Whey Protein Shakes for Breakfast- Yay or Nay?

What is the final consensus on Slow-Carbers having Whey Protein Shakes for breakfast? ( I mean the kind with that you buy in the barrel and mix with water, not the pre-made kind that are loaded with carbs) I have heard - only if you are working out, yes they are fine, avoid them altogether...

So which is it? I know they have made my life easier but I am also not seeing weight or inches pour off like a lot of people are.


The Best Answer

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Here's the slow-carb whey protein shake that Tim recommended:

Blend together:

Unflavored whey protein isolate such as this one

Ice water

Unsweetened cocoa

2 tbsp almond butter

  • Paulius O commented Apr 22nd 2011:
  • Ben commented Feb 22nd 2011:
    Whey-to-go made by Solgar is an unsweetened whey protein that I have been using. It is a bit cheaper than those at GNC. I found it at The Vitamin Shoppe. Takes nasty though. Need to try the Almond butter added to it.
  • kevinmccarthy commented Jul 21st 2011:

    Is egg white protein believed to be better than whey protein isolate for the Slow-Carb Diet?

    I was thinking I could have a glass of a protein+water mix in the morning along with like one or two hard-boiled eggs. If that would be acceptable, which protein type would create the most compliant SCD breakfast option?

  • csnewdayyesterday commented Aug 6th 2012:

    Here is my view on whey. If you hold to the theory that all cheese should be avoided based on the insulin reaction found in the study that Tim cites then you should avoid whey. Why? If you track down the study that Tim cites you will find that the researcher concludes that the culprits in this are four specific amino acids (I didn't memorize which ones). The component of dairy that contains the highest concentrates of these four aminos? Whey.

All Answers


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I found unsweetened, unflavored Whey protein at Whole foods as well as one sweetened with a small amount of Stevia.

Much better than GNC where all of them (yes, I spent 20 minutes reading every package of whey protein they had) are sweetened with sucralose (splenda).


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I've been drinking a pre-made canned shake from Pure Protein that has 4 carbs and 35 grams of protein in it. it's a lifesaver in the morning when I don't have the time or energy to do anything but pop open a can. I've been steadily losing a little over an inch a week. :)


In addition to agreeing with going with all natural whey protein if you're gonna do this, here are some more tips, as I've been using shakes for breakfasts and on-the-go meals for some time.

Coconut Milk (not water, that's all sugar) is a great ingredient to add some good saturated fat calories to help fill you up. Also, it adds a nice thick texture - the kind you'd get with a banana, which is good since those are a no-no now! .25 to .5 cups usually is enough.

Avocados do the same! If you toss in some cocoa powder with an avocado (I know it sounds weird) tastes pretty damn good. Another good ingredient to increase healthy sat fats and keep you fuller longer if needed.

  • L8F commented Jun 3rd 2011:

    Love this idea. I have been using the So Delicious brand unsweetened c milk, whey protein and cinnamon and it is not bad. Easy to shake up in a water bottle and drink iced. Cocoa powder is prob even better.


A lot of companies are coming out with "natural" protein mixes without artifical sweetners but they do have some sugar, we use and like Gold Standard natural whey it has 5 carbs, I don't think that's bad and it's a great filling snack or mini meal. I like to add a little natural peanut butter, kind of a dessert.

  • mvs commented Mar 14th 2011:
    We love the Gold Standard brand - I think they vary from 3-5 g carbs, but they pack a serious dose of protein. Delish!
  • Valleygirl commented Mar 25th 2011:
    This is what I'm using as well or Proto Whey but it has 7 carbs, still not much!
  • michele commented May 18th 2011:
    I use Gold Standard as well and JayRobb Egg white protein(no sugar as well.)


I got a free sample of "platinum hydro whey" from Optimum Nutrition.

Says Lactose free, and looks better than their 100% Whey with 1 less carb (now 2, 1 sugar), and more protein, and 20 total calories more.

tim said avoid lactose, so some of you should check that out

i'm not worried about a little lactose, i drink my whey after lifting, i could use sugar in my system

  • rockhardabs commented Feb 27th 2011:
    Hydro whey is definitely the best post-workout protein, since it's supposed to absorb faster than regular whey. Probably not so good for breakfast tho.


