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Is A Protein Shake Good For Breakfast? (Dietitian Answers)

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: March 23, 2023
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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

It becomes the least important meal when you’re in a rush trying to get out the door.

That’s where an easy-to-make protein shake comes in handy.

But just because it's a great breakfast help doesn’t always make it the best breakfast routine.

To find out whether a breakfast protein shake is a good part of your diet, we’ve delved into the science behind them to analyse their effects on the human body.

Quick Summary

  • A protein shake is good for breakfast as it's an excellent way to boost your nutritional needs.
  • The benefits of protein shakes include body weight management, maintenance of muscle tissues, blood sugar control, and energy boost.
  • Taking protein shake on an empty stomach for breakfast helps avoid bloating and indigestion.

Is Having a Protein Shake for Breakfast a Good Idea?

woman smiling while holding a glass of drink

Having a healthy protein shake for breakfast is a great way to get your day started with a boost in nutritional value.

These shakes can also be used as a meal replacement. Compared to ordinary meals, they are quick and easy to prepare.

This provides a convenient way for people to consume their calories despite rushing around in the morning.

For those that start their day with a morning workout, a shake also acts as a pre-workout boost.

This is because the nutrients inside the shake also contain everything needed for the effective repair and building of muscle mass.

What Are the Benefits of a Protein Shake?

woman using a measuring tape on her waist

Proteins are the building blocks for muscles, bones, skin, hair, and hormones. So supplementing your diet with a nutritious protein shake provides your body with a number of benefits.

Body Weight Management

Drinking a protein shake can help keep people on track with their diets and weight loss goals in many ways. These include:

  • Increasing basal metabolism rate: By increasing metabolism, fat is broken down more quickly into energy, leading to overall weight loss.
  • Providing a feeling of fullness: Proteins take more time than other foods to break down, keeping you full for longer periods. This helps curb hunger and food cravings, thereby minimizing calorie intake.
  • Acting as an alternative to snacks: Snacking is one of the biggest contributors to body weight. As snacks offer very little nutrition to calorie ratio, they do nothing more than put on pounds.  Consuming a shake as a morning or late-night snack will offer a healthy dose of nutrients while keeping junk food at bay.

Maintenance and Repair of Muscle Tissue

man working out with kinesio tapes on his back

Protein contains amino acids, which are the essential building blocks for muscle fibers and tissues.

These acids help athletes recover from training and improve muscular endurance.

As a result, muscle growth is promoted, leading to greater strength and size.

Blood Sugar Control

According to researchers:

“A high-protein diet lowers blood glucose postprandially in persons with type 2 diabetes and improves overall glucose control. [1]”

- Mary C. Gannon, Metabolic Researcher

This is due to protein shakes stimulating bodily systems to secrete insulin, thereby keeping blood sugar levels in check.

Energy Boost

man raising his arms in happiness outdoors

Breaking down proteins provides you with long-lasting bursts of energy.

Protein shakes consist of complex amino acids that supercharge your metabolism by 25%.

This increased metabolism raises your energy levels and will have you kicking it hard during workouts.

Can Protein Shakes Replace Breakfast?

mason jar filled with protein shake with ingredients scattered beside it

Replacing breakfast recipes with a wholesome protein shake is one of the most effective ways to lose weight and promote overall body health.

Popular morning foods such as white bread and cereal are heavy in carbs.

Getting rid of these types of food lowers your daily calorie count and contributes to your weight loss journey and fitness goals.

One key thing to note is that a typical shake contains protein powders like whey protein powder mixed with milk or water.

Taken every day, this powder concoction would not sustain your nutritional demands compared to balanced meals.

If you’re looking to rely solely on shakes for breakfast, you’ll want to explore different recipes to ensure it's nutritionally balanced. Here are some ingredients you can add to your protein smoothie for more nutrition diversity.

  • Almond milk is low in calories and fat compared to ordinary milk. It also adds creaminess and flavor to the shake.
  • Vegetables such as kale, spinach, and chard provide a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • Fruits are a great choice to add sweetness to the shake. Popular options include bananas, strawberries, pineapple, avocado, mango, and blueberries for antioxidants and vitamins.
  • Nuts or nut butter provides a healthy dose of fatty acids such as omega 3, omega 6, Vitamin E, and fiber.


Is It Okay To Drink Protein Shakes on an Empty Stomach?

It is perfectly okay to take protein shakes on an empty stomach.

In fact, many people prefer to drink their shakes on an empty stomach to avoid indigestion and bloating.

Can I Drink a Protein Shake for Breakfast Without Working Out?

Drinking a protein shake for breakfast without working out is perfectly fine.

Using a protein shake as a meal replacement helps with blood sugar control and weight loss by reducing your calorie intake.

Is It Bad To Drink a Protein Shake Every Day?

Drinking a high-protein shake every day without working out on a daily or consistent basis can lead to side effects.

Normal protein intake requirements are 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

For people who do not work out regularly or exceed this amount, taking protein shakes daily can lead to weight gain.

More Than Just An Easy Breakfast, It’s A Great Thing To Wake Up To

So, is it okay to start your day off with a shake?

The answer is yep! Not only do they come with a myriad of benefits, such as helping you lose weight and manage calories, they’re also a great way to add some variety to your diet plan. Keep a balanced diet with these protein drinks:

Contact a registered dietitian to know your daily protein needs, whether from a high-protein breakfast or a plant-based meal.

Make sure to let us know what your go-to protein shake recipes are.


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