How Many Protein Shakes Should You Have?

how many protein shakes
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Athletes and bodybuilders love to consume shakes from protein sources.

These are used as their pre and post-workout as these supplements increase muscle mass and support muscle recovery.

However, users of these proteins should know how much of these should be consumed daily to avoid side effects and other unwanted events.

In this article, you will learn the content of a protein shake, how to calculate the proper protein dose, when is the right time to take these shakes, and what happens when users take too many of these shakes.

How Many Protein Shakes Should You Drink In A Day?

What’s in a Protein Shake?

Many people’s perception about protein shakes is that these dietary supplements contain chemicals that can build muscle mass.

However, that information is limited.

These shakes are supplements that work by stimulating muscle protein synthesis, and they contain the following ingredients, also known as protein sources, which will be discussed in this section.

1) Whey Protein

A protein typically contains whey protein and can be made of isolate, concentrate, or hydrolysate.

Each of these is rich in branched-chain and essential AAs that can speed up muscle protein synthesis and prevent muscle loss.

However, they provide different amounts of carbohydrates, fats, and calories.

Healthy individuals who drink vegan meal shakes made up of whey usually consume one serving of these dietary supplements daily.

This daily protein intake may change depending on the users’ fitness goals and body weight.

2) Pea Protein

Many protein shakes are also organic.

And when they are said to be organic, they are made from pea protein.

Pea protein and other plant-based proteins are easier to digest than whey protein. Pea proteins are usually extracted from yellow peas.

3) Brown Rice Protein

Consuming protein shakes made from brown rice protein is also very nutritious.

These shakes are rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients. These proteins are suitable for pre and post-workout shakes.

How to Calculate Protein Intake

Even healthy individuals should know adequate protein intake.

This means that all people should know how many protein shakes a day should only be consumed.

Generally, there is a proper way to calculate total daily protein intake.

For average and healthy individuals, 0.8 grams per kilo of body weight is an adequate protein intake.

If you work out at least three times a week, 1.5 grams of protein per kilo of body weight will suffice.

How Much Protein is in One Shake

Different brands of protein powders offer different various grams of protein per serving. This gram per serving usually ranges from 10 to 27.

Again, this protein content depends on the type of protein used.

For example, the protein powder Orgain Organic offers 21 grams of protein per serving, while the protein powder Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein offers 24 grams of protein per serving.

The former is sourced from pea protein, while the latter is sourced from whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, and whey protein hydrolysate.

Although sourced from different proteins, these supplements are high-quality proteins that can support healthy muscle growth and weight loss.

How Many Protein Shakes a Day

Some protein powder users may wonder, how many proteins shakes a day is needed?

What are the essential amino acids required to increase muscle growth? Is one protein drink enough?

Again, this would depend on the following:

  • User’s body mass
  • Exercise routines and other workouts
  • Type of protein used

For an average person or beginner, two protein shakes a day can already help stimulate muscle protein synthesis and building muscle tissue.

However, for professional athletes and bodybuilders, drinking 3-4 protein shakes daily is better to sustain lean mass. 

In another report from Greece, it was stated that the tolerable amount is up to 3.5 grams per kilogram.

Keep in mind that this only applies to healthy individuals using these supplements to build muscle.

For those who want to lose weight, taking these shakes with a balanced diet and regular exercise is highly advised.

Protein shakes provide many health benefits but taking them with a healthy lifestyle would offer more!

When Should You Take Protein Supplement Shakes

After knowing enough protein that should be consumed, people should also know when is the right time to take these protein supplements.

Usually, users follow the directions on the label of the protein supplements.

However, this will only apply to those who use these supplements to consume extra protein.

It is still highly recommended to take high protein diets such as eating chicken breast. Remember, high-quality protein also comes from whole foods.

Too Much Protein Intake: Side Effects

According to Christian Finn, a dietitian with a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Science, one reason why it is important to determine how much protein shakes a day should be consumed is that you want to avoid side effects.

Although not harmful, these can cause discomfort.

1) Is Overdose Possible with a Protein Shake?

Some users believe that weight gain is caused by protein overdose.

However, gaining weight is possible when a user takes more than the protein required for his or her body but this does not mean that this is caused by overdose. 

Protein toxicity is possible, but this condition is most likely to happen to users with kidney dysfunctions.

Patients with kidney disease who consume too many supplements make protein dangerous.

Determining how much their bodies can handle protein is crucial for patients with kidney disorders to avoid the buildup of protein metabolic waste.

2) Decreased Liver Function

According to a study from Texas, the long-term use of protein, either a shake or a protein-rich meal, for building muscles can cause a decrease in liver function and increase the risk of coronary heart disease.

So, for those who want to take protein, aside from consuming the right protein dose, it is highly advised to consume those that offer healthy fats to prevent other heart problems.

Other Side Effects of a High Protein Dose

Eating protein-rich foods together with shakes can truly give you enough protein to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.

But when your body cannot tolerate the amount of protein you take, side effects such as the following can be experienced:

  • Increased bowel movements
  • Acne
  • Nausea
  • Thirst
  • Reduced appetite
  • Frequent tiredness
  • Headaches

Although taking protein can help lose weight and build muscle, these supplements should not be abused.

Adding protein to your daily diet is generally safe if you follow instructions.

If not, this makes protein dangerous to health.

Final Thoughts

Indeed, taking high-quality protein from supplements or whole foods to increase lean mass is effective.

These supplements not only help in building muscle but also in losing weight.

Furthermore, there are different sources of proteins, such as whey and plant-based protein supplements.

Although helpful in supporting muscle tissue, a dietitian with a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Science states that one should know how much of these proteins should be consumed to avoid unwanted health events.

These side effects are mild, but protein users with kidney disorders are more at risk of experiencing them.

Thus, learning how much of these proteins can be tolerated by your body is essential.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can protein shakes make me fat?

Yes, you can gain weight on these protein supplements when you take them without exercise and a proper diet. Always remember that these supplements can promote weight loss by reducing your appetite. However, this effect will only be experienced when you regularly work out and use the supplements properly.

Can I take protein supplements without working out?

Yes, you can take these supplements without regular exercise but this does not help in building muscle. Generally, taking them this way would only increase the chance of gaining weight. According to some experts, there is no sense in taking supplements without following a proper workout program.

Can protein powders be used as meal replacements?

Yes, many protein powders, especially organic ones, are used as meal replacements. These supplements are rich in macronutrients and micronutrients that can support your body’s needs. But, always remember that these supplements are supportive ones. You should not rely on them the whole time. It is still highly advised to consume real foods together with these supplements for better effects.