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Can Protein Shake Help You Lose Weight and Belly Fat?

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The first go-to supplement that strikes the mind of fitness freaks is the protein shakes. Drinking protein shakes is an easy way to increase your protein intake and make your diet rich in protein. It is scientifically proven that protein helps one lose weight and also keep it off. It gives you a feeling of fullness.
Thus, to add more protein to your diet, protein shakes can be helpful. However, make sure that you drink the right kind of protein shake that is consistent with your diet plan and workout regime, else it can backfire. If possible, talk to a doctor to know how to integrate these shakes into your diet.

What are Protein Shakes?

A type of drink made by mixing protein powder with water is what basically a protein shake is. Protein shakes can be extremely helpful when access to foods rich in protein is limited. You can buy the protein powder and mix it yourself. However, you can also find various brands of pre-made liquid shakes. Some of the most popular types of protein powder on the market are:

  • Whey protein: Quickly absorbed, dairy-based. It contains all the essential amino acids.
  • Casein protein: Slowly absorbed, dairy-based. It contains all essential amino acids.
  • Soy protein: Plant-based and contains all essential amino acids. Also contains soy isoflavones, which may provide some health benefits.
  • Hemp protein: Plant-based and rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fats, but low in the essential amino acid lysine.
  • Rice protein: Plant-based and low in the essential amino acid lysine.
  • Pea protein: Plant-based and low in the non-essential amino acids cysteine and methionine.

How Protein Shakes Help in Weight Loss

Protein Shakes Reduce Hunger and Appetite

There are two ways in which protein can decrease hunger and appetite. First of all, it increases levels of hormones that are responsible for the reduction of your appetite, such as PYY, GLP-1, and CCK, whilst lowering levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin. Secondly, protein helps you sustain the feeling of fullness. These shakes can be a convenient way to add extra protein to your diet. However, keep in mind that excess can still lead to more calories, foiling your weight loss strategy. In order to lose weight, 20g of protein per shake is good enough to reduce hunger.

Protein Shakes help you Lose Belly Fat

Studies have revealed that high protein diets help you lose extra fat from your body, especially belly fat. For instance, in one study, people who followed a diet providing 25% of calories as protein lost 10% more belly fat after 12 months than those eating half that amount of proteins. Therefore, protein shakes are the key to increasing protein intake to facilitate weight loss. If protein powders are substituting an unhealthy snack, then they could help boost your weight-loss efforts and can also keep your hunger and appetite levels in check.

Protein Shakes increase Metabolism

It is already established that high protein intake boosts metabolism, thereby burning a lot more calories in a day. High protein diet along with strength training has additional benefits; it helps you build muscle. This gives a boost to our metabolism rate as muscle burns more calories than fat. During digestion,15-30 percent of protein calories are burned while only 5-10 percent of carbohydrate calories and 0-3 percent of fat calories are burned; another reason as to why protein boosts metabolism – due to the number of calories required to digest and metabolize it, also known as Thermic Effect of Food or TEF. Protein shakes come in handy for this as well.

Which type of Protein is best

A multitude of protein shakes is available with each of them having different effects on your body. Where on one hand whey protein is quick-absorbing, casein is slow in absorption. As far as your appetite is concerned, whey protein serves your purpose better as it keeps you less hungry. It is also believed to have three times the ability in order to maintain muscle building as compared to soy protein. It is important to consider the quality of protein before purchasing any. Like, rice, hemp, pea contain lesser amino acids than whey, soy, and casein. However, take note that protein shakes are nothing more than an additional source of protein in your diet and that they should not be the only source.


Protein shakes can have serious side effects if not taken carefully. A heads up if you are lactose intolerant, you might have to suffer from bloating, cramps, diarrhea if you consume whey or casein protein shakes. But there is a way to overcome these. You can shift to non-dairy based protein shakes like that derived from egg, pea, soy, hemp or rice protein powders. As most studies suggest, a total intake of protein shakes between 1.2 to 2.2 g/kg per day is most beneficial for weight loss.


There is nothing more convenient than a protein shake for you to start with your weight loss plan. Although it has its pros and cons, consulting a dietician before starting is always safe to steer clear of any harmful effects.

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