Does a Protein Shake Break a Fast? An Expert Guide on Intermittent Fasting

Does a Protein Shake Break a Fast? An Expert Guide on Intermittent Fasting

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Does a Protein Shake Break a Fast: An Expert Guide 2023

Fasting is common, but intermittent fasting (IF) is new to fitness enthusiasts. IF gained popularity in 2020, and until now, people have been following it for weight loss.

Different types of IF involves eating at a specific time of the day and fasting for the remaining hours. In some situations, you can eat five days a week and fast two days a week.

When intermittent fasting, you are limited to consuming liquids with no calories, but can you have a protein shake too? Does a protein shake break a fast? Read on to know more!

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

It is a type of diet that involves eating and fasting. Other diet plans include what to eat and what not to eat, whereas IF involves when to eat.

It often includes fasting on alternate days and eating on different days. In other cases, it involves fasting for 16 hours and eating during the remaining 8 hours.

While fasting and avoiding sugar-based products, your body’s ability to produce insulin suppresses. Without less insulin, the body increases its’ metabolism and burns fat. And an increased metabolism leads to weight loss!

Types of IF

There are many was to fast intermittently. It is not a one-type diet. It offers variations due to which people like to rely on it. Some of the significant types of IF are.

  • The 16:8 Diet: This type of diet is also a time-restricted diet. Here 16:8 means fasting for 16 hours straight and then enjoying a meal during the eating window i-e. 8 hours.
  • The 14:10 Diet: This diet is similar to 16:8. It involves fasting for 14 hours and eating for 10 hours.
  • The 5:2 Diet: This diet plan involves restricting calorie intake for two days and eating normally five days a week. According to research, 5:2 is a safe weight-loss diet strategy.
  • Warrior Diet: The warrior diet involves eating raw fruits and vegetables during the day and munching on one large meal at night.
  • Eat-Stop-Repeat: This diet strategy involves fasting for 24 hours every once or twice a week.
  • Alternate Day Fasting: It’s one of the most popular forms of IF. It involves fasting every other day. A study suggests that this type of fasting can also increase life span.

These fasting diet strategies aim to improve your metabolic health so your body can burn fat correctly. 

Can You Drink Protein Shakes During Fasting?

You can only drink water and take tea or coffee without sugar when fasting. As far as protein shake is concerned, you can’t drink them while fasting.

Having it in a fasting state can make your efforts go in vain. However, you can break your fast with a protein shake or enjoy it during the eating window.

You can’t keep your body free from protein as its absence can cause muscle loss. Therefore, you can have a protein shake after breaking the fast.

This way, your body will have enough protein to prevent your muscles from losing their structure. Another thing you can do is take a protein shake post-workout.

If you work out during the eating window, you will need a protein shake after a workout to regain energy. Not only this, but it will also help you recover the wear and tear caused to muscles during exercise.

On the contrary, if you exercise in a fasting condition, then you can’t have a protein shake. But, if you want, you can work out near the end of fasting time. This way, you will get a chance to drink a protein shake. 

It’s as simple as that!

Eating Window And Protein Shakes

Does a Protein Shake Break a Fast: An Expert Guide 2023

During the eating window phase, you can drink a protein shake, but make sure the shake you’re drinking is free from artificial sweeteners.

Many protein shakes on the market don’t have beneficial nutrients. They come with artificial sweeteners and lack essential ingredients which don’t fuel your body correctly.

Under such circumstances, you should read the label before buying a protein powder. If the label shows no artificial sweeteners and includes beneficial nutrients, go for it.

That being said, a protein shake may not be able to provide you with energy the way other protein-rich foods can.

Other sources besides protein shakes include nuts, legumes, fish and meat. Having these items instead of a shake can keep you full. How so?

Protein can suppress “ghrelin”, an enzyme that makes you feel hungry and signals the brain to eat food.

In addition, protein digests more slowly than other macronutrients; a person feels full. Hence, protein consumption controls your appetite, which helps in weight reduction.

But try not to overconsume the protein-rich items. It can cause gluconeogenesis in your body (the process through which excess protein breaks down into sugar molecules).

The result of protein breakdown into sugar can result in insulin production. The insulin release will then turn the sugar into fats, affecting your weight loss journey.

Simply put, have a protein shake or other protein sources in moderation because excess of everything is terrible.

Also Check: TOP Vitamins & Supplements

Make Homemade Protein Shake During the IF Diet

If you don’t like artificial protein powders, you can make one at home and try it. This way, you will know what’s going into your body.

The protein shakes made at home will contain carbohydrates from the fruits but don’t worry about it. Homemade shakes are rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients that are healthy for you.

Does a Protein Shake Break a Fast: An Expert Guide 2023

The protein shakes you can try at home will include the following ingredients.

The calories needed per shake should be 225-250, based on the type of milk you use.

Is It For Everyone?

Fasting may be for many people, but it’s not for everyone. Staying hungry for hours is not easy, and those who are healthy on the inside should go for it. Following people should stay away from this diet plan.

  • People with type-I diabetes because their body needs insulin.
  • Pregnant women
  • Breastfeeding mothers
  • Those with kidney stones, gastroesophageal reflux, and other medical problems shouldn’t practice IF.

The Final Word

A protein shake is a caloric beverage, and you can’t have it during the fasting state. Consuming it while fasting will ruin your diet strategy.

If you want, you can enjoy the shake during eating window hours. This way, your craving for the shake will be fulfilled. 

Anyways, if you have come this far, you must have gotten the answer to your question, right? Happy reading!


1. When should I drink protein shakes during intermittent fasting? 

You can drink protein shakes during the eating window.

2. Can you drink protein shakes while intermittent fasting?

No, drinking the shake while fasting will break the fast.

3. Which fruit shake helps in weight loss?

Banana smoothies reduce abdominal fat and weight. They are rich in fibre and regulate hunger hormones and make you feel full.

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