A lot of people tend to use the terms, protein shake (powder) synonymously with meal replacement shake (powder), thinking they are one in the same.
But they’re actually not.
What’s the Difference Between Protein Shakes and Meal Replacement Shakes?
These are typically made with protein powder. Protein powder is comprised mainly of protein in some form or another, be it whey, soy, whey isolate, brown rice, or pea. Some are combinations of two or more of the aforementioned protein sources.
They may have some trace vitamins added in, but for the most part, they are straight protein and NOT a complete meal. You would have to actually add the protein powder to other items (carbs and fat) in order to make it more of a complete meal.
Some people achieve this by blending it into their smoothie made with fruit, nuts (or nut butter), greens (or green powder), etc.
Generally, a protein shake can be something whipped up really fast by adding the powder to water, juice, or milk and drinking it before or after a workout. But it cannot replace an actual meal because, again, it’s just protein. You could drink it alongside healthy carbs and fat, for instance, some oatmeal with butter or coconut oil added in (carbs and fat).
Meal Replacement Shakes:
An actual meal replacement shake IS a full meal because it has protein, carbs, AND fat.
And like protein shakes, the protein source of meal replacement shakes can vary as well. The protein content may be higher in protein shakes than in meal replacement shakes, but if you get a good one, it will have adequate protein to fulfill your daily requirement.
BY THE WAY: Do You Think You Know ALL The Benefits of Drinking Meal Replacement Shakes? Think Again! Read more…
Meal replacement shakes can also be mixed with water, juice, or milk – although the one I drink is already dairy-free by design so, why add milk to it? lol
You can use add-ins such as fruit or nut butters; but you don’t necessarily HAVE to add anything (unless you just want to for preference) and you will still be quite satiated, as they typically keep you full longer because they are an actual meal.
So hopefully you now have a more clear understanding as to why protein shakes and meal replacement shakes are NOT the same, and you can make the best choice as to what to drink for your particular needs!
Speaking of meal replacement shakes…
If you’re interested in learning about a high-protein meal replacement shake that tastes great, keeps you full for 3-4 hours, and is based on one of THE healthiest ‘diets’ in the world, click here!