How Often Should I Drink Protein Shakes

How Much Protein Do I Need Every Day

When Should I drink a Protein Shake? Should I drink Protein Shakes? How many is OK?

This section is taken from our guide How Much Protein Do I Need to Eat Every Day?

need to be eating 500 grams of protein every day.

They like to tell you this so that you use their supplement faster and need to buy more.

Heres the real deal: claims for the amount of protein the human body needs vary wildly from source to source . You are a unique snowflake and your protein goals should be aligned with your goals.

You want specific numbers, right?

Dont worry, I got you.

Although the current international Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.4g per pound of bodyweight , this study shows that this number is too low and should be higher regardless of your body composition.

You just want me to tell you how much to eat, right? I figured.

Well, youre in luck, because we have a protein calculator you can play with!

Protein Doesnt Just Recover Worked Muscles But Also Repairs Injured And Damaged Ones As Well Drinking A Protein Shake While Injured Can Speed Up The Recovery Process

There are also reasons to turn to protein shakes that are unrelated to muscle growth and recovery during exercise. For instance, protein shakes can be a great treatment for those that are recovering from muscle injuries. Protein doesnt just recover worked muscles, but also repairs injured and damaged ones as well. Drinking a protein shake while injured can speed up the recovery process, regardless of whether or not the injury was sports-related. Another reason to consider protein powders and protein shakes is change in diet, specifically when going vegan or vegetarian. As meat, dairy and eggs are some of the most common sources of protein, those on vegan diets are especially at-risk for protein deficiencies.

Dont Overload On Calories During Other Meals

Protein shakes for breakfast can help you fuel up without packing on calories, but you should still make sure that youre paying attention to how many calories you consume during other meals. Its easy to accidentally binge during lunch or dinner and take in more calories than necessary. Dont ignore your bodys nutritional needs, but also take care not to overconsume.

Also Check: How Much Protein Should An Athlete Eat

Why Should You Start Drinking Protein Shakes

If you dont have protein shakes every day, when is a good time to start? Daily protein shakes are often used simply for convenience, and many people would prefer to get their protein from whole food sources instead. However, there are several occasions when the addition of protein shakes to your diet should be considered.

Growing, athletic teenagers may have reason to add protein powders and shakes to their diet. Teenagers, especially teenage boys, need more protein than adults. Not only does their protein intake go to building and repairing their muscles, the protein is necessary for general growth as well. Without the proper amount of protein, teens may not grow as much as they could have had they been consuming a protein powder of some kind. Increasing the amount of protein in whole foods can be more difficult for teens as well, especially athletes, as they have less time at home and eat at least one meal a day at school. However, with children especially, scrutiny and caution is recommended when picking out a protein powder. While whey and soy proteins are most common in athletes, getting a plant-based protein powder is a safer, less-allergenic option.

Are Protein Shakes Healthy

When To Drink Protein Shakes?

Like most products, there are better and worse options when it comes to protein powders. Consuming plenty of protein is very easy for most people eating a balanced diet, including a plant-based diet. In fact, most Americans eat nearly double the amount of protein they need.

Protein powders are highly processed and often contain high concentrations of heavy metals, pesticides, and BPA. I would not recommend using them on a daily basis, however, they can be a great option for post-workout recovery or a busy day meal-on-the-go.

Don’t Miss: What’s The Best Tasting Protein Shake

What About Women And Older Adults

Women, in general, tend to have higher body fat percentage and lower muscle weight compared to men. So, are their protein requirements different as well?

In certain cases, yes.

If a woman is pregnant, shell want to increase protein intake as the pregnancy progresses. Pregnancy increases the minimum daily intake recommendation to 1.1 g/kg/day. That number increases to 1.22 g/kg/day throughout and then in late pregnancy, up to 1.52 g/kg/day.

This study shows that higher protein amounts can actually reduce infant mortality and low birth weight. Once the mom is breastfeeding, higher protein levels of at least 1.5 g/kg/day should be maintained.

