Meal Replacement Shakes vs. Protein Shakes

 8 min read

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Are you trying to get into a healthier lifestyle? Want to get a grip over how many calories you are consuming? There's no denying that what you eat directly affects your health, whether it's weight loss or muscle gain. The calories present in your meals and the nutrients like proteins, saturated fat, and fiber present per serving are the most direct way to control the way your body changes.

Getting the right amount of nutrients can be challenging if you are adhering to your normal diet. But there are ways to control how many nutrients you are taking in a meal. While an easy way to do this is simply checking things like calories per serving in your every meal, it's not the most efficient route for weight management and muscle buildup. For these purposes, the most effective route is to eat (rather drink) shakes that have the right amount of everything!

Admittedly, these might not be the tastiest meals for you to look forward to, but a nutrition shake will have you seeing results in no time! But before you go out buying any nutrition shake out there, you need to know which one serves you better: a meal replacement shake or a protein shake? And you don't need to be a registered dietitian to know that.

Meal Replacement shake vs. Protein shake: what's the distinction?

We live in a consumer society where artificial additives and artificial sweeteners can be found in almost every food we eat. But nutrition shakes are ready to drink shakes containing all essential vitamins and minerals that you need. However, the road to health and fitness is not that simple. 

There are two main types of nutrient shakes that you can choose from meal replacement shakes and protein shakes. Although they might seem to serve the same purpose, there's a significant difference between the two. So, whether it's their composition or their use, you must evaluate your needs and see which one suits you better.

So what are the two shakes, and what's the big difference?

Meal Replacement shakes

Meal replacement is exactly what it sounds like. This shake is designed to give you nutrition present in a complete meal while cutting down on the calories per serving. Picture a greasy, high-calorie burger with saturated fat and carbs, and think about the calories present in there

Now replace that image with a ready-to-drink, high-protein drink. Of course, you can choose the flavor to make things exciting, and artificial sweeteners can give it a chocolate shake taste. 

While we will dive into the composition of a Meal replacement shake, they are generally composed of the same essential vitamins and minerals that you find in a complete meal.

But there's a significant reduction in the calories that are present. To roughly quantify our point, if there is a typical meal containing 400 calories or so, a meal replacement drink will provide you the same nutrients in 250 calories or less!

Protein shake

A protein shake works very differently. As the name suggests, its primary and often only purpose is to concentrate a high protein concoction to increase your daily protein intake. A shake high in protein could contain as much as 25 grams of protein per serving.

At its core, this shake is made for athletic and muscle-building purposes. When you work out, your muscles expand, and there is room for new muscle buildup. A protein shake essentially provides the added proteins needed to make new muscles.

While this shake is also low in calorie serving, it does not contain the needed daily value of different nutrients. Protein drinks are shakes you can grab in between meals or workouts for healthy muscle growth.

Goals and purpose

Now that you know what the two main types of nutrition shakes are, let's see how those distinctions change the purpose you use them for. Different fitness goals require different nutrients. You can't expect to lose weight by eating greek yogurt peanut butter, which has fat in them, but that same greek yogurt is high in protein which makes it good for fitness. 

Hence you need to be clear on what you are looking for and which type of shake can help you meet your goals better. Whether it's 13 grams of protein from a meal replacement shake or 30 grams of protein in a protein shake, it makes a massive difference in the long run.

Which one suits muscle buildup?

When you are looking to buff up and get into heavy weight lifting, it makes intuitive sense that you want more concentrated protein in your diet. In this case, you are looking for things with a high amount of protein, such as pea protein shakes and whey protein. Another reason to get into protein drinks is if you find your muscles being overly sore.

This soreness is an indication that the amount of protein your body is getting can not keep up with how much you are using your muscles. Protein intake needs to increase when muscles are being used more than usual. This is because proteins are needed to repair the muscle and protein fiber that is burnt out in a workout.

Another big consumer market for protein drinks and shakes are people who partake in competitive muscle building or people who are looking to get a leaner, sharper muscle body for the summers. A protein shake can be the final push that people are looking for to get rid of their body fat and bring out shredded abs.

The issue with many of the products on the market is that they focus only on protein content and overall all other nutritional requirements. And that’s a valid critique, yes protein is important but it isn’t the only thing your body needs.

That’s why the Lyfe Fuel Recovery Shake contains not just 25 grams of complete protein to repair and rebuild muscle but also other vital nutrients and minerals. With this shake you’re fulfilling all your body’s needs in terms of proteins, vitamins and minerals, which is why it is so popular amongst our customers. You won’t need any other products to supplement the Lyfe Fuel Recovery Shake.

