How Much Protein Should I Drink

Just How Much Is Required

How many protein shakes to drink a day

The world health organization recommends an estimated average requirement of 0.66g/kg/bodyweight and a recommended dietary allowance intake of protein of 0.8grams/kg/body weight respectively. The pitfalls of this have been highlighted due to variability in lean mass on individuals and the inadequacies associated with the activity of an individual . For an 80 kg male, this recommendation equates to 64g protein per day. This is the amount of protein to sustain life not to perform and does not take into account the training effect on the body from resistance or cardiovascular training.

If you are training and looking to maintain lean mass whilst reducing body fat I would start with a recommendation of between 1.5g/kg/bodyweight to 2g/kg/body weight as recommended by the International Society of Sports Nutrition & the American College of Sports Medicine . This would only be advised if the individual does not have any renal issues and no other reason not to increase their protein intake. The upper levels of protein consumption have been investigated and it is deemed safe to do so .

So in real terms, this means that in you need to determine your protein requirement. Example: 78kg male wanting to be 80 kg without gaining fat & increasing lean mass by training

Let’s say you go for a whole number of 2g/kg/bodyweight.

Daily protein intake = 2 x bodyweight = 2 x 80 = 160g/day

Now you have the need for 40g protein per meal.

Can You Overdose On Protein

Not technically, but chronically over-consuming protein can have some unpleasant side effects.

Protein isnt a drug you cant overdose on it but over-consuming it could cause excess fat storage and cause gastrointestinal discomfort, says Auslander Moreno.

Getting too much protein can be a waste of money and even sabotage your weight-loss or fitness goals.

When someone over-consumes protein, there is a certain point where your body is no longer absorbing it, says Modell. Your body doesnt store excess protein like it does carbohydrates that extra protein will either be converted into fat or excreted.

Protein Increases The Thermic Effect Of Food

The thermic effect of food is the cost of digesting your food.

Essentially, it takes some energy to break food down, digest it, and turn it into energy. Protein has the highest cost of all the three macronutrients.

While the total effect that the thermic effect of food has on daily energy expenditure and weight loss is small, it is not meaningless and is important to note.

In one study, a high protein diet increased the thermic effect of food by roughly 6-8 kcals per hour when compared to a low protein diet, which may translate to ~50-75 calories per day .

However, not all studies show this large of an effect, and the thermic effect of protein is not likely responsible for most of its benefit, but it may be the cherry on top of adequate dietary protein during weight loss.

You can track things like the thermic effect of food, total daily energy expenditure, and macros with the NASM Weight Loss Calculator.

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Does Protein Have Any Negative Health Effects

Protein has been unfairly blamed for a number of health problems.

Some people believe that a high protein diet can cause kidney damage and osteoporosis, but science does not support these claims.

Though protein restriction is helpful for people with preexisting kidney problems, theres no evidence that protein can cause kidney damage in healthy people (

31 ).

Overall, theres no evidence that a reasonably high protein intake has any adverse effects in healthy people trying to optimize their health.


Protein does not have any negative effects on kidney function in healthy people, and studies show that it leads to improved bone health.

The best sources of protein are meats, fish, eggs, and dairy products, as they have all the essential amino acids that your body needs.

Some plants are fairly high in protein as well, such as quinoa, legumes, and nuts.

However, most people generally dont need to track their protein intake.

If youre healthy and trying to stay that way, simply eating quality protein sources with most of your meals, along with nutritious plant foods, should bring your intake to an optimal range.

The Amino Acid Profile Varies Between Plant And Animal Proteins

How many protein shakes can &  SHOULD you drink in a day ...

When eaten, protein is broken down into amino acids.

Proteins and amino acids are used for almost every metabolic process in the body.

However, different proteins can vary greatly in the types of amino acids they contain.

While animal proteins tend to contain a good balance of all the amino acids that we need, some plant proteins are low in certain amino acids.

For example, some key plant proteins are often low in methionine, tryptophan, lycine and isoleucine.

Bottom Line:

All proteins are made up of amino acids, although the amount and type of each amino acid varies based on the protein source.

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When Eating Whole Foods Is Difficult But A Specific Amount Of Protein Is Needed

Whether it’s in the morning while you are getting ready for work or after a mid-day workout when you still have responsibilities to finish, it’s not always easy to find time to sit down and prepare an entire meal for yourself not to mention those who cook for others. These are the perfect instances when a protein shake can help you maintain your daily protein intake. Dropping a scoop or two of powder into a bottle is much easier than prepping a meal plus, it gives you a way to meet your exact protein targets without having to worry about weighing every single thing in your meal.

