Potential Drawbacks Of Having Too Many Protein Shakes
As mentioned before, for most healthy people, there are no specific health risks or long-term dangers associated with consuming too many protein shakes to meet your daily protein requirement in a single day. Depending on the type of shakes you are consuming and their ingredients, you might experience some short term digestive side effects including cramping, bloating and excessive gas.
It’s also important to note that in the long-run, there are risk factors of eating an extremely high protein diet. Studies have found that even normally healthy individuals who consume too much protein may suffer from side effects including decreased liver function and higher risk of coronary heart disease. Up to 3.5 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight is the tolerable upper limit, according to research.
The more important problem with drinking more than three shakes to get enough protein each day is it means you’re likely neglecting whole foods that could be used instead. The benefit of consuming protein from whole food sources is that they tend to have a more diverse array of micronutrients like vitamins and minerals, which are important for a healthy body no matter what your fitness goals may be. Variety is a critical component of meeting nutrient needs including protein and beyond.
Does Anyone Actually Need Protein Powder
The fact that something called protein powder even exists tells you just how much people love protein. And for good reason: As a part of literally every cell in the human body, this macronutrient is integral to functions like our immune response and hormone production, according to the Food and Drug Administration as well as, most famously, building and repairing our bodys cells and tissues.
So yeah, it makes a certain amount of sense that people are forever concerned they need to get more of the stuff.
Protein also seems to be the only macro that doesnt regularly get shit on by diet trends. Our food culture in the United States seems to be fascinated with high-protein diets and products, Whitney Linsenmeyer, Ph.D., R.D., nutrition and dietetics instructor in the Doisy College of Health Sciences at Saint Louis University and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, tells SELF.
Maybe the clearest sign of our protein devotion is the belief that to properly and fully repair our muscles and maximize the benefits of our gym time, we need to supplement our diets with concentrated proteinnot to mention the collective billions of dollars we shell out each year on protein powder.
But how well-founded is that assumption? How necessary is protein powder, actually?
Matching A Powder To Your Needs
Here are some general guidelines, based on the outcomesyoure looking for:
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Should I Take Protein After Working Out
The idea of an “anabolic window,” or a small period of time post-workout when protein foods will translate more directly into gains, has been popular among bodybuilders for decades. However, recent research suggests that it’s not as short, or as important, as once thought.
“Even if you delay your post-workout meal for a couple of hours, your body is still using the amino acids from your pre-workout meal to stimulate maximal growth and recovery,” explains Krissy Kendall, Ph.D., in the article “Is the Anabolic Window Real?” “It certainly doesn’t hurt to throw back a shake immediately after your workout, but you can still gain a substantial amount of strength and size even when delaying post-workout nutrition.”
However, especially if you tend to train in a fasted state, where you haven’t eaten for several hours before training, there’s an argument for having that shake as quickly as possible after training.
“If the ritual of having a shake right after exercise helps you remember, then do it!” recommends Douglas Kalman, Ph.D., in Bodybuilding.com’s Foundations of Fitness Nutrition Course. “If you can have both a shake and a solid meal in that so-called ‘anabolic window,’ all the better. By contrast, waiting for several hours doesn’t offer any benefits.”
How Much Whey Protein Powder Should I Use
The amount of whey protein powder you should use depends on your goals and workout routine. For those seeking to build lean muscle strength, a single server of 25-30 grams of protein after a workout provides all your need for muscle protein synthesis. Taking in excess of this provides no additional benefit as your body can only process 25-30 grams of protein in a 2-3 hour period.
For those on a weight loss diet, whey can be used as a meal replacement for up to 2 meals a day. We recommend using it for no more than one meal replacement unless you seek advice from a medical professional. To use whey protein as a meal replacement you should use around 25-30 grams of protein in a protein shake.
Your total protein intake a day should be between 0.35 to 0.75 grams of protein per pound of body weight a day. The amount is dependant on your level of activity. You should not be consuming any more than 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight a day. Long term excessive use of protein powder has been linked to some health risks.
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Con: Theyre Lacking In Nutritional Balance
“Is it better to get your nutrition from whole foods? Absolutely,” says Rebecca Mohning, a dietitian in the Washington area and owner of expertnutrition.net. Whole foods often include fiber, which helps regulate the digestive system, and vitamins, which help boost the immune system, and real foods generally are more balanced they have a little bit of everything.
Whole foods are not hyper focused on one nutrient like protein powders are, Mohning says.
