutrients to fuel a strenuous day.

Protein shakes for breakfast with low calories can help you lose weight and build muscle.

If your goal is weight gain, you can add high-calorie ingredients instead.

Meal replacement shakes are full of health benefits.

Moreover, you can find multiple recipes that suit your diet. 

There are animal-based or plant-based protein sources in the market. 

Plant-based powders can be an attractive option for vegans or individuals with sensitivity to dairy. It would be less likely for you to experience digestive issues in the morning.

Having a protein shake for breakfast is a popular strategy to replace one of your meals or add nutrition to your diet.

It is a perfect way to energize your morning and support your overall health.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it okay to drink a protein shake on an empty stomach?

Yes, drinking a protein shake for breakfast with an empty stomach is an excellent way to start your day. Protein shakes can replace your breakfast, but make sure that the ingredients of your protein shake are healthy. Some ingredients in commercialized protein powders may cause digestive issues. Always check the complete list of ingredients.

When is the best time to have a protein shake?

You can drink protein shakes any time of the day. However, if you are looking for a quick way to energize your day, a protein shake for breakfast is the best choice. As mentioned above, there are numerous benefits to taking protein shakes in the morning.

Can I replace my breakfast with protein shake?

You can have a protein shake for breakfast instead of preparing food. It can aid in weight loss or if you are looking for a quick meal in the morning. A protein shake is an excellent replacement, especially if it contains proper nutrients.

Can I gain weight with protein shakes?

Depending on your calorie intake and protein intake, it can result in weight gain or weight loss. You can consult a registered dietitian to determine the number of calories you need in a day.

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