Drinking protein shakes after running or doing cardio exercise is very refreshing. I have always included protein shakes in my diets for building muscle and strength. And recently, I started doing the keto diet couple of years ago for weight loss.
It is known that many foods are banned in the keto diet. But can you have a protein shake on keto?
To know this, I have done some research and found all the necessary information about the keto diet and protein shakes. There are also some recipes, and keto friendly protein shakes that you can add to your diet.
So if you are a beginner at the keto diet, this article will be beneficial for you.
Table of Contents
What Is The Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet is low in carbs and high in fat, similar to other low-carb diets like paleo and Atkins. This diet requires you to consume fewer calories from carbohydrates and more from fat and protein.
This diet requires limiting your daily carb intake. If you eat fewer than 20 grams to 50 grams per day, your body eventually goes into a ketosis state. It takes 4-5 days to reach this state. After that, your body will burn energy from fat and protein instead of carbs.
The Keto diet helps you to lose weight in 3 to 4 months. By doing this diet, you can also prevent diseases like cancer, epilepsy, heart diseases, and even acne.
In this diet, you need to maintain the 20 grams to 50 grams of carbs per day ratio. To do that, you should always check what you are eating according to the requirements of the keto diet.
Firstly, saturated fats from coconut oil, butter, and even cocoa butter are allowed in the keto diet. Some unsaturated fats like seeds, nuts, avocados, olive oil, and tofu can be great for this diet.
Secondly, fruits and vegetables are rich in carbs, so you need to eat them in small portions. Berries, green leaves like spinach, chard, and green vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and many more are recommended in this diet.
Lastly, protein is a big part of the keto diet. So you can add both lean protein foods like greek yogurt or tofu and saturated fats like beef, bacon, and pork to your keto plan. However, it would be best if you ate them in moderation; otherwise, it can kick you out of keto.
Why Is Protein Essential In The Keto Diet?
There are some misconceptions that high protein can break your body’s ketosis state. It is not valid. Instead, eating protein at a moderate level will maintain body mass and muscle. Otherwise, the excess amino acid from protein can turn into glucose or sugar.
Your body needs essential glucose. However, the glucose from high carbohydrates is not suitable for the keto diet. Therefore consuming a moderate portion of protein gives your body enough glucose for energy, and you can still maintain your ketosis state.
Moreover, consuming carbohydrates can break your ketosis state. Your body converts the carb into glucose or sugar that eventually transforms into insulin. This insulin stores sugar as fat in your body and gains weight.
However, protein does not produce insulin; instead, eating protein in the keto diet makes you feel full and satisfied. Moreover, protein helps in maintaining and building muscles. It keeps your energy high and burns fat.
Furthermore, protein is essential for muscle growth and repair. It also supports your body’s immunity and promotes healthy hair, skin, and nails. Without protein consumption, your body will suffer from weakness, fatigue, and diseases like imbalanced hormones, thyroids, etc.
How Much Protein Do You Need In The Keto Diet?
Before adding any kind of protein to your diet, you need to know about the protein intake for keto on a regular basis. According to some studies, the minimum amount of protein intake each day should be 0.8 grams per kg of body weight.
It is also recommended that more active people should consume 1.5 grams to 2 grams of protein per kg of body weight. This amount of protein is required for physical activities, muscle gain and repair, and weight loss.
However, you cannot consume all protein sources in the keto diet. It would help if you tracked your food intake to maintain ketosis. Therefore, I have gathered some keto friendly protein sources below.
Full-fat dairy products like yogurt, cheese, cream, and butter have a rich amount of fat and protein. If you want to buy these dairy products, always make sure to go for full-fat options rather than low-fat or fat-free ones.
These full-fat dairy products can create unique keto friendly dishes. Moreover, they reduce appetite and make you full for a long time.
Meats Eggs And Fishes
Other high-protein foods are meats, eggs, and fish. These foods have little to no carbs. However, they are full of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Mainly salmon fish contains omega-3 fatty acids. It helps in increasing insulin sensitivity in overweight people.
Moreover, grass-fed meats and eggs carry a tremendous amount of protein that helps in losing weight. Also, these high-quality proteins aid in low-carb diets and maintaining muscles.
Protein shakes are a great meal supplement in terms of high protein. However, you need to make sure if it is keto friendly or not.
Is A Protein Shake Keto Friendly?
As I have already mentioned protein shake in the keto friendly list, it is still unclear whether it is fully keto approved or not. Now, the main question comes, can you have a protein shake on keto?
Absolutely yes! Most protein shakes contain 1-2 grams of carbohydrate, which is very low. Moreover, it contains a high amount of protein consisting of 20-30 grams. It does not have any fat, but you can add some by making a smoothie with total dairy products.
There are other protein shakes that may contain additives and sweeteners. Furthermore, most protein shakes are zero percent sugar. So you need to check the sugar level before adding this shake to your keto diet.
