Eat Protein or Drink Protein: Which is Better?

So here is one of the most debated topics among all fitness enthusiasts and nutritionists from all over the world. When it comes to meeting your daily protein requirement, both eating protein-rich foods and consuming protein supplements can be effective. However, the choice between eating protein and drinking protein comes down to individual goals, preferences, and dietary restrictions.

Archi Garg, nutritionist at Chicnutrix, shares his expert opinion to help you make the right choice.

Average Daily Intake: First, it is important to understand the average daily protein requirement for any individual. Protein in any form, natural or artificial, is very essential for carrying out normal body functions. Your daily protein requirement can vary based on your age, weight, gender, and level of physical activity. However, it varies between 46-63 grams for adults and 65 grams for pregnant and lactating females.

Nutritional profile: Natural protein sources and protein supplements (powders, juices and shakes) are both complete proteins; however, the rest of their nutritional profile is completely different. Protein supplements are single isolated macronutrients. They provide 18-25 grams of protein, no fat, minimal carbohydrates, and no vitamins and minerals, as they are all processed. However, nature provides no protein or, in fact, any isolated macro or micronutrients, which in itself is a blessing.

Natural Protein: Natural protein, even if unprocessed, contains a balanced blend of macro (protein and fat) and micro (vitamins and minerals) nutrients. These nutrients work together to keep the body functional, ensuring that all dietary needs are met simultaneously at all levels. It contains protein with good fats, vitamins and minerals needed to build muscles while repairing tissue, maintaining weight and keeping body fat in check and thus maintaining overall health. However, sometimes they may not provide all of the essential amino acids. Also, some of the natural protein sources are of animal origin and may not be a suitable option for vegetarians and vegans.

Protein Supplements: All protein supplements are artificial sources and provide all essential amino acids in the required amount. In liquid forms, such as protein juices, proteins are easy to absorb and digest. Furthermore, these protein supplements are more convenient and immediate to consume and therefore play the role of a reference meal. However, most protein supplements contain artificial colors and preservatives, which are harmful to the body. Long-term use of protein supplements can also pose some health problems such as digestion problems, nausea, bloating, etc. Therefore, it is important to choose protein supplements through a certified and trusted brand.

What is the best? While most people believe that protein supplements only help you gain more muscle, it is less known that protein supplements also help you meet your daily protein intake. Protein supplements may not necessarily be necessary for everyone, but they can be helpful in certain situations where it may be difficult to meet your daily protein requirement through food alone. It seems more convenient and cost effective to use protein supplements as it doesn’t require much effort, especially when you are traveling or don’t have the time to prepare a protein rich meal. Although it is always advisable to use natural sources of protein to maintain weight, gain muscle mass or stay healthy. We can achieve all of our fitness goals and maintain excellent health by choosing a balanced diet consisting of protein-rich foods in our diet.

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