The benefits of protein shakes for muscle growth and fat loss


Kevin Mangelschots

These days, protein shakes and pre-workout supplements are being consumed everywhere around the world.

At first, they were only being digested by avid athletes and fitness fanatics. Fast-forward to the current time, and they are being used by all types of people. Ranging from bodybuilders, powerlifters, people looking to lose weight to people who don’t work out at all.

These are the benefits of protein shakes for muscle growth and fat loss.

The benefits of taking protein shakes for muscle growth

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The benefits of taking protein shakes for fat loss

  • Weight loss

    Weight Loss, fitness, sport, health concept

    Protein-rich food and supplements help us feel fuller for a longer period, which in turn reduces our urge to eat. This means that we will consume fewer calories as a result.

    Consuming enough protein boosts your metabolic rate. This means that a higher metabolic rate means you’ll burn more calories without having to do anything special for it other than consuming enough protein.

    Due to this, we will lose fat and weight in general. Having an adequate amount of protein in our bodies can help us maintain a healthy body weight and lower our body fat as an added benefit.

  • Fat loss

    Weight loss in itself typically also results in fat loss. That’s because losing weight in general is usually taken from multiple deposits such as fat, muscle, and fluids. It’s never solely one of the above.

    It helps you lose body fat by boosting your metabolism and reducing your appetite.

    You’ll eat less when your appetite is decreased, thus, lowering your calorie intake.

    A boosted metabolism lets you burn more calories without having to do something extra. Other ways to increase your metabolism are exercising and getting an adequate amount of sleep.

Overall benefits of protein shakes

  • Quicker recovery after working out

    Picture of a woman stretching in front of a field of grass.

    Protein is essential to help repair damaged muscle tissue.

    Having an adequate amount can help speed up your recovery process after working out.

    This way, muscle soreness goes away at a faster rate, you’ll regain your strength and energy levels quicker, and you’ll be able to train again sooner than if you didn’t have access to the needed amount of protein.

  • Digests fast

    Protein shakes digest faster than solid food does.

    This means it’s best to consume a protein shake immediately after finishing your workout.

    It only takes about 30 minutes for the shake to reach the muscles in our body. This is much faster than a solid meal can.

    We want protein in our muscle cells as fast as possible after training to start repairing the microtears the workout inflicted on our muscles and to start the recovery phase.

    Take note that some protein types digest faster than others.

  • Boosts the metabolism

    Illustration of a man showing what parts of the body are part of our metabolism.

    Digesting enough protein boosts your metabolism. This means you’ll burn more calories just by merit of having a faster metabolism.

    Burning more calories means you’ll lose more weight than if your metabolism was slower. Thus, it can help you to manage your weight.

  • Added nutrition

    Some folks find it hard to eat enough calories (they do exist), or to ingest enough protein.

    Our lives are regularly hectic, and not everyone is disciplined enough or has the time to stay on top of their diet all the time.

    Protein shakes can offer solace to increase your intake to a healthy degree. Your optimal level will be dependent on your goal, and how active you are.

  • Convenient

    Taking a protein shake before or after training is effortless. You can drink it at home, or bring it with you to the gym. The possibilities are endless since you can carry it everywhere.

    Before, you had to eat a lot of meat, and fruits such as nuts and avocados to get the needed amount of protein to build muscle, lose fat, or even just be healthy.

    Now, a simple shake each day can solve this issue entirely. However it should be noted that there’s no substitute for a healthy diet. Protein shakes are a supplement, not a meal replacement.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a protein shake?

Image of two vegan protein shakes.

A protein shake is a drink in which protein powder is mixed with either water or a sweet liquid like orange juice.

It’s a supplement. Meaning, it’s not meant and should not serve as a replacement for your original diet. They can, however, be a convenient way to add more protein to your regular diet.

That’s good since it’s hard for most people to reach their optimal daily protein requirement for muscle growth and fat loss due to work, hobbies, kids and the list goes on.

They can either be bought in pre-made liquid shakes or as powder. If you buy the powder, then you’ve got to mix it yourself with water or another ingredient to turn it into a liquid shake.

