Sources of protein: is it better to get protein from food or powder?


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

So, should we drink or eat protein?

Well, protein is a necessary ingredient that is important for your health and benefits your muscles and bones no matter where you get it from. It can improve your skin health, boost your immune system, help you maintain a healthy weight, help you build muscle, and so much more! Now let’s get to the point.

For your information, there are some significant differences between 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 asks, “If you do heavy workouts, you’re probably aware of the popularity of protein shakes. But are protein shakes healthy? Is it better than eating high protein foods? People often rely too heavily on supplements while overlooking the benefits of protein-rich foods in their diets.

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 whether to add the best sources of protein to your diet.

Here are the benefits of drinking protein:

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

Weight management: Drinking protein will keep you feeling full for a long time, which will help you avoid frequent snacking and, as a result, 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 provide your body with extra nutrition that you may be lacking in your diet. It is also more convenient to consume.

Here are the benefits of eating protein:

Boosts metabolism and increases fat burning: Proteins have a much higher thermic effect than fats and carbohydrates. A high protein diet has been proven to improve metabolism and help you burn more calories.

source of protein
Protein is an important nutrient 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 foods in your diet has been shown to positively maintain blood pressure.

Also read: 5 High Protein Foods You Must Include In Your Daily Diet To Lose Weight

Less risky than drinking protein: It’s much harder to go overboard when eating protein. Having too many protein supplements and shakes can have a negative impact on your body, but that’s not often the case with protein intake.

What’s better between eating protein and drinking protein?

People mistakenly think that drinking protein shakes will help them gain muscle. That’s partially true, but to get the muscle-health benefits of protein, you can’t completely avoid foods. For good results, protein intake should also be paired with the right protein-rich foods.

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

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

So there are benefits to using both sources of protein – from food and powders – whether you’re aiming to maintain weight, build muscle, or just stay healthy. Also, since protein shakes have negative long-term consequences, you should limit your intake 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 wants to stay healthy should always choose a healthy and balanced diet.


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