As we age, physical activity usually reduces at some point. To keep as much muscle mass as possible, its recommended that the elderly get at least 0.94 and 1.29 g/kg/day. The numbers are slightly different between men and women, but not by much.

Now that weve covered pretty much all the bases on adequate protein intake, lets get down to it. When is the best time to drink protein shakes to hit your goal, whether for weight loss or weight gain? And is it better to drink a protein shake before or after a workout?

The Nerd Fitness Protein Calculator

On the Metric System? .

Lets explain some of this a little.

As Examine.com points out in their heavily researched summary on protein:

  • If youre overweight or obese, aim for 1.21.5 g/kg . You do not need to try to figure out your ideal body weight or your lean mass . Most studies on people with obesity report their findings based on total body weight.
  • If youre of healthy weight, active, and wish to lose fat, aim for 1.82.7 g/kg , skewing toward the higher end of this range as you become leaner or if you increase your caloric deficit .
  • If youre of healthy weight, active, and wish to build muscle, aim for 1.42.4 g/kg .
  • If youre an experienced lifter on a bulk, intakes up to 3.3 g/kg may help you minimize fat gain.

These are starter numbers that you can start to experiment around as you see your body transforms.

As Examine points out in its research on protein:

Higher protein intakes seem to have no negative effects in healthy people.

So feel free to aim for the higher end of the spectrum, depending on your goals, and adjust from there.

Long story short: Consuming protein is an important part of life for everybody, both the sedentary and the athlete:

  • By consuming enough protein while bulking up, you can ensure muscle growth during a bulk with minimal fat gain.
  • By consuming enough protein while eating a caloric deficit and strength training, you can maintain the muscle mass you have while losing body fat .

However, you still need to have:

  • The right workout in place.
  • Recommended Reading: What Meats Have The Most Protein

    Protein Shake Mistake #: Youve Gone Two Scoops Too Far

    You really can have too much of a good thing. If youre filling your shopping basket to the brim with chicken and powder tubs then weve got some bad news: youre just going to the additional calories could just be increasing your waist line. In fact, trying to copy the diet of professional athletes will only set you up for a career in one sport: sumo wrestling.

    The Fix

    Calculators at the ready: you need 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per kilo of bodyweight per day if you want to bulk up. This means if youre the UK average of 83kg, you need at least 133 grams of protein each day. Dont be put off if this sounds like a lot, as one chicken breast contains around 30g of protein. “This means you can easily consume enough without resorting to supps, says PT Peter Parasiliti. If youve already chowed down a protein-packed chicken salad for lunch and a bulk-up burger for dinner, chances are you’ve already met you protein requirements.

    Dangers Of Overdoing It

    how often should you drink protein shakes

    Eating too many protein shakes per day on top of a balanced diet can be counterproductive or even dangerous. Your body can only use up to a certain amount of protein, depending on your gender, diet and activity level. It stores unneeded calories, even those from protein, as fat. If your diet consists of more than 50 percent protein, you may gain weight. Additionally, your liver has to process the protein you take in, and if it is overworked, it is unable to remove toxins, leaving excessive amino acids, insulin and ammonia in the body. This can affect your brain function, according to Medline Plus.

    Don’t Miss: Is Protein Shake Good For Health

    Is It Bad To Put Peanut Butter In Your Protein Shake

    Its definitely okay and smart to put peanut butter in your protein shake. Peanut butter is a healthy ingredient! Peanut butter has all 3 of the macronutrients we need daily, those being fat, protein, and carbs.

    So yes, go ahead and add peanut butter to your shake as I did in this recipe. It tastes great, too!

    Is It Safe To Have More Than One Protein Shake A Day

    Yes. Its safe to have more than one protein shake a day, but the experts we spoke with recommended capping your consumption at three.

    What happens if I drink protein shakes all day?