Another downside with protein shakes is that because they are liquid they might not feel filling initially and could cause some people to consume too many calories. And too much protein itself can cause harm to the kidneys .
Still How Much Protein
The most important thing to get right is your overall protein intake because if youre not eating enough relative to your workout intensity/volume, it will affect your rate of progress.
Quite a few studies have looked into nutritional protein intake in the context of resistance training .
The upper limit for total daily protein intake is about 2.2 grams per kilogram of bodyweight. After that, any gains appear to tail off for even the biggest protein sponges amongst us.
Most people appear to lie in the 1.6 g/kg to 2.0 g/kg range.So, after much doodling around with numbers, heres a general rule of thumb to follow:
1. Consume enough protein to make 1.8 grams per kilogram of your bodyweight.
For example: for a 91 kg person , that equates to 163.8 grams of protein from your diet.
2. Then, after your workout or on non-training days, take the following amount of your protein powder, as determined by your bodyweight range:
- 140 to 169 lbs take 30 grams of protein post-workout
- 170 to 199 lbs take 35 grams of protein post-workout
- 200 to 219 lbs take 40 grams of protein post-workout
- 220 to 250 lbs take 45 grams of protein post-workout
If you are outside these weight ranges then try to consume a total of 1 gram per pound of bodyweight including your protein supplement if you do resistance training on a regular basis.
Again, these guidelines are for people looking to put some kind of figure to their ideal post-workout protein shake.
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Benefits Of Whey Protein And Other Shakes
You probably already know the numerous benefits of protein consumption, which include making you feel for a longer period of time than other nutrients, improving muscle growth, and assisting with weight loss. Even if you are looking to build an eating plan that helps with weight gain, protein will help ensure that you add as much muscle as possible so that you can maximize strength and performance efficiency.
Protein shakes offer the same benefits of protein intake while providing you with a convenient delivery method compared to whole food protein sources such as chicken, steak and tuna. Shakes are an especially convenient form of measurable protein supplementation before, after, or even during a resistance training workout. It’s much easier to prepare and drink protein shakes with a precise amount of protein out of a blender bottle than it is to prepare a fresh meal, especially for busy fitness enthusiasts who still want to ensure they consume the right amount of protein each day.
Shakes can also provide you with varying tastes and flavor combinations that you might not get from typical protein-rich foods. Strawberry, mocha, and vanilla are all common flavors found in meal replacement protein drinks.
Take A High Quality Protein Powder
Think of your daily protein shake as a nutritional cheat code or protein insurance policy. Most protein powders will have at least 20 grams per scoop. Protein shakes are great for post workout feeding, but theyre also great way to break a fast, or stave off hunger. Protein intake increases satiation when youre dealing with hunger.
Both whey and plant protein powders are excellent sources of complete protein.
A high quality protein power will have a complete amino acid profile. Whey, pea, brown rice, water lentil, and hemp are all acceptable complete protein sources that come in powder form. If you’re on a dairy free or plant-based diet, VEG PRO is a great option to reach your daily protien needs. It is a complete, 100% dairy free, vegan plant protein that contains 20 grams of protein per serving with a variety of delicious flavors like peanut butter, hot cocoa, and cookies and cream.
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Do Men And Women Need The Same Amount Of Protein
Men often consume much more per day than women, but this is generally due to the fact that men tend to weigh more than women. A 150-pound woman would need to consume the same amount of protein as a 150-pound man, assuming they both had the same physical goals in mind.
Women and men are far more similar than they are different, both genetically and in terms of their nutritional needs. This applies to all other nutrients as well.
Bill Campbell, Ph.D., the director of the Performance & Physique Enhancement Laboratory at the University of South Florida, has studied how varying amounts of protein in the diet influence body composition in resistance-trained women. In the article “How Much Protein to Women Really Need?” he explained that adding an additional 400 or more calories of protein foods to the diets of women who were strength training several times a week had a surprising effect.
Not only did the women gain lean weight, but as Campbell writes, “The women on the higher-protein diet actually lost more body fat than women on the lower-protein diet, even though they consumed more calories!”
That said, women may have different goals and want different things from their protein powder, like lower carbs, extra collagen, and so on. The best protein powders for women are created to address these other nutritional considerations as well.
Protein Window Whats The Deal
I feel like the protein window argument has gone to the point of absurdity and back so many times that people actually think its important.
Logic tells us that downing protein within an hour of a workout should enhance muscle gains.
