One of the biggest challenges of following your daily macronutrient plan or diet, is hitting your recommended protein intake. Protein is essential for building more muscle, burning body fat, and improving your overall body composition. If you’re trying to figure out the differences between protein powder and ready to drink protein shakes, then keep reading.
What Are Protein Powders
Protein powders are dietary supplements that help bridge the gaps in your nutrition, by providing you with more protein in your daily diet. Traditional protein powders are typically sourced from animal or plant sources. Most protein powders come in the form of whey, casein, egg, or plant-based sources, like rice, peas, or pumpkin seed. Protein powder comes in a tub, with a single serving scoop, typically around 30g. Simply scoop out a serving, and add it to your favorite base liquid, such as water, milk, nut milk, coffee or even your oatmeal yogurt, or favorite cookie recipe.
What Are Ready To Drink (RTD) Protein Shakes
Ready to drink protein shakes are exactly that - protein that is already pre-made and ready to drink. Simply break the safety seal, twist open the cap, and enjoy. RTD supplements are made purely for convenience, however, they do have some differences when it comes to price and quality.
Now that you know what an RTD supplement is, let’s dig into the differences between protein powder and ready to drink protein shakes. And why and when to choose one over the other.
Protein Powder VS Ready To Drink Protein Shakes
The blatantly obvious reason to purchase a RTD protein shake is convenience. If your goal is to simply hit your macronutrient targets, or you’re hungry and need something healthy from the corner convenience store, an RTD protein shake, is probably one of the healthiest options to choose from. And when I say probably, I mean it is.
With convenience however, comes a premium on price. For example, Fairlife offers an RTD protein shake with 26g of protein per serving, for $3.29. Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate is $62.99 for 30 servings, also at 26g of protein per serving, for only $2.09 per serving. And with a subscription at 15% off, it’s only $1.78 per 26g serving. Thus, price is definitely a difference and a factor to consider.
Why Choose Protein Powder
The first reason is price. You’re going to get way more protein for the amount you spend with a high-quality protein powder. Just make sure it has 30 servings. A ton of companies are now only providing protein powder that has between 25-27 servings. By offering less, these brands make more money by charging the same price. So, make sure you get that 30 serving 2lb tub.
Additionally, protein powder is much more versatile than a ready to drink protein shake. If you want to make a fruit smoothie, protein cookies, or even add an extra scoop to your protein pancakes, it’s always a good idea to have a tub of protein powder in the pantry.
The biggest difference between protein powder and ready to drink protein shakes, lies within the “other ingredients”.
For example, Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate, contains ( Whey Protein Isolate, Natural Flavor, Xanthan Gum, Sucralose, Ground Cinnamon)
Muscle Milk, contains the following WATER, CALCIUM CASEINATE (MILK), MILK PROTEIN ISOLATE, SODIUM CASEINATE (MILK), ALKALIZED COCOA POWDER, LESS THAN 1% OF: SOLUBLE VEGETABLE FIBER, SUNFLOWER OIL, CANOLA OIL, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, MAGNESIUM PHOSPHATE, MALTODEXTRIN, CELLULOSE GUM AND GEL, SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, CARRAGEENAN, POTASSIUM CITRATE, SALT, MEDIUM CHAIN TRIGLYCERIDES, SUCRALOSE, ACESULFAME POTASSIUM, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), VITAMIN A PALMITATE, VITAMIN D3.
As you can see, the ingredients list are vastly different.
Frequently Asked Questions About Protein Powders And Ready To Drink Protein Shakes
What Is The Difference Between Recovery And Protein Powder
Recovery or POST workout products, typically contain carbohydrates in addition to protein powder, to help with glycogen replenishment and muscle recovery. Protein powder only contains protein, with minimal amount of other macronutrients.
Is It Better To Buy Protein Shakes Or Make Your Own
If price and quality are of importance to you, then making your protein shake, with protein powder, is the way to go. If you don’t care about price and really are just looking more for convenience, then go with the ready to drink protein shake.
What Is The Difference Between Protein Shake And Protein Powder
Protein powder is a dietary supplement in powder form, while a protein shake, is a drink, in liquid form, typically mixed with liquid and other ingredients.
Protein Powder Vs Protein Shake: Takeaway
The biggest differences between protein powder and a ready to drink protein shake, are ingredients, price, convenience, and versatility. When you’re on the go, a ready to drink protein shake, is clutch, especially when you need something healthy, fast. Keeping a tub of protein in your pantry however, is a must-have to get more protein on those days, when you need an extra 25-30g of protein.
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