Which one suits weight loss?

If you're not a fitness freak looking to win a competition for the most shredded protein shakes may not be for you. However, if you're looking to lose that quarantine weight or just want to be more involved in your weight management, meal replacement shakes are the way to go. These healthy drinks are packed with nutrients needed for an average meal. 

This might be an odd habit to get into, but you can guilt-free skip your next meal and swap that with a meal replacement shake instead. There's no reason to worry about losing out on other health components because the only thing you are reducing per serving is calorie intake. Your blood sugar levels shouldn't be affected too much either, and if they are, you should consult a registered dietitian.

But you might wonder why meal replacement shakes have a moderately high amount of protein in them? While weight loss meal replacement drinks do manage to cut down on calories, they still need to account for the mechanisms your body has to combat hunger. The protein in meal replacement drinks can be up to 20 grams per serving, and this is important in satiating your appetite.

 The Lyfe Fuel Essentials Shake comes with a tried-and-tested formula that is chock full of essential nutrients. It is vegan and keto friendly so it will easily fit in your current diet regimen. And you won’t have to spend hours trying to think of low calorie meal plans. Just a few scoops of the Essentials Shake will get you through the day.

There’s a common misconception that meal replacement shakes are bland and flavourless. That’s simply not true. Cuttinf down on calories shouldn’t be a torturous process. That’s why our shake comes in 2 delicious flavor options, vanilla and chocolate. So you can fulfil your cravings while still staying healthy

Can you utilise protein shakes as meal replacements?

Another question you might find yourself asking when you see the nutrient composition of meal replacement stuff is why can't protein shakes just work as meal replacements? The answer is packed in the overall composition of the two and not just the fact that both contain similar amounts of protein.

A meal replacement drink is composed of a bunch of nutrients, from protein and fiber to fat and sugar. While both of them are high protein, ready-to-drink shakes, a meal replacement shake is the only one that can make up for a complete meal. If you use protein shakes in a similar manner, you'll risk acquiring deficiencies for other things like healthy fats, fiber, sugar, carbs, and essential vitamins and minerals.

There is, however, a way around this as well. If you are replacing a meal with a protein shake instead of a meal replacement shake, then you can choose other small meals to have throughout the day to fulfill your nutrition requirements. Whole grain cereals for breakfast can make up for fiber deficiencies, and you can take supplements for vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients. Additionally, while you want to avoid foods with a lot of added sugar, keeping a chocolate on you is a good idea for when you are starting out.

Another question that people ask a lot is if there's a way to lose weight by replacing two meals with protein shakes. The simple answer is yes. Because your calorie intake is minimized significantly by replacing meals with protein drinks, your weight gain is reduced. The heavy protein intake will also make sure your body doesn't bugger you with hunger pangs.

Do keep in mind that in addition to calorie reduction, your diet is also missing some essential micronutrients, and you will have to make up for that deficiency later.

What does a meal replacement shake contain?

Generally speaking, meal replacement drinks cut down calories by a big amount, but when you're thinking about weight loss, you might be interested in knowing the specifics. You might be wondering exactly what goes into a meal replacement drink. And as you should be!

After all, you are replacing a complete meal with this. While putting a number on calorie distribution is a struggle in itself, there are rough estimates you can use to monitor what you eat.

An average meal replacement contains the following:
1. Anywhere from 15 grams to 20 grams of protein.
2.Around 5 grams of fiber per serving
3.Anywhere between 5 and 13 grams of carbs.
4.Approximately 180 calories, but you can adjust it up to 250 calories if needed.
5.The number of micro nutrients such as vitamins, minerals like zinc can vary.

  While meal replacement drinks give a great boost to your weight loss process, they can also be a good way to save money. Additionally, while protein shakes can't act as meal replacement shakes, meal replacement shakes can certainly act as protein shakes. If you think 20 grams of protein isn't as high as you would want, you can throw in more pea protein powder to raise the grams of protein.

What does a protein shake contain?

Where does the extra protein come from in protein shakes, and what exactly makes it so high in protein concentration? You can increase the normal high protein foods you eat like peanut butter, milk, or yogurt, but you'll still be intaking too many calories. Besides, you don't want to fill up on other nutrients, so the name of the game is maximizing the percentage of protein in your diet.