Protein manufacturers are all over that like flies on sh!t. Hells yeah, you should down protein after a workout, and for every damn hour you are ALIVE.
Supplement companies like money, soooo thats the objectivity safely removed from their stance on the matter.
Back to the logic bit though. Theres no context for the reasoning that necking protein shakes within the one hour, or the half-hour window post-workout is necessary/advantageous for optimal muscle growth.
That context is: total protein intake.
Sure if you are low on protein and you bomb a 45 gram protein shake after working out, that protein is going to matter for you gains.
However, if youve eaten enough throughout the day to provide an adequate protein pool for your muscles to draw on, the timing wont make much difference.
In fact, the meta-analysis of the studies conducted on the matter say that strength doesnt seem affected at all, and only hypertrophy is increased, but only IF the post-workout protein was additional to your regular intake.
So if youre getting adequate amounts in your diet, including your protein shake then it doesnt really matter when you take it.
Heres the bit where I go back and say none of this matters.
About Brad Murphy
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Protein Powder How Much
One scoop, 2 scoops, 1.5 scoops? How many fudging scoops, man?!
First off, how many grams is the better question because not all scoops are equal in the world of protein powders.
Also, once you know the grams you need and you know how many grams of protein you have in a scoop, you can pretty much just eyeball it.
Protein powder is something of a convenient necessity it makes life easier and it actually helps you build muscle.
Protein Powder For Beginners
If you’re new to using protein powder supplements, it’s important to know that not all powders are the same. Hemp, soy, whey, casein, rice, pea and egg proteins all offer value, depending on your goals. They’re metabolized and used differently and contain slightly different combinations of essential amino acids.
For example, whey protein is popular for post-workout because it’s quickly digested and goes right to repairing and building worked muscles. Nutrients published research to back up years of support for whey protein. The July 2017 study concluded that supplementation with whey protein enhances your body’s muscle-building mechanisms and can improve your recovery after a strenuous workout.
Look for protein powders with no added sugars or other compounds that could dilute their quality or raise their caloric load. Protein powder isn’t regulated by the FDA either, so ask around about high-quality producers to ensure you’re getting the best possible.
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Don’t Build A Habit Of Replacing Meals With Protein Powder Shakes
Missing a meal might not make you feel great, but replacing one meal with a protein shake probably won’t have any long-term effects. Besides the amino acids your body needs to build muscle, some shakes come with carbs and other nutrients that make you feel full and give you a larger variety of fuel. However, you don’t want to get into the habit of frequently using protein shakes as a full meal replacement when you would normally eat whole foods.
What Are The Risks
There are numerous risks to consider when using a protein powder. Among them:
- A protein powder is a dietary supplement. The FDA leaves it up to manufacturers to evaluate the safety and labeling of products. So, there’s no way to know if a protein powder contains what manufacturers claim.
- We don’t know the long-term effects. “There are limited data on the possible side effects of high protein intake from supplements,” McManus says.
- It may cause digestive distress. “People with dairy allergies or trouble digesting lactose can experience gastrointestinal discomfort if they use a milk-based protein powder,” McManus points out.
- It may be high in added sugars and calories. Some protein powders have little added sugar, and others have a lot . Some protein powders wind up turning a glass of milk into a drink with more than 1,200 calories. The risk: weight gain and an unhealthy spike in blood sugar. The American Heart Association recommends a limit of 24 grams of added sugar per day for women and 36 grams for men.
Why Should I Use Protein Shakes
Protein shakes can be a very satisfying, efficient, and convenient way to add extra protein to your diet, without replacing the consumption of whole foods. With the right protein shake recipesmeaning ones that taste great and support healthy nutritionyoull soon reap the benefits of adequate protein intake.
From a simple concoction of banana, whey, and almond milk to our delectable double fudge brownie protein shake, there are endless options for packing flavor with your protein. Not only that, but making your own shakes will allow you to control the calories and nutrients you consume. Simply add your ingredients of choice to a BlenderBottle® shaker bottle, drop in the BlenderBall® wire whisk, and mix until smooth.
A protein shake is also a quick and convenient way to get your extra protein boost. Short on time in the mornings? Mix a quick shake and sip it on the way to work or school. Need a fast protein fix post workout? Pack along a protein shake in an insulated protein shakerit will stay fresh and chilled until youre done lifting and showering and are ready to drink. Try the BlenderBottle® Strada shaker, with its leak-proof lid and clever carry handle.