What Is a Protein to Carb Ratio in Meal Replacement Drinks?

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A huge number of health and diet trends populate the Internet on any given day, some of which are genuinely helpful – many of them are not, however. For those who want to reach some health-, weight-, or fitness-related goal, determining the best method to achieve that goal is an important part of the process, but how can you tell what works and what doesn’t? One option is to cut away the frills and gimmicks and just focus on the basics: the three macronutrients that make up our diet, namely protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Figuring out how much you should consume depends on several factors, some of which we will discuss below. Keep reading as the nutrition specialists at ENU discuss the best protein-to-carb ratio for meals and meal replacement shakes.

Importance of the Protein-to-Carb Ratio

Though all three macronutrients – protein, carbs, and fats – are important in their own way, protein and carbs tend to get the bulk of the attention in health and fitness circles. That’s because despite playing several important roles in the body, fats are the most calorie-dense macronutrient, so it tends to lead to weight gain in larger amounts – the opposite of what most people want to achieve with their diet. Protein and carbs, on the other hand, tend to have a more direct impact on things like muscle growth and energy levels, critical elements of any weight management shake or sports nutrition drink.

When looking at the ratio of protein to carbs in any dish – whether it’s one you cooked yourself or a weight loss protein shake you grab from the fridge – keep in mind that the ideal numbers for you might differ from those of someone else, depending on your particular goals. Someone focused on building muscle, for instance, will want a greater proportion of protein in their food than, say, someone who is more interested in cardio.

What Protein-to-Carb Ratio Should I Aim For?

Knowing how much of a specific nutrient you should be eating can be tricky if you’re unfamiliar with the tenets of health and nutrition. Below are some proportions of protein, carbs, and fats adjusted to account for a few common fitness and health objectives:

Protein Carbs Fat P-C Ratio

Strength: 35% 45% 20% 7 : 9

Cardio: 25% 55% 20% 5 : 11

Weight loss: 30% 50% 20% 3 : 5

Weight gain: 25% 45% 30% 5 : 9

Note that the percentages don’t vary all that widely; carbs are always around 50%, for example, while fats are around 20% and protein is around 30%. The percentages you see above are the fraction of your daily calories you should get from a particular nutrient. To find this number, you can use the amount of calories per gram of a specific macronutrient – there are 4 calories per gram of protein or carbohydrate and 9 calories in a gram of fat – and the information on the nutrition label of the product; alternately, just take the number of grams of protein and carbs and divide them, leaving you with the ratio. (This only works because they are worth the same number of calories per gram.)

If this seems less extreme than some diets you’ve heard about, that’s because it is. Most health care professionals will tell you that any changes in physiology should happen at a slow and steady rate; sudden changes in weight or body composition can backfire, leading to short-term gains that quickly reverse themselves or side effects that can negatively impact your overall well-being. To that end, aim for incremental changes that happen over time by making small changes to your diet and sticking to them.

Nutrition Shakes with a Great Protein-to-Carb Ratio

Knowing what to look for in terms of the ideal protein-to-carb ratio is only half the battle; next, you have to find products with ratios that meet your needs. This can be relatively simple if you prepare all of your meals from scratch, though it will require a fair amount of measuring and calculating to achieve the perfect mix. Another option is to find a meal replacement shake that can serve as an easy substitute on days when cooking a meal to exacting specifications is just too much work; ENU meal replacement shakes can be that substitute.

Each carton of an ENU shake offers 17 grams of protein from whey and soy isolates, two of the easiest forms of protein for your body to digest. ENU shakes also have complex carbs taken from wholesome sources like quinoa, tapioca, and brown rice, along with heart-healthy unsaturated fats in the form of coconut and sunflower oils. And with a mix of more than 20 vitamins and minerals, an ENU shake gives you a balanced mix of nutrients your body needs in one tasty, convenient package.

Balanced Nutritional Shakes with Healthy Protein, Carbs, and Fats

If you’ve been looking for a fast and easy way to give your system the fuel it needs without resorting to fast food or sugary snacks, try an ENU nutritional shake. With our well-rounded formula and emphasis on healthy protein shake ingredients, you can nourish your body at home or on the go without having to prepare a meal beforehand. Learn more about all ENU’s products by visiting us online or calling (855) 266-6733 today.