This is an excerpt from a study that was sponsored by the Shaklee Corporation.  They recently sent me an email with this information

Meal Replacement Drink and Exercise Study

After age 35, adults may lose 3%–8% of their muscle mass per decade, and higher rates are commonly observed after age 60. Middle-aged men and women seem to be particularly prone to muscle loss, forfeiting about one-half pound to one pound of muscle every year of life. The ability to preserve or regain muscle mass and strength is an important factor with respect to aging, health, and quality of life. Research confirms that post-exercise protein intake benefits both muscle mass and strength. This study, conducted at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Mass., was designed to examine the effects of a strength-training program—with and without a protein-carbohydrate meal-replacement drink—on body composition in healthy adult men and women.

Forty-six middle-aged men and women participated in a supervised, 23-week strength and endurance training program with a frequency of two to three days per week. Twenty-four participants consumed a meal-replacement drink following their training session, and 22 subjects did not receive the supplemental meal replacement. The drink provided about 270 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 35 grams of carbohydrate, and 24 grams of protein, and was fortified with free l-leucine.

Meal Replacement Drinks

Meal Replacement Drinks

After 23 weeks, all 46 exercisers showed improvements in body composition, including a 4.7-pound gain in lean (muscle) weight and 7-pound loss in fat weight. Subjects who ingested the post-exercise drink increased their lean weight by 5.5 pounds and decreased their fat weight by 9 pounds. Those who did not receive supplemental protein increased their lean weight by 3.9 pounds and decreased their fat weight by 4.9 pounds. Published in Fitness Management, Research Update: Protein and Body Composition showed that exercise participants who consumed post-exercise protein added 1.6 pounds more lean weight and lost 4.1 pounds more fat weight than the subjects who exercised without the benefit of the post-exercise meal drink.

I use meal replacement and protein shakes especially if I am doing a lot of working out.  I know they help me recover more quickly.  After reading this study I might try to add it into my diet a little bit more.  Can’t argue with Science and research…

It is definitely something to think about.

If you want to know what shakes I drink just send me an email or leave a comment and I will get back with you ASAP.


Since I wrote this story, I found another health focused blog that was talking about soy protein and its benefits.  Many of the better meal replacement shakes are using soy protein so you might be interested on reading it…