Other than that, protein shakes are versatile and can be used in not only in smoothies but also in dessert recipes. It is also an excellent supplement for muscle gain if you want to bulk up on a keto diet.
How To Use Protein Powder On The Keto Diet?
There are several ways you can use protein powder in the keto diet. You can either have protein powders as shakes or add them to different recipes. Here are some of the best ways to add this powder to your keto diet.
You can go for the classic protein shake by mixing the powder with water. You can even add flavored fluids like coconut water or milk. It is best to have the shake in the morning as a breakfast alternative.
If you want to get more flavor, blend some fruits like strawberries or blueberries with coconut or almond milk. Add protein powder to it. And Voila! There you have your delicious smoothie for snack or breakfast.
You can also add cocoa powder, nut butter, and avocado to make a chocolate smoothie. It is my personal favorite protein shake smoothie.
Another favorite way of adding protein shake into the keto diet is to make pancakes. For this recipe, mix protein powder, one egg, and baking powder in one bowl. Then add water or unsweetened almond milk to make a perfect batter for pancakes.
After that, you need to grease the pan with butter on medium heat. Then pour your preferable portions of the batter into the pan. Flip them over when they turn honey-brown color. And your pancakes are ready. You can have them with honey drizzled on top.
Things To Check Before Using Protein Powder
We already know that protein powders are low-carb and high-protein supplements. So, can you have a protein shake on keto? Yes, of course!
But can you have all types of protein shakes on the keto diet? The answer would be no because many protein shake brands are available in flavorful options. They might have too much sugar and additive calories.
Therefore, you should always check the ingredients before purchasing protein shakes. There are some other things that you should keep in mind:
Before purchasing a protein shake, you have to check its protein source. It would be best if you chose grass-fed protein powder. These proteins are made from cows or other grass-fed animals.
These protein powders are best for absorbing amino acids in your body and creating muscle. Moreover, other plant-based protein sources have high carbohydrates, so it is best to avoid them.
Many proteins shake include a certain amount of fats in them. There are others that do not contain any fat. In your protein shake, you should also check for healthy fats like unsaturated fats. It includes nuts, seeds, avocado oil, or coconut oil.
You can also add fats like cottage cheese or butter to your protein shake. Adding protein powder to the smoothie also brings out unsaturated fats.
Sugar And Carbohydrate
As protein powders are processed, most of them include artificial sweeteners and additives. It increases both sugar and carbohydrate levels. So you need to make sure to buy the one without these additives.
Moreover, if you are adding fruits to your smoothie, it elevates calorie intake. So you should only add keto approved fruits like berries or chia seeds protein shake smoothie.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best time to drink a protein shake on the keto diet?
The best time to drink a protein shake is in the morning. You can drink a protein shake as a breakfast meal. In the keto diet, a protein shake can also be a filler between snacks or after exercise.
2. Are protein shakes good for weight loss?
Protein shakes are certainly made and advertised as a product to lower body fat and lose weight. However, it does not do all the work. It would help if you also did a proper diet and exercise to lose weight.
3. Can you lose weight by drinking two glasses of protein shake a day?
Drinking two glasses of protein shake instead of a meal may help you lose weight. However, it is not long-term. You need to follow a proper diet plan. Protein shakes are made for muscle repair and growth. So you can drink them after exercise as a meal replacement.
4. Does a protein shake help you lose belly fat?
Yes. Protein shakes are very nutritious and effective in terms of losing belly fat. Moreover, you can also get plenty of macronutrients by drinking this shake.
5. What happens if you drink protein shakes without working out?
If you drink protein shakes without working out, then it can lead to weight gain. Like other protein substances, protein shakes are high in calories. If you do not work out, these extra calories will make you gain weight.
6. Can women drink protein shakes?
Yes. By consuming protein shakes, women can gain many benefits like weight loss, muscle growth, and bone repair. Moreover, protein shakes are easy to make and can be added to other recipes.
7. Does a protein shake help in weight gaining?
If you are using protein shake wrong, then it can lead to weight gain. Adding protein shake into your diet without changing your meals and not working out or exercising can quickly help you gain weight.
8. Can you do meal replacement shakes on a ketogenic diet?
Yes. You can undoubtedly add meal replacement shakes to your keto diet. They are filling and can be repurposed in other recipes. So if you want to have a protein-filled meal, add protein shakes into your keto diet plan.
The Keto diet is an excellent way of losing weight in a healthy way. Although it needs to cut down daily calorie intake, you can have nutritious foods in order to maintain a healthy diet.
A protein shake is also a nutritious drink that is full of healthy protein. So, can you have a protein shake on keto? The answer is yes. Protein shakes are almost carb-free and sugar-free. It helps in maintaining muscle and gaining energy for everyday activities.
Therefore, you can add this powder to many recipes like smoothies, desserts, cakes, etc. It will not only make your keto diet eventful but also helps you in losing weight.