Protein shakes are made from protein powders, which are derived from three main things: Protein concentrates, protein isolates, and protein hydrolysates. The protein concentrates use heat with either acids or enzymes to form condensed powders. These powders can have up to 82% protein in them, although the estimates usually fall around 70%. The rest of the material is composed of fat and carbs

Protein isolates further try "purifying" the protein concentrate in attempts to reach higher percentages of protein by mass. Further filtration allows for this to happen and can provide up to 90% protein by mass. Furthering applying acids and enzymes leads to reactions that form protein hydrolates. These substances are much more efficient in your diet as they can be absorbed faster.

Consuming more protein this way gives your body more stuff to work with, i.e., develop new muscles faster, repair worn ones more efficiently, and reduce soreness. And even though that is happening whenever you take your protein shakes (or meal replacement shakes for that matter), we advise drinking these right after your workout, before you have your next meal.

Best Protein shakes

Once you've figured out whether protein shakes work better for you or meal replacement shakes, you need to look into what your options are within that. Picking a reliable brand or product is essential for a bunch of reasons.

Finding plant-based foods

Firstly, you don't want to get reeled into expensive products that don't match your needs. Secondly, you need a tried and tested brand that produces a product that you can trust. By this, we mean that the composition and percentage of proteins in, for example, your whey protein or the grams of fiber or saturated fats is actually the same as what's claimed.

Essentials Shake

When it comes to meal replacement shapes, the Lyfe Fuel Essentials Shake is one of the best on the market. If you are someone who wants to shift to a health-conscious lifestyle but can’t figure out where to start, the Essentials Shakes comes with the complete health benefits of a balanced diet.

That means you won’t need to go grocery shopping every week, spend hours on meal prep, or categorize your vegetables by nutrient type. The Lyfe Fuel Essentials Shake has been designed by experts, using scientific formulae to create a nutrient packed, vegan, plant-based meal replacement. And all you need to do is add a few scoops to your drink to get the rewards.

 You can get 24 meals per bag and it comes in 2 delicious flavours, vanilla and chocolate. It will save you time, energy, and money. Our meal replacement shakes are vegan and keto friendly so they’re suited to all diet types.

Whether you want to control your cravings or get clean energy without the post-meal crash, you need to look no further than the Lyfe Fuel Essentials Shake. This affordable, all-purpose shake will fulfil all your body’s needs. Plus Lyfe Fuel offers a 100 percent return policy on all orders because customer satisfaction is our number one priority.

At Lyfe Fuel we want to create a like minded community of people who are healthy conscious, fitness motivated, and environmentally friendly. We donate a percent of our proceeds to environmental and social justice programs so you’ll be contributing to green change with every purchase. Get started now and watch your life transform.

Recovery Shake

The Lyfe Fuel Recovery Shake has been carefully crafted with your needs in mind. Popular among athletes and high performers, this formula consists of the perfect combination of whole food, organic ingredients and performance enhancing superfoods. Unlike other brands that overload on the protein aspect of their shakes, Lyfe Fuel refocuses the attention on all your body’s needs.

That is why the Lyfe Fuel Recovery Shake contains not just 25 grams of complete protein to repair and rebuild muscle but also other vital nutrients and minerals. Since it caters to all your body’s needs and not just one aspect, you won’t need any other products to go with your Recovery Shake.

Simply add a scoup to your drink after a heavy workout and replenish your body’s electrolytes and nutrients. With this high-quality, speciality shake you’ll be able to train harder, for longer periods, and recover faster afterwards. The results will be instantaneous and you’ll begin noticing them within weeks of when you started following our regimen.

Compound this with the Lyfe Fuel 21 Day Program and watch your progress improve exponentially. After all, eating right is only one part of the formula. You also need to train regularly, keeping your mind and body in top shape.

We offer all our customers a 100 percent money-back guarantee. That’s how certain we are about the quality of our products. And the icing on top - free shipping across the US! So, order yours today and get started on your fitness journey.


Whether you should go for a meal replacement shake or a protein shake depends solely on what you are looking for. The former works best for weight loss, while the latter is more suited to muscle build-up and drinking in between workouts. As far as the differences in composition and uses are concerned, you need to be cautious when you use the two interchangeably. 

We advise against the use of protein shakes to replace complete meals. Conversely, however, we think most meal replacement shakes are good enough in high protein composition that they can be used for either purpose.

Whatever you opt for at the end of the day, you can greatly benefit from this guide. Good luck with your adventures!

Disclaimer: The LYFE Fuel blog is for informational purposes only. The information does not serve as a replacement for professional medical advice or treatment. We kindly ask you not to ignore professional medical advice because of any information you’ve read on If you have any concerns about your health, please consult a physician or appropriate health care expert.