Protein. We all want it; we all need it. Our muscles, especially. Protein is a macronutrient that fuels the body’s ability to replenish worn muscle fibre – increasing the density and size of the muscles as a result. Eating protein isn’t just for gym-goers, however. It’s beneficial for everyone, thanks to the amino acids that make up protein.
That being said, upping your protein intake up can be a challenge for everyone. For those looking to build muscle, finding ways to increase protein often means trying out protein shakes and snacks. For those looking to lose weight or just maintain general fitness, seeking out diet protein shakes and snacks low in calories but high in protein can be beneficial.
But in the battle of the easy-to-prepare, easy-to-consume protein sources, which is best? Or is that even the right question? So instead, forget the general ‘best’ idea and look at whether a shake or snack is better for your specific goals.
Protein shakes vs snacks
As a general rule, protein shakes are usually made with a source of protein and contain minimal carbs and fats. They are designed to give people access to an easy source of protein quickly – a way to refuel your muscles post-workout or maintain protein intake pre-workout.
Our Succeed range is no exception. Our Dynamic blend contains whey protein concentrate and very few ingredients – with 26g of protein in every serving and just 1.6g of fat. Diet protein shakes take this even further, eliminating as much carb or fat content as possible to give you lean protein. They often include added ingredients designed around regulating weight or metabolic rate. Our Diet Protein blend contains natural weight loss boosters such as L-Carnitine and green tea.
But are protein shakes a good snack, really? Protein shakes require a little bit of foresight and prep work that, while minimal, can be a bit of a hassle. How many times have you forgotten bits of your shaker or forgot to clean it out only to be left with that disgusting old protein smell? You know the one, we don’t have to say more.
Protein snacks, however, are arguably more ‘handy’ – especially those you can just buy, carry and then unwrap to eat. But most of them, by their very nature as a solid object, take a little longer to eat than it takes to ‘down’ a protein shake.
Protein bars are typically higher in calories than a protein shake as they’ll have higher quantities of carbohydrates and fats in them. However, they also pack in plenty of other nutrients that protein shakes lack. Our own range, for example, has plenty of fibre – a necessary nutrient that aids digestion and helps slow the process that can lead to excess energy being stored as fat.
There’s no real winner here – it’s all about convenience and calories. If you’re actively trying to bulk up or you’re not dieting, protein bars, cookies, and flapjacks provide protein AND added nutrients/calories.
|Easy source of protein||Source of protein and often fibre, carbohydrates or ‘good’ fats.|
|Liquid – easy to consume even when you’re not feeling hungry||Solid – more enjoyable to eat but puts more emphasis on digestion.|
|(Usually) low in calories and sugars||Low in sugars, calories depend on the snack.|
|1-2 minute prep time||3 second prep time. Open and eat.|
|Good value for money – our Succeed Dynamic range provides 50 servings with 26g of protein per serving at £49.99. That’s about 3.8p per gram of protein.||Also good value for money. Our Millionaire Crunch bars are currently* £1.49 each and offer 15g of protein – meaning 9.9p per gram. But they also have low-GI oats to fuel energy and 4g of fibre.|
*Prices as of October 2021.
As you can see from the comparison, there’s no clear winner – unless you have specific requirements.
For those looking to reduce calories and increase protein, protein shakes offer the most direct way to do it.
For people looking to bulk up or those who just want more protein in their diets, protein snacks offer a tastier, more enjoyable route.
Before you go, let’s run through some of the common questions we get asked about each:
Are protein snacks good for you?
Protein snacks are ‘good’ for you in that they’re often a better replacement than the standard snack bar. While some media outlets like to report that sugar content in protein bars can be as high as mainstream candy, they forget the benefits of additional protein, added fibre or what type of sugar is in the snack.
For those looking for a protein-packed alternative to your standard chocolate bar, a protein snack is a better alternative. Many protein snacks are now made with low or no sugars, making them ideal swaps for sugar-laden supermarket snacks.
Is protein powder good for you?
Like many health supplements, protein powder is ‘good’ for some people and not as good for others. It all depends on your body and your goals. For example, some people who are allergic to milk or soya will not be able to digest most brands of protein powder – while others who seek to maintain a certain kind of diet, such as veganism, will opt for a plant-based alternative.
Protein powder should only really be viewed as a way to help enhance your protein intake goals. Because it lacks many of the other essential macronutrients (and micronutrients too), it can’t replace full meals.
Are you hankering for protein snacks or protein shakes? We’ve got you covered on both fronts. Try our delicious Millionaire’s Crunch, our protein-packed Hype Bar or even our Protein Brownie – then stock up on Succeed Dynamic Protein Powder for your post-workout shake.