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I have just bought the Whey-to-go in chocolate and vanilla. The Vanilla shows nothing in the way of artifical sweetners with only 1 sugar, 2 carbs total, the Chocolate on the other hand does list "crystaline fructose" and shows 9 sugar with 10 carbs total.

I am on day 4 of 4HB and have lost 2 lbs so far. I will add this protein shake in for my morning "with in 1 hour of waking" meal. I have been struggling with eating in the morning, especially since I am a 5:30am gym girl. I also don't have more than 10lb or so that I want to lose, I did't expect my weight loss to significant right off the bat.

I will begin this regimen tomorrow, as today is an off gym day for me. I will be interested to see how it effects things and then post again. I feel that using the protein shake pre-workout, early am, should not effect the fat loss, but we will find out. The biggest thing that I understand is the whey isolate is quickly absorbed. Given that, I think pre-workout, early am, should be beneficial. It all boils down to "try it and see" and your body's individual mechanics.

  • sabre2hopes commented Feb 9th 2012:

    i shifted off the morning whey protein shake to a can of tuna this past week.

    but you mentioning pre-workout gives me an idea - i normally hit the gym after supper, so pre-workout shake but just at a different time... time to test that out. thank you

  • jsgitnalong commented Feb 9th 2012:

    Well you are welcome! LOL! I am going to see how this works tomorrow morning. Plan to be at the gym at 5:15am so I will be up at 4:00am and by 4:30 chugging down a shake.... wish me luck!

  • Dana W commented Feb 10th 2012:

    I just got a protein powder Tim mentions in the meatless machine chapter. It's called sun warrior raw vegan protein. I got the chocolate flavor which does list stevia as an ingredient. But almost 20 gs of protein and 5 carbs per scoop. I just mixed it with water and ice it's delicious! I'm going to try to use it as breakfast on days I wake up too late! Yay! I'm soo happy it's yummy!

  • Dana W commented Feb 10th 2012:

    Also this is brown rice protein not whey just as an fyi

  • jsgitnalong commented Feb 10th 2012:

    Humm, thank you for that info because as I tweak this thing, I may have to go that route. I am going to try the Whey-to-go this morning and see how it works... acually getting ready to make a shake now :) .... wish me luck!

  • jsgitnalong commented Feb 20th 2012:

    I think that it is working well for me so far. I have not had any stalls from it and it works well with my system. I like the flavor and it makes me feel really good. I am using it only as a pre-workout, early morning thing because I can't eat real food before I go to the gym. Heres my recipe I am using right now:

    1 scoop chocolate whey to go

    1Tbsp natural peanut butter

    1Tbsp herseys cocoa powder

    1 C unflavored Almond Milk

    1/2 C crushed ice

    I put the ice in the blender first, then add peanut butter, cocoa, and then protein powder. I pour the milk over top and then blend for a good few minutes until smooth. Its really good and I can work out with that in my stomach. I usually have real food after my workout such as egg with spinach and maybe some meat.

  • dnice53 commented Feb 17th 2012:

    How's it going with the Whey to Go? I was taking that for a month or so then switched to egg protein. My wife still takes Whey to Go because she prefers the flavor. Have you seen any noticeable difference in your results?


The UK answer would be Promax Natural from Maximuscle, it's nothing but whey - I prefer it because the flavours if protein powders can get a bit much but it's good for the sort of smoothie Tim mentions in the book

  • 4HourOslo commented Feb 12th 2011:
    you might want to have a look at myprotein.co.uk - wide choice of different protein powders both natural and flavoured


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Week 5 I added the shake. I started by adding it to lunch. And instantly stalled. Sure it's different if it's for breakfast. But I'm just trying to get back to where I left off last week. I think I'll avoid the shakes going forward.


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I think if you are using to as an addition to a meal then you should be careful.

If you are using it as a meal replacement, such as for a quick breakfast in the morning or pre-workout, you should be fine.

Either way, just be reasonable about it.


