Is Protein Water as Good as a Meal?

Dr. Oz has the answer.

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Q: Protein water — as good as a meal?

Oz Says: Technically, your body could meet its protein needs from these drinks. They have about 15 grams of the nutrient per bottle (16.9 ounce), the same amount you'd get from a quarter of a roasted chicken breast, two 5-ounce low-fat yogurts, or a cup of cooked black beans. But you don't want to rely too much on the liquid stuff.

"That would mean missing out on key nutrients, like B vitamins, that are found in many high-protein foods," says Lisa Young, PhD, RD, an adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University.

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Plus, fast-digesting liquid protein doesn't satisfy you like an actual meal does; chewing and having food move through the digestive process contributes to feelings of fullness. So protein water and salad for lunch could leave you with vending-machine temptation soon after. And adding one of these drinks to an already protein-rich diet could put you over the top on calories from this nutrient, which can pile on pounds and stress your kidneys, Young says.

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Bottom line: You really can't bottle all the benefits of a tasty, chewable meal.

This story originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

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