    One day of drinking several protein shakes likely wont cause harm but may be quite uncomfortable physically, says Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RD, LD/N, a registered dietitian in Miami. She says consuming a lot of protein can lead to GI symptoms that may include:

    • stomach upset
    • gas
    • bloating

    Another potential pitfall: Drinking too many protein shakes in one day could infringe on the consumption of other essential macros.

    If someone consumes four to five protein shakes a day, that really limits their vegetable and fiber intake as well as other nutrients commonly found in whole grains, greens, fruits and vegetables, says Brittany Modell, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian in New York City.

    Don’t Miss: What Are The Best Tasting Protein Powders

    Is It Ok To Replace One Meal A Day With A Protein Shake

    For instance, the diet might recommend replacing one or two meals with a protein shake, then eating one or two different meals that also provide nutritional benefits, as well as snacks. A well-balanced diet should always include an appropriate amount of protein, nutrient-dense carbohydrates, and healthful fats.

    How Do You Choose A Protein Powder

    Should You Have a Protein Shake Before or After a Workout ...

    With the rising popularity of whey protein powder, there are a lot of options on the market. It can be overwhelming if you dont know what to look for.

  • Choose a whey protein that has the fewest ingredients possible, and be sure that protein is the first listed ingredient.
  • Select a powder that has at least 25 grams of protein per serving. Also, look to make sure it is not high in carbs preferably less than five grams. Many of my protein shake recipes use fruit, so you will be adding carbs, but at least they are healthy carbs.
  • Choose one that does not have artificial sweeteners or added sugar. Keep in mind that the sugar per serving also increase with the addition of fruit.
  • On the label, you will see either protein isolate or protein concentrate. If you have the choice, always choose the protein isolate. This means it contains more than 90% protein.
  • Also, it is best to choose a powder that is not flavoured. Not only does flavoring possibly increase the amount of sugar and artificial flavours, but you wont want to mix a flavorful powder with other ingredients in the protein shake recipes. Here is the protein powder I use if you’re looking for a clean one.

    Read Also: What Does Protein In Urine Look Like

    Protein Shake Mistake #: Youre Making A Meal Of It

    There are too many guys who think all protein is created equal and are swapping for shakes. Dont be one of them. It might be quick to take, but a high calorie smoothie is unlikely to fill you up and wont give you as many nutrients as a proper meal, says Baptie. Plus, a full course means your body has to work harder to break down the food so you use up more calories in the digestion process.

    The Fix

    If your busy work day makes it too tempting to trade in a meal for a whey shake, then prep your lunchtime the night before. Focus on things like fish, chicken, turkey, beef for the best protein. Theyve got far more nutrients to keep you full, says Baptie. Thats right, investing in some foil, Tupperware and a Mexican tuna salad could be a key step to a chiselled core.

    The Muscle Full Effect

    How much protein we should actually consume in one serving is a subject of debate by scientists. Most believe that around 20 to 25 grams of protein is the optimal amount for maximising muscle protein synthesis.

    Anything greater than this is thought to be used for energy or excreted in our urine.

    The point at which maximum muscle protein synthesis has been achieved in our muscles has been termed the “muscle full effect“. The idea is that muscle protein synthesis is only elevated for around 90-120 minutes after ingesting protein, before it returns to normal.

    This is even despite amino acids continuing to be available in the blood stream, stimulating muscle protein synthesis further.

    This has led some people to suggest that there is a finite amount of protein that the muscle can use in one sitting, and that we should let blood amino acid levels return to baseline levels before the next meal.

    This observation came from research investigating whey protein. Whey protein is unique in that its amino acid levels appear and peak within the bloodstream rapidly and for only a short time following ingestion. Whey is considered a “fast-acting” protein.

    But research has also shown that milk protein causes a sustained muscle protein synthesis due to a slower release of amino acids. This throws the short-term muscle full hypothesis into question.

    David Rogerson, Senior Lecturer in Sports Nutrition and Strength and Conditioning, Sheffield Hallam University.

