7 min read

Should You Drink A Protein Shake For Breakfast?

Protein is one of the core building blocks of life. It binds cells together, repairs tissue, and provides us with the energy we need to tackle each day.

Of course, there are numerous ways to get the protein we need, whether through eggs and dairy or a complete plant protein like soy.

In the hustle and bustle world of the modern day, it can be difficult to track how much protein we take in each day.

That’s why many have opted to replace their breakfast entirely with a simple protein shake like our Complete Protein Chocolate.

Let’s explore why you might want to swap your morning bowl of cereal for a nutrient-packed protein shake.

How Much Protein Do You Need?

As a general rule, you should aim to consume around 1 gram of protein for every 3 pounds of body weight. For instance, if you weigh 180 pounds, you should aim to consume approximately 60 grams of protein each day.

Of course, this number varies depending on a dozen different factors like gender, age, resting metabolism, and your average activity levels. A marathon runner or amateur bodybuilder needs much, much more protein than a sedentary office worker who only takes a few brisk walks every day.

In fact, the most active among us should likely aim to eat around 1 gram of protein for every 2 pounds of body weight. Why the huge difference?

The answer lies in the process of muscle tissue growth.

Muscle tissue can only grow by tearing. Each time you work out harder than you have before, your muscle fibers struggle to keep up and often tear in the process. 

While it might hurt the morning after, this process is a healthy part of building a more active, robust body.

Of course, major muscular tears can put you out of commission for weeks or months, so don’t exert yourself past your body’s limits.

Protein is a vital component in repairing that tissue and building it back up stronger with more powerful muscle fibers and increased mass. 

Combine With Complex Carbohydrates And Healthy Fats

Protein’s health benefits don’t exist in a vacuum.

In fact, you can amplify protein’s positive effects by combining protein consumption with complex carbohydrates. 

A 2015 study discovered that eating protein before a healthy serving of carbohydrates significantly reduced spikes in blood sugar, especially among those with obesity and type 2 diabetes. Blood glucose levels dropped as much as 37%, while insulin levels decreased significantly as well.

Of course, you can’t leave the other major macronutrient out of the picture — fat. 

While excess intake of saturated fats and artificial trans fats is linked to many health problems including heart disease, healthy fats are an integral component of a well-rounded diet.

Numerous studies illustrate that healthy, unsaturated fats like those found in healthy, plant-based oils, chia seeds, avocados, and nut butters are not linked to any significant, negative health outcomes such as weight gain, heart disease, or cancer risk.

So, before you replace all of your carbohydrates with protein, instead make an effort to replace unhealthy carbs and fats with their healthier alternatives. Cut out simple, animal-based fats and carbohydrates (white rice, white bread, refined sugars) in exchange for unsaturated fats and complex carbs. 

While you’re at it, be sure to always pair any carbohydrate intake with a generous serving of protein to keep your blood sugar in a steady, healthy range.

Man drinks protein shake for breakfast.

How To Choose The Right Protein Shake

The first thing you should look for in answering, “is a protein shake good for breakfast,” is whether a given formula provides a complete protein. 

Your body needs about 22 different amino acids to complete all its necessary functions, and it can’t self-generate 9 of those amino acids. These are considered essential amino acids.

You need a protein shake that supplies all the different amino acids. While plant-based protein shakes can compete with whey protein on this front, many leave out certain essential amino acids.

That’s why we use soy protein isolate. Soy is the only plant protein that provides all the amino acids you need for muscle growth and tissue regeneration.

3 Benefits Of A Morning Protein Shake

The right protein shake formula can be integral to a healthy lifestyle. Not only does it provide your body with the nutrients it needs for muscle growth, but it also offers a host of other benefits.

Let’s explore three key benefits of adding a protein shake into your morning routine.

Protein shake for breakfast | Soylent

1. Boost Fat Loss

A complete protein shake not only makes it easier to boost your muscle mass and definition, but it can also increase your fat loss.

When you eat a sugary cereal or even complex carbohydrate like oatmeal for breakfast, your body quickly converts carbohydrates into sugars and receives a rapid energy boost. 

This can be vital if you’re a long-distance runner but might not be so important if you’re simply looking to cut down on unnecessary body fat.

If you fuel yourself with a morning protein shake with few carbohydrates, your body has to turn to alternative forms of short-term energy — body fat.

Our bodies are incredibly adept at converting adipose tissue into glucose, giving us the energy we need while slimming down and boosting muscle definition. 

2. Muscle Growth

Of course, the most obvious benefit of drinking a protein shake is to foster muscle growth and tissue regeneration.

This benefits bodybuilders and everyone who wants to increase their lean muscle mass. This is especially true in the case of those in demographic groups at risk of a low protein intake, such as young women or seniors. 

3. Make Healthy Eating Convenient

More often than not, people struggle not with buying the right ingredients and nutritional information but simply having the time and energy to follow through on our ideals.

Maybe you want to eat a hearty meal of eggs, black beans, and avocado toast every morning, but when push comes to shove, it’s much easier to chow down on a sugar-packed granola bar. 

Protein shakes present the perfect intersection between healthy and convenient eating. They make it feasible to live up to your ideal eating habits by reducing the friction required to follow through on your plans.

And if you opt for a genuinely tasty formula like our Cacao Powder Protein Nutrition Shake, you’ll find yourself looking forward to eating healthy rather than dreading the effort of whipping up a three-course meal.

A man enjoys a coffee protein shake.

Power Up With Soylent Protein and Protein Coffee Shakes

Mornings are never easy. You have to make decisions that will impact the rest of your day just as your brain’s still foggy with sleep.

Whether you run a 5K every afternoon or your primary exercise is simply walking to work, substituting a Soylent high protein shake in for a sugary bowl of cereal is likely a great option for your overall nutrition and long-lasting energy. 

That said, protein shakes can’t compensate entirely for the wide array of nutrients you’ll find in a well-balanced diet. In that case, you might want to look into our meal replacement drinks like our Mint Chocolate or our coffee protein shake, Cafe Mocha.