Protein shakes: benefits, tips & FAQs
If you’re looking to grow or maintain muscle mass or up your macro intake, nothing beats protein shakes. The role of protein in our body is paramount, and in today’s fast-paced world, protein shakes are a popular and convenient way to help meet our daily needs. Here, we’ll dive into their benefits of, give you our top tips on how to use them and answer some of your most frequently asked questions.
Why protein shakes?
Protein shakes offer several benefits that make them an attractive option for anyone looking to support their health & fitness goals.
Let’s face it, we’re all busy. Protein shakes are an easy way to get high-quality protein without spending much time preparing a meal. Just mix your favourite protein powder with water, milk, or a milk substitute, and you’re good to go.
Protein shakes are highly customisable, allowing you to tailor the nutritional content to your specific needs. You can add fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, for example, to create a delicious nutrient-rich shake.
Muscle growth & recovery
Getting enough protein in after a workout is contributes to muscle growth and recovery. Shakes are a convenient and efficient way to get the nutrients your muscles need to grow.
A meal replacement shake can be a great tool for managing your weight (in combination with an energy restricted diet). These nutritious high-protein shakes contain essential nutrients your body needs yet have fewer calories than an everyday meal. Protein shakes are not the same as meal replacements as they don’t usually contain additional nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fibre.
What are the best protein shakes?
We stock a whole range of delicious shakes for all levels, goals and aspirations. Here are just a few of our top picks.
The best protein shakes for building muscle:
Whey Perfection is our bestselling protein shake with 20-22g of protein per serving.
Whey Isolate XP contains 25g of top-quality whey isolate per shake — the highest protein percentage in the Body&Fit range.
Vegan Protein combines pea protein isolate, hydrolysed pea protein, fava bean protein, pumpkin seed protein and watermelon seed protein to help you get after those gains the plant-powered way.
The best meal replacement shakes for losing weight*:
Low Calorie Meal is a complete meal replacement to help support weight management and weight loss while being high in protein to help maintain muscle mass.
Smart Protein contains just 80-99 calories per shake, making it a great to use alongside a low-calorie diet.
High-Protein Breakfast has an added vitamin and mineral blend and is both low in sugar and fat.
Get more tips & advice about protein for weight management by checking out our blog. Always keep in mind that supplements should be used to support a healthy diet and solid training program. They shouldn’t be considered a substitute.
* in combination with an energy restricted diet.
The protein shake landscape
There are several types of protein available, catering to different dietary preferences and needs.
Whey protein is a complete protein derived from milk, containing all nine essential amino acids. It’s easily absorbed by the body and is popular among athletes and bodybuilders. To learn everything there is to know about whey protein, check out our whey 101.
Also derived from milk, casein protein is absorbed more slowly than whey, providing a steady release of amino acids. It’s ideal for those looking for a longer-lasting protein source.
Soy protein is a plant-based, complete protein that’s suitable for vegetarians and vegans. It has a similar amino acid profile to whey protein, making it an effective alternative for those who avoid dairy.
Another plant-based option, pea protein is hypoallergenic and easily digestible. It’s also rich in essential amino acids, making it a great choice for those with food sensitivities or dietary restrictions.
As you can see, there are lots of different types of shakes out there to fit various preferences and dietary requirements. You can also create your own homemade shakes using a variety of ingredients to suit your taste and nutritional needs.
How to choose the right protein shake
When choosing the right shake for you, there are a few factors to consider:
Are you looking to build muscle, lose weight, or just live healthy? Your unique goals will influence the protein shake you should choose, as well as the additional ingredients you may want to add for extra nutrition.
Consider any dietary restrictions or preferences you may have, such as being lactose intolerant, vegan, or following a low-carb diet. There are protein shakes available to suit every lifestyle.
Flavour and texture preferences
Different shakes come in various flavours and textures, so experiment with different options to find your favourite. Some people prefer a smooth, creamy shake, while others enjoy a thicker, more substantial texture.
Tips for making protein shakes at home
Here are some of our top tips to help you craft the perfect shake:
The perfect base
Choose a liquid base that suits your preferences, such as water, milk, almond milk, or coconut water. The base will affect the flavour and texture of your shake, so feel free to experiment with different options.
Adding nutrients and flavour
Enhance the nutritional value and taste of your shake by adding fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, or spices. Get creative and try new combinations to keep things interesting.
Invest in a high-quality blender to ensure a smooth, lump-free shake. Start blending at a low speed and gradually increase to avoid over-processing the ingredients. Alternatively, you can use our Body&Fit Essential Shaker, which comes with a little shake ball to make silky smooth shakes. You just have to put in that extra bit of effort by giving it a good shake yourself.
Protein shakes, summarised
Protein shakes offer a convenient and customisable way to meet your daily protein needs while supporting your health & fitness goals. With so many options available, you can find a protein shake that aligns with your own personal preferences and lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and flavours to create the perfect shake for you.
Are protein shakes suitable for everyone?
Yes, shakes can be suitable for everyone as long as they choose the right type of protein and ingredients according to their dietary preferences, goals and needs.
Do protein shakes make you put on weight?
As with any food, shakes contain calories. If you drink enough to put you in a calorie surplus, you will naturally put on weight. A lot of protein-rich shakes, known as weight gainers, are specifically made to help people bulk up or put on weight for various other health reasons. If you enjoy your everyday dairy or plant-based shakes as part of a healthy and well-balanced diet, you are not likely to put on weight.
Can I replace all my meals with protein shakes?
While some shakes can be used to replace meals (known as meal replacement shakes or diet shakes), it’s important to maintain a balanced diet that includes whole foods for overall health and wellbeing.
How much protein should I consume daily?
The recommended daily protein intake varies depending on factors such as age, gender, and activity levels. Generally, it’s suggested to consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight1.
When is the best time to consume a protein shake?
While you can consume a protein shake at any time of the day, they are particularly beneficial after a workout to support muscle recovery and growth.
Can I use protein shakes for weight loss?
Yes, protein shakes can help with weight loss when used in combination with a calorie restricted diet as they can help keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Do I need protein shakes to build muscle?
Yes, you need proteins to contribute to a growth in muscle mass. Of course, you still need to put in the hard work, in combination with the right nutrition and supplements, to get those gains.
Is it good to drink protein shakes every day?
Yes, it’s generally safe and beneficial to drink protein shakes every day, as long as you are consuming them in moderation and as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Whole foods should still be the primary source of your nutrients. So, make sure to maintain a well-rounded diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein sources alongside your daily shake.
For any further questions about protein shakes or sports nutrition in general, don’t hesitate to contact our Nutrition Experts, who are always on hand to help you #FINDYOURFIT. Use the customer service channel on our site or hit us up on Instagram or TikTok, where you can also find daily inspiration, unique recipe ideas and next-level workouts for all levels and goals.
- How much protein do you need every day? - Harvard Health