    Also Check: How To Get In More Protein

    Does Protein Reduce Weight

    Protein is an important nutrient for weight loss . Getting enough protein can help support a healthy metabolism and reduce your appetite. It can also help you lose body fat without losing muscle. Protein shakes are an easy way to add more protein to your diet, and they have been shown to help with weight loss.

    Green Smoothie Power Bowl

    When Should YOU Drink A Protein Shake (FOR THE BEST RESULTS)

    We recently collaborated with the amazing food blogger, The Colorful Kitchen, to add this plant-based smoothie recipe to the 8fit app, which you can be enjoy in a glass or a bowl. To set yourself up for success, we suggest you portion out mango, banana, berries and spinach ahead of time, then freeze each portion in freezer-safe containers or bags. This way, youll always have the ingredients ready to blend.

    Read Also: Is Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein Gluten Free

    Protein Powder For Weight Loss

    Protein is a key ingredient for weight loss, as your body uses more energy to break it down and absorb it compared to fat and carbs, especially when eating non-processed types of protein. Protein also fills you up and keeps you satisfied, curbing hunger and cravings.

    Pro tip

    Review the ingredient list and if its very long, or contains ingredients that you dont know how to pronounce, dont buy it.

    Now, this doesnt mean you should run to the nearest store and grab the first protein powder you see because not all protein powders are created equal. Studies show that some proteins are highly insulinogenic . For example, the insulin response after consuming whey protein is higher than the insulin response after eating white bread. Protein powder quality can also vary based on the ingredients, processing and the amount of added sugar and artificial ingredients. When choosing a protein powder, aim for purity, minimal ingredients, and one that doesnt lead to any digestive upsets.

    Here are some other protein powder guidelines:

    • Purchase a powder that is at least 70% protein

    • One serving, typically one scoop , should contain at least 0.6 ounces or 16 grams of protein.

    Not a fan of processed powders? Low-fat, unsweetened Greek yogurt is the best substitute. So if your recipe calls for one tablespoon of protein powder, replace it with two tablespoons of low-fat Greek yogurt.

    When You Need A Tool For Hunger Control Between Meals

    You’ve probably been in the situation before: lunch was only an hour ago, you’ve got a full slate of work on your schedule for the rest of the afternoon, but your stomach is still growling. Whether you’re looking to lose weight or build muscle mass, managing your food intake is important. Having a protein shake to help tide you over until your next meal is a great way to control calories while still helping satiate your hunger. This method of hunger control has the added bonus of getting you closer to your daily protein intake target.

    Recommended Reading: Which Foods Are High In Protein For Weight Loss

    Second: Monitor Overall Calorie Intake

    Protein shakes are appealing to a lot of us because they can be pretty low calorie ways of cramming in a lot of protein.

    If you mix your shake with water or skim milk, you can easily get 30-50 grams of protein for somewhere around 200-400 calories.

    Thats a bargain!

    Lean cuts of meat are also pretty efficient, but become a little less so by the time youre done adding oils, seasonings, sauces, and sides.

    Even still, while having several protein shakes per day probably isnt dangerous, it could cause you to go way over your calorie limit for the day.

    Here are some basic guidelines:

    • For weight loss, you want to have somewhere around 12 calories per pound of bodyweight in a day.

    • For muscle gain, youd shoot for around 17 calories per pound of bodyweight.

    • And to maintain your body weight and composition, youd eat around 15 calories per pound of bodyweight.

    Having, say, 10 protein shakes per day would give you plenty of protein! But it might also put you way over your target calories and into a place where youre gaining too much fat.

    Conversely, having 5 protein shakes per day might seem like a lot, and it would give you a ton of protein, but depending on how youre mixing it and how much you weigh, it could be way too few calories.

    Again, dont think about number of shakes per day, think about how much protein you need, how many total calories you need, and how/if protein shakes can help you get there.

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