Weight Loss

Meal Replacement Shake vs Protein Shake: Which One is for You?

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes


Confused about whether you should be drinking a meal replacement shake or protein shake?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone!

Although they might sound similar, meal replacement shakes and protein shakes are different, and they’re used for different things.

And the good news? It’s not as difficult to figure out than you think!

I’m going to break down the major differences between the two.

Meal Replacement Shake vs Protein Shake

The biggest giveaway of the functionality of these shakes is in the names. Meal replacement shakes are used for replacing a meal and protein shakes are packed with protein.

What you’re likely having more questions about is WHY you would want to choose one over the other and WHICH shake is ideal for you.

Here is a breakdown of the major differences between the two.

Protein Shake v. Meal Replacement Shake

For the most effective weight loss, look for a meal replacement shake that helps you feel full by using a hunger blocker, like Exante Shakes. By consuming fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight.

Let’s go over each of these points in a little more detail, starting with meal replacement shakes.

Meal Replacement Shake

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Use for weight loss.

Meal replacement shakes help you lose weight by helping to create a calorie deficit in your diet, meaning they help you consume fewer calories than your body burns so you will start losing weight. Meal replacement shakes should also be very low in fat and sugar so you don’t add on extra pounds in the process.

Replaces a meal.

Meal replacement shakes are designed to contain enough calories, vitamins, and macronutrients to keep you healthy and provide the nutrition you need. Therefore, a shake can safely and healthily replace a meal or two and help you reach your weight loss goals.

Contains some protein.

Most meal replacement shakes are designed to work whether you work out or not, although of course I always recommend exercising for increased fat loss and decreased muscle loss. You know those people that are thin but still look kind of fluffy? That’s because they lost muscle instead of fat. We want to prevent that, which is why Exante Shakes contain 11g of all-whey protein.

Contains higher calories OR low calories plus a hunger blocker.

A meal replacement shake will have enough calories to constitute a meal but it should be quite a bit lower than a regular meal to create a calorie deficit for weight loss. Even better, try to find a meal replacement shake that has 110-120 calories with an added hunger blocker for effective weight loss and the power to crush cravings. You’ll also be able to make delicious smoothies without overshooting your calorie limit.

Contains multivitamins.

It is difficult for most people to meet the daily requirements for all of the different vitamins and nutrients necessary to be healthy. A good meal replacement shake will contain a multivitamin to help you reach your RDI (recommended daily intake) on all of the essentials so you don’t need to eat more food to make them up.

You need a meal replacement shake if…

  1. Your main goal is weight loss.
  2. You want a convenient way to cut calories, but still get the vitamins and minerals you need.
  3. You need something to help block hunger and reduce cravings.


Protein Shake


Use to tone and firm.

When you exercise (specifically when you lift weights) you actually tear your muscle fibers. You need protein to build them back up again. A protein shake is an easy way to quickly deliver protein to your muscles. By building lean muscle you will sculpt a firm, toned physique.

Does NOT replace a meal.

Protein shakes are supplemental and are not intended to replace a meal. Their main purpose is to help you get enough protein to repair and strengthen your muscles after you work out. Therefore, they will not have enough calories, vitamins, and nutrients to give you enough energy and nutrition throughout the day. You will still need to eat regular, healthy meals.

Packed with protein.

Many women do not get enough protein in their diet. It can be very difficult to pack enough protein into your daily meals, especially if you are vegan or vegetarian. I recommend .8-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight for the average active adult. A good protein shake is very high in protein but very low in everything you don’t need any more of, like fats, carbs, and sugars. In this way, protein shakes can really amp up your protein intake while accelerating your fitness goals.


Low in calories.

Like we mentioned above, protein shakes are supplemental and not intended for meal replacement. You’ll find that protein shakes are low in calories because they’re not meant to be eaten as a meal. You will still need to get the other calories and nutrients you need from regular, healthy meals.

Contains performance-boosting vitamins.

While protein is obviously the most important ingredient in a protein shake and one of the most essential ingredients for building and strengthening lean muscle, there are a lot of other great ingredients that, help round out your workout experience in areas like endurance, energy, and recovery.

You need a protein shake if….

  1. Your main goal is to build lean muscle or tone up.
  2. You need a quick source of protein before or after your workouts.
  3. You want something that’s low in calories, but gives you the protein and amino acids your active lifestyle needs.

Wrapping It Up

When it’s all laid out, it’s easy to see that meal replacement shakes and protein shakes are completely different in purpose, make-up, and usage.

If your main goal is weight loss, then you need a high-quality meal replacement shake.

Exante Shakes are a delicious, low-calorie weight loss shake, complete with a hunger blocker, proven to help you lose weight.

If you’ve been struggling to get your weight (and appetite) under control, then you need Exante Shakes.

Our Shakes give you up to 3 hours of hunger control, 11g of whey protein, and delicious flavors to chose from. All for an affordable price and a money back guarantee.

Give them a try today!

Molly Walsh

Molly Walsh

Writer and expert

Molly graduated from the London School of Economics in 2019. In her spare time you can probably find her golfing or trying to be inventive in the kitchen.

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