Shakes Burn More Fat Than Whole Food

For years, fitness gurus, experts and nutritionists have often told their clients to eat whole foods as opposed to shakes. It could be that they don’t believe in supplements or that they just don’t know enough about shakes or that they feel that their clients will be happier eating whole meals(that’s why I do it) but recent research is proving us otherwise.

Br J Nutr. 2000 Jun;83(6):623-8.
The physical state of a meal affects hormone release and postprandial thermogenesis.

Peracchi M, Santangelo A, Conte D, Fraquelli M, Tagliabue R, Gebbia C, Porrini M.

Department of Gastroenterology, University of Milan, Ospedale Maggiore-IRCCS, Italy.gastrbia@imiucca.csi.unimi.it

There is evidence that food consistency may influence postprandial physiological responses. Recently we found that homogenization of a vegetable-rich meal significantly delayed the gastric emptying rate and was more satiating than the same meal in solid-liquid form. In this present study we investigated whether homogenization also influences endocrine and metabolic responses to the meal. Eight healthy men, aged 21-28 (mean 24.5) years, were given the meal (cooked vegetables 250 g, cheese 35 g, croutons 50 g and olive oil 25 g, with water 300 ml; total energy 2.6 MJ) in both solid-liquid (SM) and homogenized (HM) form, in random order, at 1-week intervals. Variables assayed were plasma glucose, insulin and glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP) levels for 2 h and diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT) for 5 h. Plasma glucose pattern was similar after both meals. However, HM induced significantly greater insulin, GIP and DIT responses than SM. Mean integrated areas under the curves (AUC) were 1.7 (SEM 0.38) v. 1.2 (SEM 0.33) U/l per 120 min (P = 0.005) for insulin, 19.9 (SEM 2.44) v. 16 (SEM 1.92) nmol/l per 120 min (P = 0.042) for GIP, and 237.7 (SEM 16.32) v. 126.4 (SEM 23.48) kJ/300 min (P = 0.0029) for DIT respectively. Differences between GIP-AUC after HM and SM correlated significantly with differences between insulin-AUC after HM and SM (r2 0.62, P = 0.021). These findings demonstrate that homogenization of a meal results in a coordinated series of changes of physiological gastroentero-pancreatic functions and confirm that the physical state of the meal plays an important role in modulating endocrine and metabolic responses to food.

Now what does that all mean? To break it down in a simple form, it means that shakes produced a greater diet induced thermogenesis (burning calories due to processing food) than whole food.

As I mentioned above, I prefer whole foods since I’m satisfied for longer but there are times when shakes are just easier and even taste better.

This is NOT the final word rather it’s an interesting piece.

To be continued…

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Leave A Reply (4 comments so far)


  1. Drew
    7 years ago

    To say that shakes provide greater thermogenesis is a gross overstatement. The study demonstrated that a homogenized blend of the SAME MEAL consumed by the whole-food group resulted in those findings. Running a steak, potates, and broccoli through a blender will elicit a significantly different response than what most people think of when they envision a shake. Ultimately, the proteins and carbohydrates are significantly less processed in homogenized form, requiring the digestive system to process those nutrients. The same result will not occur with commercially available shake mixes.


  2. Ron
    7 years ago

    I think your conclusion is wrong and a gross oversimplification. The DIT of whole food in the study compared to the liquid form of the meal is “apples and oranges” between whole food and shakes. This is how most people will read your conclusion, that whey/carb shakes are more thermogenic than a whole food meal comprised of chicken, brown rice and broccoli, for instance.

    Additionally, the increased insulin response due to the liquid meal would offset the increased DIT in most individuals, especially those who are sedentary or more casually active.

    A protein shake is NOT the same as a whole food meal. Granted, in the study what’s missing is much of a protein source (cheese isn’t much of a protein source). Since protein is the most thermogenic of foods, I wonder how much that macronutrient would alter this study.


  3. admin
    7 years ago

    Drew,
    That was reporting a new research study. I purposely said at the end, that this is not the definitive answer but rather a new finding.


  4. admin
    7 years ago

    Did you read the article Ron? Obviously not because I mention how it’s just a study and not the definitive answer. You know what they call people like you, that assume, right?

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