Protein Needs For Adults

The bare minimum amount of protein you need per day is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. So, for a 140-pound person, that’s about 50 grams. But that’s just the lowest amount you should aim for to avoid getting sick explains Harvard Health Publishing.

A Protein Summit organized in 2015 included 40 nutrition scientists and was detailed in the Harvard Health Publishing article. It concluded that about 15 to 25 percent of total daily calories can come from protein. This is a safe and reasonable amount of protein to aim for. So, if you eat 2,000 calories per day, 75 to 125 grams of protein is appropriate.

Your exact needs, however, also depend on your age, sex and activity level. Athletes and avid exercisers might need a bit more. Protein is important for athletes because it helps repair and strengthen muscle tissue. Also important, however, is a greater amount of other macronutrients, including carbohydrates for energy and fat for weight maintenance.

Read more: How Much Protein is Right for You?

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends athletes consume 1.2 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, depending on the type of training they’re involved in. Endurance athletes, such as runners, need less protein per day than power athletes, such as weightlifters.

This means that if you’re a 150-pound athlete, you need 81 to 136 grams of protein per day. This protein intake should be spread out among multiple meals and workouts.

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Optimum Nutrition: Gold Standard Whey Protein

Per 30.4g serving: 113kcal, 23.9g protein, 1.8g carbohydrates, 1.1g fat

As the go-to whey protein for many, Optimum Nutritions Whey Protein could be considered as a safe bet. But, how does it stack up? The varieties are all fairly predictable strawberry, vanilla and chocolate so no easy win there. However, the taste of each is as close as youll get without actually slurping a post-gym milkshake . Be careful with your water though, anything more than 250ml per 30g serving will rapidly diminish flavour quicker than most.

There’s a reason why this is one of the world’s most-favoured wheys and is an ideal all-rounder, especially for those looking for something simple and effective for a reasonable price.

Calculating Your Protein Needs

How Many Scoops of Protein Powder Should I Have Per Day?

While the above guidelines give you a good sense of where your protein intake should fall, calculating the amount of daily protein that’s right for you can help you fine-tune this further.

To determine your protein needs in grams , first, calculate your weight in kilograms by dividing your weight in pounds by 2.2.

Next, decide how many grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is appropriate for you.

  • Use the low end of the range if you are in good health and are sedentary: 0.8g per kg.
  • Use a higher number if you are under stress, pregnant, recovering from an illness, or if you are involved in consistent and intense weight or endurance training.

Then multiply your weight in kg times the number of protein grams per day.


154-pound male who is a regular exerciser and lifts weights, but is not training at an elite level:

  • 154 lb/2.2 = 70 kg
  • 70 kg x 1.7 = 119 grams protein per day

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Protein Shake Mistake #: Youre Neglecting The Little Guys

Cheap protein shake powder not only comes with an extra dose of carbs and fats, but also strips away the amino acids vital for muscle growth. Not only will you struggle to add size, youll recover more slowly too. That means sore muscles putting the brakes on your performance.

The Fix

Keep your eyes peeled for two things: BCAAs and leucine. A quality powder will be jammed with BCAAs crucial for growth. And leucine? Its is the key acid that stimulates muscle protein synthesis and growth, says Baptie. You need 3 grams of leucine to start this process.” Always read the label.

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Other Sources Of Protein

Relying too heavily on protein powder will throw your diet off balance and may lead to adverse health conditions. Try to remember that everything is better in moderation. Determine your ideal daily protein intake and then begin to incorporate one or two protein powder shakes into your diet, usually during the time that you exercise. Outside of this time, you should be designing a diet for yourself that also includes some of these protein sources for a more balanced diet.

Can Your Body Absorb More Than 30g Of Protein

How many protein shakes can &  SHOULD you drink in a day ...

Protein is the only macronutrient that contains nitrogen, and some studies found that when you consume more than 30 grams of protein, the amount of nitrogen in test subjects urine increased significantly. It was concluded that this means youre excreting the excess protein and you should stick to 30 grams per meal.

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Recommended Amount Of Protein Powder Per Day

Now that you have a better understanding of how much protein a person needs to consume during an entire day, youll be able to determine how much protein powder is healthy to consume. Theoretically, you could draw all of your daily protein from protein powder, but you should not attempt to do this because there are many other vital nutrients that you receive from actual food.

One scoop of protein powder is typically about 25 grams of protein. Most active people drink one protein shake per day, which contains a single scoop of protein, meaning that you are receiving nearly half of your daily recommended protein intake from this shake. Its recommended that you try to only consume somewhere between 25 to 50 grams of protein from protein powder each day.