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Almost all protein powder mixes are sweetened with artificial sweeteners, all of which stall fat loss. Many of them contain sucralose/Splenda, which kills good bacteria in your stomach that normally facilitate fat loss. If you're going to use an unflavored protein powder in say, water or almond milk, then sure, go for it. Just read the label and ingredients carefully for any of the banned items or artificial sugars. At the end of the day it's always best to get your protein from whole foods like eggs and meat.

  • Carp commented Mar 11th 2011:
    My cholesterol was first checked in 1995 and it was ovr 275. (i only know the total number, not the LDL/HDL break downs) ! its been as high as 365. it was 235 in 12/10. Started slo-carb in 2/7/11. i xpected it to skyrocket, but it was only 202 on 3/4/11
  • Ben commented Feb 22nd 2011:
    The main reason why I want to add in some protein powder mixes to my weekly intake is that I fear for my cholesterol. I know Tim says his meat and egg intake did not cause an increase here but I have a family history and want to be cautious about it.


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My understanding of whey is that it is the least preferable protein shake source. I believe better alternatives are: 1) casein; and 2) egg white. There are some bean protein shake powders out there, but I have heard horror stories about the taste of those. I am expecting an order in of both casein and egg white powders. I'd be glad to share how they work and taste if you're interested.


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Possible solution:


They offer egg white protein shakes at really good prices, as well as a beef protein isolate (so shouldn't have the insulin spiking problem). You can also make your own custom blend, I'm thinking 30% beef, 45% egg white, 15% whole egg, 10% casein. They also have soup blends with 26g of protein:


which I heard isn't that bad.


  • quitepossiblybrian commented Jan 17th 2012:

    Or if you still want to use whey, workout immediately upon waking up. Drink your protein shake somewhere in the middle...problem solved.


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I seem to lose more weight when I am eating mostly whole foods. I only have a protein shake in a pinch once a week or less. Even before I was on the slow carb plan I noticed too many shakes slowed my weight loss. I usually eat fish, chicken, or egg whites for all my proteins.


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I say yay! I have been drinking Isopure ZeroCarb protein mix (zero carbs, zero lactose and zero sugar.) every morning for the past month (4HB follower since last December). One scoop in a glass of cold water is 25-30g protein (serving suggestion is 2 scoops for 50g protein, so I just have one heaping scoop to get to about 30g). It's not the tastiest, but it's quick, and I did notice an increase in weight loss after switching to from eggs and cottage cheese to the protein powder for breakfast.

  • Rocky commented Feb 9th 2012:

    I wonder if it wasn't the switch to protein that accelerated your weight loss, but cutting out the cottage cheese. Just a possibility. If what you're doing is working then keep it up! :)


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Good questions.I'm testing this issue this week. I'm off the shakes for breakfast and I'm eating a solid breakfast. Will let you know if I see results


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I've only been on the SCD for a week now but from what I have read on the use of Whey Protein Shakes is that using protein powders to meet the '30g of protein within 30 minutes of waking. Is that this may derail your fat-loss efforts, not solely because of the sucralose (which is still bad for weight loss), but also because whey protein spikes your insulin. And since the whole point of slow-carb is to avoid insulin spikes, this is definitely something you want to avoid. I personal was going to use whey Protein until I have read this In many Posts here and in other forms. So I have skipped using it. Although I do have it on hand if need be to use it in a pinch. ei running late for work if I forget us cook breakfast the night before. I always have a zip loc bag on hand in my purse again just in case when I unexpectedly end up out of town and staying the night at my mother's home sometimes I dont want to drive the two hours back home..( Lol ).. hope this helps.. even though I am a Newbie..


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A protein shake alone really isn't enough for breakfast, it's the most important meal of the day! And as you pointed out yourself, protein shakes are low in carbs.

Where are you getting your energy from? If you're working out, you need carbs even more as a protein shake isn't going to have enough energy in it. This post explains a lot about why it isn't good to ONLY have a protein shake: http://www.iwantasixpack.com/is-a-protein-shake-for-breakfast-suffi...

I'd have a shake with some cereal or something like that the get carbs

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