When To Drink Protein Shakes for Weight Loss?

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Increasing your protein intake can help you lose unwanted body weight, but there are a few things you need to consider.

Firstly, you have to decide which protein product to try. Unsurprisingly, you have many excellent choices here.

After figuring this out, you must learn when to drink protein shakes for weight loss.

The answer is more straightforward than you think, and we’ll dive more into this later on. 

Before we do, let’s first discuss what role protein supplements play in your weight loss journey.

Protein Powder for Weight Loss?

It might be hard for some people to imagine that high-protein diets can help you shed those extra pounds.

This is understandable given how effective whey protein supplements are in helping people do the opposite, which is to gain muscle mass.

Naturally, you get heavier as you continue to bulk up. However, there is one thing that many people fail to understand in this scenario.

How Protein Helps You Lose Weight

Protein is actually very good at creating a calorie deficit, and it works in two ways.

Firstly, it reduces the production of the hunger hormone known as ghrelin. Secondly, protein does a great job of raising the levels of appetite-reducing hormones.

This two-prong approach is very effective at curbing hunger, so it would be easier for you to resist food.

It will reduce your calorie intake, which means you will achieve a better body fat percentage.

What’s more, protein requires more energy to burn compared to carbohydrates and fats.

Its impact on your overall metabolism is not that high, but it offers enough potential benefits.

Another thing that makes protein blends better than unhealthy options to curb hunger is that they are low on calories.

As long as you look for complete protein powders that have low-calorie content, you are good to go.

You will have enough energy to fuel your favorite exercise routine and optimize your exercise performance.

This means that you will be able to burn more calories, which, again, is a big aid in weight loss. At the same time, you will get the extra protein you need to prevent muscle loss.

What all these things mean is that, by increasing your protein intake, you can achieve your fitness goals safely and effectively.

You will shed those extra pounds while retaining all your lean muscles.

Read also: How Long Does Protein Powder Last?

Protein powders are available in both animal- and plant-based options, and they come in many different forms.

The most popular ones are whey proteins and casein proteins, which are both from dairy products.

If you are looking for a dairy-free option, soy protein, hemp protein, and pea protein powders are excellent choices. 


Whey is a by-product of the cheese production process, so it is a dairy-based protein.

What makes it a great choice as a dietary supplement for your weight loss goals is that it contains all essential amino acids.

Note that your body does not make all of them, so you need to be able to fill the gap with dietary protein.

This way, you won’t experience muscle loss as you try to shed those extra pounds.

Another thing you need to know about whey is that your body absorbs it quickly. It has a high level of bioavailability and can help facilitate muscle protein synthesis.


Casein is another by-product of cheesemaking and is also a complete protein powder.

What sets it apart from whey is that your body absorbs it more slowly, resulting in a gradual release of amino acids.

The steady amino acid release helps make you feel full longer, so most people take it before going to bed.

Doing this will help you resist the urge for late-night snacking, which is great if you want to lose weight.


Even if you are allergic to dairy products, all is not lost; you can try soy to increase your protein intake instead.

This plant-based protein powder is also a good source of complete protein, just like its animal-based counterparts.

What’s more, it is low on calories, making it an excellent choice for weight loss programs.


Like soy, pea protein powder is another plant-based powder that is great for losing weight.

It is less allergenic than soy but low on methionine and cysteine, which are both essential amino acids.


Rice protein powder is another hypoallergenic option for your weight loss journey.

Though it is not a complete protein, it has loads of arginine, which enhances fat metabolism.


Hemp protein comes from hemp seeds and contains lots of fiber.

It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help prevent heart disease and omega-6, which is good for bone health and many others.

When it comes to amino acids, hemp protein is a bit low on lysine, but it does have a high arginine content.

When To Drink Protein Shakes for Weight Loss

Now that we have covered all the bases, it is time the discuss when to drink protein shakes for weight loss.

A good place to start is the timing with respect to your workouts. Should you consume your protein shake before or after you hit the gym?

A lot of fitness enthusiasts find themselves asking this question, and they have probably heard varying answers.

The truth is that it does not matter much whether you use it as a pre-workout supplement for energy or a post-workout drink for recovery.

As long as you have a balanced diet and eat high-protein meals throughout the day, you will meet your daily protein intake requirement.

When To Drink Protein Shakes for Weight Loss

Do You Take Large Meals or Small Meals?

It generally takes your body several hours to break down and absorb dietary protein from the food you eat.

This is especially true if you have a large meal with a healthy mix of carbohydrates and fats.

Therefore, the release of amino acids will go on pretty much throughout the day. Things become a bit more challenging if you eat small meals.

For instance, if you had a light breakfast and want to work out three to four hours after, it might be best to drink your protein shake an hour before you start.

The same is true if you do fasted training, where you do not consume carbs during the time leading up to your workout.

Make sure you drink a protein shake with around 20 grams of protein. Doing this will help minimize muscle protein breakdown, which results in muscle loss.

Can You Have Protein Shakes For Breakfast?

Now, how about throughout the day?

Since your goal is to lose weight, it might be best to drink your protein shake during breakfast.

Remember that protein takes longer to digest compared to carbs and fats, which means that you won’t feel hungry right away.

In other words, you would be eating less throughout the day. 

Another good time to drink a protein shake is when you feel like snacking. Instead of reaching for something unhealthy, prepare a protein shake instead.

How To Lose Excess Weight More Effectively

It’s hard to lose weight, period. It is even more difficult if you do not have a system in place.

You won’t be able to keep track of what works and what doesn’t, which means that the results will be unpredictable.

If you are serious about getting rid of the extra pounds, try to establish a straightforward weight loss program.

Find out how many calories you need to burn to create a deficit. At the same time, come up with a meal plan.

It can just be a rough outline of healthy high-protein meals you can rotate throughout the day.

Some common examples are fatty fish, which is rich in omega-3, and chicken, which is rich in protein but low in fat.

You could then incorporate your protein shake into your diet. From there, you will be able to set realistic weight loss goals for yourself. 

When it comes to your choice of protein powders, make sure you go with low-calorie products. Some contain lots of calories and are designed specifically to help you bulk up.

Also, make sure it does not have too many artificial ingredients that might bring about unintended results.

Adding Protein Powder To Your Weight Loss Program

Aside from coming up with a weight loss plan, there are a few more things you should consider.

We have talked about the most common protein powder ingredients in passing, as you need to monitor your calorie intake to lose weight.

Make sure it has no artificial flavorings or other unhealthy additives. Also, it should have healthy levels of carbohydrates, fiber, fats, and other nutrients.

Too much, and they would only end up as extra calories. On the flip side, too little will leave you with no energy to fuel your workouts.

If it sounds like too much information to take in, don’t worry. There are protein powders in the market designed specifically for weight loss.

In fact, you have more options to choose from than you might think. You can take your pick depending on your budget or preference in taste.

Another way to narrow down your choices is by looking for products that have been tested by third-party organizations.

It will help ensure you are getting an effective protein powder formula that is also safe to drink.

An Effective Way To Lose Weight

Most people do not know it, but protein powders are actually effective tools for weight loss.

You’d be amazed at the results that it can give, especially if you pair it with a balanced diet and consistent exercise.

The key is knowing when to take your protein shake to maximize its effect.

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