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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Weight Management arrow When to Drink Protein Shakes for Weight Loss?

When to Drink Protein Shakes for Weight Loss?

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: April 7, 2023
5 min read 1430 Views 0 Comments
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Learn why drinking protein shakes in the morning, exercising, and eating a well-balanced diet will help you lose weight, and when is the perfect time to enjoy that well-deserved protein shake.

When to drink protein shakes for weight loss

Getting the right nutrition your body needs is one of the key elements of maintaining good health. 

Fitness is also an important element in being healthy, hence why people shed pounds to increase their chances of living longer and more fulfilling lives.

Good nutrition entails balancing your meals with the right food types, protein being a major macronutrient that contributes to gaining muscle while losing weight.

Are you worried that you aren’t getting enough protein in your diet? A protein shake may be your saving grace, helping you increase your protein intake essential to achieving your fitness goals.

This article will explain what they are, how they help individuals lose weight, and when to take the shakes for weight loss. 

Read to the end to find out more!

When to Drink Protein Shakes for Weight Loss

The best time to consume protein shakes for weight loss is in the morning, when your body needs enough energy to start the day.

Drinking a protein smoothie in the morning reduces your appetite because protein takes longer to digest, keeping you full longer. Protein increases appetite-reducing hormones like cholecystokinin, peptide-1, and peptide YY and inhibits ghrelin, the hunger hormone.

The protein-packed drink boosts metabolism and keeps it raised throughout the day, helping your body convert calories into energy instead of fat, and facilitating weight loss.

Therefore, individuals who drink a protein shake are likely to shed weight, as they tend to consume fewer calories throughout the day.

What Are Protein Shakes?

Protein shakes are drinks made by blending protein sources like protein powders, nuts or peanut butter, protein-rich seeds with water, or any other liquid like milk or yogurt.

The shakes provide individuals with a healthy protein intake necessary for aiding weight loss, improving metabolism, and gaining muscle mass.

Most people get protein in their diet when they eat foods like fish, chicken, beef, beans, and milk; taking protein supplements is ideal if they don’t get enough protein from food alone.

People can make a protein shake by blending the above ingredients or buying premade shakes available from different food brands. 

The protein powder an individual uses for shakes has its own type of protein to suit the needs of various customers. The protein types include:

  • Casein protein: It is a dairy-based protein with all the essential amino acids and is slowly absorbed into the body. 
  • Whey protein: It is a dairy-based protein with essential amino acids; the body absorbs it quickly.
  • Pea protein: This protein is plant-based; it is good for individuals with wheat or soy-derived protein allergies.
  • Soy protein: The protein is also plant-based and is rich in soy isoflavones, which are agents that imitate estrogen action and balance its metabolism.
  • Rice protein: A plant-based protein with lower lysine – an essential amino acid that aids the growth and healing of muscles.
  • Hemp protein: Hemp protein is plant-based and is rich in arginine, omega-3, and omega-6, and it has all the essential amino acids the body requires for cell building and synthesis of neurotransmitters and hormones.

What do protein shakes do?

Protein shakes help individuals lose weight by decreasing hunger and appetite, as protein helps release satiety hormones in the body. These shakes are a fantastic source of healthy, nutrition-packed meal replacement that doesn’t have unhealthy amounts of calories.

People who take shakes for breakfast have a high protein intake that may make them feel less hungry throughout the day, consume fewer calories, and lose more weight.

A high protein consumption through drinking shakes aids metabolism and helps build muscle mass. The protein-rich drink provides the thermic effect of protein to the body, boosting metabolism.

Are Protein Shakes Good for Weight Loss?

Protein shakes for weight loss are effective when individuals pair them with living a healthy lifestyle. Drinking these shakes alone doesn’t magically eradicate body fat, especially if you don’t exercise or continue eating unhealthy foods.

Drinking these protein-rich smoothies may help you lower body fat, feel full longer, keep lean muscle mass, and slim down. You can replace your meals with protein supplements to maximize their benefits for effective weight loss.

