Many of us eat protein for two among many purposes: to lose weight and to build muscle. But have you ever been unsure whether to choose a protein shake or a meal high in protein? We’re going to find out whether drinking protein and eating protein differ in any way.

So, should you drink or eat protein?

Well, protein is a necessary ingredient that is important for your health and benefits your muscles and bones regardless of where you get it from. It may improve your skin’s health, boost your immune system, help you maintain a healthy weight, help you build muscle, and much more! Now let’s come to the point.

FYI, there are a few significant differences between the protein sources.

Health Shots reached out to Deepti Lokeshappa, Msc Food Science and Nutrition, Senior Consultant-Clinical Nutritionist, Motherhood Hospital, Bengaluru, to help us understand the difference between eating and drinking protein.

Lokeshappa questions, “If you are into heavy workouts, then you are probably aware of the popularity of protein shakes. But are protein shakes healthy? Is it better than eating protein rich food? People often rely too much on supplements while overlooking the benefits of protein rich food in their diet.”

Protein powders can offer significant benefits. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Let’s look at the benefits of eating and drinking protein, which will help you decide on adding the best sources of protein to your diet.

Here are the benefits of drinking protein:

Protein is one of the building blocks of bone, skin, and muscles. Here are some benefits your body gets with protein shakes:

Weight management: Drinking protein will keep you feeling full for a long time, which helps you avoid frequent snacking and, thus, weight gain.

Muscle growth: Many fitness enthusiasts believe that drinking protein shakes helps them bulk up after strength training.

Added nutrition: Protein shakes and supplements give your body added nutrition that you may lack in your diet. It is also more convenient to consume.

Here are the benefits of eating protein:

Boosts metabolism and increases fat burning: Protein has a much higher thermic effect than fat and carbs. Having a protein-rich diet is proven to improve metabolism and help you burn more calories.

source of protein
Proteins are important nutrients for your overall health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Lowers your blood pressure: High blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and chronic kidney disease. Having protein rich food in your diet is shown to positively maintain blood pressure.

Also, read: 5 protein-rich foods you must include in your daily diet for weight loss

Less risky than drinking protein: It is far more difficult to go overboard with eating protein. Having too many supplements and protein shakes can have a negative impact on your body but it is not often the case with eating protein.

What’s better between eating protein and drinking protein?

People have a misconception that drinking protein shakes will help them gain muscle. This is partially true, but to get the muscle health benefits from protein, you can’t completely avoid foods. For good results, protein intake should be coupled with the right protein rich foods as well.

Lokeshappa says, “Since protein shakes are not meant to replace meals, they should be taken in moderation because a long term use can also pose certain health challenges like digestion issues, nausea, bloating, etc.”

source of protein
Protein plays a crucial role in the functioning of the body, across age groups. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

So, using both protein sources—from foods and powders—has advantages, whether you’re aiming to maintain your weight, build muscle, or just simply want to stay healthy. Additionally, since protein shakes have long-term negative consequences, you should limit your consumption and include more protein-rich foods in your diet, such as eggs, quinoa, cottage cheese, almonds, milk, fish, tofu, peanuts, and beans. A person who wishes to stay healthy should always choose a healthy, balanced diet.

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