Many types of protein powder exist. We will only talk about the most prevalent ones below to keep it clear-cut and simple.

They can be used for weight gain, but also to lose weight.

The different protein types

  • Whey protein

    Image of multiple bottles of whey protein.

    While multiple different protein types exist, whey protein is probably the most well-known.

    This is the quickest absorbable source of dairy-based protein out there.

    It contains all the essential amino acids to promote muscle growth and recovery.

  • Casein protein

    Casein protein is a slow absorbable source of dairy-based protein.

    It contains all the essential amino acids to promote muscle growth and recovery.

  • Soy protein

    Soy protein is a plant-based protein that’s extracted from the soja bean.

    It contains all the essential amino acids to promote muscle growth and recovery. It has the essential amino acids Glutamine and Arginine. Furthermore, it also contains some soy isoflavones, which may have health benefits.

Do protein shakes work for muscle growth and fat loss?

To make a long answer short, yes, protein shakes work for muscle growth and fat loss. Especially when you combine them with these 10 best exercises for muscle growth and strength.

 Protein shakes only help for muscle gain when you’re deficient in protein

However, they will only help you to grow muscle mass if your protein intake through natural food sources is deficient.

A lot of people don’t have a balanced diet, which means that the majority of us are actually on a protein deficit. In those cases, one or multiple protein shakes each day can help them get up to a normal, or, if you’re an athlete, high level of protein intake.

Ideally, a protein shake should be taken right after working out. It’s at this time that our body needs protein the most as a building block to repair the damaged muscle tissue. The protein helps our body to start recovering.

Protein shakes without working out will not make you grow muscle mass

It should be noted that taking protein shakes in itself will not build muscle.

Our body requires an acute stressor and ample protein to build muscle mass. A stimulus in the form of weight lifting or another form of resistance training is required for our bodies to grow and adapt.

This recovery process wherein our body adapts and grows stronger is what we call supercomensation.

How to take protein powder?

A man drinking a protein shake outside.

  1. Select the protein powder of your choosing
  2. Mix the appropriate amount of powder with water or any other liquid that you prefer
  3. Drink the shake

It should also be mentioned that ready-to-drink protein shakes also exist, which means you don’t have to go to the trouble of mixing and preparing the shake yourself.

When should I drink protein shakes?

The best time to drink protein shakes is about 20 to 60 minutes after working out since your body needs the building blocks to recover the most right after training.

This period right after training is what we call the “anabolic window.” That’s the perfect moment to ingest proteins by eating food or consuming supplements to get the most out of these nutrients.

Are protein shakes good for you?

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Protein shakes are good for you if you’re deficient in that particular nutrient, or if you’re looking to build muscle mass, and strength, or lose weight while preserving lean mass.
Protein shakes can offer a whole assortment of health benefits such as boosting your metabolism, preserving lean muscle mass, and losing weight.
They’re just as healthy as getting your intake through whole foods. Nevertheless, shakes are a supplement. The other micro and macronutrients can only be acquired sufficiently by eating a varied diet consisting of meat, vegetables, and fruits.

Can I drink protein shakes every day?

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It’s safe to drink protein shakes every day. You can even drink multiple ones per day without any issues.
Yet, the main source of protein and other nutrients should be whole foods. That’s because not eating enough whole foods would mean we’re deficient not just in protein, but other substances as well.

Do I need protein shakes to lose weight?

No, you do not need protein shakes to lose weight.

However, they can aid you in losing fat since they lower your appetite and boost your metabolism.

A lower appetite means you will ingest fewer calories, and a faster metabolism means you will burn more calories. Both are helpful when trying to come down in weight.


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Research shows that protein shakes are one of the few supplements that actually works for both muscle growth and fat loss.

Whereas a lot of supplementations out there do next to nothing or are just blatant scams, a sufficient amount of protein is essential whether your goal is building muscle mass, increasing strength, or fat loss.

Most people can definitely benefit from consuming one or multiple shakes each day because a lot of us are protein deficient without even realizing it. That’s because our modern day diets unfortunately leave a lot to be desired.

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