A 2018 study among overweight and obese adults in China backs the meal replacement for weight loss, proving that individuals who replaced dinner with a 388-calorie protein smoothie for 3 months lost more weight and had a greater BMI reduction than those who didn’t.

Those who ate dinner as usual lost about 0.5 pounds, while those on protein smoothie dinner replacement lost 9.5 pounds.

Consuming generous servings of protein smoothies doesn’t necessarily mean individuals magically shed pounds in the blink of an eye. When you take shakes and add a protein-rich meal to your diet, the body may store the excess calories as fat.

Individuals should reduce their overall calorie intake to experience the best results out of a protein shake meal replacement for lunch or dinner.

Combine drinking shakes with engaging in physical activity like walking, jogging, or exercising at the gym into your daily routine. Protein shakes are effective when combined with a healthy lifestyle.

4 Benefits of Protein Shakes

Protein shakes speed up recovery, boost metabolism, maximize muscle growth, and help individuals lose weight. The benefits are explained as follows:

#1 Might speed up recovery

Protein shakes boost your muscle recovery after a grueling workout session. The protein-rich drink is good to supply your body with post-workout protein for muscle growth and repair, as protein is a good nutrient that repairs muscle tissues as they tear during exercise.

Also, drinking the smoothie helps supply the body with enzymes that help in food digestion, which supplies energy for a healthy cell turnover, speeding up recovery.

#2 Aids muscle growth

Protein shakes are rich in protein, an important nutrient that aids in muscle growth and strength. Protein has amino acids, which are the building blocks that aid in muscle growth, as exercise tears and wears down muscles.

The protein constantly repairs the muscle fibers, helping them grow bigger and stronger. Therefore, every time you drink a protein shake, you are helping your body repair and build muscles.

#3 Boosts metabolism

Consuming a protein shake can boost metabolism because it takes more energy to digest protein. It takes more energy to metabolize and break down a gram of protein than fat or carbohydrates, so taking a protein smoothie improves metabolism.

#4 Helps to lose weight

Protein smoothies have high protein content, decreasing hunger and appetite because protein takes longer to digest. Individuals who drink the smoothie feel full longer and consume fewer calories throughout the day, helping them lose body weight.


How many times a day should you drink protein shakes to lose weight? 

You should drink two protein shakes per day instead of two full meals to increase your chances of losing weight. Consult with your doctor or dietitian before you make that change. 

Do protein shakes make you fat?

Drinking a protein shake while partaking in a high-protein diet provides your body with excess calories; it may store the calories as fat instead of converting them into energy.

Which type of protein is best?

Whey protein is the best protein type that absorbs quickly. It contains the essential and easily digested amino acids that aid in muscle growth, reduces inflammation, and helps individuals shed weight.

A Word From Our Dietitian

Protein shakes are drinks made from protein powders, water, milk, fruits, vegetables, yogurt, nuts, and edible seeds. The drinks are rich in protein, an important nutrient for muscle growth in the body.

Protein supplements help individuals get a sufficient protein intake each day, supplying enough calories while reducing hunger and appetite. Protein takes longer to digest; hence it takes longer for an individual who has consumed the drink to feel hungry, aiding in weight loss.

Also, the protein-rich smoothie may boost metabolism, as protein consumes more energy when the body digests it. The delicious drink might speed up muscle recovery after exercising because protein helps repair muscle fibers that tear due to activities like working out.

You can replace heavy meals with shakes to give your body enough nutrients without consuming too many calories. Always consult a medical expert before taking protein shakes.

The best time to consume a protein shake is in the morning before you eat anything else. The delicious drink will supply you with the right nutrients your body needs to jumpstart the day.

Note that drinking protein smoothies alone may not yield powerful weight loss results. The key to shedding weight is to combine drinking the smoothie with exercising and eating a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein.

Drinking a protein smoothie while having enough proteins in your meal or a higher protein diet may cause your body to store the excess calories as fat, making you gain weight instead of losing it.


Protein shakes are protein-packed drinks with various benefits for the body, including aiding metabolism, facilitating weight loss, speeding up recovery, and boosting muscle growth. These shakes work best when consumed in the morning and combined with a good exercise routine.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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