Weight Loss Shakes Vs Protein Shakes: What’s the Difference?

Last Updated 26th June 2020

Weight loss shakes and protein shakes are entirely different products with different formulations, different purposes and different health benefits, yet are frequently misunderstood and interchanged.

There’s a lot of confusion around the differences between weight loss shakes and protein shakes, so here we investigate and clarify what’s what and lay it all out in simple terms to explain all.

What Are Weight Loss Shakes?

Weight loss shakes are drinks usually the consistency of thick milkshakes, hence the name ‘shake’.

As the name suggests, the purpose of consuming a weight loss shake is to try and lose weight.

The idea of a weight loss shake is for it to be consumed in place of a solid food meal (or two, per day, but no more) but to contain less calories.

This, along with a well-balanced healthy and active lifestyle, should leave the consumer in a calorie deficit; that is, consuming less calories per day than they burn.

When in a calorie deficit, the body instead burns fat, and so the individual loses weight. Weight loss shakes are usually made up by combining a powdered formula with milk or water as and when desired.

Not all weight loss shakes are born equal, but when properly formulated, they should be nutritionally balanced enough to deliver a thorough nutritional profile that provides all vitamins, minerals and ingredients the body needs.

Nutribuddy shakes are designed and formulated by an in-house nutritionist, and full nutritional profiles are listed on each product page.

meal replacement shakes for women

What Are Protein Shakes?

Protein shakes are beverages designed with protein powder to give the consumer an extra dose of protein on top of that already being consumed through their standard diet.

There are lots of different types of protein powder that shakes can be formulated with, but the most prevalent are whey, casein, soy, hemp and rice.

In lots of cases, the powders they are made with are artificially created or have artificial ingredients within them; as they’re cheap to produce.

Most people don’t need to consume any extra protein to reach the required daily amount to stay healthy, so this extra protein is consumed as an additive rather than a supplement.

Extra protein consumption can be taken for a multitude of reasons, but the most common is that the individual is looking to tone and bulk up on muscle mass. In this case, the protein shake is consumed either just before, during, or closely after a period of exercise activity to optimise the body’s absorption of it.

If you’re looking for a protein shake that doesn’t include any synthetic ingredients and is completely vegan, the Nutribuddy Sculpting High Protein Shake is a brilliant option.

Nutribuddy High-Protein Sculpting Shake's natural wholefood ingredients
Nutribuddy’s High-Protein Sculpting Shake

What’s the Difference Between Weight Loss Shakes and Protein Shakes?

Weight loss shakes and protein shakes are designed for different purposes, and so are formulated differently.

A weight loss shake contains a more thorough nutritional profile than a protein shake, which is primarily just, of course, protein.

A protein shake does not contain enough nutrients to sustain the body and so should never be consumed as a meal replacement product.

When Should I Use a Weight Loss Shake?

If you are otherwise healthy but looking to embark on a weight loss journey that’s healthy and long-lasting, a weight loss shake is an ideal addition to your active lifestyle.

The Nutribuddy products are nutritionally complete enough to replace up to two meals a day and are completely vegan, as well being sugar-free, GMO-free, gluten-free and artificial-ingredient-free.

These weight loss shakes are ideal as a meal replacement to be consumed once or twice a day.

When Should I Use a Protein Shake?

A protein shake should be consumed if you’re looking to tone up or build up muscle mass as part of an exercise and activity regime.

The rest of your diet should otherwise be well-balanced and healthy, and the protein shake should be an addition and not a replacement for anything else.

Most protein shakes contain animal products, but the Nutribuddy Sculpting High Protein Shake is completely vegan.

natural meal replacement shakes

Which is Healthier: Weight Loss Shakes or Protein Shakes?

Both weight loss shakes and protein shakes can be extremely healthy additions to your lifestyle, but need to be consumed in a responsible manner and in the way they’re intended to be. 

If you’re looking at both weight loss shakes and protein shakes side-to-side, a well-balanced weight loss shake is the healthier of the two, as it provides more nutrients than just a protein product.

However, a protein shake is never to be consumed without an otherwise thorough nutritional profile obtained through standard diet, and so the comparison is irrelevant.

The key for both weight loss shakes and protein shakes being as healthy as possible is for the ingredients within them to be as natural and well-balanced as possible.

There are lots of shakes available to buy, and each is made slightly differently. It’s imperative to understand exactly what you are consuming before you make the decision to include it in your diet.

Nutribuddy products are vegan and entirely free from any synthetic ingredients, and the nutritional profile of all products are displayed prominently on the website.

This, however, is not the industry standard – so don’t assume other manufacturer’s products will be the same.

Avoid mass-produced budget options and anything containing ingredients you don’t recognise.

vegan protein powders

Final Thoughts

The wording used around weight loss shakes and protein shakes can vary hugely, and often for marketing purposes, the language used is vague and generic.

This means that there is frequently confusion over the formulations of such products and their health benefits.

Finding premium products that are as healthy as they can be a challenge – but finding products that work for you is imperative if you wish to achieve your health goals. 

If in doubt, contact the manufacturer to discuss the ins and outs of their formulations.

If a brand isn’t willing to be transparent and open about their products, it’s usually because they have something to hide.

Openness and honesty is always the best policy; particularly if something affects your health.

Nutribuddy Breakfast Shake and Shake Complete

Stock image credit: UnsplashPexels & Pixabay

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Nutribuddy Ltd.

Author Bio!

Post by Lex

I’m a full-time Marketing Manager and Copywriter but also a qualified yoga teacher and keen runner; so I know a thing or two about maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a good dose of fitness! My previous roles include marketing and social media for the likes of the household names including the Cabinet Office and Aviva. Outside of work, I’m a Mum, passionate social rights campaigner and bookworm.