In the past, there have been claims that high-protein diets can have dangerous health effects like kidney damage, but research has disproven this. Protein is a necessary part of your diet and, without it, your body would not be able to perform necessary tasks. One study did discover that anyone with a pre-existing kidney condition should be more careful about their protein consumption and may need to lower their intake to avoid complications.

Overall, consuming too much protein is not detrimental to your health unless you are only receiving it from unhealthy sources and you do not participate in any physical activity. Identify how much protein is ideal for your body and try to stick to this range.

Does The Anabolic Window Matter

Many people believe drinking a protein shake within 30 minutes of exercise will maximize their results in the gym.

This 30-minute window, commonly known as the anabolic window, is a short period of time in which your muscles are like a sponge for protein.

The thought is that if you consume protein outside of the anabolic window, your body wont effectively utilize it or build muscle .

Research now suggests that this anabolic window of opportunity is much longer than 30 minutes and may not be limited to after exercise .

In fact, it may not matter if you drink a protein shake before or after your workout in terms of optimizing muscle repair and growth.


It was previously believed that protein had to be consumed within 30 minutes of a workout for your body to use it. Recent research suggests that this may not be the case.

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How Much Whey Protein Should I Drink In A Day

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When you buy a container of whey protein powder, it comes with a scoop and label information about suggested serving sizes. But your daily protein needs depend on your age, sex and physical activity level, so the same scoop size isnt right for everyone. By considering how much protein you get in your regular diet as well as your reasons for using whey, you can get a better idea of how much to drink.

Challenge #: Bigger Athletes Need More Protein

How much Whey protein should you drink in a Day | FitMuscle TV

This study is the first to find and address whether your total lean body mass influences muscle protein synthesis response to resistance exercise combined with protein intake. And theyre suggesting guys with more muscle mass dont need more protein after resistance exercise. There was no difference in the muscle growth response to protein after a full-body workout between larger and smaller participants when looking at muscle biopsies and blood plasma analyses .

There is a widely-held assumption that larger athletes need more protein, with nutrition recommendations often given in direct relation to body mass, study author Kevin Tipton said in a press release. In our study, participants completed a bout of whole-body resistance exercise, where earlier studieson which protein recommendations are basedexamined the response to leg-only exercise. This difference suggests the amount of muscle worked in a single session has a bigger impact on the amount of protein needed afterward, than the amount of muscle in the body.

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Protein Bars Are Really Just Candy Bars With A Bit Of Extra Protein

Indeed, research on the muscle-building power of protein supplements is varied. A 2014 analysis of 36 papers found that protein supplements have no impact on lean mass and muscle strength during the first few weeks of resistance training in untrained individuals.

Over time and if the training becomes harder, supplements can promote muscle growth. However, the paper also concludes that these changes have not been proven over the long term. A 2012 review paper further says that protein increases physical performance, training recovery and lean body mass but for the benefit to be optimal, it should be in combination with a fast-acting carbohydrate.

But even if athletes and gym goers may benefit from a post-workout protein boost, that doesnt mean they should reach for the supplements and smoothies. Most people get more than their daily recommended allowance from food, says Kevin Tipton, a sport professor of the University of Stirling. Theres no need for anyone to have supplements. Theyre a convenient way to get protein, but theres nothing in supplements you cant get in food. Protein bars are really just candy bars with a bit of extra protein.

The global protein supplements market was valued at $12.4bn in 2016

How Much Whey To Drink For Optimal Health

Whey shakes arent just for building muscle and getting rid of belly fat. It has plenty of health benefits too.

Drinking a shake with 2 scoops a day is shown to boost several measures of your health. Its also typically enough to help you meet your daily protein requirements.

Some of wheys health related benefits are:

  • Stabilizing your blood sugar levels. This keeps your energy consistent throughout the day and keeps cravings for unhealthy foods in check.
  • Reducing inflammation throughout your body. Studies find that whey protein reduces something called C reactive protein in your body, a chemical that can help show how much inflammation we have going on inside our body. While not all inflammation is bad, excessive amounts of extended times can lead to many different diseases and health conditions we want to avoid .
  • Whey Helps Your Bodys Natural Antioxidant Army. Whey is high in a nutrient called cysteine. Its one of the few foods that contains it in large amounts. Cysteine is important because it helps your body make a super powerful antioxidant called glutathione. Unlike antioxidant supplements, which dont seem to be very helpful, enabling your body to make more glutathione does an awesome job at mopping up free radicals and protecting our health.
  • Wheys May Lower Your Cholesterol. While the data is a little limited, it appears that drinking whey protein shakes can lower LDL and total cholesterol levels. Both can be unhealthy for our heart when theyre too high.

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