Fact vs. Myth: Are Protein Shakes Better than Whole Food?

protein shake

Regardless of the source protein is protein, right? Well, the answer to this is both yes and no. Protein is a very important nutrient that repairs and builds muscle fiber. You can get protein from supplements, whole foods, or even both. However, if you are a gym goer or if you have been keen on watching TV maybe you have realized that protein shakes are increasingly becoming athletes’ main source of proteins. This begs the question-Should we then rely on protein shakes as our main source of proteins? Read through to understand which is better.

Protein from whole food

Some of the best-known sources of proteins such as dairy and meat are complete proteins. This means they provide amino acids that stimulate tissue repair and growth and also synthesis the muscles. They also contain minerals, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. Apart from their health benefits like reducing the risk of heart problems and cancer, they also make you satisfied and promote digestive health. What’s more, they lack any potential side effects that can come from shakes, including headaches, bloating, nausea, distress, and nutrient deficiencies.

Protein from shakes

Most packaged shakes such as casein and whey are made from proteins. They are also fortified with minerals and vitamins that you would find in any regular food. A typical shake normally provides almost 20 grams of proteins in one serving just as explained here https://totalshape.com/supplements/whey-protein-isolate-vs-concentrate/. However, unlike whole foods, shakes cannot provide antioxidants or fiber that many protein-rich foods can. So, while shakes are an easy source of proteins, it’s advisable to get all your proteins from whole foods.

However, there are specific circumstances when you need shakes. Before choosing shakes over whole foods, here are some of the things to consider.


Since protein shakes are an easy source of protein if you are someone with a hectic schedule they are your best bet.


As compared to proteins from whole foods, shakes take only 30 minutes to reach your muscles. This means when you consume them after a workout, they are absorbed a lot quicker.

Fat content

Most protein shakes and supplements have very little fat content.

Tastes and satisfaction

If you are looking for taste and satisfaction, then protein shakes are the best.

Facts and myths about whole foods and shakes:


  • Protein shakes will make you lose weight. Since proteins are broken down just the same way as carbohydrates, if you consume a lot of calories you will definitely gain weight.
  • Protein shakes will make you fat faster.
  • You will gain muscle by drinking protein shakes. Since eating proteins do not produce more proteins, you won’t gain muscles by drinking shakes. Gaining muscles is a process that requires a lot of physical effort.
  • You need to drink protein shakes within 20 minutes after working out. Get your protein shakes but do not stress on the time. It can be 60 minutes or even 90 minutes after a workout.
  • Protein is bad for your kidneys. Eating a lot of proteins is not bad. It only takes a long time to be digested.


  • Increased protein intake has strong effects on reducing the rate of illness and increasing the rate of repair.
  • Protein shakes are just supplements that cannot replace whole foods.
  • There are different kinds of protein shakes that have different effects on the body.
  • Protein shakes are not for everyone. There are people who are sensitive to dairy products.
  • There is nothing magical about drinking protein shakes.
  • All proteins are made from plants.

Since protein shakes are not a replacement for good food, you should always aim at eating whole foods. In most situations, a timed nutrition strategy and well-balanced diet will be enough to meet your recovery and training needs.

Remember, the biggest advantage of protein shakes is not that they can help you build more muscles, their biggest advantage is that they are an easy source of proteins. Unless otherwise, always focus on real foods and you will reap the benefits.


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