Getting the correct amount of protein can boost your metabolism, reduce your appetite and even help you lose body fat without losing muscle.

Protein shakes are an excellent way to add more protein to your diet and it been shown to help with weight loss.

What Are Protein Shakes?

Protein shakes are protein powder with water, or milk depending on preferences, although other ingredients are often added as well for extra nutrients.

This can be convenient especially when access to high-protein foods are limited.

Although most people don’t need them to meet daily protein requirements, they can also be useful if you require increasing your intake for some reason.

You may get protein powder and mix it yourself, or you can also get many different brands of pre-made shakes.

Some of the most popular types of protein powder on the market are:

  • Whey protein: which is a quickly absorbed, dairy-based protein that contains all the essential amino acids.
  • Casein protein: which is a slow absorbed, dairy-based protein that contains all essential amino acids.
  • Soy protein: which is a plant-based protein that contains all essential amino acids, and contains soy isoflavones, which provide health benefits.
  • Hemp protein: which is a plant-based protein that is high in omega-3 and omega-6 fats, but low in the essential amino acids like lysine.
  • Rice protein: which is a plant-based protein with low essential amino acids like lysine.
  • Pea protein: which is a plant-based protein that is low in the non-essential amino acids like cysteine and methionine.

Many brands contain a mix of different protein powders. For example, many plant-based brands combine to complement each other’s amino acid profile.

Pretty much protein shakes can contain different types of protein, each with its characteristics.


Protein Shakes Decrease Hunger and Appetite

Protein can help decrease hunger and desire to eat in two main ways.

First, it increases appetite-reducing hormones such as GLP-1, PYY, and CCK, while reducing levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin.

Second, protein helps trick your body into thinking its full.

Researchers have experienced a high-protein breakfast helped people consume up to 135 fewer calories later in the day.

Another study, overweight men had been on a weight loss diet increased their protein intake to 25% of total calories. This increase cut cravings by 60% and late-night snacking by half.

Increasing the intake of protein from 15% to 30% of total calories helped participants in another study consume 441 fewer calories per day without actively trying to limit their portions.

By the end of the 12-week study period, participants had lost an average of 11 lbs.

These shakes can be a  very convenient way to add extra protein to your diet. But keep in mind that too much can still lead to extra calories.

Another study found that shakes with 20-80 grams of protein all decreased hunger by 50-65%, regardless of how much protein is in their shakes.

So if you want to lose weight, 20 grams per shake is sufficient enough to reduce hunger.

Pretty much protein can decrease your appetite by affecting your hunger hormones. It can also help you feel full for longer, which can help you eat less and lose body fat.


Protein Shakes May Increase Metabolism

High protein intake will boost your metabolism, helping you burn more calories every day.

A high-protein diet especially when combined with training will help you build muscle.

This speeds up your metabolism making your muscle burns more calories than fat.

Another study gave obese participants protein shakes with either 200 or 0 grams protein per week.

Those given the protein gained 2.8 lbs more mass following a 13-week training program.

In another study, researchers gave participants a combination of foods and shake providing either 0.5 g/lbs or 1.1 g/lbs (1.2 g/kg or 2.4 g/kg) of protein per day.

After six weeks, those on the higher-protein diet gained 2.4 pounds (1.1 kg) more muscle and lost 2.9 lbs (1.3 kg) more fat.

It should be known, that your ability to obtain muscle during a weight loss diet may depend on the amount of muscle you already have

Protein can also increase metabolism because of some calories needed to digest and metabolize it. This is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF).

For instance, 15-30% of protein calories are burned during digestion, while only 5-10% of carb calories and 0-3% of fat calories are burned during digestion (21).

Pretty much protein helps boost metabolism because a lot of energy is spent digesting and metabolizing it. Which helps you build muscle, which burns more calories than fat.


Protein Shakes May Help You Lose Weight and Belly Fat

Researchers agree that high-protein diets can help you lose more fat, especially fat from the belly area.

In another study, people on a diet providing 25% of calories as protein lost 10% more belly fat after 12 months than those eating half as much.

A different study compared the effects of various weight loss diets such as consuming more protein lost 31 lbs in 3 months which is 23% more than those consuming less.

In the final study, participants on diets providing 30% of calories from protein lost 8.1 lbs more than those on diets containing 15% of calories from protein.


Protein Shakes May Also Prevent Muscle Loss and Metabolic Slowdown

Weight loss diets cause you to lose muscle, which slows down your metabolism. This makes it easier to gain weight back once you go off the diet.

A high protein intake combined with training can help prevent part of this muscle loss and metabolic slowdown.

Researchers reported that participants’ metabolism decreased less on a weight loss diet providing 36% of calories as protein than on a diet containing about half that amount.

Evidence shows that consuming protein shakes on a daily as part of a weight loss diet may make muscle maintenance up to three and a half times more efficient.

Athletes compared weight loss diets providing either 35% or 15% of calories from protein. Both helped participants lose about the same amount of fat, but those consuming more protein lost 38% less muscle.