The Best Time Of Day To Drink Protein Shakes If You Want To Lose Weight

Protein is one of the key macronutrients that keep your body strong and healthy. Your body needs protein to maintain your tissues and help your muscles grow (via Healthline). Protein also balances the fluids and pH levels in your body, supports your immune system, and helps shuttle vital nutrients through your bloodstream.

The British Heart Foundation suggests 0.75 grams of protein for a kilogram of body weight. For someone weighing 150 pounds, that's 51 grams of protein per day. Although many people already get plenty of protein per day, adding more protein to your diet could make you feel fuller for longer while also maintaining fat-burning muscle mass, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Your body also uses more energy to digest protein than carbs or fats, and it's also harder for your body to store excess protein as fat. Rather than eating all of your protein all at once, it's best to spread your protein throughout the day. If you want to lose weight, try adding a protein shake to your breakfast routine.

Protein at breakfast can help you eat less

We all know that some of those sweet breakfast foods can be tempting. Blueberry muffins or chocolate-chip scones might taste delicious with your soy latte, but none of these will fill you up until lunchtime. That means your taste buds and stomach might win the cravings battle when someone passes around the mid-morning donuts.

For people who don't like breakfast, a protein shake might do the trick to keep you full, according to a 2019 study in Nutrition. Compared to a carb-based breakfast shake, soy and whey protein shakes both can leave you feeling fuller while also having you eat less for lunch.

If you're not a fan of protein shakes, adding any protein to breakfast can help you eat less. A 2015 study in Nutrition Journal had women eating either a high-protein breakfast, a low-protein pancake breakfast, or no breakfast. The women eating high-protein breakfasts felt more satisfied and ate significantly less at lunch than the women in the other conditions. They also had fewer fluctuations in blood sugar and insulin.

More protein at breakfast can also reduce the hunger hormone ghrelin, according to a 2006 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study compared a high-protein breakfast with 58% of the calories from protein to a breakfast with 19% protein. Although the high-protein breakfast didn't have people eating less later, it resulted in a lower amount of ghrelin in the system.

Protein plus calorie deficit can mean weight loss

While a calorie deficit can result in weight loss, increasing your protein during this deficit can cause you to lose more weight. In other words, just adding protein to your breakfast might not be enough for your weight loss efforts, according to a 2008 study in the International Journal of Obesity. The study had some people eating a 340-calorie breakfast with eggs or a same-calorie breakfast with a bagel for at least five days a week for eight weeks. Some people were given a low-fat diet that would provide a daily deficit of 1,000 calories while others could eat whatever they wanted during other meals.

After eight weeks, the people who had eggs for breakfast and also dieted lost more weight, reduced more of their body mass index (BMI), and reduced their waist circumference compared to the dieters who had the bagel breakfasts. However, those who could eat what they wanted didn't lose any weight, regardless of what breakfast they ate.