Many people who’re currently trying to gain shape are often confused in choosing between Protein Powders and Meal Replacement Supplements to get the recommended daily intake of the important nutrients that an average person needs. The context between these two is hardly recognized by the public, leading to wrong information and confusion.
With this in mind, the question still remains, what is the difference between a meal replacement supplements and Protein Powders? Is one better than the other? Let’s us try to investigate.
Difference between Meal Replacement Supplements and Protein Powders
1.) Meal Replacement Supplement
Meal replacements do exactly what they say: replace a meal. Most are designed to lose weight and are low in calories but contain the essential nutrients your body needs for a complete meal. They contain vitamins and minerals, fibers, some carbohydrates, fats, and proteins so that your body can get a good balance between the three macros.
Meal substitutes usually provides between 200 and 250 calories per serving, some would even reach a capacity of 400 and are fortified with more than 20 vitamins and minerals, such as healthy carbohydrates and healthy fats.
Well, it is also believed that the inclusion of fiber decreases the incidence of low blood sugar, low blood pressure, constipation and/or diarrhea. The inclusion of vitamins and minerals provides essential nutrients that are generally found in a meal of “food based foods”.
Meal substitutes or replacement supplements are designed to be fuller while containing more calories than a protein supplement. Although meal substitutes have more calories than protein supplements, they tend to be lower in calories than a real meal, which can help you lose weight.
Meal substitutes may have only 10 grams of protein per serving, while some meal substitutes may contain larger amounts of protein.
Initially, food substitutes were used by elderly or sick people who required additional nutrition, but now they are also marketed for healthy adults. Many products are presented as a convenient source of balanced nutrition for the specific purpose of weight loss, maintenance or gain.
They are also marketed as an excellent and simple way to help people who are prone to lose meals because of the ability of a substitute meal to consume immediately with minimal or no preparation.
You should not rely solely on meal replacements over an extended period of time without consulting your doctor because of the reduced consumption of “real foods” such as fruits and vegetables. Just rely on meal replacement under the medical supervision of a doctor, since you can not consume enough calories or nutrients based on the substitute formulation of the meal. However, occasional meal replacement can provide a convenient and healthy alternative to skip meals and make healthier choices while traveling.
2.) Protein Powders
Protein powders work to provide you with a high-quality protein to help your body recover after training. They also help many to increase daily protein intake. By themselves, protein powders are low in calories and many contain carbohydrates and fats, or almost, and therefore do not contain all the nutrients the body needs to prepare a complete meal.
A protein powder is part of a class of nutritional supplements. Food supplements are defined as a product that contains specific dietary ingredients and is intended to supplement the diet. It’s also intended for ingestion of pills, capsules, tablets, powders or liquids. Another thing is that it’s labeled as a dietary supplement and is not represented for use as a conventional food or as the sole element of a meal or diet. Basically, a protein supplement is used to supplement the diet with additional proteins.
Protein supplements generally provide between 100 and 120 calories per serving with protein quantities that vary depending on the brand. The number of carbohydrates varies depending on the brand for protein supplements, but it’s typically less than 5 grams per serving, while the meal substitutes will have a greater amount of carbohydrates and some of the carbohydrates are fibers for weight loss. Protein supplements are generally low in fat, while the fat content of meal replacements varies depending on the product. Mostly, but not all meal replacements contain vitamins and minerals that is enough to give your body full nutrients.
When is the proper time to use Meal Replacement Supplements and Protein Powders?
Both meal substitutes and protein supplements are excellent products. However, it is very important to make sure you use the right product for the right situation. The following guide should help you make the right decision. However, if you have specific questions, ask your healthcare team for advice.
Optimal use of meal replacement supplements:
- Whenever you want to replace a meal.
- Whenever you normally miss a meal.
- When advised by a doctor as part of a weight loss program that is under medical supervision.
Optimal use of protein powders:
- Whenever you need to increase your total protein intake for the day you do not get the recommended amount of “real foods”.
- At any time before a training session, if some time has passed since the last time you ate and you need more energy to complete your training session.
- At any time after a training session to replenish protein reserves in the muscles after an intense exercise session.
- The ideal refill after training sessions includes proteins and carbohydrates.
Both are ideal supplements in replacing your meal, for they’re both beneficial in their own ways of keeping our bodies healthy. They’re not recommendable to be used all the time, for effect the progress of our body’s ability to adapt to certain change, especially in the manner of nutrition and total body health. So, it’s better to have one of these beside you if you’re someone who’s looking forward to gain a lot of healthy and positive nutrients inside the body. It’s all about what type of nutrient supplements that you’re going to intake and what suits you the most.