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Differences between Protein Shakes and Supplements

Protein shakes are commonly used by bodybuilders and fitness-freaks. Protein powders are made into shakes and are consumed before or after a workout depending on the type of shake. These protein shakes are getting more popular these days as a nutritional supplement.

Protein Shakes

Supplements are the product meant for ingestion which consists of “dietary ingredients” which add nutritional value to the diet. They can contain vitamins, minerals, herbs, and amino acids. They can either be a pill, powder, capsule, or liquid form.

Characteristics of protein shakes and supplements:

How is a supplement different from a protein shake? If it is made with natural ingredients which provide the same benefits as that of a supplement, then such foods are entitled as “Protein shakes” rather than “supplements.” For example, after a workout, if you blend skimmed milk, yogurt, protein powder and banana, and have it, you are consuming a protein shake. If you have a commercially provided drink which contains a lot of vitamins and minerals, you are drinking a supplement.


Protein shakes and supplements provide different benefits. Protein shakes are expected to contain more fiber and overall nutrition because of their natural ingredients. Supplements provide limited calories and ingredients that maintain weight gain or weight loss. A study published in 2010 issue of “Diabetes/Metabolism Reviews and Research” stated, subjects who ate a protein diet and consumed protein supplements as meal replacements lost weight than those who didn’t take the supplements.

The Purpose:

Before including a protein shake or a supplement in your diet, be sure on what you need. A majority of Americans consumes proteins that surpass the daily requirement, so enhancing the intake with a supplement or a shake can lead to health issues and risks including heart or kidney failures, and digestive issues.

What to choose:

Since protein shakes and supplements have different nutritional features, it is mandatory to choose accordingly to your dietary and health-related objective. Consult a doctor before making any major changes in the diet. Make sure not to make a change that will compromise your health.


There is no evidence that protein needs for muscle cannot be satisfied through food. As long as you eat food every three hours with proper intake of eggs, lean meat, and other dairy products, it is not crucial to add protein shakes to your diet. It is easier to drink protein shakes when compared to cooking whole foods. For people who experience difficulty in eating, quality protein supplements can be included in the diet.

Posted in Protein Shakes and Supplements